His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has touched down in Sydney following the longest journey in his life on Alitalia flight AZ4000 from Rome, travelling for 19 hours 45 minutes and 16,418 kilometres.
This historic visit to Australia is his ninth apostolic visit outside of Italy.
Descending from the aircraft, the Pope was greeted on the tarmac by the Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, and the Premier of NSW, Morris Iemma amongst other dignitaries.
Following the brief greeting, he then travelled by car to the Kenthurst Study Centre, where he will spend time privately until the evening of Wednesday 16 July.
The Pope was greeted by:
Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd
A representative of the Governor General
Premier of NSW, Morris Iemma
Mr Brian Davies, Official Secretary to the Governor of NSW, representative of the Governor
Senator the Hon Ursula Stephens
Deputy Premier of NSW, John Watkins
RAAF Base Richmond Base Commander
Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney
Archbishop Philip Wilson, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and Archbishop of Adelaide
Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, President of the Pontifical Council of the Laity
Bishop Anthony Fisher OP, WYD08 Coordinator, Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney
Monsignor Josef Clemens, Secretary of the Pontifical Council of the Laity
Bishop Kevin Manning, Bishop of Parramatta
Bishop Max Davis, Military Ordinariate
The Holy Father is accompanied by 72 passengers; 27 Members of the Papal entourage, 43 Vatican Accredited Media Personnel, 2 assistants (1 Assistant of the Director of the Holy See Press Office and 1 Assistant for Air Transportation).
The Papal entourage for this visit includes:
State Secretary of His Holiness Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
Substitute of the State Secretary Monsignor Fernando Filoni
Master of Liturgical Ceremonies of the Holy Father, Monsignor Guido Marini with two assistants
Personal Assistant and the Camera Assistant of the Holy Father
Two Officials of the State Secretary
The Director of the Organisation of the Apostolic Voyage, Dr Alberto Gasbarri, with an assistant
Director of the Holy See Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, SI
Director of the L’Osservatore Romano, Professor Giovanni Maria Vian
The Holy Father’s Personal Doctor, Dr Renato Buzzonetti with a doctor from the Vatican City’s Health Services
General Inspector of the Vatican City State’s Police, Dr Domenico Giani with four agents
An officer and a petty officer of the Pontifical Swiss Guard
Two technicians of the Vatican Radio
Two operators of the Vatican Television Centre
Photographer from the l’Osservatore Romano.