Historical background

July 2007 : The Executive Team is ready. Composition, emails will be pubblished on the website. Various teams are preparing the Congress in Rome and in the whole world. Professionals are joining the teams as volunteers, specially for secretariat, international logistics and finances. Everything is proceeding… The Diocese of Rome gives an important support, thanks to Cardinal Ruini and Msgr. Parmeggiani, General Secretary of the Vicariat. Some patience is required for registrations online. It is due only to securisation of the online link to the roman account and to diplomatic measures. We thank everybody for this divine patience. It is a question of weeks.

June 2007 : Cardinal Poupard considers that this Congress, founded on Mercy as footbridge, will mark an important step in the history of the meetings between religions and culture. He enters in the Committee of Patronage. He will preside the interreligious meeting of April 3, 2008, that we will prepare in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for interreligious Dialogue.
S.E. Mgr Ranjith, Secretary of the Congregation for the Divine Cult and the Sacraments, from Sri Lanka, enters also in the Committee of Patronage. He will intervene the 4 april in the morning.

May 2007 : the first meeting of the intercontinental Committee of preparation was held in Rome, followed by a second meeting of the European Committee.
April 2007 : At the conclusion of the setting up of the European Committee, Cardinal Schönborn announced officially, during a press conference in Vienna, the holding of the Congress, one year later, day for day.
Some days after Sunday of Mercy, precious elements are suggested by Cardinal Arinze and S.E. Mgr Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council for Laity, who enters in the Committee of Patronage.

At the end of the month, foundation of the Asian Committee of preparation of the Congress. Are present 300 diocesan official delegates of 11 countries and 78 bishops. 9 bishops and many priests Participated there directly. It is the Vicar general of Manila who becomes , in agreement with the Cardinal Rosales and the President of the FABC (Episcopal conferences of Asia) official Coordinator for the continent.

February 2007 Back in Rome fruitful contacts with the Pontifical Councils for Inter Religious dialogue and Christian Unity. The Congress attracts the interest too of a group of seminarians at the Roman College. They ask the question about the place of the Mystery of Mercy in their priestly formation. Idea for a workshop on the question is discussed.

January 2007 Bishop Lori of Bridgeport, USA helps lay the foundations for the United States committee. This first meeting will take place in March linking Bishops and diocesan representatives from the West to East Coast per video conference.

December 2006 The General Secretary of the Congress meets with Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz. The archbishop of Krakow, former private secretary of Pope John Paul II, welcomes the project with great enthusiasm and declares his "total commitment" and "total support" for the Congress.

November 2006 The first International Committee is set up in Latin America to prepare for the World Congress on Mercy in Rome. Church representatives from Paraguay, Argentina, Mexico, Uruguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile sign the acts of the Committee.

March 2006 The Congress team meets with Msgr Ronny Jenkins, Associate General Secretary to the North American Episcopal Conference. Mgsr Jenkins expresses his personal interest in this initiative and discusses ways of communicating the Congress to all members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

February 2006 During an audience with Holiness, Pope Benedikt XVI, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn mentions the project of a World Congress of Mercy. The Holy Father greets the idea with benevolence and accords his blessing.

October 2005 At the end of the Synod of Bishops in Rome 2005 the Congress Team discusses the project of a World Congress on Mercy with Cardinal Camillo Ruini. (President of the Italian Episcopal Conference). The Cardinal agrees to preside the congress if the congress is to take place in Rome.

In July 2005, an international retreat for Priests and Pastoral Co-workers took place next to the Divine Mercy Sanctuary in Lagiewniki-Krakow, Poland with the theme "Mercy, unique Hope for the World." 
The retreat was preached by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Msgr. Albert de Monléon and Fr Patrice Chocholski. Around 300 people from every continent were present. The idea for a World Congress on Mercy was presented to the assembly during the conclusion of the retreat and met with positive response. Since the 2005 Retreat, the project has been presented to several pastors of the Church by a layman G. Arbola, and continues to be welcomed with great enthusiasm.
The project was presented by Cardinal Schönborn to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI in February 2006 and received his encouragement and blessing.