Pope Francis has decided to postpone the upcoming World Youth Day and the World Meeting of Families for another year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Vatican announced that the World Youth Day scheduled in Lisbon, Portugal, in August 2022, will now take place in August 2023.
The World Meeting of Families, previously scheduled to be held in Rome in June 2021, will now be held in June 2022.
A statement released on April 20 by the Holy See Press Office confirmed the postponement of the global events due to the new coronavirus pandemic.
The pontiff made the decision together with the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, which is responsible for organizing the events.
The World Youth Day is usually held every three years. It was last held in Panama in January 2019, drawing an estimated 700,000 young Catholics.
The gathering was started by Pope St. John Paul II in 1985.
The theme of the 2023 World Youth Day in Lisbon is “Mary arose and went with haste.”
In a statement on April 20, the local organizing committee for the World Youth Day in Portugal said it welcomes the pope’s decision to postpone the event.
In 1994, Pope St. John Paul II established the World Meeting of Families, which also takes place every three years in a different country.
The most recent meeting was held in Dublin, Ireland in 2018.
The event, now moved to June 2022, carries the theme: “Family Love: a vocation and a path to holiness.”