Wedding on an Airplane?

During Pope Francis’ visit to Chile and Peru last January, he married a couple during one of the flights. Does Church law permit that?

Carlos Ciuffardi Elorriage, 41, and Paula Podest Reuiz, 39, had been civilly married for several years but not in the Catholic Church. They approached the pope about their situation, and after an extended conversation he offered to witness the wedding on the next flight during his pastoral visit.

What the pope did was newsworthy because it was so unusual, but the local bishop can authorize a wedding outside a Catholic church. This is very common for interfaith weddings and often happens when a Catholic marries another Christian in the spouse’s church.

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