WYD:14 Australians confirmed by Pope Benedict

FOURTEEN Australians will join a select group confirmed by Pope Benedict during the Catholic leader's visit to Sydney for World Youth Day (WYD)

The Pope will anoint each confirmation candidate with holy oil during the final mass on July 20 of the six-day WYD event, expected to be attended by some 500,000 people.

The candidates will also receive holy communion from Pope Benedict .

The 14 people, drawn from all Australia's states and territories, will be aged between 16 and 43.

Ten international visitors will join them to "receive the sacrament that marks the completion of baptismal grace", organisers say.

"It's not every day that one is confirmed by the global leader of the Catholic Church before hundreds of thousands of people," WYD coordinator Bishop Anthony Fisher said in a statement released today.

"The sacrament is life-changing and to receive the sacrament in this way will prove an unforgettable experience, one that they will each carry with them for the rest of their lives.

"The candidates have been selected as representatives of their regions by bishops across Australia and we are absolutely delighted to be able to present them to the Pope for this momentous occasion."

The 10 international confirmation candidates are yet to be chosen.

Organised by the Catholic Church, WYD runs from July 15-20 and marks the first visit to Australia by Pope Benedict XVI.


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