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The 10th World Meeting of Families, as announced in a video message by Pope Francis, will be held in a “polycentric and widespread” format and will have different features than meetings in previous years. However, the event, already postponed one year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, cannot ignore the different global situation caused by this healthcare emergency.

The main event will therefore be held in Rome, which will be attended by delegates from Episcopal Conferences all around the world as well as representatives from international movements involved in pastoral care for families. At the same time, each diocese is invited to organise similar events in their own local communities.

“At past meetings”, explained the Pope in his video message, “most families stayed at home and the meeting was perceived as being something remote, at most followed on television, and unknown to the majority of families. This time it will have a special format: it will be an opportunity provided by Providence to create a worldwide event that can involve all the families that would like to feel part of the ecclesial community”.

The World Meeting will therefore be set up in two parallel ways. Rome will remain the main location with the Festival of Families and the Theological-Pastoral Congress taking place from Wednesday to Saturday in the Paul VI Audience Hall. While the Pope will celebrate Mass on Saturday in St Peter’s Square.