Vatican City – With no papal travel abroad this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pope Francis is cheering efforts at the youth camp, traditionally attended by the Pope, in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2023.
On Sunday, Francis presided over a handover ceremony at St. Peter’s Basilica in which young people prepare for the upcoming International Youth Day, which attracts huge crowds of Catholics from all over the world.
When Francis attended the last such event in Panama in 2019, the organizers announced that the next camp would be held in Lisbon in 2022. But epidemiological concerns postponed the event to August 2023.
Francis after young men from Panama symbolically slid across the floor of the basilica on a towering wooden cross to their Portuguese counterparts as part of the Lisbon preparations.
“This is an important step in the pilgrimage that will lead us to Lisbon in 2023,” the Pope said to the youth, who wore hoodies or T-shirts adorned with the icon of the event.
There are no overseas trips currently scheduled for Francis, who last traveled abroad in November 2019 to make the pilgrimage to Thailand and Japan.
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