WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth has issued the following message regarding travel and safety during World Youth Day 2016 to take place July 26-29, in Krakow, Poland. Media are encouraged to share the information below. Additional information on the U.S. pilgrimages can also be found on the links below.
World Youth Day 2016 Safety and Security
USCCB Secretariat of Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth
The World Youth Day office at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is aware of the recent summer European travel advisory issued by the United States Department of State (https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/alertswarnings/europe-travel-alert.html) and, in view of this, continues to encourage vigilance and responsibility on the part of all pilgrims and group leaders going to Europe for the World Youth Day (WYD) events in Krakow, Poland, this summer.
On May 31, 2016, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby noted, “(We are) not aware of any specific, credible terrorist threat around these events or in any particular place in Europe… We issue alerts all the time that aren’t based on specific, credible attacks… We absolutely don’t want to discourage travel or tourism to Europe. The Secretary (of State) has said himself, even in the wake of the Brussels attacks, that he would want and would hope that Americans continue to travel abroad to see the great sites of the world, to attend these kinds of events. We just want them to be aware and to be vigilant.” He further noted that the summer alert was a renewal of a travel advisory that had been in place for the past several months.
With this in mind, the delegation from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has no plans, at this time, to cancel its participation in World Youth Day. The bishops of the United States remain committed to fully participating in this international pilgrimage experience along with the Holy Father. Individual groups on the local level may make their own travel decisions regarding WYD attendance.
To aid pastoral leaders and families in their preparation, the USCCB World Youth Day office (WYDUSA) regularly posts updated safety and security information on its website (www.wydusa.org and www.usccb.org/about/world-youth-day/safety.cfm). The WYDUSA office also maintains an open line of communication with the U.S. State Department Consulate in Kraków and with the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in the United States, and continues to monitor and assess the situation.