CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy: Pope Benedict XVI says he hopes the entire Church will spiritually participate with him in his visit to Australia, which begins next weekend.

Benedict told pilgrims at the papal summer palace in Castel Gandolfo near Rome on Sunday that the World Youth Day events in Sydney will allow young Catholics to give witness to their faith.

He invited the entire Church to feel as if it is participating in the pilgrimage, which ends with a Mass on July 20.

Benedict, who arrives in Australia on July 12, said he was sure that Catholics from every corner of Earth would join him and the young people in the spiritual sense, and that they would take "courageous" initiatives in spreading the message of Jesus in all cultures.