WYD 2023: record surplus, emphasis on financial transparency

financial transparency

World Youth Day (WYD) 2023 in Portugal ended with a record surplus of around €35 million (NZ61.7m).

This financial success, announced by Cardinal Américo Aguiar, the event’s chief organiser, marks the highest recorded in WYD history.

WYD 2023 attracted over 400,000 pilgrims.

This number significantly exceeded expectations, contributing to the robust financial outcome.

The result contrasts with previous WYDs which often struggled with financial transparency and deficits.

“I don’t want to judge others” said Aguiar.

“But from the beginning we made a commitment to be as transparent as possible, both to Rome and to the next WYD, and here is the result.

“Everything that went well — and everything that went less well — is registered and available to learn from in the future.

“We hope this can be a legacy for future events.”

A central theme of the 2023 WYD was financial transparency.

Cardinal Aguiar emphasised the importance of clear and detailed financial reporting.

The commitment has been praised, especially given the Church’s ongoing financial challenges.

Economic impact on Lisbon

The Lisbon School of Economics and Management conducted a study revealing that WYD 2023 generated at least €350 million in gross added-value for the Lisbon region, primarily in 2023.

The event also created approximately 10,000 short-term jobs.

It resulted in €48 million of lasting investment, transforming areas like the final vigil and Mass venue into a park.

The surplus from WYD 2023 will be used to support projects for children and youth in cities impacted by the event.

The newly appointed president of the WYD 2023 Foundation, Fr Alexandre Palma, will oversee the allocation of these funds.

Palma affirmed a commitment to transparency and ethical investments, focusing on education and the arts.

“One thing has to be completely clear, though. This money belongs to the youth. That is our guiding principle” stressed Palma.

Future use of surplus funds

Organisers acknowledged several challenges, including managing refunds for pilgrims who could not attend due to visa issues.

Aguiar pointed out the need for improved systems to handle such administrative tasks in future events.

Fr Pietro Yang Ju Yul from the Archdiocese of Seoul, who will oversee WYD 2027, noted the high standards set by Lisbon.

Yang Ju Yul plans to adopt similar transparency and organisational strategies, despite the different socio-religious context in South Korea where Catholics are a minority.

The next WYD is scheduled for 2027 in Seoul, South Korea.


The Pillar

Essential Business

CathNews New Zealand


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , , , ,