Pope Francis performs marriage in-flight over Chile

19 January, 2018, 02:11 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • AFP_WX1T9

In what is believed to be a first in the history of the Catholic Church, the Pope formally joined in matrimony an air steward and a stewardess, Carlos Ciuffardi, 41, and Paula Podest, 39.

On Wednesday, Pope Francis visited the city of Temuco in Chile's southern Araucania region, where he called for unity in one of the country's longest-running conflicts.

Chile's most infamous pedophile priest, Rev. Fernando Karadima, was punished to a lifetime of "penance and prayer" after victims publicly disclosed their accusations in 2010 following years of complaints to church officials that he kissed and fondled them when they were teenagers.

CWN Editor's Note: Pope Francis officiated at an in-flight wedding ceremony for two flight attendants on his trip from Santiago to Iquique, Chile, on January 18.

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According to the couple, Francis blessed their rings and then said "We need a witness".

The ceremony took place while the pope and his entourage were flying from Santiago to the northern city of Iquique.

The newlyweds shared the conversation they had with the pontiff with the journalists, with Podest acknowledging that she was "still in shock", so he did most of the talking, even though, from what they told journalists, "she's still the boss in the house", as she was at the airline when they met.

Police used tear gas and water cannons to break up an anti-pope protest outside Francis' big open-air Mass in the capital, Santiago.

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Without skipping a beat, the Pope asked Ciuffardi and Podest if they would like him to perform the ceremony - right there, on the airplane.

"Francis' words in favor of the foreigners who live here are needed, differences must be respected", said 22-year-old Monserrat Caballero, from Ecuador. "All of a sudden he asked us if we were married in the church, too". "We wish them the very best for the future", said Ignacio Cueto, Chairman of the Board, LATAM Airlines Group. The document was signed by a Chilean bishop on board. May this motivate others to get the sacrament of marriage.

"That's why the marriage has worked out", the bride joked.

He said he knew the pain of priests and nuns "who after working so hard, have seen the harm that has led to suspicion and questioning; in some or many of you this has been a source of doubt, fear or lack of confidence".

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