The Portuguese President expressed today “an uncontained joy” with the choice of Lisbon to host the next World Youth Day (WYD), noting that the Portuguese language spoken around the world weighed on the decision.
“It is an uncontained joy and it is to begin to dream already and to project what is going to happen in three and a half years,” Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, in Panama City, where he went to the invitation of his Panamanian counterpart for the WYD which ends today.
The Vatican announced today at the closing Mass of WYD in Panama City that it is the next city to host what is considered the biggest event organized by the Catholic Church.
“I think we got it, we got it all, we got Portuguese, got Catholics from Portugal naturally, got the Catholic bishops, got D. Manuel Clemente, cardinal-patriarch of Lisbon, but we got all of us as people and got ourselves we speak Portuguese“, said the head of state.
According to Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, “an important argument for this decision was to be a country that could open to several continents, and especially to Africa because it is the only continent that has not yet had the World Youth Days.”
“And it was understood – well – that Portugal, apart from opening to the American continent and, of course, opening to Europe, opened for Africa, to which Portuguese is very much spoken, and which we are going to gather in Lisbon, speaks, but will also come to Lisbon, ” he said.
For Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Portugal is the second Lusophone country to receive WYD after Brazil in 2013, “is the recognition of the weight of Lusophony, of the world that speaks Portuguese.”
“And at the same time, the weight of Portugal, the weight of Fatima, the weight of the Portuguese Catholic people,” declared the Portuguese President, adding: “But I do not hide that Lusophone and Portuguese speaking and being – being present on all continents around the world weighed in the struggle that was very difficult with other candidates for these 2022 days. ”
WYD is a gathering of young people from around the world with the pope in a festive, religious and cultural atmosphere that shows the dynamism of the Catholic Church.