Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Pope to focus on Chile's migrants during open-air mass

Pope denounces violence in visit to restive region of Chile Pope speaks to Chilean divisions, condemns attacks
Charlie Simmons | 19 January, 2018, 02:10

Paula Podest Ruiz, 39, and Carlos Ciuffardi Elorriga, 41, were Wednesday at 36,000ft, were Wednesday at an earlier civil ceremony but asked Francis to bless their marriage. We can't believe the pope married us!

Pope Francis' visit to Chile comes in the middle of great controversy as the Catholic Church in the region finds itself in significant decline following the revelation of a wave of sexual abuse cases involving priests.

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.

Pope Francis notched up another first by marrying a couple on board a papal flight at 36,000ft. The head of the airline served as the witness.

Ciuffardi told journalists in the aisle of the Airbus 321 that Francis told him it was "historic" and no pope had ever before married a couple aboard a plane.

This is the incredible moment Pope Francis brought his motorcade to a halt to check on a policewoman who had been thrown from her horse.

In the first such ceremony on a papal flight, Pope Francis performed a wedding for a steward and stewardess while flying between two Chilean cities on Thursday.

Pope Francis has flown over the massive Andes cordillera, visited the poor in several slums and rubbed shoulders with presidents in six visits to Latin America.

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Mapuche and Chilean government leaders have said they hope Pope Francis can facilitate dialogue.

After hearing their story, Pope Francis reportedly asked if they would like him to marry them. They were married in a civil ceremony in 2010, but were unable to have a Catholic wedding in their parish church because it collapsed in the 2010 natural disaster.

"Do you want me to marry you?" he asked them. The document was signed by Francis, the couple and the witness.

"What he said to us is very important: "This is the sacrament the world needs, the sacrament of marriage".

Then, the pope asked his cardinals to draft the paperwork, Ciuffardi said.

The trials and difficulties of immigrants trying to keep their families together had left many feeling like "their lives had been watered down", he said as 50,000 people faced the stage and the ocean.

The couple met when Podest Ruiz was Ciuffardi's boss, prompting the pontiff to remark, "And she's still the boss, right?"

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