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CNN NEWSNIGHT AARON BROWN
Thousands of Mourners Come to Say Good-bye to Pope
Aired April 5, 2005 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening again everyone at 4:00 in the morning here in Rome.
There are really two Romes here today. There's the Rome we walked around this afternoon. The shops are open. People go about their business. The tourists are here. There is that Rome.
And then there is the Rome behind me, a city literally within a city. It is there that people stand in line waiting patiently. We learned today of some new details of Pope John Paul's life and of his death. But in the main, the story remains the power, the power of the people who have come all day, all night to say their goodbye.
BROWN (voice-over): Today, as yesterday, they inched their way through St. Peter's Basilica by the tens of thousands waiting hours to pay their respects. A line that stretched for miles at daylight grew longer throughout the day.
Inside the Vatican, the cardinals held their third congregation this time to discuss the funeral for John Paul now just two days away. By day's end we learned that the pope's body will be buried in the ground at the Vatican in the former grave of Pope John XXIII.
We learned this as well. John Paul left nothing in this papal transition to chance. He spelled out exactly how it should unfold in two books kept secret since 1998, copies of each sent to bookstores immediately after his death.
The liturgy and the chant said by the cardinals at his bedside, the prayers at the moment of his death, the pope chose them all. We will see more of what John Paul planned in the days ahead. Some 200 world leaders are expected to attend his funeral on Friday.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It will be my honor to represent our country.
BROWN: President Bush and former Presidents Bush and Clinton among them, First Lady Laura Bush and the Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will complete the official U.S. delegation. Fourteen U.S. Senators will travel to Rome separately.
The deputy mayor of Rome said today that so many high level visitors, each requiring intense security, will be a huge problem for the city, a city already filled with pilgrims, filled with mourners. (END VIDEOTAPE)
BROWN: A quick overview of the day.
The Vatican it seems to us is a combination of change, it has a Web site after all, and ancient reality. The funeral on Friday will be seen by more people than have ever seen a single event on television in history, a modern reality, but the service itself will be age old.
It is detailed, as you just heard briefly, in two books that John Paul wrote and left behind, the details of those from CNN's Jim Bittermann.
JIM BITTERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Litany of the Saints, the prayer 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 reveal his minute attention to the prayers and songs that will go along with him to the grave and, with his cardinals, through the selection of his 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 where the Vatican spokesman made it clear the pope's body will be buried at the Vatican and not be sent to Poland as some had suggested.
JOAQUIN NAVARRO-VALLS, VATICAN SPOKESMAN (through translator): Regarding the burial, I can confirm it will be in the same crypt as the one John the 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 is the hope that the will will dictate that even if his body remains at the Vatican his heart will be sent back to Poland.
More likely though is that his final testament will be more spiritual in nature, an indication of his desires for the future of the church and perhaps a final attempt to influence the cardinals who will choose his successor. Jim Bittermann, CNN, Vatican City.
BROWN: The two books we learned about today were without question well kept secrets by the Vatican. The Vatican is good at that. But it turns out they are not the only secrets of John Paul II.
A few years back, John Paul set in motion a mystery, a mystery that remains tonight.
BROWN (voice-over): Pope John Paul announced the appointment of 31 new cardinals in 2003 but he publicly named only 30. At a papal ceremony that year only 30 were there to receive the cardinal's red hat. The identity of the 31st new cardinal remains a mystery to this day. This is not the first time a pope has secretly elevated a cardinal.
THOMAS GROOME, PROFESSOR OF THEOLOGY, BOSTON COLLEGE: A mystery cardinal technically it's called a cardinal in pectore. It means literally in the breast or in the heart, and it's when the pope appoints a cardinal but for political reasons, for certain sensitivities that it's wiser not to reveal who that cardinal might be.
BROWN: Pope John Paul had named other cardinals this way before. Marian Jaworski, an archbishop from Ukraine, Archbishop Janis Putjats of Latvia were elevated in 1999 but their names were not revealed, experts say, because of the delicacy of relations with the orthodox church in the former Soviet Union.
GROOME: My suspicion is that whoever the secret cardinal is that it's probably some leader within the Chinese church, at least that's one possibility. It could also be within the Russian church because some relations with the Russian Orthodox tradition are rather sensitive and so the pope might not have wanted to exacerbate tensions by naming somebody to this public function of being a cardinal at the Catholic Church.
BROWN: Vatican analysts have several theories on who the mystery cardinal could be. One is Polish Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, John Paul's personal secretary, who caught the pope in his arms when he was shot and was at the pope's bedside when he died.
GROOME: Some of the sensitivities there were with the Greek Orthodox tradition and the Roman rite church not wanting to seem to be proselytizing within the Ukraine or promoting itself within the Ukraine.
BROWN: Now Vatican watchers still wonder whether the identity of the mystery cardinal will ever be revealed.
DR. ROBERT MOYNIHAN, EDITOR, "INSIDE THE VATICAN": Normal logic is when the pope dies that cardinal disappears; however, there's two possibilities, one that he left written instructions saying "After my death, this should be revealed and this man should be included in the list of cardinals."
Or, this could be in his testament and the fact that the testament hasn't yet been opened and read, the pope was an artist and a poet and he did unexpected things throughout his pontificate and I think he's going to do some unexpected things even now.
BROWN: But there is another option.
GROOME: It's possible that this mystery cardinal will never know that he was a cardinal. Isn't that something? Of course in eternity, I suppose, when they gather at the river the Holy Father will tell him "By the way, you were a cardinal in my heart" and he may well say "Too bad you didn't make it known." But there we are. It's gone into eternity with Pope John Paul II.
BROWN: One of the mysteries of John Paul II yet to be revealed.
As we said at the beginning of the program, the city is crowded with visitors, with pilgrims who have come, mourners who have come from literally all corners of the globe and they're streaming in.
In some respects, each day we could feel the city getting a little bit smaller as the security cordon grows a little bit larger. It's a little harder to get around and it will get harder still.
CNN's Anderson Cooper is down by the square and he joins us tonight. Anderson, it's good to see you.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good to see you, Aaron.
The St. Peter's Basilica opens again in a little bit less than an hour. It's been closed really for the last two hours. That has not stopped the crowds from continuing to gather or anyone really from leaving.
There are people as far as the eye can see all around me here in St. Peter's Square just waiting. The crowd who was here have been here for 11 hours many of them and still they have at least another hour, perhaps even two, before they're able to see Pope John Paul II. As far as the eye can see are people.
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: The biggest problem we have is transports because people are coming in Rome and we have to get them to the Vatican, so public transport is absolutely (UNINTELLIGIBLE) now. It was, you know, people -- 500,000 people came in the morning and the underground and busses are full of people coming.
COOPER: But Friday's funeral will present an even bigger challenge, how to protect the more than two million mourners and 200 dignitaries. President Bush will attend. So will former President Clinton and Prince Charles.
GEORGE BAURIES, EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT GROUP: 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 is another 200 person security detail comprised of bodyguards and a special corps from the Italian police. Vatican security, however, doesn't stop there.
BAURIES: 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 will 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.
BAURIES: The Vatican has its own intelligence capability. It's a small service, not well know, 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 a 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 goodbye to the much loved church leader.
COOPER: And this is the scene right now with less than an hour to go before St. Peter's Basilica reopens, people literally just camping out. Police officials have handed out some blankets to the crowd for free. They are giving out free water but people are just exhausted. These people have been here for some 11 hours. They have at least another hour to go.
And I mean this is the scene right here. It stretches for blocks and blocks and blocks, one million people in the last 22 hour period or so. It's anticipated, Aaron, another 600,000 at least tomorrow.
BROWN: Anderson, thank you.
It is for their benefit at least a little bit warmer tonight than it has been here in Rome the last couple of nights. I'm not sure 11 hours later two or three degrees makes much difference.
Ahead on the program, Pope John Paul may not always have agreed but even when he didn't he listened.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought he was going to say "Get another job," you know, and he said to me before he left me he said, "You found good words" and gave me a big smile.
BROWN (voice-over): An American priest who challenged the pope on issues that divide Catholics.
AARON KILLIPS, SAVANNAH, G.A., SEMINARY STUDENT: I'm excited about the possibility of change in the church in that I'm excited to see where this new leader is going to take the church.
BROWN: The influence John Paul has had on the future leaders of the church in America.
Vatican City, a glorious Renaissance monument to art and architecture at home to a library filled with priceless manuscripts. How much is it all worth?
JOHN ALLEN, VATICAN ANALYST: Then personally the Vatican lists all of that stuff on its books at one Euro in terms of value and that's because from their point of view it can never be sold and can never be borrowed against and therefore it produces no revenue for them.
BROWN: And through the lens of still photography, the experiences that shaped the young man from Poland who grew up to be John Paul II.
From Rome and around the world this is NEWSNIGHT.
BROWN: A couple moments ago we heard from the square down below us applause coming. It makes us believe they may be opening the gates a little bit early. They did that yesterday morning as well. It's now about 4:15 here in Rome.
In a moment we'll look at the fascination people have with the assets of the Vatican. But first there are some other stories that made news today. We should check those too. Erica Hill joins us again tonight from Atlanta and it's nice to see you.
BROWN: That is the strangest story. Erica, thank you very much.
It is, if you sit here as we have now for four days, it's hard to overlook the remarkable majesty, the buildings behind us, St. Peter's the second largest Catholic Church in the world. It's just one part of the Vatican palace that has more than 1,000 rooms, including the Sistine Chapel.
Everyone knows that the Vatican is the spiritual and administrative center of the church but no one really knows how much it is all worth and there has long been a fascination, good and bad we guess, with that. So what is it worth?
Here's CNN's Rudi Bakhtiar.
RUDI BAKHTIAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): 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, its domed ceiling painted by Michelangelo; St. Peter's Basilica, with the 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?
ALLEN: People have these notions that there are sort of vast islands of wealth here. I mean the truth is the Vatican is 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'd 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: But personally the Vatican lists all of that stuff on its books 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 and 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 he 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's 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 but according to Allen it's the Vatican's fundamental law that these precious assets can never be sold.
Rudi Bakhtiar, CNN, New York.
BROWN: Well, selling some of that is unimaginable, isn't it?
If the cardinals who are gathering here in Rome tonight are the princes of the church, the priests are the foot soldiers and the American Roman Catholic Church, those churches in the United States, have a problem, not enough boots on the ground if you will.
It's not true everywhere. There are plenty of priests in Latin America, Africa too but in the United States recruiting priests is a problem, which is not to say there aren't young priests in training from America and we found them here in Rome.
BROWN (voice-over): In the tranquility of this special place you can still find young Americans who yearn to become priests.
BRYAN BABICK, CHARLESTON, S.C., SEMINARY STUDENT: To be able to act in the person of Christ will be for the faithful and their good something that I think I will treasure my entire life, God please, as a priest.
BROWN: They are among a group of 150 Americans who will spend four years studying here before their ordination. And they are well aware of the difficulties they face in an American Catholic Church that has been rocked by scandal.
PETER PURPORA, BROOKLYN, N.Y., SEMINARY STUDENT: In a lot of these issues, yes, they're present for our church. They're an issue that we have to deal with but it also gives us the opportunity to respond to them and, you know, they can stay the way they are or a new guy is going to come along and through their work and through their ministry make a difference.
BROWN: And, if they are the future of the Catholic Church in America, many began that journey they say directly because of Pope John Paul II. PURPORA: In 1995, he came to New York City. I was a freshman in high school and I attended that audience at Aqueduct Race Track and I remember his helicopter flying over the stadium and it was like someone flipped a switch and the electricity came on. In myself, you know, I felt that presence and among the crowd. It was like electricity.
BROWN: But they know as well that the new pope is crucial to where the church is headed.
KILLIPS: There's a possibility for great change but I think it's also an exciting time for the church because John Paul called it this era that we're going through now the new springtime of Christianity.
And, you know, when I think of spring, you think of change. You think of, you know, the death now coming to life. And so, I'm excited about the possibility of change in the church in that I'm excited to see where this new leader is going to take the church because ultimately I have the utmost faith that it's going to be the direction that God wants it to go.
BROWN: On one level there is no more uncertain time to enter the priesthood but these young seminarians seem to be on firm foundation today in these days of sorrow. For the future, they say, is something to relish.
PURPORA: Already after two years, I'm very much looking forward to getting back to a parish because I really see the parish as the place where my vocation was formed initially so that's where I relate to my vocation. That's where I relate to my understanding of the priesthood. So, getting back to that will be tremendous.
KILLIPS: I know I'm not perfect. Peter wasn't perfect and yet he's one of our greatest saints and so it tells me that, you know, in spite of my human weakness I have with God's help the ability to become a great saint and that's what I'm called to be. That's what you're called to be. That's what we're all called to be are these great saints.
BABICK: I can't tell you how much I'm excited to do that, to be able to share the sacraments of the church with the faithful, who have a faith that sometimes is weaker than that of others and can be taught the message of salvation. That's an awesome responsibility.
BROWN: Well, we spent a lot of time talking about the problems of the church and we'll talk about some of the problems of the church. It's nice to hear the perspective of these young men as they embrace a life, not an always easy life, for them in the years ahead.
Coming up on this edition of NEWSNIGHT from Rome, we meet a New Jersey priest who challenged the church's orthodoxy two decades ago now. He's ready to challenge John Paul's successor, if given the chance and the need. We'll take a break first.
From Rome, the Garden State, and around the world this is NEWSNIGHT.
BROWN: Well, they're getting ready to open up the basilica again. You can see in the foreground there one of the cleaning trucks working through. They shut it down for a couple of hours but that two hour period is about a half hour away from ending.
Just think about what it is like for a minute. You came here maybe at about ten o'clock at night. It's now 4:30 in the morning. It's probably about 40, 45 degrees, maybe a tad warmer than that. You've been standing there waiting patiently or sitting waiting patiently. You're a half hour away.
Anderson Cooper is down in it and nobody complains. You described yesterday, I thought it was a lovely choice of words too, was a sense of community that forms.
COOPER: That's really true. You know earlier in the program we showed you people who were sort of sleeping down here wrapped in blankets. They're no longer sleeping there because the crowd saw what you were just talking about, some activity up at the front.
And even though the basilica is not open yet, everyone got up and sort of broke through the lines and everyone is standing around. We're actually kind of swamped now with people, that -- there's not as many police around as there were.
But, as you say, it is still a sense of community. People are sort of smiling as they get sort of tousled about. There is not a sense of pushing or shoving. It is still very respectful, even though, as you said, they've been waiting 11, 12 hours in some cases.
Earlier this evening, I spent some time in the crowd, spent about an hour and a half just with a home video camera, because, from far away, it is hard to get a sense of what it really feels like in the crowd. So I went out with a small little camera and talked to people. And this is what I saw.
COOPER (voice-over): In the dead of night, they wait on a line that seems to have no end. Many will wait six hours or more. The police hold their lines, so no one breaks through.
(on camera): This group here has been waiting for about 20 minutes in this one spot. The police are about to let them go through. And they'll run all the way over to that spot. Here they go.
Then, once the group gets to the barricades, they have to stop again. You're sort of just stuck here. And you can tell it is pretty close quarters. Everyone is sort of stuck right now to each other.
You see scenes like this a lot. People are standing around for so long, some of them actually pass out. They faint, because -- either from the pressure of the crowd or lack of food or water because they've been standing in line so long. The paramedics are on the scene here. The crowd parts and the crowd calls over the medical technicians to come. And now they're going to bring this person out.
(voice-over): Children sit exhausted. So do adults. Those stuck standing watch what's happening inside. Everywhere, there is music, giant speakers on every block. Finally, after hours of waiting, the crowds enter St. Peter's Square.
(on camera): When the crowds finally arrive here, at the heart of St. Peter's Square, within sight of St. Peter's Basilica, these people know that soon they will be able to say goodbye one last time to Pope John Paul II.
(voice-over): Tom Moscher an Ben Keeley are Catholic priests from Vermont. They feel lucky to be here.
BEN KEELEY, CATHOLIC PRIEST: The whole mass of humanity is swarming around this place. And, for a brief moment, the whole world is focusing on Rome. And we could be here in the -- I mean, we have cameras and we have microphones, but we could be in the 14th century.
TOM MOSCHER, CATHOLIC PRIEST: It is timeless, absolutely timeless.
COOPER: It is certainly timeless and it feels very...
BROWN: Anderson, thank you.
I think it is clear to everyone at this point that, for all the wonderment that we have witnessed over the last couple of days, there is also within the Catholic Church considerable disagreement. People who believe deeply in Catholicism still find that they disagree on some of the core values of the church. And it's a complicated problem. And it's an appropriate time, we think, to start examining that aspect of this story now.
It is one thing, I think, to disagree in a kind of philosophical way from afar. It is another thing to stand before a microphone and disagree right in front of the pope. But that's exactly what a young priest did nearly two decades ago, and his reflections now.
Here is CNN's Jason Carroll.
REV. FRANK MCNULTY, ST. TERESA OF AVILA, NEW JERSEY: The lord be with you.
JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is where Father Frank McNulty usually finds himself, conducting mass at St. Teresa of Avila in northern New Jersey.
But, 18 years ago, he spoke in front of the most important congregation ever before him, Pope John Paul II.
MCNULTY: It was very unusual, and also unusual for an ordinary priest to get a chance to stand up and talk to him for some 30 minutes. And it was quite a moment.
CARROLL: That moment, Miami, 1987. American Catholic priests chose Father McNulty to address the visiting pope. He represented more than 50,000 of them.
MCNULTY: When I embraced him, one thing that stunned me a bit was that he had a bulletproof vest on under the white vestment. And took me back a bit.
CARROLL: McNulty checked his nerves and did what few in his position had done before, publicly, but respectfully, challenge the church on controversial issues, such as ordaining women, the declining number of priests and requiring them to be celibate.
MCNULTY: The celibacy question, as you so well know, continues to surface. Its value has eroded and continues to erode in the minds of many.
He really looked at me. And he didn't look anywhere else. He looked at me right when I was speaking.
CARROLL: What followed, a rare occurrence. The pope responded.
POPE JOHN PAUL II: Our love for Christ, the kind that, frequently in prayer, is -- are the foundation of our commitment to celibacy.
CARROLL: Pope John Paul II did not embrace McNulty's opinions, but did embrace him for his courage to speak from the heart.
MCNULTY: I thought he was going to say, get another job. But he said to me -- before he left me, he said, you found good words and gave me a big smile.
CARROLL: Father McNulty says, if he has an opportunity to speak to the next pope, he would raise his same old concerns.
MCNULTY: If somebody said, do you think we should ordain women? Tell us right now. I don't know, but we should look at it.
CARROLL: For now, his thoughts are with John Paul II, a pope who listened and inspired.
Jason Carroll, CNN, Summit, New Jersey.
BROWN: John Allen is with us. He's helped guide us through these days.
I sometimes think I'm hearing almost a contradictory description of the pope, who, on the one hand, as we saw there, was willing to listen to questions of faith coming from -- difficult questions, too. On the other hand, he's often criticized behind those walls as not being willing to engage in dialogue. Which was he, or both?
JOHN ALLEN, CNN VATICAN ANALYST: Well, I think he's a both and, rather than an either/or pope.
The truth is, this is a pope who had sort of an unlimited set of ambitions. And in that unlimited set of ambitions, there were two things he wanted to accomplish. One was the reaffirmation of a very rock solid traditional sense of Christian identity. After a period of time in the Catholic Church, following Second Vatican Council, I think he and many of his advisers felt there had been an unacceptable degree of confusion about some of these points, you know, the idea that perhaps the ordination of women might be up for grabs, that the church's position on birth control might be negotiable.
And I think he wanted to put a halt to that. At the same time, he also wanted to reach out and he wanted to talk. He reached out to the other religions of the world. He reached out to other Christian churches. And so, this was a pope who never saw a contradiction between being in dialogue and being crystal clear about who you are. Quite the contrary. He thought that that crystal clarity was the premise of an effective dialogue. Obviously, not everyone found that it worked.
BROWN: Do we know how he thought about what someone up here described as cafeteria Catholics, people who kind of drive down the aisle picking and choosing those core beliefs they wish to accept?
ALLEN: Yes. I didn't think he -- I think it would be fair to say he didn't think very much of them.
I mean, you have to understand that this was a pope whose formative experience, his religious imagination, was shaped in the context of the Polish struggle against communism. And I think he felt that what enabled the Polish church to withstand the ideological onslaught of the communists was the fact that it was absolutely anchored in a very traditional conception of what Catholicism meant, integral Catholicism. That is from A to Z, no compromise in between.
BROWN: So, this notion that "I am a Catholic, but" would in no sense sat well with him. Did he consider those people Catholics? Would John Paul have thought a Catholic woman in New Jersey on birth control pills was Catholic?
ALLEN: Well, I think he would have regarded her as Catholic, but a Catholic who need to work on her Catholicism.
I mean, in other words, the point is this, that I think John Paul, by instinct and by his pastoral formation, was a very generous pastor.
ALLEN: I don't think he wanted to kick anyone out.
ALLEN: But, at the same time, I think he also wanted to challenge them. The point is, you have been baptized. And that baptism carries not only privileges, but obligations. And he wanted to challenge people to meet up to what he saw to be the requirements of that challenge.
BROWN: Good to see you. Thanks for staying up late or getting up early, whichever it is, John Allen.
This problem is not simply a problem of the American church. It is a problem for the church in Europe, even in Italy.
Christiane Amanpour takes a look at that after the break.
This is a special NEWSNIGHT coming to you from Rome.
BROWN: One of the things that this week allows us to do is not simply examine the life of pope John Paul and what he accomplished, but also take a look at the challenges that face one of the world's great religions. And there are plenty. We talked about the notion of cafeteria Catholics in the United States. Is it not just in the United States. It is right here, right in the shadow of St. Peter's. It is a struggle that goes on.
Here is CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions wait to say goodbye to the pope. Many more are shopping, sitting in bars and chatting at cafes. This traditionally Roman Catholic country is acting like the rest of Western Europe. Divorce and abortion are legal here since the '70s.
Where big families were once the norm, there is now nearly zero population growth. And Catholics in Italy are growing ever more secular, like 64-year-old Manlio Giammona, a former fighter pilot and commercial airline captain. His home overlooks St. Peter's Basilica, and he did admire the pope.
MANLIO GIAMMONA, RETIRED PILOT: I think the pope has been a great man. The history will tell better than I. He has been a man of great faith.
AMANPOUR: But, like many, Manlio, who was baptized, raised and married in the church, could not sustain his Catholic faith.
GIAMMONA: I was attending a Sunday mass in a church. And after 10 or 15 minutes, suddenly, I said to myself that, what am I doing here?
AMANPOUR: That was 40 years ago. He left the church, but only after much religious study. Later, Pope John Paul II's teachings only reinforced his decision.
GIAMMONA: The negative part for me is that his conservative way of acting about religious dogma, about the...
AMANPOUR (on camera): Birth control.
GIAMMONA: Birth control, a continuous control on your life from the birth to the death. And it is something I think the people don't accept anymore.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): And, in Western Europe, at least, he's right. During John Paul II's 26-year reign, the number of Catholics has dropped. The number of Catholics around the world has stayed the same over the last decade, despite growth in Africa and Latin America.
The new pope's challenge, says Manlio, will be to make the church relevant for today's Catholics. He will at least start with this advantage.
GIAMMONA: Religion is a deep need, a deep necessity of human being.
AMANPOUR: The bottom line, people say, is that they want the church out of their bedroom. You know, it's very similar to what a lot of reformist Muslims say, too. They do not want the mullahs in their bedrooms. And it does come down to that.
And quite a few of these issues are not about church doctrine. They're about tradition that have been created over the years, for instance, celibacy, for instance, artificial birth control. And those are the ones you hear about most.
BROWN: And those are the challenges that face the man who will be elected pope in the coming weeks.
Thank you, Christiane Amanpour.
When we come back, the man who would be pope as seen through an American institution, the lenses of the photographers of the extraordinary "LIFE" magazine, a NEWSNIGHT moment from Rome.
HILL: Just past quarter until to the hour now. I'm Erica hill in Atlanta with the latest news from Headline News.
We begin with this story. Veteran Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani is expected to be named Iraq's new president at a National Assembly meeting tomorrow. And, on Thursday, a Shiite leader is expected to be chosen as prime minister of Iraq. Saddam Hussein, meantime, and his top leaders will actually get to watch a video feed of tomorrow's meeting. They're all in prison facing war crimes. They've not been allowed to watch the news until now.
More than a dozen provisions of the Patriot Act will expire in December unless they are renewed by Congress. And President Bush's top enforces don't want that to happen, some of them, that is. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI head Robert Mueller say those laws are needed to fight terrorism. Gonzales acknowledged, though, that some lawmakers have expressed concern the law tramples on civil liberties. And he has said he's open to changes.
And, no, the pictures here are not fish. At closer look, you can see they are thousands of sharks swimming at South Florida's Juno Beach. That beach remains closed. Marine biologists say this kind of behavior, though, is actually not that odd for this time of year.
And that's a quick look at the stories making news right now. I'm Erica Hill from Headline News -- Aaron, now, back to you in Rome.
BROWN: Erica, thank you.
Before Pope John Paul was an icon, he was a cardinal. Before that, he was a bishop. And before that, he was a young boy in small- town Poland experiencing those things which would allow him to become the man that's being celebrated this week in Rome. This week, Life Books reissued or re-released a book it first published back in 1999, some pictures of the pope through his time, many of them rarely seen. So here is a look.
ROBERT SULLIVAN, DEPUTY MANAGING EDITOR, "LIFE": What was a joy finding out in doing this book was about the young man in Poland.
John Paul II was born in Wadowice, Poland. Growing up, he was shaped by his parents, who were extremely devout. He was always at the church. But it's interesting. With his Jewish friends, he visited the synagogue. All this would inform the way he would behave as pope. His outreach to Judaism and other world religions was certainly more pronounced than any other pope's.
It's rather odd to perhaps put the term Bohemian with one who would become the pope eventually. But there are pictures in the book that show him to be quite a hipster in university. He was in drama, theatricals. I think his earlier love of the arts absolutely translated into his ability to communicate. And, certainly, that informed why they chose him as pope.
He was in Poland when the Nazis were the totalitarian regime. I just can't imagine anything informed his lust for life and also for protecting life more than seeing Jewish associates and friends disappear in Nazi Poland. It is nothing else than life taken away for religious reasons.
This was not only a large life, but an intrepid life throughout. He was in Poland when the communists were the suppressing regime. At that time, he was an intellectual young priest. He would take the youth groups into the woods. And he lectured to them about communism and what was wrong with it. And this was true of other like-thinking priests at the time. We were able to obtain some pictures of his priest friends in this period. Somewhere, they're meeting around a dining room table.
Basically, what that table represents is the intelligentsia. It is not anything but a direct line from that dining room table to the Solidarity movement and everything the pope wound up doing to help undermine communism.
I think that, probably more than any pope, John Paul II experienced life. And how that informed every single thing he did during his 26-year tenure is just fascinating.
BROWN: As many of you have heard by now, ABC's Peter Jennings will begin treatment for lung cancer soon. This is how Peter told his audience about it tonight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, "WORLD NEWS TONIGHT")
PETER JENNINGS, HOST: Finally this evening, a brief note about change.
Some of you have noticed in the last several days that I was not covering the pope. While my colleagues at ABC did a superb job, I did think a few times I was missing out. However, as some of you now know, I have learned in the last couple of days that I have lung cancer. Yes, I was a smoker until about 20 years ago. And I was weak and I smoked over 9/11.
But, whatever the reason, the news does slow you down a bit. I've been reminding my colleagues today, who have all been incredibly supportive, that almost 10 million Americans are already living with cancer, and I have a lot to learn from them. And living is the key word.
The National Cancer Institute says that we are survivors from the moment of diagnosis. I will continue to do the broadcast on good days. My voice will not always be like this. Certainly, it has been a long time. And I hope it goes without saying that a journalist who doesn't value deeply the audience's loyalty should be in another line of work.
To be perfectly honest, I'm a little surprised at the kindness today from so many people. That's not intended as false modesty, but even I was taken aback by how far and how fast news travels. Finally, I wonder if other men and women ask their doctors right away, OK, Doc, when does the hair go?
At any rate, that's it for now on "World News Tonight." Have a good evening. I'm Peter Jennings. Thanks and good night.
(END VIDEO CLIP) BROWN: Well, the truth is, Peter is going to be angry with me for about what I'm about to do.
But I worked for him and with him for almost a decade. And the truth is, I wouldn't be sitting here doing this job if it weren't for what he taught me. Peter is my friend and Peter is my mentor. And it is particularly in these moments, these special moments, these "I remember where I was when I heard" moments, the moments like 9/11, that Peter is the best. Had he been in Rome this week, he would have lapped the field.
Lung cancer is tough, but, Peter, if you're watching tonight, if you are half as tough with that cancer as you were with me all those years, it doesn't stand a chance. We're thinking about you and we send our prayers.
We'll wrap it up in a moment.
BROWN: That's it for us tonight.
Right at the moment, the gates of St. Peter have opened again and the crowd has started to file in. It's the end of another remarkable day.
And we turn now to a recap of the last 24 hours. For the next hour, you'll see the sights and the sounds of this day here in Rome.
And we'll see you tomorrow.
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