Pope marries flight attendant couple mid-flight

Pope marries flight attendant couple mid-flight
A handwritten wedding certificate records the marriage of LATAM Airlines flight attendants Carlos and Paula Ciuffordi, conducted by Pope Francis during a flight. (Credit: Photo provided to CBS courtesy of POOL)
A handwritten wedding certificate records the marriage of LATAM Airlines flight attendants Carlos and Paula Ciuffordi, conducted by Pope Francis during a flight. (Credit: Photo provided to CBS courtesy of POOL)

(CBS News) - Pope Francis has married a couple of flight attendants on board a flight from Santiago Chile to the northern city of Iquique.

Carlos and Paola Ciuffordi had planned to wed on February 27, 2010, but a massive earthquake struck and their church collapsed on their intended wedding day. They eventually had a civil service, but had yet to be formally married in the eyes of the Catholic Church.

The two LATAM Airlines flight attendants were on the trip from Santiago to Iquique and, as all crew members are given the opportunity to do, went up to the front of the aircraft for a photo with Pope Francis.

When the pope asked them if they were married, the couple revealed the story of how the deadly quake had forced them to cancel their wedding. The pontiff asked if they would like him to conduct the ceremony right there on the plane, and they agreed.

The pope asked them repeatedly if they were sure, but they didn't waiver.

"We can't believe the Pope married us," Carlos told members of the media on the flight. "A pope has never married anyone on a plane."

"We hope it will promote marriage," the groom added. "We have a Vatican document, it's all valid."

The chairman of LATAM was roped in as an official witness to the wedding, and an accompanying Chilean cardinal drafted the legal document for the marriage.

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