TORONTO, JULY 22, 2002 ( More than 6,000 German youths are attending this World Youth Day as guests. Next time, they might be the hosts -- if the next WYD in 2005 ends up in Cologne.

The German group is arriving in Toronto accompanied by 10 bishops, including Cardinals Karl Lehmann, president of the episcopal conference, and Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne.

Also in Toronto is Bishop Franz Josef Bode, president of the bishops' Youth Commission, who explained the contribution that German young people can make to this WYD.

"To be 'salt and light' in the world in an atmosphere that is highly conditioned by consumerism, such as that of West Germany, and by atheism, such as that of East Germany, is a real challenge," the bishop of Osnabruk said.

In regard to the expectations of German youth in Toronto, he said, "The young people expect to be confirmed in the faith by the universal Church and, at the same time, they wish to make an 'on-site reconnaissance' to offer, eventually, home hospitality during the next WYD. Because of this, we have already planned a joint meeting of German youths in Toronto."