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JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS

Justice Department will Announce Plea Deal With Eric Rudolph; Pope John Paul II's Funeral; Pope John Paul II's Funeral Brings Heads of State and Public Together; Catholicism and US Politics: An Evolving Relationship

Aired April 8, 2005 - 15:30   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Thanks very much for joining us. We'll have a complete look at today's events in Vatican City in just a moment. First, though, there is some breaking news we're following involving the Atlanta Olympic Park bombing suspect Eric Rudolph.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Sources tell CNN that the Justice Department will announce a plea deal with Rudolph later today. For the very latest, let's turn to CNN Justice correspondent Kelli Arena -- Kelli.

KELLI ARENA, CNN JUSTICE DEPT. CORRESPONDENT: Judy, we're told that the Justice Department will have more to say this afternoon. Here is what we know at this time.

Sources tell us that Eric Rudolph has agreed to plead guilty to all of the charges against him. That in exchange for a life sentence.

Now here's a refresher. Rudolph is charged with the 1996 Olympic Park bombing. Now, that killed one person, wounded 111 others. And he also admits to three other bombings, including the bombing of an abortion clinic in an Atlanta suburb back in 1997, a gay nightclub in Atlanta that same year, and then another abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1998 which killed one person.

Now, this plea deal, we're told, encompasses all of those bombings. And we're also told that Rudolph is scheduled to appear in federal court next week.

Now, jury selection had already begun in the case against him in Alabama. And he did face a possible death sentence.

You may remember that Rudolph was on the run for five years. He hid in the North Carolina mountains, and he also hid some dynamite there. Now, he led investigators to those explosives. They were detonated this week. We are told they were too fragile to be moved.

WOODRUFF: So, Kelly, based on your sources, the authorities feel they've got a strong case against Rudolph?

ARENA: Yes, they do. But they did choose to reach this plea deal.

He will get life in prison. And as our senior producer, Henry Schuster, who had been working on this story very intensely for us, said he spoke to some of the victims who were very disappointed with that agreement and said they really wanted to see him go to trial and get the death penalty.

BLITZER: Is that life in prison without the possibility of parole?

ARENA: That's right, life in prison without parole.

BLITZER: All right. Let's bring in Emily Lyons. She's on the phone. She was wounded in one of those attacks at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama.

Emily, I'd love to get your reaction to this plea agreement.

EMILY LYONS, WOUNDED IN ATTACKS AT ABORTION CLINIC: Well, we -- my husband and I are disappointed. We felt that the crime fit the punishment of death. And so we're extremely disappointed, but we knew that it was the best -- the best choice to protect others.

WOODRUFF: Ms. Lyons, it's Judy Woodruff. Have you shared your thoughts on this with the authorities?

LYONS: Yes, we have.

BLITZER: Did they ask you in advance, Ms. Lyons, what you thought about this?

LYONS: Yes, they did.

BLITZER: And you made it clear that you wanted him to stand trial and potentially face the death sentence, is that right?

LYONS: Right. But we -- we knew other information that we knew that other people's lives were in danger.

BLITZER: Did you get the sense, based on what you heard, that some of the other victims, some of those who were injured at Atlanta, at the Olympics, for example, that they shared your thoughts, or was there some sort of mixed assessment that was provided to law enforcement?

LYONS: The only thing I heard is the family members of the victims that were killed, is they did not want the death penalty. And those are the only ones that I've heard of.

WOODRUFF: Kelli, why don't you -- you were just commenting on something Ms. Lyons just said.

ARENA: Well, yes. I mean, Ms. Lyons, were you aware of the information that Eric Rudolph had to offer in terms of those explosives that he had hid and the possibility that others may have gotten their hands on those explosives?

LYONS: We had discussed that a few weeks back.

ARENA: And do you think it was a fair exchange, that information, safety of others, for the life sentence?

LYONS: That one's a hard one to answer. Yes, you want to make sure no one else is hurt. But for me, four life sentences in prison is not punishment enough.

ARENA: Sure.

WOODRUFF: Ms. Lyons, finally, any comment you want to make to the public watching this news?

LYONS: Just that we hope that this is the end of this, this cycle for us. And that we know that others will not be hurt.

WOODRUFF: Emily Lyons is a nurse in Birmingham, Alabama, who was injured in one of the bombings Eric Rudolph was alleged and now charged with having been involved. And again, the story today, a plea deal reached with the Justice Department over four bombings involving Eric Rudolph.

We are going to continue to follow the story. As new developments occur we will have them.

Now our coverage of today's funeral of Pope John Paul II begins.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

ANNOUNCER: In front of the rich and the poor, the powerful and the pilgrims, John Paul II is laid to rest. A global event. Tens of thousands witnessed it in person, and tens of millions watched around the world.

The pope and our politics. Was the pontiff behind a shift in American Catholic voters from one party to the other?

ANNOUNCER: CNN's coverage of the funeral of Pope John Paul II continues now with Wolf Blitzer and Judy Woodruff in Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: Thank you for joining Wolf and me, and welcome to CNN's continuing special coverage of the funeral of Pope John Paul II. We will have a full report on today's extraordinary events in Vatican City, along with reaction from around the world.

BLITZER: We'll also take a special look at the huge crowds of mourners who traveled to Rome to attend the funeral and the tens of millions more who watched the service on television. Plus, we'll examine how the death of this pope resulted in a diverse and unprecedented gathering of political and religious leaders from all over the world.

While tens of thousands of people crowded into St. Peter's Square for the pope's funeral mass, several million others watched on giant video screens that were set up all across the beautiful city of Rome. CNN's Diana Muriel was at today's service. She joins us now from Vatican City -- Diana. DIANA MURIEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, as I picked my way this morning through the tens of thousands of people waiting in that crowd, on my way here to this CNN location where we've been working from all day, it was the most extraordinary feeling. You could sense the anticipation amongst those waiting in the crowd after so many hours of waiting.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DIANA MURIEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The time had finally come. The body of Pope John Paul II, encased in a cypress wood casket carried, out of the basilica of St. Peters by 12 pallbearers to the crowds who awaited him in the piazza below.

Among them, kings and queens, presidents and prime ministers, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and the eastern patriarchs of the Catholic Church. Further out in the crowd, tens of thousands of the faithful from all over the world. Among them, countless Poles who made the long journey to say goodbye to their native son for the last time.

Their national flag reflecting the color of the cardinals. Capes sailing in the wind as they came to kneel in front of the body of the Holy Father.

German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a close friend of the pope, led the service.

CARDINAL JOSEPH RATZINGER, GERMANY (through translator): Today we bury his remains in the earth as a seed of immortality. Our hearts are full of sadness, yet, at the same time, of joyful hope and profound gratitude.

MURIEL: The cardinal's words met with applause from the crowd, but also tears and muttered prayers as thousands followed the proceedings on screens around the city.

As the priests exchanged the kiss of peace, one to another, the hand of friendship also extended among the great and the good. President George W. Bush leaning back to shake the hand of the Turkish prime minister.

Communion was given not just to the dignitaries, but also to the ordinary people who had waited so patiently for so many hours to be there.

As the communion ended, the cry went up, "Santo subito," sainthood now, as thousands called for the sanctification of Pope John Paul II.

The eastern patriarchs ended the service. Chanting in Greek, their gowns billowing in the breeze. Then almost three hours after the proceedings began, the casket was lifted once again and carried to the basilica, turned by the pallbearers to face the crowd in one last gesture of farewell.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MURIEL: The burial itself a private affair in the crypt of St. Peter's. The Vatican releasing soon afterwards these intimate photographs of the coffin being lowered into the grave, the final last resting place of this much loved man of god -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Diana Muriel, thank you very much. Diana Muriel reporting for us from Rome.

And joining us now a little bit -- to talk a little bit more about the funeral of Pope John Paul II, our CNN Vatican analyst Delia Gallagher.

Was there anything that surprised you in the course of these seven hours from beginning to end of this funeral, Delia?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN ANALYST: Well, frankly, Wolf, it all surprised me. I don't think any of us were really expecting such an outpouring, such a sense of emotion. Everybody here is talking about it, almost as if you can't quite absorb the atmosphere here because it was -- it was absolutely something I've never seen in the years covering the Vatican.

And I've seen plenty of large crowds coming to St. Peter's Square, but the feeling today, of course, was entirely different. Especially, I think, that moment when they raised the casket to take it in, turn it around for the last time and take it into St. Peter's Square.

The audience interrupted Cardinal Ratzinger's speech several times with cheers. And just a huge outpouring. I know we've said it many times already, and I hope that it came across on your screens. But it really was an amazing event today. I've never seen anything like it.

WOODRUFF: Delia, it's Judy Woodruff. The -- we're told that the homily was translated into something, what is it 10 different languages. And we read so much about the universal feel of the crowd there. How much did you sense that, that this truly was a worldwide audience there?

GALLAGHER: Well, I think you only needed to looked at the flags, at the heads of state that were here today. But the pope has always had a universal crowd.

There have always been since he has come into his pontificate crowds here that have come from all over the world. And you can see that also in the liturgy.

You mentioned that Cardinal Ratzinger's homily was translated, but even during the liturgy itself there were readings in different languages, there were songs in different language, there were the prayers of the faithful read by people from different parts of the country. And so this is something that the pope himself instituted, this kind of internationalization, not only of his liturgy but, of course, also of his College of Cardinals, which will prove to be very important now in the coming weeks.

WOODRUFF: All right. Delia Gallagher at the Vatican for us. Thank you very much, Delia -- Wolf.

WOODRUFF: Here in the United States, Judy, mourners in the heavily Polish neighborhoods of Chicago today honored the life of John Paul II. Thousands of people, some waving the Polish flag, marched several miles on their way to a memorial mass. Many in the procession sang songs, including immigrants and children in Polish folk costumes, while others carried photos of the pope.

Here in Washington, some are remembering the pope with the visit to the John Paul II Cultural Center over at Catholic University in Washington. We spoke with one of those visitors just a short time ago.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This pope was like a father, a leader, a true guide to the church. And he really traveled a lot and touched all the Christians in the world, not just Catholic. And I feel like he was a father, like someone that I knew, that I grew up in a household with. And for that reason, yes, it's very moving. It's like losing my own father.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: And with us now for a little bit more on today's events, Father David O'Connell. He's the president of Catholic University here in Washington.

Did you ever go to a funeral where the ceremony was interrupted repeatedly by applause?

REV. DAVID O'CONNELL, PRESIDENT, CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY: I've never been to a funeral where the ceremony was interrupted by applause. This was extraordinary.

I understand that during the cardinal's homily, 13 times the crowd broke into spontaneous applause. And what was surprising to me was how easy the cardinal accepted that. That was unusual.

I would expect that he would just try to press on. But he didn't. He allowed the applause to continue.

WOODRUFF: What did you make of the -- we've talked a lot about the ritual of it. Was everything about this funeral appropriate to you? Did anything surprise you, seem discordant? I mean, as someone who...

O'CONNELL: You know, the funny thing about this was the simplicity of the funeral liturgy itself. This was the same liturgy that would celebrated for me, for any Catholic.

There was nothing extra added to this, apart from the crowds and the size, and so forth. This was the typical funeral liturgy. The only thing different that I noticed in the celebration itself was at the end when the eastern Catholic priests and the orthodox came around the coffin at the very end and started chanting in Greek. That was an extra added piece. And it represented the Holy Father's outreach to the eastern churches.

WOODRUFF: All right. Father O'Connell. And, of course, we're going to be coming back to you many times. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.

So our special coverage of the pope's funeral is just getting started. Straight ahead, the pope and the president.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He had a great affection for this Holy Father and for what he stood for in the world.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WOODRUFF: George W. Bush calls today's funeral mass extremely moving. We'll have the president's very personal comments about the legacy of John Paul II.

BLITZER: And later, Britain gets ready for a low-key royal wedding. We'll go live to London for a preview.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: President and Mrs. Bush are heading back to their ranch in Crawford, Texas, after attending the pope's funeral.

WOODRUFF: And Mr. Bush said the funeral experience was one of the highlights of his presidency.

Let's go now to our senior White House correspondent John King. He is in Vatican City still.

John, we know the president flying back to the United States. They are still in the air, but en route. The president has had a pretty long talk with reporters?

JOHN KING, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Forty-five minutes, Judy, the president had that conversation aboard Air Force One. And the president using some remarkable language.

This is a president who we know is open about his faith, talks openly about his faith quite a bit. But even for Mr. Bush quite remarkable spiritual language today as he discussed his experience here in St. Peter's Square today for the funeral and over the past 40 hours that Mr. Bush was in Rome.

The president using quite remarkable language. He called the ceremony "majestic." He said he was moved much more than he expected to be, specifically noting the music as he was listening to the ceremony and watching that very plain cedar coffin brought out at the beginning of the Catholic mass here earlier today.

The president also talked of feeling of spirit with him, a presence throughout his time here in Rome. Especially, he said, when he paused for prayer and reflection Wednesday night after arriving when he went inside the basilica to view the pope's body lying in state.

The president also spoke in that conversation of confronting the doubts in what he called his walk in faith, saying that he had no doubt there is a living god and no doubt that, "the lord, Christ, was sent by the almighty." Now, in that conversation, the president also weighted into a bit of a controversy caused by one of the fellow members of the U.S. delegation, former president of the United States Bill Clinton.

On the way over to Rome, Mr. Clinton was discussing John Paul's legacy, and he offered high praise of the pontiff, saying that he was a great human being, a historic figure, a great moral leader. But the president also said this -- President Clinton said, "John Paul II may have a mixed legacy," noting that many Catholics disagree with the church's edicts on issues like abortion and the death penalty.

Mr. Bush was asked about that on Air Force One today, and he offered a much different assessment, clearly disagreeing with Mr. Clinton. President Bush saying, "I think Pope John Paul II will have a clear legacy of peace, compassion, and a strong legacy of setting a clear moral tone."

And the president then came back to that, interrupting himself, giving an answer to another question. The president told reporters, "A clear and excellent legacy, if you don't mind adding the word 'excellent.'" So the president clearly and passionately speaking about what he believes will be John Paul II's legacy.

And Judy, the president said that this was a ceremony so moving to him, that he called it a reaffirmation of this own faith and he predicted it would be a reaffirmation of faith for millions around the world -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Now John, we understand the president also had talked to reporters a little bit about what it was like to "hang out" with the two former presidents.

KING: He did. It's a remarkable scene.

The president has now spent three days with his father, the 41st president of the United States, and Bill Clinton, his predecessor, the 42nd president of the United States. Quite remarkable.

On the ground the past three days, those two former presidents have been invited to the highly classified daily intelligence briefing. Mr. Bush saying he wanted to do that because he wanted to learn from them. He said when issues come up about intelligence, about the terrorist threat, about other developments around the world, that both his father and Bill Clinton offer their insights, offer some examples of their own interactions with other foreign leaders that they all, of course, encountered on this trip here to the pope's funeral. Mr. Bush saying that he learned quite a bit, and also saying that he had quite a bit of fun -- Judy.

BLITZER: It's Wolf, John. What about some of the other subjects that came up during that 45-minute session aboard Air Force One? For example, the president's commenting on the recent poll numbers and on the House majority leader, Tom DeLay?

KING: More fascinating political talk, Wolf, from the president in that conversation. I'll take Tom DeLay first.

The House majority leader, Mr. DeLay, has suggested maybe some retribution against those federal judges who refused to intervene after Congress passed that legislation giving the federal courts jurisdiction over the Terri Schiavo case. Mr. Bush was asked about that, and he said that he believes that we need an independent -- "I believe in an independent judiciary. I believe in proper checks and balances."

So the president clearly in no mood for any retribution against those judges. And now the president was also asked, as you noted, about polls.

His approval rating is now at an all-time low, and some have speculated that is because the focus now is on Social Security and domestic issues, much less on the president's key strength, the war on terrorism and foreign policy.

The president shrugging that off, saying all presidents have to deal with both foreign and domestic issues. The president saying he's still confident that he'll win on the Social Security debate and get legislation through this year.

And even though right now his own plan is in deep trouble, Wolf, the president joking with reporters, saying he's very much enjoying this debate and he's going to keep at it.

BLITZER: All right. Our John King is in the Vatican doing our reporting for us. Thanks, John, very much for that report.

Judy, who would have thought when this president took office foreign policy would emerge as his strong point with the American public given his lack of experience when he was governor of Texas...

WOODRUFF: In so many ways.

BLITZER: ... and earlier hadn't even traveled that much abroad. But now it is his strength as the president, national security, the war on terrorism, and foreign policy.

We're going to take a quick break. When we come back, how much of an impact did the pope have on our politics? We'll ask two of our wise men, Bill Schneider and Carlos Watson.

We'll be back in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: With the burial of the pope now over, the focus will soon shift to the search for his successor. Next, we'll go back live to Rome to talk about the upcoming conclave at the Vatican.

BLITZER: Also ahead, tomorrow's major story, the royal wedding. We'll go live to Britain for a preview of Charles and Camilla's big day.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Our coverage of the funeral of Pope John Paul II continues in just a moment, including a look at the pope's political influence on Catholic voters right here in the United States.

WOODRUFF: Plus, a preview of tomorrow's big royal event in Britain. We'll have an update on the Windsor wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.

But first, it is just about 4:00 on the East Coast. And as the markets get set to close on Wall Street, as we do every day, we're joined by Kitty Pilgrim in New York with "The Dobbs Report.

Hi, Kitty.

KITTY PILGRIM, CNN ANCHOR: Let's take a look at stocks. They're broadly lower. The DOW industrial's down about 83 points, the NASDAQ lower, about one percent lower. Crude oil fell 79 cents a barrel -- that's good news. It dropped two dollars yesterday.

Let's take a look at some corporate news. We could have a cable deal. News reports say two largest cable companies, Comcast and Time Warner, have teamed up to buy Adelphia, a cash and stock deal, $18 billion. Adelphia collapsed into bankruptcy three years ago after an accounting scandal, and Time Warner, of course, is the parent of this network.

In other news, U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, stepping out of the Enron case. His predecessor, John Ashcroft, also recused him from the Enron criminal prosecutions. No official word why, but Gonzales did do legal work for Enron when he was practicing law in Houston.

And, get ready to pay more for stamps. The U.S. Postal Service says it needs two cents' increase in first-class mail, and if that increase is approved, stamps would go from 37 cents to 39 cents. That would be early next year. The last time posted rates went up was 2002.

Now, coming up on CNN, 6:00 p.m. Eastern, "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT," hospitals with emergency rooms are required to treat patients with emergency medical needs, even if they are in this country illegally.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRANK BARRETT, CFO, JACKSON MEMORIAL HOSPITAL: We have a burden that we clearly didn't ask for but we're taking it on. We are treating everybody who comes through our door and we treat everybody the same. We don't distinguish from your status as a citizen in this country in this institution.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

PILGRIM: Also tonight, the Department of Homeland Security is transferring an additional 500 border patrol agents to stop the flow of illegal aliens from Mexico, but does that leave us unprotected in other spots? We'll have a full report.

And then, Wal-Mart is doing damage control on its image. We take a detailed look at their retailer's battle to overcome state and local opposition to its huge stores.

And, Harvard professor Gary Orfield is the author of "Drop-outs in America." He joins us to discuss the alarmingly high drop-out rate in the United States. All of that and more on "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT" at 6:00 p.m. Eastern, but for now, back to Judy Woodruff.

WOODRUFF: Kitty, thank you very much.

Our special coverage of the pope's funeral continues right now.

BLITZER: Welcome back. It's now just past 10:00 p.m. in Rome and the massive crowds that gathered for today's funeral of Pope John Paul II have begun their journey's home.

WOODRUFF: By one count, there were 57 heads of state at today's funeral mass, along with more than 140 non-Catholic religious leaders. They were joined by millions of people from around the world, and from all walks of life who came to mourn the pope's death.

WOODRUFF (voice-over): Crowds carried banners and flags, many from Poland where the pope was born. After the two and a half hour service, the pope was buried in the grotto underneath St. Peter's Basilica.

BLITZER: With us now to share some thoughts on today's historic events, our CNN Vatican analyst John Allen.

It was a simple, traditional funeral, as you say, but it went on for seven long hours. Very moving. What was the most moving moment for you, John?

JOHN ALLEN, CNN VATICAN ANALYST: Wolf, I would say it was the vox populi dimension of the mass. I mean, as you say, this is a very highly scripted funeral rite, and typically there aren't many surprises, but what we saw today is that at certain moments of this liturgy, this rite, the crowd actually took control. The interrupted cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, his homily, by my count at least 12 times with applause. Every time Cardinal Ratzinger would mention the suffering of the pope, the sacrifice of the pope, virtually anytime he invoked the pope's name, there was applause, and of course, as you remember from watching it, in several instances, there were also insistent chance of "santo, santo" which in Italian means "saint."

It's a striking sort of hearkening back to the ancient tradition where saints were declared, not by a former ecclesiastical process but by sort of popular consensus. And there were also those chants of "Giovanni Paldor (ph)" or "John Paul," reminiscent of so many of John Paul's public appearances over the years. It really was a moment in which the crowd simply was not going to be excluded from having its voice heard.

WOODRUFF: John, we've heard so much about the ritual, the precise ritual of this funeral. Was there anything about it that was a break from tradition?

ALLEN: Well, not a break in the strict sense of the term, but -- but there was an element of it that was first introduced into the papal funeral rite Paul VI and maintained by John Paul, both John Paul I and John Paul II, which is that when you saw his casket on display, in St. Peter's Square, traditionally the papal casket that you would see there would be a highly ornate sort of luxurious thing.

But Paul VI decided that instead what he wanted was a simple wooden casket with nothing other than a book of the gospels, the four gospels on top, and I think what was particularly striking and poetically appropriate -- this was a very windy day in Rome. So that book of the gospels was opened at beginning of the service, by the end, it was closed, sort of capturing and symbolizing the fact that John Paul's pontificate and John Paul's life, of course, has drawn to a close.

WOODRUFF: Symbolism. All right, John Allen, thank you very much. John Allen joining us from Rome.

ALLEN: You're welcome.

WOODRUFF: We turn our attention now to the church and its influence on American politics next.

BLITZER: Our BILL SCHNEIDER will take a closer look at the relationship between Catholic teachings and U.S. election results.

WOODRUFF: Pope's funeral drew TV viewers from around the world and around the globe. We'll sample the coverage provided by broadcasters in some might consider unlikely regions of the world.

BLITZER: But first, Britain's Prince Charles attend the funeral, tomorrow he's getting married. We'll preview tomorrow's latest royal wedding. Much more coverage. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Welcome back. Let's get a quick check of some other stories now in the news. CNN has learned Eric Rudolph has agreed to plead guilt in connection with a 1996 Olympic bombing in Atlanta, a 1998 bombing at a woman's clinic in Birmingham, and two other blasts. The plea deal means Rudolph will avoid the death penalty, and instead receive a sentence of life in prison without parole. Jury selection in this trial had started Wednesday.

Lawyers for accused dirty bomb suspect Jose Padilla have again appealed to the U.S. supreme court, challenging his continued detention as an enemy combatant. A federal judge in February ordered Padilla to be released, but his case has been on hold pending a justice department appeal. Padilla has been held for three years without any charges being filed.

A week before the scheduled funeral of Monaco's Prince Rainier, his son-in-law is now hospitalized in serious condition. The 51-year- old husband of Princess Caroline is suffering from acute pancreatic infection. Caroline's 81-year-old father died Wednesday of heart, lung, and kidney failure.

WOODRUFF: Much of the world's attention lately has been focused on the pope's funeral, and someone said, well, we haven't seen that kind of global interest since the royal marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Well now, the world will turn its attention to another royal wedding tomorrow, that of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles.

This wedding will be just a civil ceremony. It will take place at Windsor's town hall with fewer than 30 guests. The queen and her husband Prince Philip will not be there. They, and hundreds of guests, including leaders, celebrities and other royalty, will be at Windsor Castle for a religious blessing that takes place after the wedding. Charles and Camilla will later honeymoon in Birkhall Mansion (ph) in Scotland.

CNN's Paula Hancocks is outside Windsor Palace near London, and she joins us live now for more for tomorrow's wedding. I guess, Paula, the anticipation builds.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right, Judy.

Although, this afternoon, to be honest, there were more journalists and police than there were locals. There are a few locals walking around, quite bemused about the whole thing. But we are expecting thousands on Saturday as it has been postponed by a day for the pope's funeral. It is expected that there could be a bigger crowd coming on Saturday, as it is a weekend.

Security checks have been undergoing today, especially since on Thursday we had that very serious security breach, where a tabloid undercover reporter/photographer actually drove into the castle behind me, where most of the celebrations and the blessing will be going on on Saturday. And they drove in a white van with a black box in the back marked "bomb," so, as you can imagine, the security here is very tight at the moment. Also, some police have been saying they are also on the lookout that could be some ardent Diana fans coming to protest against the wedding and that's one thing that obviously has been coming up in recent days, the comparison between Camilla and Diana. Some people are saying the ghost of Diana could shed the relationship and the whole wedding day.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

HANCOCKS (voice-over): She was known as the people's princess. Followed by the paparazzi wherever she went, she was considered a style icon, a role model, and she quickly became the world's most photographed woman. Charles' second wife to be, Camilla, has had to live with comparisons for years. Happy to blend into the background, many people don't even know what Camilla's voice sounds like. Diana was more willing to talk.

PRINCESS DIANA: Well, there was three of this in marriage, so it was a bit crowded.

HANCOCKS: The irony is Camilla couldn't have feel the same way.

ROBERT JOBSON, ROYAL COMMENTATOR: I think Camilla Parker-Bowles, duchess of -- whom or whatever she'll be called, will never bear the shape, the shadow of Princess Diana. She is somebody who will always be there, if you like, to haunt the royal couple. It's make life very difficult for them because comparisons will be inevitable, particularly by the tabloid media who simply won't let that one go.

HANCOCKS: The contrast between Charles' first and second weddings could not be starker. In 1981, Charles married the blushing 20-year-old Diana before a television audience of 800 million. This Saturday he marries Camilla in front of 30 people. Cameras are barred.

There are some Diana lovers willing to let bygones be bygones. This man has been camping out on this Windsor Park bench more than two weeks just to make sure he gets a prime position for Charles and Camilla's big day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I wish to show them that at least somebody out here in the real world that does care about this. Diana -- Camilla is not Diana. She would not wish in any shape or form to take over Diana's role as queen of all the hearts in this country.

HANCOCKS: But others are less willing to accept a new princess. Diana's untimely death provoked one of the largest ever national outpourings of grief. Thousands came to lay flowers at her residence Kensington Palace.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

HANCOCKS (on camera): And one interesting thing we should watch out for tomorrow, is during the blessings at St. George's palace, inside George's Chapel in the castle behind me, Camilla Parker-Bowles and Prince Charles will actually be reciting the strongest act of penitence that they can during that blessing, almost a live, televised confession, if you like, acknowledging their sin and their wickedness -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: With the word "wickedness," we've all noticed that. All right, Paula, thank you very much. And we do invite all of you to watch CNN's live coverage of the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles, beginning tomorrow morning at 6:00 Eastern.

BLITZER: Up next, we'll take a closer look at the influence of the Catholic Church, its teachings, on American politics.

WOODRUFF: The old rules don't always apply when it comes to predicting voter behavior. Our Bill Schneider takes a look at the shifting political sentiments of the nation's Catholic voters.

ANNOUNCER: A CNN special event, tomorrow morning, the royal wedding. Decades in the making, a love story with its share of drama and heartache culminates with the marriage of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles. CNN's Anderson Cooper and Becky Anderson bring you live coverage. A spectacular event royal-watchers won't want to miss. CNN tomorrow morning, beginning 6:00 a.m. Eastern.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BLITZER: Welcome back.

When it comes to U.S. politics, the Catholic vote has shifted in recent decades away from its original home in the Democratic party, to become a more Republican-leaning block of voters.

Our senior political analyst Bill Schneider has more on the changing political sentiments among American Catholics.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BILL SCHNEIDER, SR POLITICAL ANALYST: When John F. Kennedy ran for president in 1960, he was worried about losing Protestant voters. JFK was the second Roman Catholic candidate for president and he remembered what happened to the first, Al Smith, in 1920. Kennedy had to reassure Protestants.

JOHN F. KENNEDY, FMR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I do not speak for my church on public matters, and the church does not speak for me.

SCHNEIDER: It worked. In the previous election, Democrat Adly Stephenson got 37 percent of the Protestant vote and a bare majority of Catholics. In 1960, the Democratic vote among Protestants held up, even though Kennedy was a Catholic. What put Kennedy over the top was his soaring support among his fellow Catholics, nearly 80 percent.

44 years later, the Democrats, once again, nominated a Catholic. But Kerry's problems were mostly with the Catholic Church, which was critical of him for not letting church teachings dictate his politics. Kerry had to reassure Catholics. SEN. JOHN F. KERRY (D), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I can't take what is an article of faith for me, and legislate it for someone who doesn't share that article of faith.

SCHNEIDER: What happened? Kerry's support among Protestants was slightly higher than JFK's: 40 percent for Kerry among Protestants, 38 percent for JFK. The big difference was with Catholic voters. The pride that swelled Kennedy's support among Catholics in 1960 did not seem to be there for Kerry in 2004. The Catholic vote went narrowly for George W. Bush, a Protestant.

What happened between 1960 and 2004 was that religion began to loom larger in American politics, not religious affiliation -- whether you are a Protestant or Catholic -- but religious observance, whether you are a regular or an occasional churchgoer. Both Protestants and Catholics split, with regular churchgoers voting more Republican. Nearly half of U.S. Catholics attend church regularly, and they gave Bush a 13-point lead over Kerry. Kerry did better among Catholics who are not regular churchgoers, where he led Bush by one point.

Pope John Paul II aggressively promoted church doctrine on social issues. In many cases, that doctrine is conservative, and it divides Catholics. On abortion, for instance, 42 percent of church-going Catholics believe abortion should be illegal under any circumstances. Only 10 percent of less observant Catholics feel that way. The Catholic Church was prominent in the struggle to keep Terri Schiavo alive.

BRO. PAUL O'DONNELL, SCHINDLER FAMILY SPOKESMAN: Governor Bush, as one Catholic to another, as one Catholic Christian family to another, have moral courage. Step forward and save Terri Schiavo.

SCHNEIDER: 60 percent of church-going Catholics felt Ms. Schiavo's feeding tube should have not been removed. Among less observant Catholics, 36 percent felt that way. But Catholic teachings about life are not invariably conservative.

CARDINAL THEODORE MCCARRICK, ARCHBISHOP OF WASHINGTON: Use of the death penalty ought to be abandoned in our nation because we do have alternate ways of protecting society.

SCHNEIDER: Religious observance makes a difference here, too. Only 29 percent of church-going Catholics favor the death penalty for murder. Among less observant Catholics, nearly two-thirds support death penalty.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHNEIDER: What's changed between 1960 and 2004? Just this: being Catholic matters less politically. Being a religious Catholic matters more.

WOODRUFF: Hm. We're trying to follow that. Okay. Bill, stay with us.

BLITZER: Carlos Watson, our political analyst, is also here. Carlos, this relationship between American Catholics and politics, you've been thinking a lot about it.

CARLOS WATSON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: I have. In fact, what's interesting is, as Bill pointed out, it's changed from 1960 to 2004, but it's worth noting that the pope and Catholicism is very relevant in the politics going back to the 1840s. In fact, the elections of 1884 and 1924 are at least two elections that were meaningful changed based on that issue.

But here are a couple of things, I think, Wolf, to look ahead at. Catholics are not only played in a relative important role in the legislatures, but also in the Supreme Court. Three of the nine justices, including Scalia, Thomas and Kennedy, are all Catholic and remember that some of the biggest issues aren't just going through the legislature but they're going through the court, including what role should God play in the public square? Remember the ten commandment issue and other issues? So that's another place to watch in terms of the role of the pope and the role of Catholicism as we look forward.

BLITZER: Is it too early to assess what the political fallout here in the United States will be from the death of Pope John Paul II and the emergence of a new pope?

WATSON: It may be, but I tell you what is very interesting about this year, 2005. 2004 big election year, big political year. But even though we don't have an election, we've had several teaching moments, and this could be one. Steroids was a big public teaching moment. So, too, as you think about it, was the Schiavo issue. So, too, was the success of the Iraqi elections. And this could be yet another one where people think about their faith again, think about some of the pope's teachings and look ahead to potentially, in terms of who the next pope, is including some Latin American, that could be a pretty meaningful moment.

WOODRUFF: Bill Schneider, is there any sign out there, though, of people who are uncomfortable with the idea of this getting-closer- together of church and state?

SCHNEIDER: Oh, there are plenty of people who are uncomfortable with the idea, just as there were during Kennedy's time. The idea is that church -- any specific church teaching should be kept separate from politics and from government. But what is under debate, is should religion in general, faith in general, play a role in American government? And there are a lot of Americans who believe the founding fathers wanted religion, no particular religion, but faith could be part of American civic culture.

WOODRUFF: Which is something we're going to continue to discuss. Bill Schneider, thank you very much. And Carlos.

SCHNEIDER: Good to see you.

BLITZER: Can't forget Carlos.

WOODRUFF: And we never do.

WATSON: I hope not. BLITZER: Thanks, Carlos.

When we come back, we will have a look back at the pope's extraordinary life. Also, how he used his position of influence to break down religious and political boundaries. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: We continue our coverage for today's funeral for Pope John Paul II. After a 2 1/2 hour mass, attended by world's top dignitaries, John Paul's body was buried in the grotto beneath St. Peter's Basilica as prolytes (ph) and members of the papal household watched. The funeral brought millions of pilgrims to Rome and many of them chanted "santo, santo" a plea that John Paul should be elevated to sainthood.

BLITZER: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the dean of the college of cardinals, deliver a homily that traced John Paul's life from his early days in Poland to his 26 years in the papacy. He was interrupted many times by both cheers and applause. Around the world, millions more watched the mass on television. It's believed to have been the most widely viewed funeral in history.

From the beginning to the end, CNN's Jim Bittermann covered Pope John Paul II for a quarter century. He offers this remembrance from Rome.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Until the end, the holy man in the plain-wooden casket, never stopped drawing people together. World leaders who are enemies, join one another on the steps of St. Peter's Basilica. Religious leaders who follow radically different paths to spirituality, sat next it each other. And for days, ordinary people who had never met were jammed together, just to bid him farewell.

And if there was spontaneous outbursts of applause in the middle of a requiem mass, it was because many were grateful. The faithful were no doubt saying thank you for his spiritual guidance, but the political and religious leaders owed him, too. Polish and Philippines' presidents give him credit for helping him plant democracy. Presidents from Syria to Cuba have benefited from basking in the pope's reflected virtue.

Even the U.S. president had reason to say thanks: after all, didn't the pope first coin the idea of "culture of life," long before the Washington speech writers.

(SINGING)

And there's no question the religious leaders on St. Peter's steps were in the pope's debt. It isn't just that he personally appointed 232 cardinals during his long reign. It's more the way he changed the image of Catholicism and the papacy. He propelled the ancient church forward into a 24/7 world. His longtime colleague Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger praised the virtues of the pope. He was sure that the pope was looking down on the hundreds of thousands who had gathered to bid him farewell.

CARDINAL JOSEPH RATZINGER, DEAN OF COLLEGE OF CARDINALS (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Our pope -- and we all know this -- never wanted to make his own life secure, to keep it for himself. He wanted to give of himself unreservedly to the very last moment.

BITTERMANN: Throughout his reign, the pope tried to show his church could revive the spiritual glue to hold together a shrinking and divided world. Some bought it. Some didn't. But even those who didn't could never accuse John Paul of acting out of mortal motives. He went to his grave having clearly demonstrated how one person can move mountains.

Jim Bittermann, CNN, Rome.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

WOODRUFF: The man who led the U.S. delegation to the funeral, President Bush, is flying back to the United States at this hour. Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, the president called the pontiff funeral service majestic and said that he was moved by the sight of the pope's plain wooden casket. The president did lead a U.S. delegation to the funeral that included former Presidents Bush and Clinton.

Many American Catholics followed today's funeral service on television.

BLITZER: While they were united today in mourning the death of the pope, U.S. Catholics are a diverse group, as illustrated by two of our "CROSSFIRE" co-hosts, the conservative Robert Novak, the liberal Paul Begala, both good Catholics -- I don't know if good Catholics -- but both Catholics. I am sure Bob is a good Catholic. I am not sure about Paul Begala.

PAUL BEGALA, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Well, now, who are to you pass moral judgment on my religion, Mr. Blitzer?

BLITZER: All right, go ahead. Go ahead.

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: My goodness gracious, on the day of my Holy Father's funeral. My eldest son is named John Paul after the pope.

BLITZER: So you are -- so you are a good Catholic.

BEGALA: I am serious. Actually, that annoys me. I don't think anybody should presume that a liberal is not a good Catholic.

ROBERT NOVAK, CO-HOST, "CROSSFIRE": Paul -- Paul -- Paul is a good Catholic.

BEGALA: The Holy Father is liberal.

And, in fact, when Carlos was speaking, I was watching in the green room. Underneath, some producer had written, "Many Catholic doctrines are conservative." Absolutely correct. Many are liberal as well. The Holy Father bitterly opposed President Bush's war in Iraq.

He came to St. Louis -- and I was there -- and he begged America to give up the death penalty. President Bush strongly supports it, as did President Clinton and others. Many of the Holy Father's views, my church's viewers are views are extraordinarily liberal. I mean, the pope talked about savage, unbridled capitalism, not Bob Novak's capitalism.

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: I was only teasing.

BEGALA: OK.

BLITZER: Don't be so sensitive.

BEGALA: Well, it's an important day for my faith.

BLITZER: It's a very important day.

BEGALA: He's the only pope of my adult lifetime, so I'm a little emotional.

(CROSSTALK)

BLITZER: It's a very important day for Bob Novak.

Go ahead, Bob.

NOVAK: This was a tremendous political figure, as well as spiritual figure.

Most popes, my reading of the church, were either political or spiritual, one or the other. He was both. But you have to realize, in 1979, when he became pope, there was a tremendous amount of the malaise, if I could use that word, to use Jimmy Carter's word, in the West, of discouragement. People really thought that communism was in the ascendancy. This was before Reagan.

And this -- this pope was such an inspirational figure. And I believe that he was the central figure in the Eastern European revolution in the downfall of communism.

WOODRUFF: What about the comments on Air Force One today? We know that Bill Clinton -- I gather former President Clinton on the way over had talked to reporters about the mixed legacy of this pope.

NOVAK: Yes.

WOODRUFF: President Bush today weighed in and said, no, he thinks the legacy is a straight, positive... (CROSSTALK)

NOVAK: Yes. I was disappointed in President Clinton's comments about a mixed legacy. I believe that -- I believe that you should give a little leeway to ex-presidents to say things and make mistakes.

But I thought that was unfortunate. I thought he was triangulating again, trying to please people, conservatives and the liberals in the church who don't like some of the orthodox doctrine of the pope. And he really didn't have to do that, because I do believe that, in addition to what I mentioned, the conservative anti- communism, this pope this was a -- this was a very exciting thing that I particularly began to appreciate after I became a Catholic.

He was a tremendous figure among the youth of the world. The youth of the world was attracted to him spiritually.

BLITZER: All right, go ahead.

BEGALA: Well, that's absolutely true.

And the youth was drawn to him. At World Youth Day, when he was in Denver, I had a chance to go there. It was remarkable for someone that old to have that much appeal. Now, I will say, in defense of my old boss President Clinton, that phrase was completely taken out of context. He said, like all of us, he has good and bad in his legacy.

NOVAK: But he wasn't like all of us.

BEGALA: Well, he was certainly better, certainly better than most of us. But he was a human being. And there were -- I don't want to talk about it on the day of his funeral, but there certainly were bad moments under his leadership, but it mostly very good.

President Bush said almost the same thing, interestingly. He now corrected it. But before he took off to go to Rome, he was asked about it. And he said, well, the pope was a man of peace. He didn't like war. And we talked about that a lot. He didn't like my war.

You could see he was sort of scrolling through mentally the conversations he had had with the Holy Father, no doubt conversations in which the pope pleaded with him not to go to war in Iraq. The president did what he thought was best. That's his prerogative. But that's one I think the president was wrong about and the pope was right.

BLITZER: What was amazing about the three presidents who went over, this great relationship that has developed between President Clinton and the two Presidents Bush.

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: I think that's good for America. It really is. There's a long history between those families.

NOVAK: You know what the problem -- you know what the problem is there.

BLITZER: Is there a problem? Why should there be a problem there?

NOVAK: The problem you is, you put anybody in a room with Bill Clinton and he gets seduced.

(LAUGHTER)

WOODRUFF: So, you think that is what has happened to President Bush?

NOVAK: Of course. You can't -- you can't help but be charmed by him. Now, I know one person...

WOODRUFF: Has that happened to you?

NOVAK: No.

(LAUGHTER)

NOVAK: But I'm a little different.

(LAUGHTER)

BLITZER: Newt Gingrich used to say that all the time.

NOVAK: It was true. It was true.

BLITZER: When he the speaker of the House, he used to always say, I go to the White House and I'm there with Bill Clinton and he -- sort of melts.

(CROSSTALK)

NOVAK: I want to say -- I want to say one thing, though, that I think that the -- that the pope played a major role in the growth of the church in the Third World.

I think that was because I -- when I was a boy growing up, the pope was somebody who was cloistered in the Vatican. Nobody got to see him. He didn't see anybody. But he went to Africa, to Latin American. And that had enormous impact, I think, on the church in those areas.

BLITZER: I think it's fair to say, Judy, two very good Catholics.

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: Sorry to jump on you like that.

BLITZER: Excellent Catholics joining us.

NOVAK: OK. Thank you.

WOODRUFF: And influential individuals.

(LAUGHTER)

BEGALA: Well, I hope not.

(LAUGHTER)

WOODRUFF: All right. Thank you both very much, Paul Begala, Bob Novak.

BEGALA: Thanks, Judy. Thanks, Wolf.

WOODRUFF: So, the pope's funeral did prove to be a draw for people of all nations and all faiths. And there were some surprising sources featuring live reports of the service. We're going to look at who tuned in to say farewell to the pontiff.

We're back with more on the funeral of Pope John Paul II in a moment.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Time now for a check of other stories in the news.

Eric Rudolph has agreed to plead guilty in connection with the 1996 Olympic bombing in Atlanta, a 1998 bombing at a woman's clinic in Birmingham and two other blasts. The deal means that Rudolph will avoid the death penalty and instead receive a life-in-prison sentence. Jury selection in his trial had started Wednesday.

Accused dirty bomb suspect and American citizen Jose Padilla has agreed -- rather, again appealed to the Supreme Court. His lawyers filed papers late yesterday challenging his continued military detention and his designation as an enemy combatant.

Padilla was arrested at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport in 2002 after returning from Pakistan.

There is going to be a solar eclipse shortly, visible from the South Pacific to the Americas. The moon will blot out a portion of the sun, reaching its maximum coverage at 6:20 p.m. Eastern. So, check your watches. In the United States, the best view will be in South Florida. This will be the last solar eclipse visible from the continental United States for seven years.

BLITZER: This week, Judy, a news photographer working as a CBS freelancer was wounded during a clash between U.S. troops and insurgents. Now that photographer has been arrested as a suspected insurgent himself.

Let's go live to our senior Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre.

Jamie, what's going on?

JAMIE MCINTYRE, CNN SR. MILITARY AFFAIRS CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, as you recall, the U.S. military initially expressed regret that a man who was thought to be an insurgent with a weapon in fact was a cameraman with a video camera and was shot in Mosul.

Now they are not so sure he was an innocent victim. It happened on Tuesday in Mosul, when U.S. troops were responding to the scene of an earlier suicide bombing. They shot and killed one man with an AK- 47 rifle. And the man standing next to him, the journalist, was hit in the hip with a bullet. After they discovered that he was unarmed, carrying a video camera and carrying credentials from CBS News, he was rushed to a hospital.

And he was about to be released when an examination of his video camera, according to one official, revealed some incriminating evidence, video that indicated he may had been prepositioned or had some prior knowledge of attacks against U.S. and Iraqi targets. That prompted the U.S. military to say that they're investigating his activities and issue a statement today that says -- quote -- "There is probable cause to believe that the detainee poses an imperative threat to coalition forces. He is currently detained and will be processed as any other security detainee."

On its Web site, CBS News has identified the man as Abdul Amir Yonis Hussein (ph), a freelance reporter and cameraman employed by the network. But when contacted by CNN, CBS said it had no prior warning that the man would be detained. They have not been able to talk to him. And a spokesman has only been able to say that they're looking into the situation -- Wolf.

BLITZER: All right, Jamie McIntyre with the latest at the Pentagon -- Jamie, thanks very much.

Just ahead, we'll get back to our coverage of the pope's funeral, including some reaction on the blogs. We'll take a quick break. We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: Obviously, this has been a day that people around the world will remember for the rest of their lives.

BLITZER: And joining us once again, Judy, is Father David O'Connell, the president of the Catholic University of America here in Washington.

I was struck, Father O'Connell, by a sentence that Cardinal Ratzinger made earlier at the funeral mass. He said, "We can be sure that our beloved pope is standing today at the window of the father's house, that he sees us and blesses us."

You believe that deeply in your soul, in your being, don't you?

REV. DAVID O'CONNELL, PRESIDENT, CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY: Yes, I do.

That is a line, of course, from the scripture. In my father's house, there are many mansions, many places to dwell. And I think that all of us believe in faith, having looked at the life of this incredible man, that he truly earned a place in the father's house through his life, his ministry as our shepherd.

WOODRUFF: As you've watched all the events of this week, Father O'Connell, any clearer sense in your mind of what the Catholic Church needs going forward?

O'CONNELL: Well, I think two things. I think someone who's going to continue the charismatic outreach of this man, I think that -- I don't think we can turn the page back. I think this man has set the bar and set it very, very high. And so that is something that I think is going to be necessary, also someone who speaks with moral clarity, but doesn't just -- you know, reflecting back on your previous segment, doesn't just address things as political issues or even Catholic issues, but opens them up, so that all people of goodwill and good intellect can understand them and can see the points that are trying to be made.

BLITZER: Did we get any hints, any clues? You watched every second of the mass earlier today, all seven hours of it, about the direction, as far as the selection of the next pope is concerned from what we today?

O'CONNELL: You know, to be honest with you, I think there's probably a respectful distance that's occurring at this time among the cardinals. I don't think they're probably doing too much in the way of trying to look at the identity -- pick out the identity of the next pope. But I'm sure that, from this point forward, that will be very much on their minds and in their hearts.

BLITZER: You're not going anywhere. You're staying with us, Father O'Connell. Thanks very much.

WOODRUFF: Thank you. Thank you.

Well, millions did watch from across the world the coverage of the pope's funeral on television.

BLITZER: And the bloggers surely are talking about it as well. Our blog reporters will take a closer look at what they're saying when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: While millions of pilgrims were drawn to Rome for the pope's funeral, the worldwide audience was even bigger.

CNN's Brian Todd has that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRIAN TODD, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): From St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, to Trafalgar Square in London, the farewell to Pope John Paul II is an overwhelming draw.

In St. Peter's, extraordinary scenes of leaders shaking hands with those on the opposite political and religious spectrum, an equally powerful experience for millions at home, millions watching television, from Beirut to Bolivia, even the Arab network Al-Jazeera. Perhaps the most widely watched funeral in history signifies an emotional globalization, the likes of which we have never seen.

E.J. DIONNE, "THE WASHINGTON POST": He was just a very powerful personality. And, in this day of television, I worry ever about raising personality, because it sounds like a kind of phony -- a phony thing. But, in his case it's not. There was something very compelling about his story.

TODD: But does John Paul's personal story speak to the pull of these events, why so many non-Catholics came to Rome, why millions who couldn't watched on TV for seven days, why networks with different cultural, political and religious agendas felt they had to carry the funeral?

In this age of bitter global divisions, did John Paul give people what top political leaders could not?

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: The world's only superpower is the United States. But its leader, President Bush, is not a symbol of world unity. He's one of the most divisive figures in the world. The pope was a symbol of unity. He embodied unity.

TODD: The draw could stem from the human need for an icon, that figure with crossover appeal. Like those who've crossed before us in this age of mass media, so many believed they could relate to John Paul, even if they didn't really know him.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TODD: And that, in the end, could be what drew most people to the events in Rome this week. As one Vatican analyst put it, John Paul was, in so many ways, a magnet for humanity -- Judy, Wolf.

WOODRUFF: All right, Brian, thank you very much.

BLITZER: Brian Todd, thanks very much.

Let's get some more reaction to today's funeral of Pope John Paul II. For that, let's check in with our blog reporters, Cal Chamberlain and Jacki Schechner -- Jacki.

JACKI SCHECHNER, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Wolf.

Delia earlier was wondering whether the emotion in Rome was palpable through the television set. I can assure her that, by reading through the blogs today, it in fact was.

We start out with a blog called My So Called Life. This is Mary. She's 21 in the Philippines. She said she watched the three-hour requiem mass on television and was overcome with emotion. She says she felt something so profound, so inexplicable, a mixture of sadness, joy and gratitude. All the while, tears were running down her cheeks.

The other reason why we like this blog today is because it had a history-taking-place post that had an impressive list of all of the dignitaries who were expected to attend from every country and it was in fact very impressive.

CAL CHAMBERLAIN, CNN BLOG REPORTER: And some of those dignitaries were majoring news at their own at the funeral.

Over at "Spinbadz Own" blog at spinbad.blogspot.com under the title "Leaders of Israel, Iran, Syria shake hands at Pope's funeral," she links back to a "Ha'aretz" article that says the president of shook hands twice with the Syrian president and then, at the conclusion of funeral services, shook hands with the president of Iran. And the two spoke for almost an hour in Farsi. And it goes on to say, a nonevent, but a huge nonevent in the context of the history of the Arab-Schindler conflict.

And also commenting is Joy-Ann Reid over at the Reed Report. And that's at blog.reidreport.com. And if it'll load -- yes -- it says, under "Handshakes and handkerchiefs": " The pope's funeral has ended an historic era. It's also launched a new one. John Paul II even proved the great diplomat in death, his funeral becoming the venue for an historic handshake." And it also says, "a small thing, but a good thing."

SCHECHNER: Over at Outside the Beltway in the comments section, we found a post by Graham Lester saying the Syrians are already denying that it ever happened. That news story over at albawaba.com, a Middle Eastern news portal. So, you can go there and read that.

Now, as we expected, a lot of people were going to be live blogging this morning from their homes. They were doing so. We go over to a Canadian Roman Catholic woman at LAMLand. That's LAMLand.blogspot.com.

Three things that were poignant for her in particular. One, at the conclusion of the cardinal's homily, he painted an image of the Holy Father -- well, we can't read it if I highlight it -- of the Holy Father continuing to bless us from the window of God's house. That was especially poignant for her.

The second moment being after communion, when Cardinal Ratzinger wanted to resume the prayer. Young people in the crowd shouting, "Santo, Santo Subito, saint, make him a saint," saying that was incredibly powerful. And then the third moment being very similar, when they turned the pope's casket toward the crowd. Again, they raised up in cheer.

So, things that she noticed through the television that Delia was talking about earlier.

CHAMBERLAIN: And over at the Requiem.net.au, they talk about a BBC article which took note of people who were at the funeral taking photographs with their camera phones and asked the question whether or not it was appropriate or just was a sign of the times, recording a historic moment to share with those couldn't be there?

And his comment was, "When one realizes that, for the last three days, we have seen almost but nothing but the pictures of a dead pope on our television screens, what is the big deal?" And there's another Web site that comments on it. That's called Fish Are People Too, FishArePeopleToo.blogs.com. And there's the picture from the BBC article of people snapping photos. And they say, "That thicket of camera phones is, to me, funny, irreverent and liberating. After all, the Pope is only a dead man to his family and close friends. To the rest of us, he's a media event."

SCHECHNER: One last photo we want to show you before we run out of time here. See if you can get in close on it. It's at Supermum, which is Supermum.blogspot.com. If you can't see it on the TV screen, go to that and you can find it there.

There is a guy in the middle holding up a camera. And it says: "I wonder who he shares his photos with? Does he have a computer? Does he have a blog? In all that pomp and ceremony, that man brought a little bit of the reality of every man."

So, Judy, Wolf, the technology of the first pope and the digital age coming into question at his funeral.

WOODRUFF: Fascinating. Jacki, thank you both. We appreciate it.

Our coverage of the funeral of Pope John Paul II continues.

ANNOUNCER: Funeral for the pope. From a packed St. Peter's Square, to the far reaches of the globe, tens of millions are enraptured.

Paying tribute, from Iran and Syria to Israel and the United States, an extraordinary assembly of world leaders, an outpouring of emotion from the world's citizens. What drew them all together?

John Paul's legacy. He had a pop star's appeal, yet he was deeply conservative. What lessons has he left behind?

ANNOUNCER: CNN's coverage of the funeral of Pope John Paul II continues with Wolf Blitzer and Judy Woodruff in Washington.

BLITZER: Thanks very joining us.

It was a remarkable era for the Roman Catholic Church and it ended today with a remarkable spectacle, the funeral of Pope John Paul II. Hundreds of thousands watched in Rome and millions more watched around the world, as the pontiff was remembered in an emotional 2 1/2 hour mass.

WOODRUFF: And here now is a live image of St. Peter's Square, where it is now just past 11:00 p.m. at night. The dignitaries and the pilgrims have dispersed and the Vatican, temporarily without a leader, mourns in silence.

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