Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 4, 2002
Youth Day security excellent - director
By ART BABYCH
Canadian Catholic News
Father Thomas Rosica, the national director of World Youth Day 2002, says that in the wake of the terrorist attacks in the U.S. last Sept. 11 he's "absolutely convinced" the mission of the Church right now is to host the international event.
"World Youth Day represents the culture of light, of peace, of dialogue and of hope," Rosica told WYD coordinators representing the 114 parishes in the Ottawa Archdiocese Jan. 23.
"What happened in September involved the powers of darkness, despair, disparity, evil and of all the things that the World Youth Day is not," he said.
"That's why we need the World Youth Day more than ever, said Rosica. "We need the salt and the light-the flavour of the Gospel and the light of Christ -- to shatter the darkness."
Rosica was replying to questioning about security arrangements at WYD 2002 in Toronto from July 23-28, to be attended by Pope John Paul.
He said that even before Sept. 11, there was "an excellent security system in place," arranged with the aid of senior police officials from the RCMP, the Ontario Provincial Police, the Toronto Police Department and others security forces.
In his talk to the parish coordinators, Rosica said Pope John Paul is "very keen on coming" to Toronto and praised him as an "old man who is one of the youngest people I have ever known."
The pope is a man of dreams and of visions, Rosica added. "A sign of the death of a person is when you're unable to have dreams and you're unable to have visions and you allow yourself to be seduced, deluded by all the cynicism and despair and all the problems and all the darkness," he said. "Pope John Paul II rises above all that."
In an interview, Rosica said that as of Jan. 23, 90,000 people from 94 countries had registered. "Our challenge right now is to get as many Canadians to come to this as possible," he said. "I have every confidence that that will happen."
More information about registering for World Youth Day 2002 is available online at the WYD web site at www.wyd2002.org/.