Love is in the air – Pope Francis marries couple during Chile flight
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Love is in the air – Pope Francis marries couple during Chile flight

POPE Francis married two flight attendants during a flight on Thursday while on his tour of South America.

Quick marriages in non-traditional settings may be de regueur in Las Vegas, but the Catholic Church usually prefers couples to be married in a church, preferably after a six-month Pre-Cana course.

However if someone was going to buck the trend, it was going to be Pope Francis, the social media savvy pontiff who has made annulments easier, is agreeable to female deacons and said the Church should apologise for its treatment of gay people.

The Pontiff was travelling from the Chilean capital of Santiago to the northern city of Iquique when he performed the impromptu ceremony.

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Pope Francis prepares to depart after his visit to Iquique (Image: Getty)

Paula Podest Ruiz, 39, and Carlos Ciuffardi Elorriga, 41, had previously been married in a civil service.

However they were unable to conduct a sacramental marriage ceremony in their church in Santiago after it was damaged in an earthquake in 2010.

The couple explained their situation to Pope Francis, and asked if he could bless their marriage.

Instead he asked asked them, “Do you want me to marry you?” before carrying out a Papal marriage ceremony.

Ignacio Cueto, chairman of Latam Airlines, acted as a witness, while a travelling cardinal provided a hand-written religious marriage document on a sheet of paper.

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Vatican spokesperson Greg Burke confirmed the legitimacy of the ceremony,

He told Vatican News: "Doctrinally it's OK, because to be married the actual ministers are the people themselves. You just need a witness.

"There are a couple other things, normally there are publications. And there were things that had to passed over, but it's totally legit, and everyone's happy!"