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ICYM office-bearers fail to get visa

August 9, 2011 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

ICYM office-bearers fail to get visaAugust 8, 2011: The visas of 13 delegates, including that of the president and secretary of the Indian Catholic Youth Movement (ICYM), to the 2011 World Youth Day in Madrid have been rejected by the Spanish embassy.

“The embassy officials said that the delegates do not possess enough money to maintain themselves during the trip,” said Rakesh Singh, spokesperson of the youth commission of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI).

ICYM is the youth movement of CBCI and the official organization taking the youth to Madrid from Aug 15-21.

“The embassy officials have rejected the visas of the office bearers of ICYM. Such kind of thing is happening for the first time,” he added.

Singh said that the embassy officials are creating unnecessary problems.

ICYM President Ravi Raunak Robin and General Secretary Joyce Mary Anthony have also been invited to attend the night vigil led by the Pope Benedict XVI.

“I am feeling very disappointed. I am applying for the visa for the second time,” Anthony said.

She said that the embassy officials are not ready to listen. “They are adamant on their stand,” she added.

Six groups of the ICYM with 240 youth left for Madrid on Aug 7 and 8. The remaining three will leave on Aug 9 and 10.

Father Alwyn D’Souza, secretary of the Youth Commission of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), termed WYD as a “pilgrimage” and urged the embassy officials to maintain that spirit.

The visa rulebook for WYD says delegates have to provide either their financial documents or a letter from a Church-related organization taking their responsibility.

All the delegates have attached letters from parish priest, diocesan directors, regional directors and the CBCI youth commission about their credentials, Father D’Souza explained.

Some 800 delegates from India would attend the event. They would be part of 39 groups, including the youth commission, CBCI.

Three years ago, some Indian delegates to the WYD in Australia had gone missing from New Zealand but they later came back to India.

– youthactiv8.org

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