August 18, 2011. (Romereports.com)
Pope Benedict XVI is on his way to World Youth Day in Spain. He left Rome at 9:30 this morning from the Ciampino airport. He should arrive to Madrid at midday. During the two and a half hour flight he'll be with cardenals, bishops and journalist.
Also accompanying the pope on the plane will be Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. And for WYD, more than 800 bishops will participate.
Next to the Pope is always his personal secretary Georg Gänswein. In case of an emergency, Alfred Xureb, the second secretary stays in the Vatican.
Also on the plane are Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone as well as Substitute of the Secretariat of State, Giovanni Becciu and Guido Marini, master of liturgical celebrations.
Next to the pope is his personal doctor Patrizio Polisca and his assistant Paolo Gabriele.
Fifty five journalist from all over the world will also be on the plane. The director of the Vatican Press office Federico Lombardi, will be there to answer any questions.
A selected group of security agents from the Vatican will also be there as well as members of the Swiss Guard. They will all ensure the safety of the Pope on and off the plane.