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Interview with Colin Powell, Panel Remembers Pope John Paul II

Aired April 3, 2005 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, as the body of Pope John Paul II lies in state, the world continues to mourn this remarkable man, a torch-bearer of peace and a bridge-builder between faiths, someone who inspired so many.
We're going to reflect on his extraordinary life and talk with those whose lives were touched by it, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell and actor James Caviezel who played Jesus in the epic motion picture, "The Passion of the Christ." All next on LARRY KING LIVE.

Good evening. We begin this special Sunday night edition of LARRY KING LIVE with an old friend, the former secretary of state, former chief of staff, the honorable Colin Powell, who met and knew Pope John Paul II quite well.

Can I go back to calling you "Colin" now or is it "General"?

COLIN POWELL, FORMER U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Colin's fine, Larry. Thank you.

KING: You first met with him before he was Pope. Tell me about it.

POWELL: No, I met him in 1985, thereabouts, about 20 years ago.

KING: Oh, he was Pope.

POWELL: And he had already been the Pope about seven years. And I was there with Alma. Alma was with me. We had an audience with Cap Weinberger, who was then secretary of defense, and I was working for Mr. Weinberger.

And I'll never forget the moment -- it's one of the most treasured pictures we have in our family album -- when the Pope came up to us and exchanged a greeting with us and touched us. It truly was a magic, electrifying moment. I never expected that. And Alma and I have never forgotten it. It was truly being in the presence of a unique man.

KING: Is it because of him or the title, or both?

POWELL: I think it's the surrounding, the setting, the Vatican, knowing who he is, but it went beyond that. It was the man himself who conveyed a presence that I think many people who have met him will say, as I say now, was quite moving and electrifying. KING: What was it like, Colin, when you met with him in 2003 after the war in Iraq, and he was opposed to that war? What was it like when you had differing views?

POWELL: Well, he was opposed to that war. He was also opposed to the Gulf War in 1991. He was a man of peace. He wanted to see these kinds of problems solved through peaceful means.

But I went to see His Holiness a few months after the war came to its conclusion, we were now in the reconstruction phase. And I was supposed to have a brief ten-minute audience with him, because I was on my way to Sharm-el-Sheikh and on to Aqaba to meet President Bush and participate in the summit that was going to be launching the roadmap toward Middle East peace.

And I went in and greeted His Holiness. And they closed the doors. It was just the two of us. Nobody else was in the room. And the audience lasted for 30 minutes, as I discussed with His Holiness how we were going to move forward on reconstruction and democracy building in Iraq. We talked about the Middle East and what our expectations were of the upcoming summits.

We talked about poverty and disease in Africa. We talked about a great number of things. And of course, he understood English perfectly. He was then an ill man, but he was able to communicate. I was able to understand him very well in English. And it was that same humanness that I had seen in him when I had met him so many years before and that I had witnessed over the years as I watched him travel throughout the world.

KING: He had an enormous sense of personality, didn't he? I mean, he was a communicator.

POWELL: He was a communicator. And he came along at a time when communications was going through a revolution, television, cable channels, the Internet, e-mail, all of this, breaking down barriers that used to exist to keep images and ideas out. And he came along with powerful ideas to send to the world, or communicate to the world, at a time when the world was now able to hear them in an unfettered manner.

And it was not only his presence in these various places around the world, but when he was there, what he was saying and what he was doing was being communicated throughout the world so that nobody was unable to hear his message of peace, and reconciliation, and the dignity of the individual, and the need for us all to live a spiritual life as well as a pragmatic life.

KING: Colin, as a diplomat, how would you rate him diplomatically?

POWELL: I would say that he will go down as one of the most significant political diplomatic figures of the past 50 years, as well as being a great spiritual leader. And I don't mean he was a politician or a diplomat. I just mean that, as a result of his actions, as a result of the message that he took to this hemisphere, to Africa, and took to Poland and Eastern Europe, he was making a political statement, as well as a spiritual statement, a statement of faith.

When he went to Poland, not long after he became Pope, he went home. And he said to them, "Rise up," you know, "stand up for what you believe in." That was a message of faith but it was also a political message which gave encouragement to political forces in Poland and elsewhere behind the Iron Curtain that said, "Your time is coming. This is not the natural state. You should be free. You should not be part of a totalitarian empire."

That was a powerful political statement. People will often say, well, how many, you know, the old remark, "How many divisions does the Pope have?" The Pope didn't need divisions. He had ideas, and he had a way of now communicating those ideas. And he had a personality and a staged presence, and a presence that I think was fueled and illuminated by his faith and by his belief in God.

KING: So we can say he was an important pope?

POWELL: Yes, very much so. He was an important pope. People are now taking surveys as to whether he was the most important. I think, you know, we'll see what those surveys say. Not many of us knew more than one pope.

But he certainly was an important figure in the Catholic Church. But his papacy went beyond the Catholic Church. He not only touched Catholics. He touched all of us.

And I think that will be shown to be one of his great historical legacies, the fact that he reached beyond his faith, beyond his church, to show us all that we truly belong to ultimately one God and we should remember that as we go about the process of reaching out to one another, helping those in need, living our faith in whatever way we choose to practice it.

KING: Terrific sense of humor, too, right?

POWELL: He was a funny man. He used to have a little joke with me, and I had to really look at him to see how big the smile was when he was saying this, but he would say to me, "Are you related to Baden- Powell, Lord Baden-Powell?" who was the man who formed the Boy Scouts back in the early part of the last century.

And he always would have a little smile on his face, and I had to make sure that he was telling a joke or was he serious. But it was just one of those little humorous exchanges that kept the atmosphere serious but at the same time light.

He was a very humane individual. Even in the beautiful setting of a Vatican room, and he is in his regalia, in his robes, it was always at the same time a simple scene, with somebody who was at the same level as you were, but who was truly a unique figure in world history.

KING: And another thing you have in common, he was an actor, and your daughter is about to open in "On Golden Pond."

POWELL: I'm very pleased to say that my daughter, Linda, is an actress. And she'll be opening on Broadway this coming week with James Earl Jones in the lead role and Leslie Uggams playing the other role. And Linda will be playing the daughter in "On Golden Pond." We're very excited about that. We'll be going up to see it.

KING: Isn't it wonderful to see a play which normally in a movie featured whites, and you can just put blacks in and not change a thing?

POWELL: Not change a thing, it's the same. Families are families are families.

KING: Are you going to the Pope's funeral?

POWELL: I don't expect to. I have commitments, and I don't expect to be going to the funeral. But you can be sure that I will be one of hundreds of millions who will be watching it.

KING: Thanks as always, Colin. Great seeing you. Are you enjoying retirement?

POWELL: It's not bad, Larry. And I'm back out here trying to catch up with you as best I can.

And I hear a member of your family will be performing on stage some time in the very near future, as well.

KING: My wife performs Friday, Saturday, Sunday in Atlantic City at Resorts opening for Don Rickles. You should come. She'd love to see you.

POWELL: Give her my best, Larry.

KING: I will. Thanks, Colin.

POWELL: Take care.

KING: Colin Powell, former secretary of state, former United States chief of staff and a truly great American.

Back with more on the passing of the Pope right after this.


GEORGE H. W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We mourn the death of the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, with my privilege to have met with him on eight separate occasions. At every meeting, I felt I was in the presence of a true man of peace.

His quiet strength was an inspiration to me and to the others in my family who were honored to be in his presence. In a broad sense, his stands for democracy, for human rights and for peace were sterling positions that resonated not only in the Catholic faith but in many other faiths around the entire world. (END VIDEO CLIP)


KING: Welcome back to LARRY KING LIVE for this live Sunday night edition.

In Rome is Delia Gallagher, managing editor of Inside the Vatican, CNN's Vatican analyst. Also in Rome, Father Jonathan Morris, vice director, Seminary of the Legionaries of Christ. Here in New York is Father Anthony Figueiredo, assistant to the Pope from '96 to 2001, now associate professor at Seton Hall University, right across the river at Newark, New Jersey.

In Los Angeles is James Caviezel who played Jesus in Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ," met with Pope John Paul in March of 2004, devout Roman Catholic, was with us the other evening. It's good to have him back.

And in Washington, an old familiar face, Secretary Jim Nicholson, secretary of Veterans Affairs. He was the former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, presented his credentials to Pope John Paul September 13, 2001, just about a month before 9/11. He was knighted by the Pope in October of 2003.

Let's start with you, Jim. What was that assignment like?

JIM NICHOLSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF VETERANS AFFAIRS: It was fabulous. It was unique. I used to say to people it's one of the best in the world, and my wife would always correct me and say, "No, it is the best in the world."

And she's probably right, because we get to practice pure diplomacy there. We don't have to worry about trade balance-of- payment issues. We can work on these issues that are so important to the United States and to the Vatican, that is the things that constitute a life of dignity for people, which is the priority of our national security policy, by the way, which is to enhance human dignity.

And we have very common goals with the Vatican, so it was a pleasant, meaningful experience.

KING: You were knighted by the Pope? What kind of order is that?

NICHOLSON: Well, it was the Order of Pius IX. And it was interesting, Larry, because it was right in the heat of the imbroglio we were having about Iraq, when they called me and said that the Pope wants to knight you.

And I think that he did that because of the work and hopefully the respect that he had for what we were doing in this human dignity fronts and to push President Bush's program in trying to bring religious freedom to more parts of the world, our culture of life issues, international terrorist issues. The Pope, by the way, was a real supporter of ours in our efforts against terrorists, and proposed that we review international laws in the context of international terrorists who line themselves through the intestinal walls of sovereign states and then go out and attack people like the United States and then come back.

He gets that. He got that very well. And so we had a big international conference on that in Rome, actually, last year.

KING: Delia Gallagher, any word on when the funeral will take place?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: No, Larry, that hasn't yet been established. We're hoping perhaps tomorrow to get the schedule of events that will happen here at the Vatican.

Two important things did happen today. One is the Pope's last message to the world was read at mass today, written before he died. It's a message of divine mercy, a message that human judgment, human justice may be fallible, but the mercy of God is greater than any human failing.

And another first today, we saw a televised image of the Pope's body lying privately in state in the Apostolic Palace. It will be moved tomorrow to the Basilica of St. Peter so that the pilgrims can have a chance to come and say their last goodbyes.

KING: Father Jonathan Morris, is there any question about when a funeral is supposed to take place?

FATHER JONATHAN MORRIS, LEGIONARIES OF CHRIST SEMINARY OF ROME: There is a big question, Larry. And we're still waiting to get the answer to that. According to Church law, it would be between Wednesday and Friday. So right now we're waiting, most likely it will be on the earlier end of that, on Wednesday, I would say. But we're still waiting to hear the exact time and date.

KING: Father Figueiredo, who -- you worked with the Pope, right?


KING: What was that like?

FIGUEIREDO: It was fantastic, Larry. I really saw in this man a great witness. What really struck me is that he used to go to the end, despite all the difficulties, all the sufferings.

You know, very often we saw him leaning on that cross of his. And that cross was his strength, because that cross spells what to every one of us, it's an evil. It's something bad. We don't want to embrace it.

And you know, I have one hand, Larry. And I asked the Pope one day. I said, "What does this one hand mean?" And he said to me, "You know what you've got to do every night before you go to bed? You've got to take your five fingers and say, 'You did this for me, Jesus.'" And I really believe that marked this man's papacy. Nothing would stop him because he believed that Christ was with him. Christ was with him.

KING: Speaking of carrying the cross, James Caviezel, who had to do that so much in the movie, what was it like -- what did it feel like -- I know you were acting -- but as a devout Catholic, what did it feel like to carry it?

JAMES CAVIEZEL, "THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST": Well, I had my shoulder separated while I was carrying it. And then when they stuck me up there, hypothermia. Just continually in a loin cloth for five to six months of just being totally cold all the time. Father Jonathan was there, and he knows what it was like.

KING: I can only imagine that you must have thought of what it must have been like 2,000 years ago.

CAVIEZEL: Yes. It was extraordinary. And you know, the Holy Father had a lot to do with me playing him. And I always saw the Holy Father as embracing what Christ taught, which is both truth and grace. And he also said something that just blew me away.

He says, "Democracy cannot be sustained with a shared commitment to certain moral truths about the human person and the human community. The basic question before a democratic society is, how ought we to live together? And seeking an answer to this question, can society exclude moral truth and moral reasoning?" And then he just blew me away by saying, "Every generation of Americans needs to know that freedom exists not to do what you like but having the right to do what you ought."

And I used everything that the Holy Father gave me, because he really reached out to my generation. And he's my Pope. And I felt that when I met with him.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more on this special edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


KING: Secretary Nicholson will be leaving us in a few minutes, so another question for him. Colin Powell said that in history this Pope will be important in the diplomatic area, even though he was not a diplomat. Do you share that view?

NICHOLSON: Indeed, I do, Larry, because, you know, he brought a lot of people together. The hallmark of his accomplishments was bringing down Communism. He did that in concert with President Reagan.

He worked in Europe with us in putting some cruise missiles in to show that the Soviets and the Warsaw Pact nations that we were going to stand up to them. He affirmed the will of many of those then-weak- kneed European leaders that we needed to have these missiles. He then received briefings by President Reagan's emissary, General Walters, every four or six weeks on the order of battle, the fact they were moving these intermediate-range missiles in there. And we began to conduit things into Poland through him.

And that really was the precursor of our having diplomatic relations with the Holy See. We've only had full diplomatic relations since 1984 when President Reagan said, "I have to have an ambassador over there. This fellow is so important to us in what we're trying to do in bringing down this evil empire." And Senator Lugar and others on the Hill then were finally successful in getting an ambassador confirmed.

KING: Jim, will you be in the party going to the funeral, do you know?

NICHOLSON: I don't know yet, Larry. I suspect to probably find that out tomorrow.

KING: Delia Gallagher, why have they shown the body to the international audience before it lies in state?

GALLAGHER: Well, that's a good question. I think that decision is taken by the camerlengo, who is the man that's in charge now during this period without a pope. I think it's simply a sign that they are following perhaps what the Pope's wishes were. I think that was probably something discussed before the Pope died. And surely this Pope, who was the great communicator and who loved the media, in many ways, would not have been adverse to it.

KING: Father Morris, would you gather that cardinals are already talking among themselves about a successor?

MORRIS: I would say that certainly on a private level they would be considering and talking among themselves. But at the same time, there's a been a great spirit of respect for John Paul II and what these days mean for the Church.

And so I think what we've seen in the media is very indicative of what's going on, on a personal level, with the cardinals, as well. That is certainly we're looking towards the future, thinking about the next steps for the Church will be, but at the same time, taking our time and really reflecting on this person and who he is.

KING: Father Figueiredo, you think we might be surprised again? John Paul was a surprise.

FIGUEIREDO: He was a surprise. And John Paul the Great, I believe, Larry. Certainly the Holy Spirit can surprise us. And I believe we have a great intercessor now in Heaven who's going to give us a pope who can lead the world to even greater heights, particularly on those issues, Larry.

Someone's going to be very consistent, I believe, on doctrinal issues. You know, this Holy Father, what really struck me, he was not afraid to preach the truth despite the consequences. And the dignity of the human person was really key to him.

This is why there was something consistent about him. He was opposed to the war in Iraq. He was opposed to capital punishment, opposed to abortion. All of these things have a consistency to them.

KING: He was constant.

FIGUEIREDO: He was constant. And that's, I think, why people were really attracted to him, Larry. That's my own vocation. I mean, young people today need to see someone who preaches the truth fearlessly and yet loves you in preaching the truth. That's what really struck me about John Paul the Great.

KING: Jim Nicholson, it'll be some onus on the next one, won't it? This is a tough act to follow.

NICHOLSON: He's redefined the papacy, no question about it, Larry. He's traveled to over 100 countries, visited 1,000 cities. He uses the new arts of communication, telecommunication, the Internet, use it very effectively.

And his message has spread throughout the world, his message of peace and reconciliation, and reaching out and trying to bring people together. He used to say to me, also, we have to get these people who are killing in the name of God to stop that.

And so he was very supportive of our efforts against international terrorists and in Afghanistan. And that support continues today from the Vatican, by the way.

KING: Thank you, Secretary. Mr. Secretary Jim Nicholson, good to have you join us.

Delia Gallagher, thank you for your help, as well. Delia's worked around the clock. You'll be seeing a lot of her in the days ahead.

We'll come back, keeping Jonathan Morris, Anthony Figueiredo, James Caviezel. And we'll have some other guests added, as well. Don't go away.


KING: Welcome back in New York for this special Sunday night edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

Remaining with us in Reverend Anthony Figueiredo, assistant to the Pope and associate professor at Seton Hall. In Los Angeles, James Caviezel, who played Jesus in "The Passion of the Christ." He's one of my favorite actors, by the way. Also in Los Angeles is Father Michael Manning, the Roman Catholic Priests Society of the Divine Word and host of "The Word in the World." He's pastor at St. Anthony's, San Bernardino.

In Washington, Father William J. Byron, Roman Catholic priest, Society of Jesuits, syndicated columnist, research professor, Sellinger's School at Loyola, former president of Catholic University. In New Orleans is Rabbi Ed Cohen (ph) of Temple Sinai who met with John Paul earlier this year in Rome, met with him in New Orleans back in 1987.

And returning in Washington, Jude Dougherty, dean emeritus, Department of Philosophy at Catholic University, a friend of Pope John Paul for nearly three decades, first met him when he was Cardinal Wojtyla, the archbishop of Krakow.

I'm going to ask Jim Caviezel -- Jim, if you would do me a great favor and repeat again the story with the imitation you did the other night -- because so many people have come over to me and talked to me about it -- of your meeting with the Pope. We never got to interview the Pope, but you had him down pat. So would you tell that story again of what he said to you?

CAVIEZEL: Well, long room, like a football stadium, and by the time I walked to him I was out of breath. So I was already intimidated. And now I couldn't say anything, which is probably good.

And he says, "Jim Caviezel. Everybody who does wrong hates tonight for fear that his actions may be exposed by the man who lives in truth comes out into the light so that it may be plainly seen what is done is done in code. Jim Caviezel, what have you done to play Jesus Christ?"

And I said, "Well, Holy Father, I've been hanging out with the Italians a lot lately." He says, "Yes." And then I said, "I'm sorry, I think Jesus was Italian." He says, "What!"

And I said, "Well, hold on, he didn't leave home until he was 30. He always hung out with the same twelve guys, and his mother believed he was God, so he had to be -- you know, he had to Italian." I said, "You're not upset with me, are you?" And he says, "No, that was witty. He was Polish."

He's a brilliant guy, you know?

KING: Jude Dougherty, wasn't that an excellent way -- isn't that the way the Pope sounded?


KING: He's got him down.

DOUGHERTY: I enjoyed, you know, his speaking in English, because he always had that heavy guttural accent of a Polish sort.

KING: Yes. And Jim Caviezel has it perfect.

I want to go back to Father Figueiredo who has something with him he wants to show us. And then we'll get to the rest of the members of the panel.

If we can close in on -- what is that? FIGUEIREDO: Well, one of the things that really struck me about this holy father, Larry, was that he's called us all to be saints. And to be a saint simply means you're an ordinary person but the resurrection of Christ shines in you. It's eternal. There's eternal life in you, divine life.

Now this is a stool of blood of a great saint, Saint Padre Pio...

KING: That's his blood?

FIGUEIREDO: This is his very blood. And the amazing thing about Saint Padre Pio is John Paul II as a young priest went one day to visit Padre Pio. He had a great gift of confessing sins. And Padre Pio knelt down in front of him and said to Father Wojtyla, "One day you will be dressed in white."

And that was an enormous prophecy. It's amazing this century, Larry, because God has raised up Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, a great saint for the poor, Saint Padre Pio, and now, I believe, Saint John Paul the Great.

KING: How did you get this blood?

FIGUEIREDO: Actually, I teach at a seminary. And one of the seminarians gave me this. I hope he's given it to me. I hope he doesn't want it back, because I really sleep by it, I really believe in the communion of saints, that they help us in Heaven, Larry.

KING: Rabbi Cohen (ph), what was it like for a Jewish rabbi to be in his presence?

RABBI COHEN (ph), TEMPLE SINAI: It was absolutely unforgettable, one of the most inspiring experiences of my life, for sure.

KING: Because?

COHEN (PH): Well, because the man has been such an historic watershed he's represented in Jewish and Catholic relations. Considering all the wounds of the past and the pain of the past, he has lived our spirits.

He has called us to celebrate that which we hold in common and also to savor that which is are difference. We have to acknowledge that there are differences, but there's so much to be done to work together cooperatively. And he called us to that almost, really, as a prophet.

KING: Father Byron, historically, will that be an important part of his papacy, this Jewish angle?

FATHER WILLIAM BYRON, CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE: Oh, I think it will be. It'll be one of the landmarks.

You know, he condemned anti-Semitism. And in that condemnation, he included condemnation of all forms of racism and used the word, "They trample over human dignity." And I think you're going to see that as a continuation into the next papacy. I think whoever sits on the throne of Peter next is going to be a promoter of human dignity.

KING: Father Manning, he was constant. He was both strongly conservative in many areas and strongly liberal in many areas, right?

FATHER MICHAEL MANNING, "THE WORD IN THE WORLD": Very much so. And at the same time centered on Jesus. And I think that's the key. He believed deeply in Jesus Christ as his personal savior and as his lord, and that flew out to very, very strong concerns in a liberal way for the poor around the world while at the same time believing that the teachings of Christ could be very difficult for others to contain and as such seemed quite conservative.

And yet at the same time centered on Christ. There was a power and strength in his faith that touched vast numbers of people.

KING: When we come back, we'll ask Jude Dougherty and the panel if he should be called John Paul the Great.

You're watching LARRY KING LIVE, a special Sunday night edition, with a special closing tonight. Charlotte Church will join us to sing a song that she sang for the Pope himself. We'll be right back.


KING: We're back.

Jude Dougherty, dean emeritus, Department of Philosophy at Catholic University, should he be dubbed John Paul the Great?

DOUGHERTY: He may well deserve that title. But I think it's too early to award it. Much will depend on how his literary corpus is indeed received.

This is a man who began everyday that he was in the Vatican in his study producing works that will attest to, as it were, the caliber of the man in the long run. He produced over 20 encyclicals among many other documents. He left a legacy as professor of moral theology and moral philosophy at the University of Lublin and at Krakow.

These works, if they are read -- which he would certainly want. That's why he wrote them. Some of them are great works in the tradition of prior prophets like Leo XIII and Pius XI. These, to the extent that they are received, will guarantee his reputation as John Paul II the Great.

KING: Jim Caviezel, as a layman, but also as an actor, do you feel kind of an affinity owing to the fact that he was an actor?

CAVIEZEL: You know, Larry, it's funny you ask me that. I remember a long time ago I came home and I told my dad, I said, "I think I'm supposed to be an actor." And he says, "You don't want to get into that crap." And I said, "Yes, you're right." And it wouldn't go away. And then a couple weeks later, he comes up to me, he says, "Hey, you know, the Pope was an actor." "Yes, that sounds great," you know? So, yes, I definitely had affinity to him because of that.

And when I was there, he told me to go to the burial site of St. Genesius, who was the patron saint of all actors. And now I'll have another actor that I'll carry with me.

KING: Did his training help him as Pope, do you think?

CAVIEZEL: Are you speaking to me, Larry?

KING: Yes, the acting training.

CAVIEZEL: I would think so. My acting is based in truth. And everything I read about the Holy Father -- in his letter to the actors, he talked about truth. And there is good and there is evil. And it's important not to make good look like evil or evil look good. Just call it as it is. And that's my training.

And I think, when he spoke to people, he spoke to their hearts. And whether you're speaking in front of a million or you're acting with another actor, you're still speaking from your heart. And this is the kind of training that I think he came from.

KING: Very well said.

What was he like, Reverend Figueiredo, to work for, demanding?

FIGUEIREDO: Well, no. I think he was a man with a real destiny. He knew where he wanted to go. He knew where he wanted to take the Church, the world.

But what really struck me, Larry, is on a personal basis he would treat an ordinary person like myself as he would treat a cardinal of the Church or a great head of a nation. He'd spend exactly the same time with every single person. And he'd make you feel as if you were the most important person in his presence.

KING: Rabbi, did he have -- he knew so many Jews who worked with him as a young man in Poland. Did that give him, do you think, a greater affinity with you and with Jewish people?

COHEN (PH): I think absolutely so, Larry. When we met with him on January the 18th in the very same hall where he is now lying in state, we had no thought that he would meeting with us individually.

But he gave orders to those who were there, to have us come one at a time before him. And it was such a thrill to be able to thank him for all that he has done in these years to proclaim the message, in a time when there's so much terrorism and fanaticism in religion, to preach the message that God is love.

And he listened to that. He listened to every one of us. And he seemed to me moved as we thanked him for what he has done, unparralled, to condemn anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial, to come to the synagogue in Rome, all of that endears him to the Jewish people. He will always be remembered with enormous love and respect by Jews the world over.

KING: Father Byron, what's it going to be like for the person who follows him?

BYRON: Well, I think there's a challenge there to move in a few directions, just given the needs of our time. I think whoever follows him is going to have to understand Islam and relate to Islam.

I think whoever follows him can build on that wonder rapport that Pope John Paul II had with youth. If I were advising to set the agenda, I'd say take a close look, focus on relating effectively to young people, 18 to 35. That's where the future of the Church is.

I also think that a country that the Holy Father never was able to reach is one that I hope would be reached by a successor, and that's China. The Holy Father wanted to do that.

So it's an enormous challenge. And the Holy Spirit is going to be delivering somebody who is up to that challenge.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more on this special edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


KING: We're back.

Father John Morris, I know you helped work on the film, right, "The Passion of the Christ"?

MORRIS: That's right. It was a real blessing to be able to work with Jim. And as you mentioned when you were asking him earlier, he certainly got to live what it was like to be like Christ there in times of difficulty, even physical difficulty.

I remember one time in a special way when Jim came down, walked off the set, and he was saying to me, "What would Christ be thinking right now?" It was actually in the scene of Barabas. Remember the scene of what an ugly figure of Barabas was.

And Jim was coming down. And Mel was there talking. And we were thinking, well, what would Jesus have been thinking at that moment. We were discussing, certainly, he would have been thinking about Barabas. And so at that moment, Jim said, "All right. Let's go back. We're going to do another cut."

And we got that incredible scene in which he's looking and he's walking down the steps. Barabas is walking down the steps. And all of a sudden, there's that encounter of the eyes of Jim Caviezel, with Christ, with Barabas. And in fact, that actor has said that that look of Jim Caviezel, or Christ, whatever, was an encounter that changed his life.

So it was a real blessing to be there, as well. KING: And the Pope did love that movie, right?

MORRIS: It seems like it. He said -- what was reported was that, "It is as it was," and was kind of the final words of the Pope, from what we understood through the media.

And basically, I think it goes back to the fact that the Pope was a man who had courage. And he was able to say things as they were. It doesn't mean that he was saying -- making any sort of political statement about it. He was just saying, the fact is, when you look at the truth...

KING: It is as it was, yes.

MORRIS: ... it is as it was.

KING: Well stated.

Father Manning, did you see the film?

MANNING: I certainly did, yes.

KING: What did you think of Jim's performance?

MANNING: Oh, I thought it was powerful. I felt that I was able to really enter into something that was very close to my own heart, the image of reading the Bible and getting an experience of Christ from the Bible. And then to see that in life was a very, very strong experience. My hat goes off to him and to all the people involved in that, allowing us to experience Christ in a great way.


KING: Jude Dougherty, what did you think?

DOUGHERTY: Well, part of it, I really couldn't take the whole thing. I was really moved, moved so much, that I practically had to close my eyes.

KING: Wow.

Rabbi Cohen (ph), did you take some criticism of it or not?

COHEN (PH): Well, as a rabbi, as a Jew, I have a great deal of ambivalence about the movie. I frankly would rather center on the Pope and his message that draws us all together...

KING: But you had to certainly appreciate his performance.

COHEN (PH): Oh, yes. I think it was a terrific performance. It was very painful to watch. It is an incredible story. I view -- I'm not afraid of a crucifix as a rabbi and a Jew. I view that man, Jesus of Nazareth, as a remarkable and charismatic teacher and as a Jewish martyr.

So Jews can have their own take on the story. Another Passion story was not exactly the greatest thing that I think the world needed at this point, however.

KING: And Father Figueiredo, you saw it five times.

FIGUEIREDO: I did see it five times. And my strongest scene was when someone throws the cross to Jesus. He's fallen on the ground. And someone shouts high, "Jesus, why carry the cross? Why embrace the cross?" And Jesus says, "I've come to make all things new."

I remember when they used to ask this Holy Father, "Why don't you step down? You're so sick. You're so old. You're so decrepit. Your body's breaking down." You know what the Holy Father used to answer, Larry? "Because Jesus never came down from his cross."

KING: Jim, you think he's with Jesus now? We only have 30 seconds.

CAVIEZEL: No question. And to me and to 99.9 percent of all Catholics he will always be in our hearts as John Paul the Great.

KING: How well said.

We thank you all very much for participating in this. We have a very special close tonight, with Charlotte Church from London. And we will hear that song that she sang to the Pope right after this.


KING: To close our program, the brilliant Charlotte Church in London will sing the song she sang for this Pope, "Bread of Angels." Watch.


CHARLOTTE CHURCH, SINGER (SINGING): Panis angelicus, fit panis hominum; dat panis coelicus figuris terminum. O res mirabilis, manducat Dominum. Pauper, pauper, servus et humilis. Pauper, pauper, servus et humilis.

Panis angelicus, fit panis hominum; dat panis coelicus figuris terminum. O res mirabilis, manducat Dominum. Pauper, pauper, servus et humilis. Pauper, pauper, servus et humilis.


KING: Charlotte Church sang that for Pope John Paul II.

We'll be back again tomorrow night here in New York. Andrea Bocelli will be here to sing "Ave Maria." That will be very special. Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham, will be among the guests.

Right now, it's time to go back to Rome for more live coverage of the passing of Pope John Paul. And we turn the proceedings over to my compatriot, the man who never goes away -- he's everywhere -- Anderson Cooper -- Anderson?


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