It was such an exciting moment, to realize that the Pope was over American Airspace!
|The plane is out of the holding pattern and descending|
I had a window open with the air traffic control feed for Potomac Approach via LiveATC. Around 345 pm I heard, "Alitalia four zero zero one heavy, cleared runway one left approach," and a confirmation from the pilots! And then, "Alitalia four zero zero one heavy, contact Andrews tower!" A quick switch to the live feed from the Washington Post on YouTube (the source of all the following screenshots), after AZ4001 landed at Andrews Air Force Base.
|He's on the ground!|
|The first glimpse of the Holy Father on U.S. soil, to raucous cheers from the gathered crowds!|
|Ciao! Pope Francis drives away in a Fiat 500L, with SCV 1 plates. (The car looked so tiny in the midst of the giant vehicles in the rest of the motorcade!)|
It was an exciting few hours, and it was fun sharing it on Twitter and Facebook, and chatting on WhatsApp with my friend Harry (with the State Dept. at our Embassy in New Delhi), a fellow devout Catholic and aviation buff, who was up late being as nerdy as ever.
PETER IS HERE! Welcome Holy Father!
Please pray for a safe visit, and that the Lord shower many graces on our country as we pay close attention to the Vicar of Christ's words and actions while he is with us.
UPDATE: The full-transcript of the Holy Father's remarks to the press on the flight from Cuba are now available. Here's one little bit:
I’m sure that I haven't said anything more than what’s written in the social doctrine of the Church. On another flight, a colleague asked me if I had reached out a hand to the popular movements and asked me, “But is the Church going to follow you?” I told him, “I’m the one following the Church.” And in this it seems that I’m not wrong. I believe that I never said a thing that wasn’t the social doctrine of the Church. Things can be explained, possibly an explanation gave an impression of being a little “to the left”, but it would be an error of explanation. No, my doctrine on this, in Laudato si', on economic imperialism, all of this, is the social doctrine of the Church. And it if necessary, I’ll recite the creed. I am available to do that, eh.