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Pope Francis Performs Mid-Air Wedding Ceremony for Flight Attendants on Plane

Pope Francis Performs Mid-Air Wedding Ceremony for Flight Attendants on Plane”

Pope Francis married a couple of airline employees aboard the papal plane as it flew over Chile on the third day of his South American trip.

Paula Podest Ruiz, 39, and Carlos Ciuffardi Elorriga, 41, who had a civil union eight years ago, told the pope that a religious ceremony that was to follow was canceled after their parish church in Santiago was heavily damaged in an natural disaster in 2010.

It all kicked off when the Pope got chatting to the stewards, and found out that they had actually been married in a civil ceremony back in 2010, but could not go through with their religious ceremony due to an quake.

On Thursday, the Pope took a moment to marry two flight attendants on his papal plane some 36,000 feet over Chile.

The Pope's warm welcome in Peru stands in stark contrast to his reception earlier this week in Chile, where he drew smaller crowds and his presence provoked protests.

On Saturday, Francis is set to travel to the northwestern city of Trujillo, where he'll say Mass; visit a neighborhood of the city named for his native Argentine city of Buenos Aires; visit the local cathedral; meet with priests, seminarians and religious; and lead a Marian celebration in a local square. Most of the people in the church, he said, were not protesters, but "people who love their bishop". "I have married 40 couples.' But a Pope never married somebody on a flight".

"We ask you to defend us", she said to applause.

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When they explained the situation, he followed up by asking if they wanted to get married.

In his first event of the day, Francis met privately with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and addressed lawmakers, judges and other authorities at La Moneda palace.

"His desire to be with us signals an historic reconciliation with the Amazon's indigenous communities", said Edwin Vasquez, an indigenous leader.

"I can not help but express the pain and shame, shame that I feel over the irreparable harm caused to children by church ministers", Francis said at La Moneda presidential palace in the Chilean capital, Santiago.

Helicopters buzzed overhead and security was heavy along the motorcade route from the airport to the nuncio's residence, where he will stay, while onlookers waved and some chanted "Pope Francis, we want your blessing". Francis asked if she was still the boss, and both readily agreed.

Among them, he said, were women who have been trafficked to work as prostitutes in the bars to service clients that work in the illegal gold mining operations. But Thursday's incident again underscored his vulnerability in the open-sided vehicles that often pass through tight, crowded spaces. He wasn't hurt, and the Vatican later revealed the offending object: A rolled up canvas hat with the words "Pray for the Chilean family".

Patricio Navia, political science professor at Diego Portales University in Santiago, said the comment will likely erase any good will the pope had won over the issue.

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