MADRID, Aug. 21 (UPI) — Rio de Janeiro, host of the 2016 Summer Olympics, will host the next World Youth Day, Pope Benedict said in Madrid.
“I am pleased now to announce that the next World Youth day will be held in 2013, in Rio de Janeiro,” the Pope said Sunday at a mass at a military airbase, where hundreds of thousands of people attended this year’s World Youth Day celebration.
The pope has been in Madrid the past four days for World Youth Day and he was expected to return to the Vatican later Sunday, CNN reported. The event is held in a different city every few years.
Vatican Radio released a transcript of the pope’s address to the faithful at World Youth Day.
“In this celebration of the Eucharist we have reached the high point of this World Youth Day,” the pope said in the transcript released by Vatican Radio. “Seeing you here, gathered in such great numbers from all parts of the world, fills my heart with joy. I think of the special love with which Jesus is looking upon you.”
The event was criticized by thousands of demonstrators who said the money could be better spent finding people work. Unemployment in Spain is nearly 21 percent, with almost 5 million people without work.
The event in Madrid cost about $70 million. World Youth Day organizers said most of the funds came from sponsors and pilgrims, and didn’t cost taxpayers anything.