Pope marries LATAM cabin crew on-board Santiago flight

Pope marries couple mid-flight during Chile visit

"We approached the holy father to ask for his blessing, but after an intimate conversation, he agreed to marry us", said Carlos Ciuffardi Elorriaga, LATAM cabin crew member.

They had the intention of carrying out a church ceremony, but the quake which hit southern Chile in March 2010 damaged the venue where they were going to hold the service, so they chose to postpone the marriage. After hearing their story, Pope asked the couple, "Do you want me to marry you?"

The remarkable wedding transpired seemingly spontaneously, as is often the case with the ever-surprising Francis: The flight crew was gathering in the front of the plane for a photo with the pope when the couple told him they were married and he motioned for them to sit next to him.

"We always wanted to get married in the eyes of the church and it was something that was pending, but we never thought it would be the Pope that would do it. He took our hands and he asked if there was love in our marriage and if we want to keep on being together all life long", Ciuffardi said.

A Vatican official hastily drew up an official, albeit handwritten marriage certificate, stating that the two had consented to the sacrament of marriage on January 18 and that Francis had celebrated the marriage "aboard the papal plane from Santiago to Iquique". Pope asked his cardinals to draft an improvised marriage certificate which was signed by him, the couple, and the witness.

"Being married by a pope on board a flight is something priceless", Podest said.

Speaking to a reporter he said: "The day that they bring me proof against Bishop Barros then I'll speak". I have married 40 couples.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke confirmed the wedding and said, "Everything is valid".

"We had a short and small ceremony".

Podest told reporters and the pope that the couple had met on a flight when she was his boss, adding: "I am still his boss".

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