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Australia to host Catholic Youth Festival amid same sex marriage and euthanasia debates

Almost 10 years after hosting World Youth Day, the land down under is gathering thousands of youth together once again for the Australian Catholic Youth Festival from December 7-9.

Archbishop of Sydney (Australia)

“World Youth Day had an extraordinary effect on Australia. It lead to a dramatic rise in the quantity and quality of our youth ministry. Many young people ended up entering our seminaries, religious life, making very good marriages, as a result of World Youth Day. So the Australian bishops thought well, we should have an Australian Youth Festival roughly halfway between each World Youth Day.”

The festival comes at a vital time in Australia. In addition to various attacks on religious liberty at the moment, the country is currently awaiting results on a vote on same sex marriage and, at the same time, Parliament is considering legalizing euthanasia. These themes will be discussed by the bishops at the festival. 

Archbishop of Sydney (Australia)

“So there are some big questions for the young people of Australia at the moment. Kind of what kind of country are they going to grow up in, are they going to lead forward? Is it one where faith and life and love are going to be respected, reverenced and celebrated or where they're going to be threatened in all sorts of ways by forces in the culture and changes in law and policy?”

The bishops are expecting at least 15,000 youth and famous Catholic speakers and singers, like Matt Maher. Attendees will concentrate on exploring new horizons of joy through faith and love, as well as the theme of the upcoming youth Synod in 2018, “Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment.”

Archbishop Fisher is hoping this festival will stir a Catholic revival in the youth, just as Australia experienced 10 years ago with Pope Benedict XVI.