Church ensures Pinoy WYD delegates return home

Posted By: Chris On:

MANILA, May 26, 2011— The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is ensuring that Filipino delegates to the upcoming World Youth Day (WYD) celebration in Spain would return home.

CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) said there are about 436 youth from various dioceses whose applications are “being screened” by the Church.

Fr. Conegundo Garganta, ECY executive secretary, revealed that around 1,500 youths more have signed for WYD but they already belong to other groups.

As far as the Church is concerned, he said the ECY is following the usual procedures of ensuring the applicants’ “real intention” in joining the celebration.

“Our part is more on determining that their participation is really meant for that purpose to celebrate and share faith,” Garganta said.

For instance, he said, one way of doing it is by looking at the applicants’ “level of involvement” in their parishes or dioceses.

“Their documents should really satisfy their objective and intention in joining the actual celebration,” Garganta said.

But the CBCP official said the WYD celebration in Madrid on August 15-21 is not just limited to those who are active in the Church.

According to him, what is really important is the applicant’s “groundedness” in their intention to join the gathering and “not just to become tourists.”

“They can also be screened based on their involvement in their communities,” Garganta said.

The ECY is assisting Church-based applicants in their documents and acting as the “visa coordinator” with an endorsement by its chairman, Bishop Joel Baylon of Legazpi.

“It is us who will be asked by the (Spanish) consulate [on] the standing of the participants so it’s really a huge responsibility,” Garganta added.

“So it is very important for us to ensure the sincerity of those who will be going to Madrid,” he reiterated.

The Church official acknowledged that some Filipino delegates did not return from the 2002 celebration in Canada and Germany in 2005.

Garganta added the Spanish consulate has set June 30 as the deadline for all visa applications. (CBCPNews)

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