Yesterday morning, on the aircraft that carried him to Panama for the 34th World Youth Day, the Holy Father Francis gave his usual greetings to the media operators who accompanied him on the flight.
Introduced by the ad interim director of the Holy See Press Office, Alessandro Gisotti, the Pope addressed some words to the journalists. The following is the full text of his greeting:
Words of the Holy Father
Msgr. Mauricio Rueda:
Good morning. I have the pleasure of presenting to you the new ad interim spokesman of the Holy See, Dr. Alessandro Gisotti. I am sure that many of you already know him. So, in this, his first journey as spokesman, let us welcome him.
Holy Father, good morning. Here we are, for this occasion. Good morning to you all, y Buenos dias a los colegas de Panamá que viajan con nosotros. Once again we cross the Atlantic, Holy Father, just as on the occasion of your first International trip, for a World Youth Day. Y la juventud del Papa La espera a Panamá, the youth of the world! Over to you, Holy Father…
Good morning! It is a pleasure to be here with you. I thank you very much for coming, and would like to thank you in advance for the work you will do.
Today’s flight is the first [with reference to his international trips] in which a colleague is missing, one I liked very much: Alexej Bukalov, of Tass. A man of great humanity, that humanity that is not afraid of the human, down to its lowest level, and is not afraid of the divine, up to the highest. A man who was capable of making a synthesis in the style of Dostoyevsky. I am sure he will be missed by us all. And now, I invite you to observe a moment of silence and then a prayer for him. Our Father… Requiem aeternam…
And now, I greet you, to start this journey.