The Web      Powered by
powered by Yahoo!


Return to Transcripts main page


Pope Lies in State

Aired April 3, 2005 - 16:00   ET


AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Pope John Paul laying in state earlier today, the beginning of a series of events that will culminate in his formal funeral. Today, it was VIPs who came solemnly to see the body of the pope who died 24 hours and 30 minutes ago here in Rome.
Good evening again, everyone. From Rome, a beautiful spring day has given way to a cool night. Christiane Amanpour is with us for this hour. Behind us, there are hundreds, we'll leave it at that, who have just completed a Rosary ceremony, a Rosary service. There is in the plaza of St. Peters. It's quite a lovely scene tonight. A small shrine but a growing shrine of candles and pictures, as people have come by over the next several days, two or three days. The city expects as many as two million pilgrims to come, to share in the final high Mass for Pope John Paul II.

CHRISTINE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Aaron, I think we have seen this sort of crescendo of grief over the last few days -- certainly over the pope's last hour, when all those tens of thousands filled St. Peters Square -- but it seems right now to be a feeling of peacefulness, of serenity. The grief is probably going to mount again over his funeral, but now people are coming -- it's somewhat of a lighter atmosphere. And I think a couple of things that we saw today were, first, the pope being lain in state in the Apostolic Chapel, the private chapel for as you say, the VIPs, his friends, cardinals, his secretary and his other political and diplomatic dignitaries.

And then the reading of the homily by the Cardinal Sodano, who is the church's secretary of state, reading a lecture that the pope himself had written, not because he knew he was going to die, we understand, but because he always writes his Sunday homily several days in advance. And this one particularly was devoted to the Divine Mercy, which is a cult that he himself introduced and to which he himself was most particularly devoted. He talked also about the Virgin Mary who he above all other popes had elevated to a very, very high level, not deity, but a high level of respect in the Catholic Church.

And he talked about Doubting Thomas because it was eight days after the resurrection that Thomas the Apostle came. And he, Jesus Christ, had him put his hands in the wounds that he had been lanced with on the cross, and then Thomas believed. So very, very poignant and perhaps very relevant words from the homily today, just happens to be the homily on the day that the pope died.

BROWN: So as we join you, 24 hours after the death, this is a day still of sadness. But I think as Christiane properly said, this is not a day where one senses that a tragedy has occurred. The pope lived a good long, rich, fulfilled life and I think the people here in this city today have come to embrace and accept that. Few people know this story and this city in these moments better than our bureau chief here in Rome, CNN's Alessio Vinci who joins us now. Alessio, good evening to you.

ALESSIO VINCI, CNN Rome BUREAU CHIEF: Hello, Aaron. Down here, very close to St. Peter's Square, of course 24 hours after the death of the pope, there are still people here praying. There is a vigil going on now for the last hour in St. Peter's Square led by church officials. You see people praying, holding a candle, simply holding their hands together and mourning Pope John Paul II, the pope whom they loved so much.

And Aaron earlier today, as you know this pope, who was the pope who broke with traditions in so many ways and again today, even after he is now gone and the pope again broke with tradition because for the first time, Vatican Television has shown pictures of a dead pope, an embalmed dead pope laying -- not laying in state but for a private viewing the day before he is supposed to be displayed publicly in the St. Peters Basilica for the pilgrims to come here and pay their last respects.

They were dignitaries as well as Italian top government officials to pay the last respects as the pope was lying -- laying on a table with his bishop's staff under his arm, all dressed in papal, red and white papal robes. And again then later this afternoon, Vatican Television released pictures of the embalmed body of the pope in his private chapel in the Apostolic Palace. This a place where the pope has spent so many hours praying, especially early in the morning before -- early in the morning, as soon as he woke up and late in the evening. And I remember on Good Friday, before Easter Sunday, the pope in that chapel watching the Way of the Cross in the Coliseum, him too frail to attend that event.

Tomorrow, we expect the College of Cardinals to meet. They will be deciding of course what lies ahead for the expected 2 million pilgrims here in Rome. Of course they have to decide when the funeral will take place, but church tradition, it will be between the fourth and the sixth day after he dies and then of course the funeral and the conclave, the process of election of a new pope. Aaron?

BROWN: Alessio, thank you. Alessio Vinci, our Rome bureau chief.

Earlier today, we heard that this formal high Mass as well as a series of Masses over the next nine days will be on Wednesday. But that is yet to be confirmed. It'll likely be confirmed tomorrow, Wednesday or Thursday, I suppose still possible. We'll see. The pope's body will lie in state tomorrow. And then around mid-day -- and then a stream of pilgrims will come and say farewell. Don't -- you can imagine around the world how this moment is being felt and you can appreciate that it's probably being felt most strongly, if you will in Poland and this native son of Poland who rose to be one of the most important popes in the history of Catholicism, and he was never far from his Polish roots and his Polish brethren were never far from him. On that here is CNN's Chris Burns.


CHRIS BURNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thousands of people passing through this square by the hour, looking up at this window over my shoulder of the Apostolic Residence, where Pope John Paul II had spoken and sung to his people here. Mass was celebrated in the church right next to this, as well as churches across Poland, honoring the man they see as their Moses, the man who led them out of that sea of communism, red communism to democracy and freedom.

There was also an open-air Mass outside of Krakow here at the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy honoring the St. Faustina, one of the saints that the pope had elevated. This open-air Mass drawing some 60- to 70,000 people. Across Poland, there is a state of mourning, the state of mourning lasting for about one week. President Kwasniewski has also canceled his appointments.

Lech Walesa, the former leader of the Solidarity trade movement, the man who followed very closely the orders of the pope not to turn his revolt into a violent revolt, but a peaceful revolt that brought about this transition, he said that the pope had brought about a new era, an era in which there is globalization and a large European Union where the Poland is firmly anchored in the European Union in NATO, but he said that we must understand how to use this important achievement and not to waste it.

Chris Burns, CNN, Krakow, Poland.


BROWN: The story from Poland, we've given you a brief picture of how things look here in Rome. And Paula Zahn joins us from New York. Paula.

PaulA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks Aaron. Time to talk a little more process now. It is the moment of the pope's death that set off a time- honored and tradition-rich series of official church events, the beginning of which we are already seeing on this the first of nine days of mourning. Tomorrow, the doors to St. Peter's Cathedral will be open for the public to view John Paul II's body lying in state.

The pope's funeral, by Vatican law, must then take place between Wednesday and Friday. The exact date has not been determined yet, although we are told that the cardinals will meet tomorrow to establish just that and then the process to select his replacement. April 17 is the earliest the College of Cardinals could complete that historic process and announce the name of their next leader.

We're going to go back to Christiane Amanpour right now in Rome to get a better sense of the type of top dignitaries who are expected to attend the funeral or any other details that have seeped out of the Vatican. Christiane.

AMANPOUR: Well, right now seeping is at a minimum, I must say. Of course we are eager, eager, eager to know what is going to happen and who is going to come. All we have heard is the president of the United States is coming, but again that is not yet officially announced. But we do expect, because not just was the pope the head of the Catholic Church, but in a sense the head of the state, the Vatican state and not only was he that formerly, but he had spent his whole life interacting with world leaders, not just church leaders.

So we do expect a huge variety of dignitaries to come here, and certainly Italy and the authorities are on their highest alert and highest preparation as you can imagine and they have been, as you can imagine also, for a long time. It's been no secret that the pope has been ill. People have been preparing for this moment for months, if not years. And we also know that special stadiums have been set up for the millions of pilgrims who are expected to come here to allow them to sleep even in the open air.

But we do have with us, our CNN analyst Delia Gallagher and I am going to ask her some of the very important but slightly difficult ritual that's going to start kicking in, in fact already has. What are the actual, if you like tick tock of events from now on?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think as you say, they've already begun. We have seen some of the Masses that are happening basically every day, if not twice a day, Rosaries in St. Peter's Square. But the key events of course will be the pope's lying in state in the basilica. That's going to be a fundamental thing for all of the people to Rome because they'll be able to say their last goodbyes. Then the funeral, which perhaps on Thursday. At some stage, tomorrow perhaps, we'll have an idea of when exactly that will happen and then the continuation. This is the nine days of mourning. So it's basically a series of Masses in suffrage as they call it for the soul of the pope. The idea is you pray for the pope even after you have buried him.

AMANPOUR: And the formal lying in state, because what we've seen today is a private viewing.

GALLAGHER: Yes well and it's amazing actually, Christiane, because what we have seen today for the first time on television, televised, was the pope's body lying in state but in the Apostolic Palace. And that's never been done before. And the person that makes that decision and that allowed that to happen is the carmelengo, the man who's in charge right now, so we can already see very open to the media.

AMANPOUR: Presumably the pope having signed off on that.

GALLAGHER: I suppose it had been discussed, yes. I think that that would have been discussed with the pope and of course doesn't surprise us, does it, that he said yes.

AMANPOUR: The most media pope in history. You've talked about the funeral and all of the other rituals that are going to take place before that. But of course tomorrow, the Congregation of Cardinals formally meets at 9:00 a.m. to precisely lay out the schedule. Is that right?

GALLAGHER: That's right. That's one of their first duties. They have to start - they don't immediately start talking about who is the next pope. They have to deal with the funeral of this pope first and that is what they need to discuss tomorrow, what is going to be the schedule for that.

Now the general congregation includes all cardinals from all over the world but of course not all the cardinals are here yet. So many of those people that are deciding those issues tomorrow will be a portion of the cardinals, probably most of them who are based here at Vatican.

AMANPOUR: And actually it was interesting, because I just saw on television before coming here that the archbishop of Washington, D.C. was leaving the airport in Washington and saying that he was hoping to get here by 9:00 a.m. tomorrow to take off the formal clothes, to put on the cassock and coming to the congregation that would be meeting at 9:00 a.m.

GALLAGHER: Yes. I would say that they all want to get here as soon as possible because they know that now is the moment they all want to be involved.

AMANPOUR: And it is highly secretive, isn't it? Obviously tomorrow and the day after, we will know the formal lay out of events. But in terms of when they start and the conclave starts, that is something that is going to be very hard to penetrate.

GALLAGHER: Well, it will be hard to penetrate their thought process. And certainly we won't know what exactly goes on inside the conclave. In fact it's written down in the pope's declaration about the conclave that they're sworn to secrecy, either for events that happened before or during.

Now it is interesting that then with the passing of time, we get to have some of those indiscretions as it were and we have some books that have been written about the conclaves in pastimes that cardinals have come out and talked about.

AMANPOUR: And just to be clear in the past, the cardinals were essentially sequestered inside the Sistine Chapel, is that not right?

GALLAGHER: Yes. Of course that's the meaning of conclave -- it's "with a key locked."

AMANPOUR: Except this time, they're going to be going back and forth.

GALLAGHER: They're going back and forth from this new facility, which the pope had built for them. And they will be taken by a bus basically from around the back of the basilica to the Sistine Chapel, and even during that time, there's going to be high security to make sure that nobody tries to get close to the bus of the cardinals.

AMANPOUR: It's going to be interesting, of course for everybody, information is the key. And we really do want to know for instance when will be the funeral. They're saying that there will be a press conference after the Congregation of Cardinals meets tomorrow, but perhaps not until Tuesday. But the way journalism today, the way information is speedily broadcast around the world, perhaps we will know earlier than Tuesday, the actual date of the funeral. Paula?

ZAHN: I guess, Christiane, you made note of the fact that yesterday that even the Vatican, upon trying to communicate to us the pope's death announcement used e-mail for the very first time for a very important announcement. Thanks, Christiane.

And from senators to presidents, we're going to show you how Americans are honoring Pope John Paul II right after this short break. You're looking at a live picture from the Cathedral of the Holy Cross from Boston, where a Mass is going on in honor of the pope.


ZAHN: This pope's much heralded role of not just church leader, but international diplomat is reflected in the tone of tributes from all over the world from leaders. Cuban President Fidel Castro called John Paul II a personality with a world wide reach and a fighter for peace. He declared a three-day mourning period despite's Cuba's official atheist stance. And a deep rift between the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church prevented the pope from ever visiting Russia but former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev hailed the late pontiff as the world's number one humaniSt.


MIKHAIL GORBACHEV, FORMER SOVIET LEADER (through translator): We had a really interesting, albeit perhaps too emotional conversation. He told me he supported perestroika, but he was very, very critical of communism. Likewise, though, he was very critical of capitalism. He said I don't serve any political parties. I serve God.


ZAHN: President Bush joined worshipers at St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington today in honoring the life and death of the pope. In his official statement yesterday, the president called the pope one of the history's great moral leaders. American flags ordered at half- staff to honor the pope and President Bush is expected to attend the pontiff's funeral later this week. Let's check in with Dana Bash, our White House correspondent who joins us live from the White House. Hi, Dana.

DANA BASH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Paula. And as you said it is not official yet but senior officials here do say that Mr. Bush does plan to go to the Vatican. And we understand it would be the first time in history an American president would attend a papal funeral, perhaps fitting because the pope made some history here.


FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER: Welcome to our country, our new friend.

BASH (voice-over): 1979, John Paul II, the first pope ever at the White House.

POPE JOHN PAUL II: America, America, God shed his grace on thee.

BASH: Through the years, he bluntly told five U.S. presidents how they should and should not use their unique power.

POPE JOHN PAUL II: We are called to recognize the basic solidarity.

BASH: With Ronald Reagan a special bond born out of a powerful common purpose, bringing down the Iron Curtain, the pope once lived behind.

FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: Love for our fellow man is stronger than the evils that befall mankind.

BASH: When the first President Bush came calling, he was challenged to fight harder against society's corrosive ills.

POPE JOHN PAUL II: To liberate the youth of America from the destructive forces of drug abuse.

BASH: President Clinton heard public lectures about his support for abortion rights and at height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, some words apparently left open for interpretation.

POPE JOHN PAUL II: There are times of trial, tests of national character.

BASH: Relations warmed with the current president, in sync with the Vatican on abortion. Yet at their first public meeting, the pontiff warned Mr. Bush he had a moral duty to ban stem cell research, not just limit it.

POPE JOHN PAUL II: ... reject practices that devalue and violate human life.

BASH: Mr. Bush last saw the pope at the Vatican in June, the heat of the presidential campaign.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I would be honored if you would accept our Medal of Freedom.

BASH: Hoping to remind Catholic voters he was intensely courting, he was more in line with the pope than his Catholic opponent John Kerry. But the pope staunchly opposed the Iraq war. And in classic John Paul style, he used the visit to publicly complain about grave unrest in Iraq and privately admonish the president for Abu Ghraib prison abuses.


BASH: Now President Bush paid tribute to the pope here yesterday by calling him a hero for the ages. Jimmy Carter released a statement saying that he was a constant voice for justice. George H.W. Bush, the 41st president, said on a personal level, the pope enriched his life and Bill Clinton called him a beacon of life. So four out of the five presidents that met with Pope John Paul II, making clear that even for them, that experience was a humbling one. So think of it this way Paula: George W. Bush is the 43rd president. John Paul II was the 264th pope.

ZAHN: That puts it into perspective for all of us. Dana Bash, thank you and all those comments that is certainly a measure of the power of this man's reach.

With more than 64 million Catholics, the United States is home to the world's fourth biggest Catholic population. And all over the country today, Pope John Paul II is being remembered by Americans of all faiths. For some reaction now, we turn to Gary Tuchman at Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross and joining us from St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington, JJ Ramberg. Let's begin with JJ. Good evening.

JJ RAMBURG, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Paula. Good evening. Earlier today Cardinal McCarrick held a special Mass here at St. Matthew's Church. There were over 1,000 people here in attendance. He did it just as he was on his way to the airport to go to Rome. And Senator Kennedy and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice both stopped by to this Mass so they could pay their respects to the pope.


CONDOLEEZZA RICE, SECRETARY OF STATE: I came to pay my respects and condolences on behalf of all of us for the Holy Father who was a man of peace, a man of compassion, a man who has had an enormous impact on the world and also for people of faith, someone who showed how one can walk with the Lord in all phases of life.

SEN. EDWARD KENNEDY (D) Mass: He was a really a messenger of hope and a messenger of faith, which will long be remembered. And we'll have a permanent place in hearts and souls of the people whose lives he's touched.


RAMBURG: Now after the service, Paula, we got a chance to talk to the cardinal very briefly about his trip to Rome and the process of choosing a new pope. He said that he and the other cardinals go to Italy humbly and they are waiting to see what the Holy Spirit will tell them and they are opened to it. Paula.

ZAHN: That's a huge responsibility ahead for all the cardinals. JJ Ramberg, thank you so much. Let's go back to Gary Tuchman, who brings us up to date on what has happened in Boston today to honor the pope. Gary?

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, as we speak, the people of the Archdiocese of Boston are officially honoring Pope John Paul II. It's taking place in this grand neo-Gothic cathedral, the Holy Cross here in Boston, the largest church, Catholic Church in the Archdiocese of Boston. Right now, hundreds of people are inside this cathedral, Catholics and non-Catholics alike including the governor of the Massachusetts, Mitt Romney as they celebrate Mass to pay homage to the 264th pontiff. We can tell you that as we speak right now, the Mass is being presided over by Archbishop Sean O'Malley. He is the leader of the church who took over from Cardinal Bernard Law.

One of the things about this particular church is this is where the pope came on his first visit to America, to this cathedral. It was actually on October 1, 1979. It was his first visit as the pontiff and it was the first American church he ever came to when he was pope. We can tell you because of that Bostonians believe they have a special relationship with the pope.

There also a very complicated relationship, though, with the church and that's because this is the epicenter of the priest sexual abuse scandal. Because of that, there are many Catholics very angry here in Boston, who haven't gone back to church but many of them have gone back to church, want to work within the system and are inside here right now participating in this Mass. Last night, we had a very interesting conversation with the archbishop. The archbishop was telling us that he learned about the death of the pope just before he had a scheduled Mass.


ARCHBISHOP SEAN O'MALLEY, BOSTON ARCHDIOCESE: Well, this afternoon, I was celebrating Mass in Spanish for a group of young people at our Lady of Lourdes. And when I got to the part of the canon where we pray for the pope and there's no pope, I kind of stopped, you know? And it was a feeling of being an orphan for a moment.


TUCHMAN: Now, Cardinal Bernard Law, who we told you was the leader of this church before the archbishop, he was sent to Rome after he was forced to resign amidst the scandal. He was made the archpriest of a basilica in Rome by Pope John Paul II. We can tell you this is quite interesting to a lot of people, that Cardinal Bernard Law will be participating in the conclave to elect a new pope. Paula back to you.

ZAHN: It will be interesting to people and controversial as you said among many circles. Gary Tuchman, see you a little bit later on tonight.

Of course, the pope's legacy will be very difficult to live up to, but someone will have to do it. And the question is, who? Coming up next, we'll talk with Vatican analyst John Allen about possible successors.


CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR, CNN SUNDAY: Good afternoon. I'm Carol Lin at CNN's World Headquarters. Our coverage of Pope John Paul II's death continues in just a few moments but I've got some headlines right now in the news.

An Amtrak train has derailed in Washington State. It happened during a leg between Spokane and Portland, Oregon. And officials are calling it a minor accident. Several passengers were injured but none seriously. One-hundred-fifteen people were on board that train.

And the political deadlock in Iraq is over. The Transitional National Assembly meeting in Baghdad finally elected a speaker and two deputies earlier today. The news speaker is a Sunni Muslim who is the current minister of industry. The decision clears the way for the election of a president and a prime minister.

And Syria plans to pull all of its troops and intelligence agents out of Lebanon by the end of this month. A United Nation's envoy made the announcement meeting with Syria's president in Damascus. The plan calls for a U.N. team to verify that withdrawal.

Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles will be married as planned on Friday even if the wedding clashes with Pope John Paul II's funeral. A spokesman for the Prince of Wales says the date has been set and there are no plans to postpone the ceremony.

Now back to our continuing coverage of the death of Pope John Paul II.

AARON BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Welcome back to Rome. It's 10:30 on a Sunday evening here, 20 almost 25 hours now since Pope John Paul II passed away here in the Vatican. Jeff Israely covers the region and covering the region has meant covering this story for "Time" magazine, and he joins us. Talk a little bit about the succession process, and people. Before we do that, obviously this is the magazine's cover story that will hit the street I guess on Monday. Do you know what picture it is? I am always fascinated by the pictures that you guys choose.

JEFF ISRAELY, "TIME" MAGAZINE: It's actually a picture from a veteran Vatican photographer who is named Johnny who -- he was a 20- year-old photographer when Pope John Paul II was elected pope and he was there for that and that began a long career following the pope wherever he went. And the photo that they chose was a photo that John explained to me, it was a sort of typical -- typical service here in Rome at a church in Rome. But the light, it was up close, and the light was hitting just right.

BROWN: Recent or older?

ISRAELY: It's about from 10 or 12 years ago. Yes. A real nice shot.

BROWN: We know that this sort of broad ritualistic outline of what will happen in about two weeks, when they begin the process of selecting the next pope. What we don't know or I don't know is sort of the inside of that. Are there people who veteran Vatican watchers clearly believe, for example, are favorites, not to turn this into a horse race, per se?

ISRAELY: Well, one candidate that has been mentioned for the past almost three years is the archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Tettamanzi. When he was named archbishop of Milan, it sort of automatically made him a front-runner. It's a diocese that has produced many popes in the past. He's been quite visible. He's seen as someone as perhaps who can unify different sentiments within the church. And he's definitely one name that gets mentioned often.

There are others. And sources have told me that the name of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a German cardinal based here in Rome for almost the entirety of this pontificate, and as the architect of John Paul's doctorial policy, that he's again being consider as a possible transition candidate, a pope who -- he's coming up on 78 years old., and he might have the right curriculum for a pope to bring the church out of this papacy and into the future.

BROWN: After a long reign of a pope, is there a tendency then to seek an older man who would then have a shorter reign?

ISRAELY: Sure, sure. Historically that is the case. Pope John Paul led the church for 26 years. And it's a long time to be under one man's reign. And the cardinals may very well be thinking that the next papacy shouldn't be quite as long, that the church should be able to breathe new air and to be renewed more quickly the next time. So they have -- after Pope Pius XII who reigned for 15, 17 years came Pope John XXIII, who was 78 at time of his election.

BROWN: Let me just, from a slightly different way, rather than putting names on it, the conflicting forces, if you will, that will face the cardinals when they meet, those 117 men. Almost all of them, all but three depicted by Pope John Paul himself. They will be trying to decide between in a sense, what and what?

ISRAELY: Well, it's tough to break it down in such clear distinctions, but there are -- there are those who will want to forge ahead with -- with the ideas in the doctrine of this past Pope and to keep insisting and hammering away on the church's tradition and reinforcing that tradition in the face of a modern world in the face of a growing secularism. There may be others who think that the church needs to step back and perhaps needs to sort of heal some of the divisions that came about by this very strict doctorial approach by Pope John Paul.

BROWN: So there is a certain sense that the church needs to -- working outside, doing the outside work, the evangelical work that John Paul did, perhaps at the expense some would say of keeping the house in order.

ISRAELY: Sure, sure. The other question, critics of this pope and even supporters of this pope concede that one thing that John Paul lacked was a real sort of managerial hand here in Rome. You have an enormous bureaucracy here. And John Paul was out -- was out hitting the street and traveling the world. And let the bureaucracy, the management, the running of the church spin a bit out of control as people here, the leaders of the congregations, of the offices, all digging in and finding their own patch of power. And there wasn't -- it's CEO to sort of rein it all in.

BROWN: It is -- things have been written, it is one of the great mysteries still, exactly what goes on and how it goes on. Jeff, I think we can show our viewers now what we talked about at the very beginning of our conversation -- the picture that will grace the cover of "Time" magazine. And while I didn't select it, I certainly would have. It is that sort of half smile that gentle face, and it is, as you said, the lighting is extraordinary in the picture. And that will be the cover of "Time" magazine. And the magazine normally closes as they say on Saturday night. So they were working pretty hard last night to get that ready. Good see you.

ISRAELY: Thanks for having me.

BROWN: Thank you. Paula.

ZAHN: Thanks so much, Aaron. Interesting conversation. Some critics of the pope's policy say he didn't do enough, though, to advance the position of women in the Catholic Church. But others certainly disagree with that viewpoint.

Coming up next, we're going to hear from a woman whose Catholic organization worked closely with the pope. Find out how she thinks the pontiff helped women around the world. We will be right back.

And then coming up at the top of the hour, Reverend Billy Graham talks with Larry King about the pope's legacy for non-Catholics around the world. It's an encore presentation of "Larry King Live."


AMANPOUR: Welcome back here to Vatican City, where we have seen people thronging to again pay respects even after the pope has died. And we have heard not just from world leaders, the president of the United States, former president and leaders in the U.S., but all over the world from Mikhail Gorbachev to the president of Pakistan, from Cuba, China, Asia, and Australia, all over Europe.

But also we're talking to people who knew the pope personally, and joining us now is Sister Mary Debacco of the Religious Teachers of St. Lucie Filippini. I got that out, it is a difficult one. Thank you for joining us, Sister Mary.


AMANPOUR: Your order of nuns took care in a way of some of the pope's let's say household affairs.

DEBACCO: Yes, we did. Our sisters work in Castel Gandolfo --

AMANPOUR: The summer residence.

DEBACCO: The summer residence of the Holy Father. And we're there year-round so when the Holy Father comes up after Christmas and Easter, we are there. He has his own personal staff but we do a lot of the other work for him. We take care of the gendarmes. We feed them --

AMANPOUR: The police, the guards?

DEBACCO: Yes. And they come to our house for breakfast, lunch, and supper. And we have some interesting antidotes connected with the Holy Father from there. AMANPOUR: Tell me.

DEBACCO: And one of them, this was before the attempt on his life. He would take his walk and go down with the kindergartner children we have, and he would sit with them, and just really enjoy them and laugh. And one day, they sort of were looking for him. They didn't know where he was. We said we know where he is. He's with the children. He would come down and just enjoy himself. And one day he actually, on his walk, came in. And a sister was getting dinner ready. And he said, I'll stay for dinner. And he did and a couple of others joined him and he stayed. The sisters had a great time.

AMANPOUR: What did you talk to him about? What kind of a man was he? Approachable?

DEBACCO: Very approachable. He was very sweet and he tried to put people at ease. And he succeeded in doing that, because after a few minutes you just warmed up to him. He was so lovely, really.

AMANPOUR: Did you talk to him?

DEBACCO: Myself, I did. A few times I had an experience of talking to him. And one time, we had a silent communication, which spoke volumes to me anyway. I had just recently been elected as a superior general of the order. And Monsignor Stanislaw was introducing me to him and he just kept looking at me, you know? And then he put his hand on my shoulder, like this. Like this. And we just looked at each other and I knew I felt the electricity from him.

It was very, very lovely that day. And we had a number of occasions to go to the Vatican with our chapter meetings. We would always have a session with him. And he would always come out and speak to every single sister. So he wanted me to be with him as he went by because he didn't know them. And I would say well, sister is from Africa. Sister is from wherever, Brazil. And he would say something, like a sentence or something. And they were just -- they were so thrilled about that -- that he was so nice and warm and friendly.

AMANPOUR: He was very -- he was known, wasn't he, for his embracing peoples from all over the world.

DEBACCO: Yes, yes.

AMANPOUR: He spoke so many languages himself that often he could communicate in anybody's language.

DEBACCO: He could and he did it so readily. It wasn't that he had to stop and think about it. Just come right out of him.

AMANPOUR: When you met him, you said you had several moments with him. Did you have a private petition? Did you have anything special that you wanted to ask him that you were able to ask him?

DEBACCO: No, I really didn't but I just was so thrilled to be near him and to just sort be helping him in some of these situations where he was trying to meet people and all. I was very excited about that.

AMANPOUR: And this summer, Castel Gandolfo will have a new pope.

DEBACCO: Yes indeed.

AMANPOUR: Can you imagine after 26 years of now attending to someone new?

DEBACCO: Yes. And knowing all of his ways and the things he needed and so on, just adjusting to that. But see, we've been there over 100 years already, so we have gone there a few popes.

AMANPOUR: And you yourself are from New Jersey?

DEBACCO: New Jersey right.

AMANPOUR: All of your sisters are American?

DEBACCO: No, we're in 10 different countries. We are American, Italian, Irish, English, and then we have the native sisters in India, in Africa, Eritrea and Ethiopia.

AMANPOUR: So it's a true global mission.

DEBACCO: Yes, a global mission, right.

AMANPOUR: Sister Mary, thank you very much, indeed. Where will you be the day of the funeral?

DEBACCO: I will be right here at the funeral.

AMANPOUR: And have you been able to pay respects at the laying in state right now, the private viewing?

DEBACCO: No, I couldn't today. I couldn't leave at that time when it would have been the right time to come down. But we'll be there tomorrow.

AMANPOUR: All right, thank you very much for joining us.

DEBACCO: Thank you.

AMANPUR: Paula back to you.

ZAHN: Christiane, the sister reminding us all of this incredible gift this pope had to be able to reach out to someone in the room, make them feel like they are the only one in the room and feel quite embraced.

Our special coverage will continue right after this short break.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nice to see you again.

ZAHN: Picture of the pope's trip in the year 2000 to the Holy Lands. Because of what we have all witnessed here together, I am sure over the last couple of days, there was no doubt in any of our minds that this is a much beloved pope. Aaron joins me now from Rome. It's interesting, because pollings already have been done on all of this here. And the poll from "CNN/USA Today" suggest that 67 percent of all American Catholics interviewed in this poll believe this pope will go down as the greatest pope ever.

BROWN: Well, probably somewhere close to 67 percent of all Catholics polled in the United States -- literally; I don't mean this kiddingly -- have only lived with this pope. They have not known another pope, so long was his reign. If I can tell a quick story, I was talking to a young priest -- you'll be amazed how many people are younger than I -- and he was telling me the range of his emotions. He felt great sorrow. He had lost his dad, his father in the way that he saw the pope. He felt this great joy also because he knew that the pope was going to heaven. And there was great joy in that. He felt this sense of loss. And he said, you know in a strange way, I don't want another pope. This was my pope. This is the pope, which speaks to the difficulties that lies ahead for the next man who will become Pope.

To put it in about as lay a term as you can. It's a tough act to follow, this pope's reign of a quarter of a century. And that, too, will confront the man who was selected a couple of weeks from now to lead the church, Paula.

ZAHN: Which is why it should come to no surprise to us in the past that when some of these Popes have accepted the this very well laid out tallying process that they feel the enormous burden, once it becomes official, they became Pope. You know I have been struck by so many things that we've witnessed through your camera lenses from over there. I guess the one thing that has stayed with me is the fact that this is a pope that has bridged so many gaps between Catholics and non-Catholics and Jews. And I guess that is the one thing that I have continued to see play out in the faces and the comments from folks we've seen interviewed from all over the world.

BROWN: Well, Popes are in the universe of religious people unique. No other religion has this sort of central leader in exactly the same way. He does provide a kind of moral and human balance to all of the other pressures that culture presents and Pope John Paul did that aggressively. He did it eloquently at times. And he did it often. And he touched Catholics, or non-Catholics who didn't seem to matter alike in that way. Paula from Rome at least, this hour as it approaches 11:00 on a Sunday night.

ZAHN: Thanks so much, Aaron Brown. And I am Paula Zahn in New York. Coming up next, an encore presentation of a special "Larry King Live." He takes a look at the life and legacy of Pope John Paul II among his guests the Rev. Billy Graham. And then I will be back at 6:00 Eastern with another hour of CNN LIVE SUNDAY, we'll give you a rarely seen look at the inner workings of the Vatican. Thank you for joining us.



International Edition
CNN TV CNN International Headline News Transcripts Advertise With Us About Us
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.
Add RSS headlines.