Organizers expect as many as 1.5 million youths at papal event in Spain

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
Tuesday, March 15, 2011; 10:18 AM

VATICAN CITY - Organizers say they expect as many as 1.5 million people to attend the Catholic church's World Youth Day event to be led by Pope Benedict XVI in Madrid.

Nearly 300,000 youths - many from Italy, France and the United States - have already signed up for the August 18-21 event, the organizers said Tuesday.

The global event was last held in Sydney, Australia, in 2008, when some 350,000 faithful from 170 countries turned out for the pope's centerpiece Mass.

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