Cologne, Aug. 16, 2005 (CNA) - World Youth Day (WYD) 2005 has recorded the highest number of registrations in WYD history. As of yesterday, 405,000 young Catholics from almost 170 countries have registered for the event.

Organizers were expecting 400,000 pilgrims, and some 800,000 are expected for the final Mass.

Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne, announced the latest statistics at a press conference today.

There was a surge in registrations in the last week, said the cardinal. At press time, organizers reported that 105,000 German youth had registered, including the volunteers, making them the largest group represented at WYD 2005.

The number of priests at WYD has also hit a record high. Organizers were expecting about 5,000 priests, but the number has nearly doubled to 9,805. Cardinal Meisner told the press conference that organizers do not have enough stoles and garments for all of these priests at this time.

About 2,700 journalists from around the world have received official accreditation