Record ‘profits’ for WYD 2023, but transparency may be biggest legacy


The World Youth Day 2023 Foundation, which organized the event that drew over 400 thousand pilgrims to Portugal last summer, presented its official accounts on Friday, 31 May, the feast of the Visitation — a nod to the motto of the gathering: “Mary arose and went with haste”. The event’s chief organizer and now Bishop of Setúbal, Cardinal Américo Aguiar, told journalists that the WYD had made a “profit” of around 35 million euros, though the technical term is “surplus,” not profit, since the World Youth Day project is a non-profit.  The financial result is a likely record for a World Youth Day since the event began in Rome in 1986. At least, as far as anyone call tell. While the results from last year’s gathering show a very healthy financial situation, organizers in Portugal have little data to go on for comparison, since previous WYDs have been notoriously lax in their bookkeeping and financial transparency, Cardinal Aguiar pointed out during the press conference. “As far as we know, this is the most lucrative WYD ever,” the cardinal said. “We have an outline of Panama’s accounts, and they required an injection of capital to remain afloat. Brazil had a significant deficit, partly because of weather conditions that flooded the initial venue. We got nothing from Krakow. Madrid, in 2009, was a special case, since the Church formed a private company to organize it, which was then extinguished and never felt the need to make its accounts public.” 

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