Young people were going to confession on street corners and park benches throughout Lisbon during World Youth Day, but in the 150 plywood confessionals set up in Vasco da Gama Garden three of them found themselves face to face with Pope Francis.
Fifteen World Youth Day pilgrims from Ukraine, most of whom had lost a father or other close relative in the war, had a private meeting with Pope Francis Aug. 3.
On the first day of an Aug. 2-6 trip to Portugal, a country that recently has been embroiled in a clerical sexual abuse crisis, Pope Francis met with a group of abuse survivors.
When Pope Francis arrives in Portugal for World Youth Day, he’ll be met by the colorful fanfare and palpable excitement characteristic of these gatherings, yet he’ll also have the task of wading through the aftermath of a recent report on clerical abuse in the country.
While not everyone has the opportunity to attend World Youth Day 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal, next month, St. Bernard of Clairvaux Parish gave more than 60 young faithful the chance to participate in the international celebration of faith.