The Pope On The Flight To Mozambique © Vatican Media

Pope Francis on Papal Flight Urges Prayers for Hurricane Dorian Victims in Bahamas

Press Corps on Flight Includes Four Journalists from Mozambique, a journalist from Madagascar and Three from Mauritius

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On the airplane taking him to Mozambique, the Holy Father Francis went, as usual, to greet the media operators accompanying him on the papal flight. Introduced by the presentation of the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Matteo Bruni, the Pope addressed a few words to the journalists. In particular, he asked for prayers for the victims of Hurrican Dorian. Here is a translation of his talk.

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The Holy Father’s Words

Monsignor Mauricio Rueda:

 Good morning to all! I’m very happy, not to present — because you all know him — the new Director of the Press Office, who has accompanied us in all the Apostolic Journeys. However, today we give him an affectionate greeting and all our best wishes in this new mission, in this new service to the Church and to the Holy Father. We all know his competencies, his generosity to carry out fittingly this precious service. Thank you.

Matteo Bruni:

 Thank you, Monsignor Rueda. Thank you to the Holy Father for his trust in this new appointment and thank you to you also, for the affection of so many years of working together on such planes and on similar occasions.

Today, Holy Father, we are a working community of slightly fewer than 70 journalists, some of whom come from the countries we will visit: there are four journalists from Mozambique, a journalist from Madagascar and three that come from Mauritius. So, good morning to all; I won’t say any more other than to thank you for the words you’ll say to us, for those that you will say to us along with the gestures that will accompany us in these days, and for the pleasure of being able to be your travel companions. Thank you, Holy Father!

Pope Francis:

Good morning! Thank you for your company, thank you for your help. Let’s hope that this trip, which is somewhat long, will bear fruits, thank you so much. The “Dean” [Valentina Alazraki] isn’t present today; it would have been her 153rd trip, I believe . . . However, Reuters’ “Co-Dean, Pulella, is here, he takes over the command . . . and goes forward! Thank you so much. However, regarding the Dean, I would like to say that, the other day her last book came out, on mistreated women — it’s truly a jewel — to make one understand the pain and exploitation of women up to today. We must reflect on this subject. I thank Valentina for the work she has done, so carefully, <it’s> a good book. Then I would like to say to you that there are, I believe the 50ish of the EFE, Spanish . . . where is Cristina Cabrejas?… Eighty? Ah, she is still younger than me . . . Then I’ll say to Matteo Bruni, in the final meeting, to give him a special place so that he can ask the questions he believes are opportune, one or two questions, with all freedom, outside the program. Pay tribute to the EFE. Thank you. Now I’ll have the pleasure of greeting you all. Thank you.

Thank you so much; enjoy the rest of the journey.

I would like to invite you, each one in his/her heart, to say a prayer for the victims of the hurricanes in the Bahamas: they are poor people that all of a sudden, from one day to another, lost their home, lost everything, including their life. Each one say a prayer in their heart for these brothers and sisters that are suffering because of these hurricanes in the Bahamas. Thank you.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

[Original text: Italian]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]
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