MANILA, May 31, 2013—Less than two months before the World Youth Day (WYD) takes place in Brazil, only 300,000 young individuals have registered to participate in the event, including some 200 pilgrims coming from the Philippines.
The Papal gathering with the young faithful was expected to entice some four million young people from around the globe to converge at Rio de Janeiro, the host of the upcoming WYD, but local organizers said only 1.2 million can make it.
This as Brazilian Fr. Antonio Augusto, Vice President of the local WYD organizing committee and Auxiliary Bishop of Rio, confirmed earlier this week that “so far, 220 thousand people have officially registered for the event.”
An article published by the Vatican Insider quoted Brazilian press as reporting that the global economic crisis could be one of the many reasons for the drop in attendance, adding that “many have been put off by the expense of the trip, particularly as Brazil is ‘now considered an expensive country.’”
In Manila, the secretariat of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) said the financial limitation of the pilgrims is forcing some of them to cancel their participation. The CBCP ECY is sending the ECY-Philippines delegation as the country’s official delegation to the upcoming WYD in the South American host country this July.
In an interview with YouthPinoy, Lanie Santos said there are still 15 subgroups or at least 182 individual pilgrims who are going to WYD under the ECY-Philippines delegation as of May 30.
But this figure is not representative of the total number of WYD pilgrims that are coming from the Philippines after some dioceses, parishes, and organizations opted to send delegations separate from the ECY’s.
Among those groups that will send separate delegation to the WYD are the Archdiocese of Manila and the dioceses of Cubao and Novaliches, among others.
This number also excludes a few young Filipinos who will participate in the WYD as international volunteers. The ECY has been giving formation for at least eight official international volunteers from Batangas, Manila and Pasig. These Filipino volunteers are among the 135 others that the WYD organizers in Brazil have officially recognized as international volunteers from the Philippines. (KB/YouthPinoy)