Pope marries couple mid-flight

Pope Francis (left); the newly weds (right)

ROME - Two flight attendants were married by Pope Francis on a flight between Santiago and Iquique, Northern Chile.  

 Paula Podest, 39, and Carlos Ciuffardi, 41, flight attendants for LATAM airlines, had intended to be married in 2010. But, as the couple explained, "the church in which we were going to be married, in Nunoa, near to Santiago, was destroyed in an earthquake and so we weren't able to do it and since then have always put it off."

 The couple did have a civil ceremony following the earthquake, but were yet to be married in the eyes of the Church.

 Francis suggested that they be married on the plane and, when the couple agreed, the president of LATAM was brought in to act as a witness. A piece of paper was located to record the event, which can now be presented by the couple in the diocese in which they live. Applause broke out on the flight as the pope declared the couple to be husband and wife.