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Rome Reports

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Papal plane to Panama: Pope cries remembering a journalist who died

Pope Francis was especially active during the 13-hour flight from Rome to Panama. 

At the press conference, his voice cracked while he remembered a Russian Vaticanist who died last December. He had participated in all the papal trips.

"Today is the first flight in which we are missing a colleague whom I loved very much, Alexei Bukalov from the TASS news agency. He was a man of great humanity that was not afraid of humankind - down to the most human of aspects and the divine, up to the highest level. He was a man capable of making a synthesis in Dostoyevsky's style. I'm sure we'll all miss him."

During the personal greetings to journalists, the pope revealed that in November he will travel to Japan, and that he would like to go to Iraq.

Many young people from this WYD are emigrants or children of emigrants. One journalist told Pope Francis that he was just in Tijuana. He explained that's where they are building the wall that separates Mexico and the U.S., even taking it to the ocean. The pope responded that "fear drives people crazy."

Pope Francis also made time to joke with journalists from Panamanian media. Although Jorge Mario Bergoglio knows Latin America very well, he has never visited this country until now.