June 2, 2007

Pope forgot his passport, papers say |

On their recent trip to Brazil, Pope Benedict and Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone did not bring their passports, Brazilian newspapers report, resulting in airline Alitalia being fined for allowing undocumented foreigners travel to Brazil.

A respected Brazilian newspaper columnist insists the pope did not have it with him when he landed in Sao Paulo, but high-ranking officials from the Vatican to Brazil‘s presidential palace aren’t commenting, PR Inside reports.

Merval Pereira, who writes for Rio‘s O Globo newspaper, reported Tuesday that the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, also showed up in Brazil without his passport.

The two were allowed to enter the country, but Pereira said the government found a way to penalise the oversight without causing a stir. It quietly fined Italian airline Alitalia SpA for allowing the two foreigners to travel without documentation to Brazil.

Pereira did not cite a source for his report, but it came a day after another Brazilian columnist also said the pope arrived in Brazil for his 9-13 May visit without his passport.

On Wednesday, federal police in Sao Paulo who oversee passport control at the airport where the papal plane landed declined comment. Asked about the case, an officer who would not give her name in keeping with department policy said “that information is secret”.

According to Pereira, federal police were not sure what to do after the pope was greeted by Silva and authorities learned that Benedict and Bertone did not have their passports. The Brazilians settled on fining Alitalia an undisclosed amount, Pereira reported.

The Nuncio formally protested the fine with Brazil‘s Foreign Ministry, the columnist said. The foreign ministry on Wednesday said it would not comment.


8 Responses to “Passaporto?”

  1. Anonymous said

    After one of my guests spilled tea on my new rug, I coincidentially spilled tea on the rug as well.

    Lets hope everyone remembers everything needed on the next journey.

  2. Anonymous said

    Oh, now thats just silly. On both parts!

  3. Anonymous said

    Maybe there is a special new post at the Vatican — the Vicar of Passports — and that person was not completely aware of all of his responsibilities…

    The Vicar of Passports surely needs an assistant. And that assistant needs an assistant…

  4. Matthew S said

    I wonder why they are making any stir at all about the Pope not having a passport?? Can you imagine Britian or anyone checking the passport of the President of the US when he arrives in country? Brazil was accepting a foreign head of state to their country. I guess he might have offended some politicians with his views.

    Under the Mercy,

    Matthew S

  5. humboldt said

    The photo of the passport posted in the commentary is wrong, because the Pope does not bear the italian nationality but the vatican one. The photo should have been of a vatican passport.

  6. onionboy said

    Well, I for one think it was a good thing. I mean, he might be a terrorist. (At least in the eyes of Catholic hating liberal Catholics and others)


  7. rev fr lw gonzales said

    Hey, Humboldt…your OCD is worse than mine! It was the best I could do with a google search of passport images.

  8. Joan said

    Wouldn’t he have a German passport?

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