Vatican has no money or space for private plane, says priest

.- Contrary to popular belief, Pope Benedict does not own a private jet but instead travels on commercial airlines since the Vatican “doesn’t have the space or the money” to maintain one, an insider said.

Mexican priest and journalist Father Gonzalo Meza told CNA on Feb. 2 that the Pope always departs Rome on Alitalia, and an airline from the country he is visiting usually brings him home.

However, he noted, the “papal jet” is outfitted with special items, including pillows and seat covers embroidered with the papal coat of arms.

During his flight to Mexico for his March 23-25 visit, nearly one hundred people, mostly journalists, will accompany the Pope.

Security for the trip is always provided by the host country, Fr. Meza said.

Fr. Meza said that during his flights, Benedict XVI “takes the opportunity to get ahead on his intellectual work or to pray. He likes to write, and he writes all of his homilies and speeches by hand, and then his translator transcribes and corrects them. He almost never uses a computer.”


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