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Pope Lands in Canada

Aired July 23, 2002 - 13:13   ET


KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Now we are going to take you back to Toronto where we rudely interrupted our Frank Buckley -- Frank, we apologize for that. Pope John Paul II has just arrived in Toronto we are told. We actually saw his airplane.

Did the pope get off the aircraft yet, Frank?

FRANK BUCKLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, Kyra. We're still awaiting the appearance of the pope. We are looking -- we can take you back inside the hangar at Pearson International Airport to show you the arrival ceremony that is just about to get underway.

Again, joining me to help us along is Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Halifax -- archbishop, give us a sense of what to expect here.

TERRENCE PRENDERGAST, ARCHBISHOP, HALIFAX: Well, here you have the staircase with the dignitaries coming from Rome. Now we have the prime minister and his wife, and some other of the dignitaries from Canada who are present there. I am not sure who the person next to the prime minister's wife is.

BUCKLEY: We can say that Jean Chretien, the prime minister, will be making remarks, along with the holy father. Each of them making very brief remarks. Just to get back to what we were talking about earlier, just to set the scene a little bit. We're expecting some 540 guests inside this hangar here. It will be a very brief ceremony. The pope will appear. That red carpet that you saw there for a second, the pope will be coming along on that red carpet on a platform. As we were saying before, he has difficulty walking or standing, and now moves about on a platform. It's not the famous pope mobile that we have all heard about, but it is a platform that is essentially is pushed along by security personnel. It is 12 inches off the ground. He is able to hold the railing. That platform will be pushed up to the stage. The pope will be helped to the stage and that is where he will make his comments.

He will speak, as we say, Jean Chretien, the prime minister, will speak. And then, it is possible that dignitaries will go up and greet the pope afterward. And then, shortly after that -- this will all end within an hour -- the pope will board a helicopter, a three helicopter formation will take the pope to Strawberry Island, a retreat about an hour and a half, I guess, north of Toronto and give us a sense -- have you been to the retreat, archbishop? PRENDERGAST: No, I haven't, but I have heard about it, and I've seen pictures of it. I know Lake Orealia (ph), and that spot. It is beautiful, beautiful cottage country.

BUCKLEY: Right. Cottage country just north of Toronto. The pope will actually have tomorrow, all day tomorrow to rest, to get de- jet lagged. We are looking at the prime minister and his wife approaching on the red carpet here. Tomorrow, the prime minister will have -- the pope will have an opportunity to rest, and then Thursday will be his first major appearance, and that will be after this appearance that is. He will be coming here to where we are, the exhibition place. There is the pope.

PRENDERGAST: He's actually coming out of the doorway.

BUCKLEY: This is significant.

PRENDERGAST: He has decided to come down himself. Very frail.

BUCKLEY: This is a significant change in the plan, and a departure from his last international trip that was in May, that he took to Bulgaria when he was removed by the scissor truck. There he is. The wave to the crowd. This must be a moving moment.

PRENDERGAST: It is very moving. You can see the facial expression, really wanting to be there with us.

BUCKLEY: This is a vigorous man...

PRENDERGAST: Young people are applauding because they didn't expect him to come out the door. Look at that.

BUCKLEY: Really, we had all been prepared to not see, and had been told we would not see the pope coming off the plane in this way. He would not be coming off the stairs, and the pope surprises all of us.

PRENDERGAST: The pope is surprising people all the time. That's amazing. Look at this.

BUCKLEY: This is really a physical accomplishment for, yes, the pontiff, but also a man who is, at 82 years old, suffering from Parkinson's disease. They tell us it's very difficult for him to stand or walk. They had said, the organizers, that they would take careful pains to make sure that the pope would never have to navigate any stairs up or down during his visit here.

PRENDERGAST: Look at his determination. That's Bishop Wilcoe (ph) -- or Bishop Stevich (ph), his secretary.

BUCKLEY: Who has been with him for 30-odd years. And here -- this is quite a scene. We weren't expecting this. It must be a moving experience for Catholics there in the gathering in the hangar, it certainly is for others who are watching via television. Your thoughts as you see this scene, sir? PRENDERGAST: I'm just very moved. Very moved. He obviously wanted to surprise people and say, I may be weak, but I want to be here. The young people are worth it, and I'm coming for them.

BUCKLEY: That is just one of the themes that has marked his papacy. He has cared so deeply about the young. That is one of his favorite things. They say that it energizes him wherever he goes, when he has encounters with youth. World Youth Day, really a creation of this pope. And tell us sir, who...

PRENDERGAST: The prime minister here, I believe. Mr. Chretien and his wife. The governor general is out of the country, so she is not able to be here today. So I presume that the prime minister and the wife were doing the honors. The governor general will be back on Saturday for ceremonies.

BUCKLEY: It took several moments. You can hear, perhaps, the applause. People clearly...

PRENDERGAST: Very moved.

BUCKLEY: ... moved and excited by this...

PRENDERGAST: Look at him, he is quite moved himself.

BUCKLEY: The pope...

PRENDERGAST: Now he's getting on the cart.

BUCKLEY: Yes. This is the cart that we talked about. He steps up on to this cart and he will move along this red carpet. He will then move into place to give his remarks. This is the picture, I think, that people will see in newspapers...


BUCKLEY: ... across the world tomorrow, that the pope was able to, on his own...


BUCKLEY: ... come down those -- that long flight of stairs.

PRENDERGAST: That gesture of walking, leading. You can see that the people are very moved. They are really applauding tremendously. Small group of people.

BUCKLEY: It's truly amazing. And it must be a stunning change for the organizers who -- and the people who are in charge of protocol there, who were expecting the pope to come off the back -- the pope surprising all of them. He is one of the last absolute rulers on this earth. And he tells them how he's going to do it.

PRENDERGAST: One of the things happening in the last few day the press notices in the comments the holy father has been making from Casa Gondof (ph) is that he really wants to come to Toronto. So I think he had this up his sleeve. He going to show them that he wants to be here.

BUCKLEY: Yes, people tend to focus on the physical issues that he has, the health issues, but we should also say, for example, when he went to Bulgaria that he practiced 90 minutes a day speaking the language. It's not one of the nine languages that he speaks fluently. But he does make a point of these -- well, we shouldn't really call it a little touch. In this case, it's quite a gesture.

PRENDERGAST: Major gesture.

BUCKLEY: And this must be something for those who are gathered in the hangar there as it is for us.

PRENDERGAST: It's interesting, too he's leading the men. He's being a shepherd. He's going ahead of the flock.

BUCKLEY: What do you hope as we continue to watch the pope, archbishop -- what is it that you hope the people will be able to accomplish while he's here in Canada?

PRENDERGAST: I would hope that he's able to spark the interest that has already begun in Canada. We get a whole new thrust that will come from his presence. I think the young people are waiting for it, and I think it will come. You can see they're thrilled that he's come this way.

BUCKLEY: More than 200,000 young people have registered for the World Youth Day activities that will take place between now and early next week. As we said, More than 500 invited guests are Part of this, 540 guests, are part of this crowd.

PRENDERGAST: Listen to the young people.

BUCKLEY: Really something.

PRENDERGAST: I guess they've come into the hangar.

BUCKLEY: Seventy-seven young people among those gathered in that hangar, representing the 72 diocese of Canada and the continents of the world.

PRENDERGAST: The young man from our diocese was thrilled to be chosen. For him, this is a great honor. The last time one of our young ladies went to visit, and then spent three days with the pope and had dinner with him, and she's been telling everyone, he's thrilled about this, it's remarkable. I met the young people before they went to airport today. You could see them all lit up.

One lad from southwestern Ontario has kilt on; he's Scottish -- in the background. So he's going to be all dressed up in that uniform. There are other people wearing national dresses of different kinds, Ukrainians, and so on.

BUCKLEY: On the program, we are expecting after the placement of the pope and the guests on the stage, we're expecting a musical program, the Vatican hymn, the pontifical hymn. Also the Canadian national anthem.

After that, the Prime Minister Jean Chretien will speak, and then Pope John Paul II will speak. Every time he waves, every time there's a gesture, applause from the crowd.


BUCKLEY: He does, compared to more recent appearances, seem unusually alive, vibrant, and making a point of saying, I am here.

PRENDERGAST: I think storing up energy for the visit. Look at him. Fantastic. That's the Canadian national anthem, "O, Canada."

BUCKLEY: Our Jim Bittermann, a correspondent traveled with the pope on the aircraft to -- the Alitalia aircraft, to Toronto.

Jim, may I be the first to welcome you to this beautiful city, Toronto.

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Frank. I didn't quite hear your question. But let me just say yes. In fact, we came across the ocean with the pope on his Alitalia flight from Rome. One of the things sort of interesting about what's happened here just in the last couple of minutes is that the pope came down the ramp on his own power, on his own feet.

When we left Rome, he had to be assisted into the plane on a handicapped lift. So they actually had to bring him up, as they have on the previous few trips now, they've had to bring him up to the plane in a kind of a handicap -- they use at airports around the world, bring up to the cargo plane. And but -- when he arrived in Canada, you know, he came down the ramps, and a great deal of strain, but nonetheless, came down the ramp on the his own feet. And I think very much what he may have wanted to do, because he wanted to make this trip very badly, and I think he wanted to make the trip as much as normal as possible. His aides told us that, you know, there's been considerations about canceling it along the line. But they, nonetheless, have gone ahead, mainly because of the pope's determination to be here with the young people.

This after all something that the pope (OFF-MIKE) back in 1984. The idea of the World Youth Day is to bring Catholic young people together from around the world. And so it's something that he's taken a great deal of interest in over the years. And two years ago in Rome, at the World Youth Day there, he made a big point at the end of the World Youth Day to (OFF-MIKE) to say, "I'll see you in two years in Toronto," and he is here.

BUCKLEY: Jim, I know it's loud where you are. I'm hoping you can hear me. I wanted to ask, often when you are on the aircraft, and I know you've traveled with the pope on a number occasions and in the past, at least, the pope might come back and speak to reporters or you might pick up a hint or two from aids that of what's to come.

Was -- did this come as a complete surprise that the pope would disembark from this stairs? BITTERMANN: Yes, it did. We actually did not see the pope, in fact, the plane, this time around. He has, as you say, come back in the past and talked to reporter and what not, but in fact, this time, he stayed up in front cabin. His spokesman did come back and talked to us at some length about this trip and how badly the pope wanted to make this trip. This is not -- this Canada stop is important, but also the stops he'll be making in Guatemala and Mexico City are also important, and they're very much interested in the two saints that are being canonized in both Guatemala and in Mexico City, and the pope wanted to, particularly in Mexico City, to be there for the canonization of the saints there.

But of course this World Youth Day is where he is going to be spending most of his time. Having said that, of the six days that he's going to be in Toronto here, he is going to spend about 2 1/2 days resting at an island in the north. He will be taking it easy. In fact when he leaves this arrival ceremony today, we don't see him again in public until Thursday afternoon, late Thursday afternoon. So in fact, he's got a fairly relaxed schedule. During this entire trip, the 11-day trip, he has 11 speeches scheduled, some of them quite short, (OFF-MIKE) just a few minutes from now, the arrival speech, which just basically about four paragraphs long -- Frank.

BUCKLEY: We're going to listen in to Jean Chretien who is addressing the crowd.

JEAN CHRETIEN, CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER: ... welcome you to Canada for World Youth Day. Young people from 100 countries have come to Toronto to celebrate and reaffirm their faith, and to do so in the spirit of your vision of a peaceful world that recognizes and values the dignity and freedom of all peoples.

In Toronto, in Canada, you have selected a marvelous stage on which to proclaim this message of harmony and peace. As few nations, we have welcomed people from the world over to join us in the common labor of building a prosperous and just society. As few nations, we have seen what great things can be accomplished by widely diverse people in a society dedicated to freedom, tolerance and social harmony.

And in that regard, I must say that I have gratified to see that a special place has been made at this celebration for aboriginal peoples from Canada and around the world to express their own unique commitment to the Catholic faith.

If Toronto is an ideal setting for this celebration, it is also true that we have, in the presence of Your Holiness, a truly aspiring example of personal commitment. The theme for World Youth Day 2002 is, "You are the salt of the Earth, you are the light of the world." These words I see as a challenge to young people to fully live their faith, to fully engage in their societies, to believe that they can make a difference by demonstrating their commitment in daily life.

Your own life bears witnessed to the wisdom and the truth of these words. Your passion of belief in freedom and human rights helped to liberate your own homeland and to change the world. Your commitment to global sharing has reminded the world of the shared dignity of all people. As a soldier for peace, you have defied the false prophets of violence.

(through translator): How many times did you tell us that the world, even those who tried to attempt to your life, deserve to be forgiven? And you never told us that for the Almighty to the most humble we too often forget to fraternize although we do have the instinct in us.

I know that the World Youth Day is a source of joy, and proud Canadians, as well as the citizens of the city of Toronto, are proud to welcome the Catholic youth from all four corners of the world. They are happy to be with you here, to celebrate their faith, and to express their hope in the future.

The very fact that Your Holiness has traveled all the way here, is a testimony to your courage and tenacity in the pursuit of the spiritual objectives that are at the very core of your (inaudible)

Through your travels, your initiatives of reconciliation and your messages of hope, you have inspired us to continue our efforts to build a better world, where all can live in peace and practice their faith free from fear. And I know that the thousands of young people who have come to hear your words will leave galvanized to meet the challenges of the future.

Canada welcomes Your Holiness with warmth and great admiration. We are delighted that you are among us, even for this short time. And we wish you well in the exciting week to come. Merci beaucoup. Thank you very much.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, mesdames et monsieurs, I have the honor of inviting His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, to say a few words.


POPE JOHN PAUL II (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Prime Minister Jean Chretien, and dear Canadian friends, I am very grateful to you, Prime Minister, for your warm words of welcome, and I am very, very honored of your presence at my arrival. Also of the premier of Toronto and the mayor of Toronto, and other representatives of the community. And I am expressing a very, very heartfelt thank you, thank you for being here. And I'm very grateful that you're hosting the World Youth Day in Canada. And thank you for everything that was accomplished to see to it that this World Youth Day has become a reality.

Dear Canadians, I warmly remember my first apostolic trip in 1984, and I remember my short visit of 1987 visiting the aboriginal people. This time, I must limit myself to Toronto only. And from here, I am greeting all Canadian citizens. You are present in my prayers and I'm blessing your splendid and immense country.

Young people from all parts of the world, are gathering for the World Youth Day. With their gifts of intelligence and calm (ph) they present the future of the world. But they also bear the marks of a humanity that too often dares not know peace or justice.

Too many lives begin and end without joy, without hope. That is one of the principal reasons for the World Youth Day.

Young people are coming together to commit themselves, in the strength of their faith in Jesus Christ, to the great cause of peace and human solidarity.

Thank you, Toronto, thank you, Canada, for welcoming them with open arms.

In the French version of your national anthem, "Oh Canada," you sing, "Car ton bras sait porter l'epee; il sait porter la croix."

Canadians have an extraordinarily rich heritage of humanism thanks to the association of many, many elements coming from different horizons. But the core of your state is a spiritual conception that transcends life, based on Christian values that gave the necessary impetus to the development of your democratic and free society which embodies values of solidarities which is recognized throughout the world as a temple of human rights.

In a world with great social (inaudible) extremes and confusion about the very purpose of life, Canadians have an incomparable treasure to contribute on the condition that they reserve for this deep and good and (inaudible) heritage.

I pray that the World Youth Day will offer all Canadians an opportunity to remember the values that are essential to good living and to human happiness.

Mr. Prime Minister, dear friends, may the light (ph) of the World Youth Day equal (ph) throughout the land, reminding all persons to be the salt of the Earth, and light of the world. God bless you all.


BUCKLEY: Pope John Paul II, in his remarks to the people of Canada. Joining me again, Terrence Prendergast,the archbishop of Halifax.

Sir, first your impressions.

PRENDERGAST: Well, I think it was a very significant speech for Canada. There was some concern expressed some time ago about the prime minister trying to push religion out of the world, and he wasn't even supposed to come here initially for the reception. The pope welcomed him. The prime minister gave a very, I would say, religious speech with a motivation that's open to religion, and the holy father built on that and talked about the social contribution that Canadian Catholics can make, and I think that there is a kind of a reconciliation of church and society in this presentation.

BUCKLEY: The pope alternating between English and French in his address to the people of Canada, and really talking about a number of issues. What were the issues that to you came out?

PRENDERGAST: Well, his fondness for the business before in 1984 and '87, the significance of the aboriginal peoples, the fact that Canada is an open society that has welcomed people from all around the world, and the fact that Canada is now going to do the same thing (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

These are values that are very important to him, democracy, solidarity, caring for the poorest, and these are the things he highlighted (UNINTELLIGIBLE), and I think the prime minister also mentioned them as well.

So here you have a happy blend of the two, I would say.

BUCKLEY: As we now watch various dignitaries approach the pope, I should have asked you this before, but have you met the pope? Can you give me a sense half of what that's like?

PRENDERGAST: I have had a chance to meet the holy father. And my first time was in 1983, when he was a young pope and I was a young Jesuit. I went to Rome for the election of a new father (ph) general in 1983, and then I met him in numerous other times, in 1987, when I was on a sabbatical in Rome for my teaching position when I first became a bishop in 1995, and then several years ago in 1999 when I had my first visit to the holy father to speak of my diocese of Halifax.

You can see during the years between 83 and 99, that he's become frailer, but there is a warmth to him always. And when we had dinner with him in his apartment (ph) at Caso Vandova (ph), he was free and easy. He is a tease. He goes back and forth between English and French, and he's a delightful person. You see that there is a frail body there, but you know there is a vibrant mind. And to me, that's really what he's manifested here. He has a powerful spirit. He is Polish. Polish can sometimes be stubborn, and he is certainly that.

BUCKLEY: He is the first non-Italian to be pope, I believe, in 476 years. He is also, as you say, a strong man, and tell us this...

PRENDERGAST: This is Archbishop Ventura. Looks like he has got a child in his hand. He's the nuncio to Canada. He has got something in his hands.

BUCKLEY: And he is shaking the hand of?

PRENDERGAST: Cardinal Carter, the former archbishop of Toronto, who himself suffered a debilitating stroke a number of years ago, but he is a feisty man and a lively person.

This is Cardinal Cherkot (ph) of Montreal, Bishop Berteler (ph), the president of the Canadian Bishops Conference. He's the from outside of Montreal, the suburban diocese. This is Archbishop Tony Maradu (ph), the elected archbishop of Kingston, and he's been the chief pointman among the bishops for World Youth Day. This is Archbishop Thomas Collins (ph) from Edmonton, Alberta, head of the Western Planning Committee, Bishop James Ringel (ph), formerly of the Atlantic area, and now from St. Catharine's, Ontario. And Bishop Fauns La Pierre (ph) of St. Highesess (ph), one of the suburban Montreal diocese. These are the four bishops who have been planning the World Youth Day across the country.

BUCKLEY: It always such an exciting -- go ahead.

PRENDERGAST: This is Archbishop Realco (ph) from the Pontifical Council of the Laity, the second in command to Cardinal Stafford, the American archbishop.

BUCKLEY: I was saying that it's exciting for anyone to meet a head of state, but for a Catholic to meet the pope, tell me how special that moment is for people the first time you meet the pontiff?

PRENDERGAST: When I got my calum (ph) in 1999, in the summer, in June, I had some relatives from California come with me, and they were all thrilled. I guess I had met him a few times, and I had lost some of that impetus. But for them, there was tears in their eyes, there was joy, and they say this is a day they would never forget. I think these young people will have this -- they will treasure this moment all their lives.

BUCKLEY: When you see him, once again, his eyes alive.

PRENDERGAST: That's (UNINTELLIGIBLE), who's in charge of World Youth Day. He's bringing up some of the children with some flowers. Father Tom is a great CEO for this event.

BUCKLEY: I had a chance to speak with him yesterday.

PRENDERGAST: I don't know who the younger lady is. She is obviously special. She has got some flowers.

BUCKLEY: All right, we know that 77 young people have been invited to this gathering, representing the 72 dioceses of Canada and the continents of the world. Also some children who are suffering and ill, the pope is going to touch them, speak to them in some way.

PRENDERGAST: They are giving gifts, some of them, bringing some letters, bringing some special gifts. Here is a young lady. I think she is from Quebec. They are all being given a rosary by the holy father.

BUCKLEY: That will take a special spot in everyone's home.

PRENDERGAST: That's a native person, an aboriginal person.

BUCKLEY: We have talked about World Youth Day. Tell our viewing audience again, what is World Youth Day? Tell us how the pope came up with this idea in the mid '80s. Why did he start to start it?

PRENDERGAST: I think he has always had a fascination with young people. Remember, he was university chaplain in Poland. He would go on hiking trips with young people. He discovered that when he went on trips like that, he could talk to them about the issues of love, of work, of what they were going to do with their lives, and I think he felt, how can I continue this as pope? And I guess somebody, well, why don't have you a pilgrimage, why don't you bring them together?

So they started. It began very small. It was in Rome. But slowly it has grown, and it's really taken off in our country. We had eight people went to Paris in 1997, and then 80 to Rome in the year 2000. And this year, we have 410 from our diocese and the diocese of the (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

It's really a mushrooming thing. Of course it's easier when it's in your own country. I didn't go to any before Paris, but I came home really enthused about it. I could see what it would do for our young people, and It builds them up, because there is a lot in our society that pushes people away from their faith, or makes them hesitant to speak up. And in a manifestation like this, you have no trouble. Look at this.

BUCKLEY: You see the emotion there of a young girl having met the pope, overcome with emotion.

PRENDERGAST: She is obviously a pilgrim, because she's got one of the Pilgrim crosses. They got these crosses made by young people in Colombia. This is Sister Francois Denet (ph). She is a Celestean sister from Montreal, and she's the number two in command. She (UNINTELLIGIBLE)

One of the young people who worked in World Youth Day offices. They have volunteers from around the world. Some of them have been here for a year, some have been here just several months, but they delight in these opportunities.

Look at this, there's someone talking to the cardinal, I think.

BUCKLEY: Yes, the young girl overcome with emotion, I believe, we just saw a moment ago who met the pope. Tell us, how are the people selected for this sort of a moment?

PRENDERGAST: Well, in my diocese, we received a call from World Youth Day office, saying we need have one person chosen from your place. I asked my youth office, I said, do you know who is going on the trip? Who do you think would be representative. I want someone in the median age between 18 and 35, so they suggested three names, and because the one who went to -- be with the pope last year was a young woman, we decided to choose a young man. The other diocese I'm looking after, Yarmatha (ph) diocese, they chose a woman. So -- a young girl. I think it's about 50/50, the split, so that's kind of random.

But they wanted somebody from each of the churches in Canada to come, and that includes not just the Latin (ph) diocese, but also the Ukrainians, Slovaks, the Maronites. We have a lot of different ethnic groups from the eastern churches who are here, and they have been fully part of this. I think that's a new thing in Canada, that we brought to the World Youth Day, is the involvement of eastern churches, we call them. They're very much close to the Orthodox, and they are right, but they are very much in union with the pope, so...

BUCKLEY: Tell us. You know, we're told that the pope may speak to people who are suffering from illness; in some cases, the pope will bless someone suffering from illness. To those who aren't Catholic, explain what that means and what is the significance.

PRENDERGAST: Well, the blessing is simply an invitation to have God come and somehow touch the person's life and lift them up and give them some hope. You know, to know that God cares about me is very important. And sometimes people forget that. And a religious person will say, I ask that God bless you and touch you and give you strength so that you can bear this. Some people want to be cured, but many people, they just want to know that somebody cares about them and is with them, and can care for them. To me, that's the (UNINTELLIGIBLE).

BUCKLEY: We should say that in addition, this was supposed to be just a very quick ceremony, the pope to speak and then essentially to be whisked off to Strawberry Island on a helicopter. The more substantial, if you will, or larger gatherings taking place later in the week, on Thursday. There will be a welcoming ceremony here at the exhibition place on Saturday, a vigil with the pope. And then on Sunday, of course, the open-air mass. Give us a sense of how big will that event be, the Sunday mass.

PRENDERGAST: Sunday mass will be the biggest event of the whole week. The vigil will be quite exciting for the young people. They're going to camping out overnight. That's right. The pope will not be there overnight. He'll come and be with them until about 11:00 or 11:30, and then he'll go back to the mother house of the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) St Joseph.

BUCKLEY: I'm afraid we missed most of what the pope said. We weren't -- we didn't know that he was speaking. We did hear him say thank you. Once again, the pope surprising everyone.


So the (UNINTELLIGIBLE), on Sunday night, is going to be probably a third or a half of the number of people that will be in the final mass. But anybody is welcome to come to the final mass on Sunday morning. Certainly, in Paris and in Rome, the numbers doubled overnight.

BUCKLEY: I'm told that the holy father thanked everyone for making World Youth Day such a success.

PRENDERGAST: It is already a success. I can tell. Just watching the young people around Toronto, it's been wonderful.

BUCKLEY: It has been quite an experience here in Toronto to see the young people gathering. There really is a festival atmosphere. They've called it in the past "Popestock," or the Woodstock of the Catholic Church.

And here he is again, walking.

PRENDERGAST: What's interesting is we focus on the pope. But the pope focuses on the young people, and they know that. They know that they really are the focus. We have a little saying in the logo: The pope and the young people together. To me, that's really what it is all about.

BUCKLEY: Cardinal Stafford, in fact, made a point of that, as did some of the other cardinals that are helping to organize this event, saying, Look, the story is not us, the story is not the pope, the story is the young people -- go speak to the young people. And he will not doing that over the next several days.

PRENDERGAST: And one of things, as you know, the bishops are going to get catechesis, instructions to the young people. But one of the bishops said at the last time -- and I think this is true from my own experience -- is the young people evangelize the bishops. There's a mutual interplay. And one things that happened with the visits of people to our diocese before is we had 150 people in one church basement to welcome 12 young people from South Africa. And at the end of the evening, everybody was in harmony, including older generations. And so the young people bring people together. And that to me is one of the great gifts of World Youth Day. It breaks down the barriers between generations.

BUCKLEY: And what is it like? We know that there will be these living dialogue sessions between bishops and young people who may not often get the chance to speak to someone at the level of bishop. What will that be like. And you have done this before -- give me a sense of the give and take.

PRENDERGAST: There's going to be the formal thing, which is the catechesis, where we will speak, and they will bring questions, and I will try to answer them. I'm going to be at one of the halls here on Thursday morning with 9,000 or 10,000 young people. How that's going to work I don't know. Other occasions I've had have been much smaller. But it's going to be quite something.

But there are other occasions informally. Coming up on the train and talking to young people the whole 28 hours. Yesterday, I was on the subway train, and I met four Italian kids. We were teasing and laughing. I said, What should I say to the young people. And they gave me a few things. So I was receiving from them.

And they had a great time. They thought it was wonderful that a bishop was talking to them. But we're humans. We're all Catholics. And we live together.

So for me, that's the great thing about World Youth Day is that we can rub shoulders with the young people.

BUCKLEY: Isn't it true that this pope has defied expectations...

PRENDERGAST: Every time.

BUCKLEY: ... at this first appearance.

PRENDERGAST: I think he -- I really think he probably thought that this was something he needed to do to show that I am here and I am going to give it my all. And I think it's also a subtle invitation to other people from Canada, maybe the northern United States, who have been hesitating to come, to say look, I'm making a great effort. Why don't you come too.

BUCKLEY: Vatican guards and Swiss Guards surrounding the pope as he heads out now to a helicopter, one of three in a formation that will take the holy father to Strawberry Island where, again, there is Father Rosica (ph), where tomorrow he will have a day of rest after quite a day today. For anyone taking that trip from Rome -- several hours, several time zones, a difficult trip -- the pope 82 years old and suffering from Parkinson's disease -- the pope making the journey, and then surprising all of us.

PRENDERGAST: He's lost his skull cap. I guess he decided to keep it in his pocket today. But his hair is blowing. It's kind of a (UNINTELLIGIBLE) dynamism.

It must be disappointing for the operator of the scissors truck that was supposed to bring the pope down from the Alitalia plane.

We are told -- and again, maybe the pope will surprise us -- but we are told that when the pope when he boards the helicopters will board on the other side of one of these helicopters. We don't expect to see him getting on the helicopter. We were told that this is a just a matter of protocol, a private moment for an 82-year-old man. But as we say, the pope surprised all of us. And that's certainly the headline, I think so far, the pope coming down the steps on his own.

PRENDERGAST: The question, I suppose, is does he have any other surprises for us in this week. Will he throw another curve ball at us? Who knows.

BUCKLEY: Well, Terrence Prendergast, the archbishop of Halifax, we do appreciate your being here for us.


PHILLIPS: Frank Buckley, thanks so much.




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