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Vatican Releases Pope's Final Wishes

Aired April 5, 2005 - 19:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, HOST: Good evening. Live from Rome, I'm Anderson Cooper.
The pope's final wishes revealed.

A special edition of 360 starts now.

ANNOUNCER: The Vatican releases two books penned by Pope John Paul II, his final request for prayers and songs for his funeral.

Also, new procedures for cardinals to follow in choosing a new pope. Tonight, the secret plans of the late pope revealed.

An unprecedented rush of pilgrims pouring in to say their final good-byes to their Holy Father. The daunting task of keeping the faithful safe, and a look at the extraordinary security effort for dignitaries and world leaders arriving to pay their last respects.

And from Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel to ancient riches and jewels amassed throughout history, tonight, the wealth of the Vatican, an in-depth look at the priceless treasures inside the Vatican walls.

Live from Rome, this is a special edition of ANDERSON COOPER 360.

COOPER: Good evening. Welcome. We are live in Rome in the shadow of St. Peter's Basilica.

It is an extraordinary moment here in Rome right now. There are literally hundreds of thousands of people lined up still at this late hour waiting to see Pope John Paul II.

I want to show you a high shot right now of St. Peter's Basilica and St. Peter's Square. You can see the line snaking into the basilica. If we come back to this camera now, this (audio interrupt) here in this spot have been waiting for 12 hours. They have been waiting for 12 hours just to get in to see Pope John Paul II.

The basilica is only open for one more hour. That means these people, who probably have two or three hours left to go, they will not even make it into the basilica by the time it closes. They will most likely, if they choose to stay, have to wait an additional three hours until dawn, and the basilica reopens.

But no one here is leaving unless they are fainting. And we have seen a number of people fainting over the last several hours. It happens all the time, the crush of the crowds. I want to show you someone who fainted right by our position just a few moments ago, probably three moments or three minutes ago, before we went on air. We rolled some of the video on it.

The crush of the crowd, the lack of water, some people get hungry, they, you know, standing on line. Earlier in the day, the line was about four hours long. So a lot of people were not prepared for these long, long hours.

It is an extraordinary event. You can hear music playing, as it has been all day long. I see them bringing another stretcher now down on somewhere else, farther down on the line, about 100 yards from where I'm standing.

It is a remarkable sea of humanity. And it stretches as far as the eye can see.


COOPER (voice-over): It's a seemingly endless stream of people as the faithful file past the body of Pope John Paul II. Outside, a sea of humanity, stretching more than a mile down the road that leads to the Vatican.

They wait, sometimes for more than eight hours, often breaking into song or shouting the pope's name and applauding. According to the Vatican, 18,000 people pass through the doors of St. Peter's every hour. More than a million will have seen the pope lying in state by the end of viewing tonight.

The crowds have been calm, but they keep coming. And their sheer numbers have already presented logistical problems for the city of Rome.

LUCA ODEVAINE, DEPUTY MAYOR OF ROME: Biggest problem we have is transports, because people are coming in Rome, and we have to get them to the Vatican. So probably transport is absolutely (UNINTELLIGIBLE) now, because people -- 500,000 people came in the morning. And the underground and buses are full of people coming.

COOPER: But Friday's funeral will present an even bigger challenge, how to protect the more than 2 million mourners and 200 dignitaries. President Bush will attend. So will former president Clinton and Prince Charles.

GEORGE BAURIES, CRITERION STRATEGIES: The problem is that there are so many people in such a small area that basically time and distance are your best friends in these kinds of events.

COOPER: Not surprisingly, the Vatican, a sovereign nation, has its own security force, starting with the Swiss Guard. They may look like they're in place just for show, but the 100-strong military force is sworn to defend the pope to the death, and in the past, they have.

There's another 200-person security detail comprised of bodyguards and a special corps from the Italian police. Vatican security, however, doesn't stop there.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The dignitaries will not be exposed to any potential person coming in from the crowd. There's going to be a buffer zone or a protective area. But you need to allow planes or, you know, rockets or anything like that from coming into the area. And that's where there'll be coordination with security services, as well as military components.

COOPER: Metal detectors surround St. Peter's Square, and the carabinieri, paramilitary police, patrol the streets outside the Vatican.

By Friday, a more obvious security presence will also be in place. More than 6,000 extra Italian police, including snipers, bomb disposal experts, and motorcycle escorts will be put on patrol. Fifteen hundred officers will watch over the dignitaries, and the Italian interior ministry says it will provide armored cars for all of them.

Then there's the security we don't see.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vatican has its own intelligence capability. It's a small service, not well known, but they have the internal capability to monitor intelligence issues, which, to their benefit, allows them to basically function the same way the Secret Service is the lead agency when the president comes.

COOPER: For now, the crowds keep coming, filled not with fear but with grief, less concerned with security than with saying good-bye to the much-loved church leader.


COOPER: And I'm joined by CNN's chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour.

Have you ever seen a crowd like this?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: No, I haven't. And I was always reluctant to put, you know, superlatives on it. But I honestly think this is probably the biggest crowd in the history of humanity, in terms of the line, the constant line, the numbers they expect here in one huge stream of people. And it's just never-ending, as you said.

COOPER: A million people by the end of this evening, which is...

AMANPOUR: Yes, maybe 600,000 by tomorrow. It's really incredible, extra trains being put on, people hitchhiking, people living in tent cities around this city that have been erected free of charge by the city.

COOPER: And yet, though, I mean, it's so, it's a friendly line. I mean, I've been in lines which are just, you know, nightmares. Standing on line for a movie in New York is bad enough. You know, this is 12 hours, and people are OK with it.

AMANPOUR: That's true. It is true, that, because it's an occasion to come out for a man of prayer and peace, and I think people realize it, that this is not a smash-and-grab kind of line. People are not trying to push in.

But I think a lot of, perhaps, what we haven't talked about is some of the Catholic doctrine, what this means. Obviously, there are so many people here who've come because his teachings meant something. Around the world, some of the very conservative teachings meant something to so many people in Latin America, Africa, Europe. However, in Europe, there are still people who have been disaffected, as you know.

And I've been talking today to people who haven't come here -- yes, they respect the pope, but, no, they couldn't belong to his particularly theologically orthodox teachings and preachings, and they've turned away from the church. And that's a tragedy, because that's going to be the big challenge for the next pope.

COOPER: I was talking to a priest on line earlier tonight who said, you know, Yes, you see that in Europe, you see that in the United States, you see criticism of, perhaps, of this pope, some of his teachings. But you don't see that in Africa, in Latin America, where there really is, there's growth for the Catholic Church.

AMANPOUR: That's right. But on the other hand, in Latin America, lot of Pentecostalists, a lot of evangelicals, a lot of...


AMANPOUR: ... Protestants are taking over from a lot of the traditional Catholic churches. So there's a 1.1 billion Catholics in the world. That number hasn't, in fact, changed much in the last 10 to 20 years. That means the growth is static.

COOPER: And that's certainly one of the considerations in terms of who they're going to be picking for the next pope, where that pope may come from.

Christiane Amanpour, thanks very much.

We continue our coverage here live in Rome. We're actually on the cusp of Vatican City. If you walk just a hundred yards or so in that direction, you would actually be in Vatican City. Technically, we are still in Rome, even though we are almost in St. Peter's Square.

And this line snakes as far as the eye can see. It is going to be a long night. We are going to continue here throughout the hour.

We'll be right back. Our special coverage continues.


COOPER: You are looking at a live picture inside St. Peter's Basilica, where Pope John Paul II continues to lie in state. Hundreds of thousands of people moving through. The Vatican tells us 18,000 people per hour walking through the doors of St. Peter's. And as you can tell from that picture, they are moving very quickly, they are moved along, not allowed to stay for long periods of time in front of the pope's body. There are simply too many people standing on line outside here.

And they are going to be here all night, many through until tomorrow morning. The basilica closes in one hour. These people have been waiting here for 12 hours. And the line snakes for at least another three hours. I mean, they are, they can see the basilica now, and they're very close, but this line goes on and on, and it just snakes around. It's not a straight line. They will be here for at least three more hours before they can get inside. They will be here until dawn, at least, before they can actually see Pope John Paul II.

Here in the Vatican, you really get a sense of the history of the place. And it's really, it's a history that is especially alive now. You know, all of this is happening as it has happened for hundreds and hundreds of years for other popes who have passed before.

CNN's Jeff Greenfield now takes a look at some of the rich papal history that the world has witnessed.


JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST (voice-over): Even in the sunset of his reign, bent and frail, John Paul II carried with him the power of an office unlike any other, an office that stretches back from 264 men and 2,000 years of history, back to an apostle to whom Jesus said, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church."

For Peter, and for two dozen more that followed, the price of the papacy was violent death at the hands of their persecutors. But that history changed forever on October 28, 312 A.D., when the Emperor Constantine saw a sign of the cross in the sky and words that promised him conquest under that sign.

After a great military victory, Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire.

(on camera): From that day to this, popes have grappled with the competing pulls of the spiritual and temporal worlds. And while the church proclaims the pope the Vicar of Christ, History demonstrates that their reigns have encompassed the best and the worst of the human condition.

(voice-over): Through most of the papacy, the pontiff held enormous political and military power. Leo III crowned Charlemagne on Christmas Day, 800 A.D., with the golden diadem of the emperor of Rome. It marked the beginning of the thousand-year reign of the Holy Roman Empire.

Popes Innocent III and John XXII launched crusades in Spain and France, as well as in the Arab lands. But other popes have had only their spiritual power to confront temporal rulers. In 452, as Atilla the Hun was sweeping through Italy, Pope Leo I met him face to face, alone and unarmed. Whatever words he spoke, Atilla turned back.

In the 16th century, Henry VIII, outraged over the pope's refusal to let him marry, established the Church of England.

And the papacy has hardly been free of human imperfection. For every Gregory I, who championed the poor and shunned all trappings of wealth, there were centuries of popes who accumulated money, selling official posts and even indulgences, assuring swift passage out of Purgatory for a price.

And the sexual abuse scandals at the turn of this century are mere echoes of papal reigns so libertine that some popes placed their illegitimate sons into high church positions.

(on camera): In modern times, popes have displayed neither great personal immorality nor great temporal power. Instead, their power and their reputations have derived from their words, and from their ability and their willingness to persuade.

(voice-over): For example, Leo XIII was the first pope to explicitly champion conciliation between the church and the idea of freedom. And his 1891 encyclical, "Rerum Novarum," put the church for the first time squarely on the side of social and economic justice.

Historians still debate whether Pius XII helped save many Jews from the Nazi terror, or muted his voice to preserve the Vatican's position. John XXIII, who reigned only five years until his death in 1963, is honored by many non-Catholics as the pope who reached out beyond the church to those of other faiths.

And what of John Paul II's legacy? It is yet to be written in history. Is he another pope who brought the church into the modern world, or a pope who committed himself to defending its traditions on women in the priesthood, on celibacy, on contraception and abortion?

As the College of Cardinals gathers to choose the next pope, much will be written and said about the crisis he will face.

(on camera): Will the laity follow the church on controversial matters of faith and morals? Will the church recover from the scars of recent scandals?

What history demonstrates is that however grave these crises may be, the church and the papacy have faced far worse.

Jeff Greenfield, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Well, in a few minutes, we're going to talk to CNN's Jim Bittermann about what we learned today about the pope's final wishes. The -- some secrets were revealed on that. We'll talk to him shortly on 360.

There are a number of other headlines, though, we're covering. Let's get a quick update now from Headline News and Erica Hill. Hey, Erica.


You're going to need to pack your passport the next time you head to Canada, Mexico, Panama, or Bermuda. A State Department official says by 2008, Americans will need passports to reenter the U.S. Now, until now, all you've needed was your driver's license or a government-issued ID. This move, all part of the intelligence reform bill that was passed by Congress last year.

Terri Schiavo's parents are holding a funeral mass for her tonight in Florida. Schiavo died last week, nearly two weeks after her feeding tube was removed. Her body was cremated on Saturday at her husband's request. A court order requires that Michael Schiavo tell her parents about his plans for burying the ashes.

A tip from "America's Most Wanted" has helped reunite a woman with her family 10 years after she was kidnapped, Bobbie Parker, the wife of an Oklahoma prison warden. Escaped killer Randolph Dial allegedly kidnapped the woman. He was tracked down yesterday in Texas. Parker was then found working at a nearby chicken farm. She says she was forced to stay with Dial out of fear for her family. Amazing, a decade later.

Well, that's the latest from Headline News, Anderson, back to you.

COOPER: All right, Erica, (UNINTELLIGIBLE). We'll check in with you again in about 30 minutes.

There are thousands of journalists here in St. Peter's Square and all throughout Rome covering the story. One journalist, who is not here, but I'm sure wishes he would, is ABC's Peter Jennings. He announced today in an e-mail to his employees that he has been diagnosed with lung cancer. For the latest on his condition, we go to CNN's Brian Todd.


BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): His boss says he's been given a tough assignment, and Peter Jennings himself is showing a brave face. In an e-mail to ABC News staffers, Jennings wrote, "I have been diagnosed with lung cancer. Yes, it was quite a surprise." He added, quote, "I begin chemotherapy next week. I will continue to do the broadcast. There will be good days and bad, which means that some days I may be cranky, and some days, really cranky!"

ABC's president says Charlie Gibson, Elizabeth Vargas, and others will fill in on "World News Tonight" when Jennings isn't up to it. Media watchers say ABC News has to be reeling from this diagnosis.

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST, CNN "RELIABLE SOURCES": Jennings, you know, is their friend, but he has been the face of ABC News for two decades now. It's almost impossible to imagine that network news division or "World News Tonight" without him.

TODD: Jennings has been virtually everywhere since taking the anchor desk of "World News Tonight" in 1983. But he's been a star at the network since the 1960s, breaking out with his report from the hostage crisis at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

If he steps down, it would continue a seismic shakeup at the top of the network news stratum, with Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, and Jennings's ABC colleague Ted Koppel, leaving their posts.

The 66-year-old Jennings was a smoker who reportedly quit some years ago. ABC News would not give details on how advanced his cancer is. Oncologists say that will be critical to Jennings' prognosis.

DR. SHAKUN MALIK, ONCOLOGIST, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL: Various stages of cancer of lung that the outcome is different, and the treatment modality is also different, depending on from stage one to stage four.

TODD: Stage four is the most advanced, indicating the cancer has spread to another lung or beyond the chest. Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the world, aggressive, difficult to treat, and only 15 percent of patients survive beyond five years. But oncologists tell us there are hopeful signs with new drugs and therapies that have shown promising results.


COOPER: Peter Jennings is a former colleague and a friend, and I learned an awful lot from him when I worked under him at ABC, and all of us here at 360 wish him the best.

When we come back we're going to talk to an American who we just found in the crowd here, who has been waiting more than 11 hours to see Pope John Paul II. We'll talk to her in a moment.


COOPER: You are looking at a live picture inside St. Peter's Basilica where Pope John Paul II has been lying in rest. As we have been talking about for much of the last hour, hundreds of people, some one million people by the end of this evening, will have gone to see Pope John Paul II. I'm with one of them right now, Michelle Scilla from New York, from Staten Island.

Why did you want to be on this line?

MICHELLE SCILLA, WAITING TO SEE POPE JOHN PAUL II: I really would like to be part of the history of it, and I just feel like I should see him because I'm Catholic, and it's a spiritual kind of place.

COOPER: What's it been like on the line? I mean, you have been waiting for six and a half hours, there are people who have been waiting 11 hours...

SCILLA: People have been really, really nice. It's been kind of pushy. But people have been taking it really good, even when the announcement came when it was closing at 2:00, people are really good about it.

COOPER: You think you are going to get in tonight? Because, I mean, this line goes on for another two or three hours it looks like.

SCILLA: I have a six am flight, so I really hope so.

COOPER: Oh, you are flying out at 6:00 a.m.? I'm not sure you're going to make that flight.

SCILLA: Yeah, I really hope I can get in, but we'll see.

Reporter: What do you think you will think about when you actually see him?

SCILLA: I really don't know. I am hoping something just comes to me. I just hope that I'll get a feeling sort of thing.

Reporter: All right. Well, Michelle, I'll let you get back in line. I don't want you to lose your place. Thanks very much for talking with us. Appreciate it, nice to meet you.

That's Michelle Scilla from New York.

There are so many people from all around the world standing on this line. Many Italians, some Americans. It's really -- it's an extraordinary experience just to be here and talk with the people who are on line.

What a lot of people know about is the Vatican as the seat of the Catholic Church. It's also got some extraordinary treasures, some of which you see in the Vatican Museum, some of which are not shown on display. CNN's Rudi Bakhtiar has been looking into the wealth of the Vatican and has this story.


RUDI BAKHTIAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's less than half a square mile and yet it's a nation unto itself. The Vatican, rich in centuries of priceless art and architecture. The Sistine Chapel, it's domed ceiling painted by Michelangelo. St. Peter's Basilica with a tomb of Christ's apostle Peter below the papal altar. The Pieta, the Vatican library, one of the world's richest repositories of ancient manuscripts. Put your arms around these priceless treasures and guess, what's the Vatican really worth?

JOHN ALLEN, CNN VATICAN ANALYST: People have these notions that there are vast islands of wealth here. I mean, the truth is, the Vatican's a pretty lean and mean operation.

BAKHTIAR: Let's take a look at some of the numbers. The annual operating budget for the Vatican, $260 million. Property holdings of the Holy See, about $770 million. Add to that 18,000 pieces of art by the likes of Michelangelo, Raphael, Dante, Homer -- so what's the grand total? A whole lot less than you would expect. Yes, say the experts, the Vatican does have tremendous artistic wealth, but the Vatican insists the precious artwork and real estate it possesses are held in trust for humanity. What does that mean? St. Peter's Basilica is valued at slightly more than $1.

ALLEN: Interestingly, the Vatican lists all of that stuff on its book at one euro, in terms of value. And that's because, from their point of view, it can never be sold. It can never be borrowed against. Therefore, it produces no revenue for them.

BAKHTIAR: We tried contacting Christie's and Sotheby's to inquire, hypothetically, about the fair market value of some of the Vatican's treasures, but we didn't have much luck. Nor did CNN's Vatican analyst John Allen when he tried to attach a price tag to some of these assets.

ALLEN: I once interviewed an Italian contractor to ask him, if you were to build St. Peter's Basilica today, how much would it cost you to put together? And he started trying to do the research to answer my question and called me back and said, can't be done. Nobody would build this building. By today's standards the cost would be so astronomic that it is simply impossible to calculate.

BAKHTIAR: At various times the Vatican has reportedly faced calls that it sell off its treasures to finance its operations or help the poor. According to Allen, it's the Vatican's fundamental law these precious assets can never be sold.

Rudi Bakhtiar, CNN, New York.


COOPER: When we return our special edition of 360 continues with look at John Paul II's final wishes. We learned them today.


COOPER: The doors of St. Peter's Basilica still open. Tens of thousands of people streaming through; 18,000 people every hour, according to Vatican officials. A remarkable turn-out that shows no sign of letting up even at this late hour.

It is a hub of activity out here. There's a street sweeper going by. They are cleaning up some of the water bottles they have been handing out. It is truly a remarkable scene.

Today we learned some of the pope's last wishes, wishes that had not been revealed until a few hours ago when the Vatican made their announcement. CNN's Jim Bittermann takes a look at the pope's dying wishes.


JIM BITTERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Reporters were sometimes surprised at the procession and process after the pope died, that it was televised and it happened so quickly.

But all of it, the liturgy and chants of the cardinals, the litany of the saints, the prayers said at John Paul's bedside when he died, all was spelled out in two books kept secret since 1998.

The red and green volumes were outlined by the pope and printed in advance but kept under wraps, ready for delivery to bookstores immediately after the pope's death. They revealed his minute attention to the prayers and songs that will go along with him to the grave and with his cardinals to the selection of a successor.

The pope's detailed wishes that carry beyond his death.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN ANALYST: For example, when the coffin will be closed, they have to place a white silk veil over the face of the pope. That will be placed by the master of ceremonies and the pope's private secretary.

BITTERMANN: The books, along with a set of rules made public in 1996, spell out everything from how the College of Cardinals should dress to where they should sleep during the papal transition.

The existence of the two new books only came to light at a news conference when a Vatican spokesman made it clear the pope's body will be buried in the Vatican and not be sent to Poland, as some had suggested.

JOAQUIN NAVARRO-VALLS, PAPAL SPOKESMAN (through translator): Regarding the burial, I can confirm it will be in the same crypt as the one that John XXIII was buried in. John Paul II will be buried under the ground, and that's the end of that.

BITTERMANN: Nonetheless, according to the papal spokesman, three days after the pope's death, the cardinals who now run the church still have not been read his will.

Back in his homeland there's the hope that the will will dictate that even if his body remains at the Vatican, his heart will be sent back to Poland.


COOPER: And I'm joined by Jim Bittermann. The Vatican knows how to keep secrets.

BITTERMANN: They do, indeed. I mean, they've kept those two books secret for the last seven years. They had them all printed up. They were ready to be distributed. They were actually the master plan for all that's going to be taking place over the next few weeks here, all the way up until the conclave.

All the things that are going to be happening, it's all planned out ahead of time. One of the reasons why, by the way, things went so smoothly the last couple of days. All these ceremonies went, you know, just like clockwork. In fact it's all been planned out for a long time now. COOPER: You have been covering the pope for so long. Thanks very much for being with us. Appreciate it.

I'm also joined by CNN's Vatican analyst, Delia Gallagher. Have you ever seen anything like it? I mean, this crowd, it's (AUDIO GAP).

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN ANALYST: Well, I have never seen anything like it, but I have -- I have only been here for about seven years.

I was talking to some Italians today who live in Rome and have lived here all their life. They have never seen anything like it. They say they really feel like their city is sort of the center of the world right now with all eyes on -- on the Vatican and on Rome. And they're quite happy to have it that way.

You know, I was noticing around the streets they put up soft of posters for the pope. I don't know if you've seen those. And they say, you know, "Thank you" (AUDIO GAP), posters sponsored by different political parties. (AUDIO GAP) outpouring of affection for the pope. So it's just been amazing all around the city.

COOPER: And I mean, all popes of recent history have laid in state. But I mean, the television coverage of this pope is really unique.

GALLAGHER: Well, the television (AUDIO GAP) and John XXIII (AUDIO GAP) three days where people came to see him. Most of those people, of course, would have been Italian. So this is the first time we've seen such (AUDIO GAP). And I'm quite sure, I don't know what the numbers are from John XXIII, but I'm quite sure this outdoes it.

COOPER: And it's remarkable. I mean, I don't know how noisy it is for people at home right now. But I mean, there's street sweepers here cleaning up some of the water bottles that are around. Every now and then you hear a little explosion, and it's the plastic water bottles collapsing.

GALLAGHER: Well, but the interesting this is that the crowd is really calm. I mean, they are packed in like sardines, but nobody is complaining. You know, they're letting them out; they're relaxing.

COOPER: And you see scenes like this every so often. These are people whoa are being let out in order to go to the bathroom or maybe just sit down.


COOPER: Because there are a lot of people

GALLAGHER: They need to sit down. It's been 12 hours that they're standing in those lines. And that's a minimum.


GALLAGHER: And these are the people that are up near the basilica.

COOPER: We've also seen a number of people fainting. One (AUDIO GAP) And yet people still come. I mean, it's anticipated 600,000 tomorrow.

GALLAGHER: I know. I mean, I think it's amazing that they come and they wait for so long. It's just a sign of their devotion to this pope. We've been saying how much he was loved. This is the testimony.

COOPER: What will we learn from the will when it is finally divulged? Because there's (AUDIO GAP) be read or maybe it's just (AUDIO GAP) will read it tomorrow.

GALLAGHER: Well, it will be just the cardinals who will read it tomorrow. It will not be made public in any official way. There may be...

COOPER: Never? It will never be made...?

GALLAGHER: Well, it depends on what it says. If it says something with reference, for example, sending something to Poland or some kind of -- obviously that will be made public at a certain stage. It just depends what's in it.

I don't imagine that they will sort of open up the whole thing and tell us what it is and even how much is written. We don't know what the pope wanted to leave in his last will and testament.

COOPER: All right. Delia Gallagher, thanks very much.

Our special coverage of this remarkable event, this ongoing event, a historic event, an event for the faithful from around the world continues in a moment.


COOPER: Welcome back. We are live in Rome where just hundreds of thousands of people are still waiting on line to see the Holy Father.

Our coverage from Rome continues in just a moment, but there's a story in the United States that we've been following for quite some time. A large amount of sharks massing off the coast of Florida. Heidi Collins has an update.


HEIDI COLLINS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): An awe inspiring sight: thousands of sharks again swarming off the coast of southern Florida just a few hundred feet from shore. Biologists say they're black tip or spinner sharks, a migratory species that moves in shore during the spring and summer, looking for food.

BOB HUETER, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR SHARK RESEARCH: They're in the area because they're feeding. There is their spring migration time when they're moving north. They're coming to coastal waters. They're concentrated up close to shore where all the food is.

COLLINS: The spinner shark primary feeds on fish like sardines, herring, bluefish and tuna. They'll also eat squid and octopus. But are people at risk?

A few beaches have closed. And one expert says it's best to stay out of their way.

HUETER: These are not really man-eating sharks in the sense that these are very large predators. But this is a species that in the summertime in Florida will sometimes bite the hands of surfers or swimmers. And so it's probably prudent that we don't mix people with sharks at this time when they're all over there.

COLLINS: It's the way the spinner shark hunts that got it its name. It's a fast swimming shark known to leap and spin out of the water in search of its prey.

By shark standards the spinner shark is not large. They're about six and a half feet on average. But when thousands swarm not far from the beach, size doesn't really matter.

Heidi Collins, CNN, New York.


COOPER: We're following a number -- a number of other headlines right now. Erica Hill from Headline News brings us quickly up to date -- Erica.

HILL: Hey, Anderson.

We start in Iraq where the Iraqi National Assembly is preparing to reconvene tomorrow. Iraq, meantime, is seeing a surge of violence. Two car bombs exploded in Baghdad. One U.S. soldier was killed. Two other U.S. soldiers and a U.S. Marine died in combat yesterday. Also today, officials say U.S. troops accidentally shot and wounded a freelance cameraman working for CBS.

President Bush's lead law enforcers are urging Congress to renew the Patriot Act. Both Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee the Patriot Act is needed because it is helping fight the war on terror. Gonzales, though, did acknowledge concern some lawmakers have that the law tramples on some civil liberties and told them he's open to suggestions for changing it.

Denver police are investigating the death of a female boxer who received a fatal blow to the head during a bout on Sunday. The 34- year-old was wearing protective headgear during the fight. She was knocked unconscious during the third round. She died in surgery on Sunday without ever regaining consciousness. Police say their investigation here is routine.

And that's a quick look at the headlines from Headline News. Anderson, back to you. COOPER: Erica, thanks very much.

The crowd here just got some bad news. This group has been told the line will not be moving anymore forward. There are just too many people between them and Pope John Paul II. So this crowd is not going to go anywhere for at least three more hours. They have already in some cases waited 10, 11 hours.

In a moment we're going to talk to a Polish American man who has been here for 10 hours and is determined to wait. He just flew in, and he still has his bags from the airplane.

We'll be right back.


COOPER: People still coming in to St. Peter's Basilica to see Pope John Paul II. As we told you 18,000 people every hour, according to the Vatican. The line down here, though, which we're still about two hours' wait from getting into the basilica. The line here has stopped. The people here will not be allowed to get in tonight.

The basilica will be closed for several hours, then come dawn the people who have been standing in line, some for up to 11 hours, will be allowed in. On the line we found this gentleman, John.

What is your last name, John?


COOPER: You're -- you're Polish American, and how long have you been waiting?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I've been waiting for about 10 hours. I flew in this morning from Warsaw. Flew out of Warsaw at 6:40, and it's been a long day. And I'm kind of -- I'm kind of anxious to see the way -- see the viewing and to make it for tonight's...

COOPER: This is your bag. You actually -- you didn't go to a hotel. Your bag is here.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Right. Because I knew I wasn't going to make it. It was going to be closed for 2. And so I tried to, you know, get myself in line as quickly as possible.

COOPER: They say it's going to be closed for a couple hours. So I mean, are you prepared here to stay until dawn?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Well, I've got my sleeping bag on my shoulder over here. So...

COOPER: You don't even have room to sleep, though.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't know. We'll make do. But I needed to come here and to see the viewing and pay my respects. Because this man just had such big impact on the world. And being of Polish heritage, they will just -- it would be hard pressed to say there's anyone that will have that kind of impact sitting in the throne of St. Peter like this pope had.

COOPER: When you heard that the pope -- I understand you were how old when the pope (AUDIO GAP).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was in seventh grade. I was in St. Kajemir (ph) School. It's a Catholic grammar school in Newark, New Jersey, and when I heard the pope was elected pope, I ran home, told my parents that we have a Polish pope and they couldn't believe it. So they...

COOPER: They didn't believe you?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They didn't believe me at first, because of, you know, there's 455 years of an Italian born pope. So -- so it was a very exciting time back then. And now it's kind of a somber time because his papacy has come to an end, but what a fruitful papacy it was.

COOPER: What is the atmosphere like on line? I've never seen such a crowd of people so well behaved and so sort of joyful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's -- the atmosphere is just -- it's hard to explain. People that are praying, people that are singing hymns. Everybody is -- even though it's kind of -- everybody's fidgeting because they've been standing for so long, but they've been very patient for -- they understand, you know, what they're here for. And they're just taking the experience in like we all are, like I am and all that.

COOPER: John, it's great to meet you. And I hope you maybe get a few nights -- a few hours sleep, a little bit.


COOPER: All right, John. Take care.


COOPER: All right.

Ed Lavandera has a story of another Polish American man. This is from Chicago, who has used the power of one song to honor the pope.


ED LAVANDERA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The path up to St. Hyacinth's organ left is a breath taking journey for Josef Homik. It's a lonely job up here alone, but this is where the organist belongs, high above the congregation, helping others mourn with music.

(on camera) Is it important to you so sing on a day like today?

JOZEF HOMIK, ORGANIST: It's absolutely -- it's very important. It's very important. LAVANDERA: Homik was born in Eastern Poland, where he turned his musical passion into a career for an opera singer. But there wasn't much of a future for tenors in communist Poland. So Homik moved to Chicago. This church has been his stage for the last 17 years.


LAVANDERA: Homik worries his broken English won't fully capture his love for the pope, so his wife and son helped him write thoughts to read to us.

HOMIK: We lost the most important shepherd of Roman Catholic Church in history. He meant the world to us. I hope now that the world becomes the way he taught us for it to be.

LAVANDERA: Homik cried when the pope died. His thoughts drift back to the day in 1983 when he and a Polish choir sang for the holy father in Rome. For Homik, there will never be another pope like his fellow countryman.

(on camera): What is it about the pope that you found so incredible that made him an incredible man to you?

HOMIK: Charisma. Magic. He's just a holy man. Holy man.

LAVANDERA: (voice-over): In the middle of the service Jozef Homik stepped away from the organ and pulled out what he says is the perfect song for this sad occasion. He showed us the music and said the last time he performed it was at a friend's funeral a long time ago. He clinches his fist and holds it to his chest as if saying it's full of heart and passion.


LAVANDERA: The words are in Latin. He sings, I send my soul to the Lord. I only trust you and my hope is in you.

(on camera): When you heard the pope died you got -- you thought this would be the perfect song?



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I sing this only for very special person.

LAVANDERA: (voice-over): Jozef Homik hope this is song will lift the spirits of those who hear it. For him, it's a song that helps heal a broken heart.

Ed Lavandera, CNN, Chicago.


COOPER: Of course, what everyone is trying to get into. Where everyone is trying to get into is there at St. Peter's Basilica. You can see the line. I don't know if you can, it's snaking all the way. It will still be several hours before the people up there get in. The people who are down here, they're not going anywhere for several more hours. The line has been frozen. I'm actually in Vatican City right now. This is the line between Vatican City and Rome. I'm actually straddling the line which I'm sure a million tourists have done, and all thought they were the first ones to do it. Of course, now I'm doing that.

But -- so we're actually in Vatican City right now, and in St. Peter's Square. And the people who are here will be here for at least three more hours until the basilica reopens. Our coverage continues in a moment. We'll be right back.


COOPER: And welcome back, live from Vatican City. Christiane Amanpour and I are both in Vatican City. Welcome.

AMANPOUR: It's a long journey.

COOPER: Our camera is in Rome, actually. But this scene I really just cannot get over. I've never seen a crowd like this as well behaved, and just waiting this long.

AMANPOUR: It does infuse you with some elation.

COOPER: Absolutely.

AMANPOUR: You can't get away from it, even though you want to be objective and et cetera. But just to watch these people. And I've seen the civil guard here who are in charge of trying to help protect. They're not only handing out water bottles, but these people have been waiting ten hours of water in line, little packets of sugar. I mean, I saw them handing things out and I rushed over to see...

COOPER: Just to keep people's energy up.

AMANPOUR: Energy up -- yes. And of course, you've got the whole business now about tomorrow, perhaps the pope's will will be read.

COOPER: What happens over the next several days. We know Friday is the funeral.

AMANPOUR: Yes. And the things we've been told today, on the day of the you funeral, the pope will be laid in three separate caskets to maximize the ability to preserve the body. He'll have a white silk veil over his face. He'll have a little bag of coins -- memorial coins that he has issued throughout his papacy, will be put in the coffin with him. I hope you know, he's getting buried in the crypt below there. And in the next few days, of course, the congregation continues to meet. And I guess the big thing we're waiting for is the date of the conclave.

COOPER: Also, keeping the body intact, I was talking to a mother superior, a nun, earlier today, who was telling me that the body remaining intact is one sign of saint hood. And so, many like to try to preserve the body as much as possible in order to have it be an indication of whether or not the person should be a saint.

AMANPOUR: You know, that a lot of attention is being drawn to one of the cardinals calling him Pope John Paul the Great, which is only a couple of popes before have called that and those were made saints. So, Almost like they are trying to fast track the very pope who created the most saints, make him a saint too.

COOPER: Well, I was going to say, it's appropriate because this saint created such a huge number of saints and blessed persons.


COOPER: It's -- I don't know. I've never been to an event like this. But it is -- I mean you get a real sense of not only sadness of celebration, celebrating this man's life.

AMANPOUR: And I would just like to say, I'm sure the Catholic Church is entirely gratified by the amount of coverage it is getting over this. They've also helped along, obviously, everything is being televised live. It's the pope who instituted Vatican television. And it's all now bearing fruit. And you can imagine for a church that in many ways is sort of, as I said before, staying static in its numbers, although growing in some areas, this is a huge evangelism for the church. I mean, we are really showing a lot of the Catholic faith for a lot of people, 24 hours a day, around the world.

COOPER: It's interesting, I was talking to a priest on line earlier when I was shooting a story, and he was saying this is timeless. This is almost you could be in the medieval time. I mean, yes there are cameras and yes, there as you said, this media event. But you really don't get the sense of this being a media event. I mean, I think as you said last night, we are sort of flies on the wall here. This would all be going on whether or not we are here.

AMANPOUR: You do get a sense of timelessness. This majestic pomp that has been ceremonial throughout centuries. And again it's also a very religious moment. And I keep coming back to the deep belief that this is a critical juncture for this church. It's got find out how to be relevant for the next several centuries or at least the next generation. Although, a lot of it's conservatism is clearly playing out here.

COOPER: Yes. It's remarkable. Our prime time coverage continues right now with Paula Zahn -- Paula.


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