Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Pope Benedict arrives in Australia to preside over World Youth Day

July 13, 2008
Share this:

Pope Benedict XVI has arrived in Sydney for a week-long celebration of religion and youth.

The 81-year-old head of the Catholic church is to spend three days recovering from the journey Down Under in a retreat in North West Sydney, before being officially welcomed to the city at a ceremony on Thursday.

In what will be the lengthiest trip of his pontificate - his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, visited in 1986 and 1995 - the Pope will attend World Youth Day, a Catholic global youth rally inaugurated by John Paul II in 1984. Billed as "the Catholic Woodstock", the celebrations, which last a week and are expected to draw crowds of over 500,000, include performances by rap, rock and jazz artists.

As well as leading an open-air Sunday mass at the festival - held at Sydney's main horse-racing track of Randwick - the pontiff will see the sights of the city on a boat trip around Sydney harbour and with a helicopter ride.

Sign up to HELLO Daily! for the best royal, celebrity and lifestyle coverage

By entering your details, you are agreeing to HELLO! Magazine User Data Protection Policy. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, please click here.

Photo: ©
Pope Benedict arrives in Sydney at the start of a nine-day trip to AustraliaPhoto: © Getty Images
Photo: ©
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was waiting at the airport to greet the 81-year-old pontiff, who will be the centre of an official welcome ceremony on Thursday. The Pope is in Australia to preside over World Youth Day, which culminates in an open-air mass on SundayPhoto: © Getty Images

More Royalty

See more