Thursday, March 03, 2005

Pope's Health, WYD 2005: Good Catch Ed

Ed Deluzian makes the observation that Cardinal Meisner of Cologne, who declared the Pope's continued recovery had an ulterior motive, World Youth Day 2005 in Cologne. He notes that if this Pope is not present, half the young people will not show up and projected revenues drop precipitously. I agree.

I was at World Youth Day 2002 and I can tell you that JPII was the main attraction. World Youth Day is his baby, so it makes sense. It would be tough for another Pope to generate the same kind of excitement.

I had a few roles at the WYD 2002 event. I was on the staff of the U.S. office. I was also in charge of one of the English speaking catechetical sites over the course of three days. On the first day, we had Archbishop Chaput: the next day was Bishop Turkson of Ghana (who is going places in the Church, look for him to be Pope some day) and on the third day was Cardinal Bevilacqua (believe it or not, the kids loved him, they were hanging all over him like he was their grandpa). I've worked with quite a few Bishops over the years and i have to say that they are generally easy to work with.

Coincidentally, I was an "official" photographer for the USCCB so many of my photos were used for the daily journals.

Here are the photos at Salvador del Mundo Catholic Church with Bishop Turkson (again, if there is an African Pope on the horizon, this is him).

I took all the photos on the last day, Sunday. Most people had arrived at the park the night before and spend the night there and the pope returned for the Mass and closing ceremonies. That Sunday morning, the place was like a refugee camp. It had rained the night before and it was squalid. I had spent the night in my comfortable hotel and took the press bus early in the morning, so I was spared all the discomfort. Anyway, this was my favorite picture:

I got a shot of the papal helicopter arriving. Cool, uh?


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6:45 PM  

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