The Archbishop of Panama, Jose Domingo Ulloa, previously thanked the Supreme Pontiff for ‘allowing us to prepare and organize this World Youth Journey in a very Latin American and Caribbean style’.
As a result, we have a strengthened Latin American church in its structure of the youth Ministry, enlivened in its missionary commitment (…) in this continent of hope and love, he stressed.
The Monseignor also highlighted FrancisÂ´commitment to a poor and merciful church, and the fact of allowing the small and less powerful to ‘dream and make their dreams come true’ in this country.
At the same time, he sentenced: ‘Thank you for reminding us that no church, social or political project in the world can be done excluding young people’.
Panama’s government authorities thanked the archdioceses and Central American governments for their support in holding the WYJ, which ended Sunday.
They recognized the effectiveness of the Mobility Protocol for massive events, which allowed the efficient and expeditious transit of thousands of pilgrims through Panamanian territory.
Presidents from Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia and Portugal also participated in the last Mass celebrated Sunday by the Pope as part of his visit to the WYJ, where 700,000 people were present.
The closing Mass, the most massive event in Panama so far in the opinion of the organizing committee, was also attended by Prince Dominique de la Rochefoucauld-Montbel, of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Grand Hospitaller, and the First Lady of Poland, Agata Komhauser.
‘The Government and the people of Panama thank the world for sharing this journey of love, faith, hope and joy’, reiterated Saturday Vice Foreign Ministers Luis Miguel Hincapie and Maria Luisa Navarro in welcoming the visitors.
This is the first meeting of its kind to be held in Central America, a largely Catholic region which has welcomed three Papal visits with those of John Paul II in 1983 and 1996.
Francis, the Pope of the poor, arrived in Panama on Wednesday to participate in the WYJ events, with an agenda that included 10 speeches with specific requests to youth, visits to detention centers and foster homes, meetings with national authorities, diplomatic corps, representatives of society and Central American bishops, among other official activities.
His Holiness before leaving at 16:15 (local time) for Rome participated in a farewell ceremony at the Tocumen international airport, attended by President Juan Carlos Varela, First Lady Lorena Castillo and nearly 1,500 faithful.