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New Pontiff Elected in Rome.

Aired April 19, 2005 - 19:00   ET


DOBBS: "ANDERSON COOPER 360" starts right now. Anderson?
ANDERSON COOPER, HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER 360": Lou, thanks very much.

Good evening, everyone. A Vatican insider takes over as the new leader of the Catholic Church. 360 starts now.


(voice-over): White smoke, new pope. Seventeen days after the death of John Paul II, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is named leader of the Catholic Church. Tonight, who is Pope Benedict XVI, and how will his views shape the Catholic Church?

A popular and beloved cardinal, a conservative man of god. Tonight, where the new pope stands on controversial issues: the role of women in the church, birth control, and the sex abuse scandals.

And a state within a state, veiled behind a shroud of secrecy. Tonight, we give your a rare glimpse where the new pontiff will reign inside the Vatican walls.

ANNOUNCER: This is a special edition of ANDERSON COOPER 360.


COOPER: And, good evening.

Today, 17 days after the death of Pope John Paul II, Catholics around the world got the sign they had been waiting for, sort of. The sign was a bit confusing at first. The white puff of smoke -- you see it there -- which indicates a pope has been elected, looking kind of gray or black even at times. Few minutes later, though, the bells of St. Peter's rang to confirm the selection and the world's more than a billion Catholics met their new pontiff. The man they long known at Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, for decades, a close confidant and theological advisor to the late pope, appeared on the balcony, and was proclaimed Pope Benedict XVI.

After two days of waiting and four votes by the College of Cardinals, the faithful have a leader for the future who seems to be very much a voice from the past.


CARDINAL JOSEPH RATZINGER, POPE-ELECT (via translator): The cardinals have elected me to work in the vineyard of the lord. I'm consoled by the fact that I can entrust myself to your prayers.

COOPER (voice-over): Before Joseph Ratzinger said yes to his selection as the 265th pope, he was often called "Cardinal No" for his stand on many of the issues confronting the church. No, to the ordination of women. No, to married priests. No, to homosexuality. Even no to rock music.

It was perhaps his views as much as Pope John Paul II's which influenced the Catholic Church over the last quarter century. As head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican institution which interprets the church's position on faith and morals, he was John Paul II's chief theological advisor.

JOHN ALLEN, AUTHOR "CARDINAL RATZINGER": I think basically that the pope felt that as long as he had Ratzinger and the Congregation for the Faith, then the church's faith was going to be safe.

COOPER: Joseph Ratzinger just turned 78. His birthday was last Saturday. He was born in Bavaria, Germany, son of a policeman, and came of age during the Hitler years. The Catholic News Service says, in his memoirs, he said, while in seminary, he was enrolled in the Hitler Youth, but stopped going to meetings. He also served for a short time in a German anti-aircraft unit during World War II.

Ratzinger was ordained in 1951 and spent many years as a professor teaching dogma and fundamental theology. Students credit him for being a caring and well-prepared professor, qualities he will need in his new role as Pope Benedict XVI.

REV. KEITH PECKLARS, S.J. PROFESSOR, GREGORIAN UNIVERSITY: The church has become quite polarized between the right and left. Conservative movements like Opus Dei, Legionnaires of Christ, and others, have grown -- have been given room to grow really in the pontificate of Pope John Paul II. So, whoever is elected, whoever the next pope will be, will very much need to deal with this kind of polarization.

COOPER: Yet Ratzinger's relatively quick selection appears to show a lack of dissension, at least among church leaders. He had been considered a long shot by some going into the conclave, perhaps because it is so rare for Vatican insiders to be elected pope.

Ratzinger actually kicked off the conclave that selected him by leading a mass for the cardinals. His message during the homily was on a theme he's spoken on many times: relativism, that in a world buffeted by moral conflict, strict adherence to traditional Catholic doctrine is the only proper path. It was that stance that may have gotten Ratzinger the job, which also may raise the greatest challenges for him in his new position.


(on camera): While the election of Benedict XVI may have seemed especially quick, but it was in fact about average when you compare it to those held in the 20th century. Here's a fast fact: the shortest conclave was in 1939, electing Pius VII -- it lasted a single day. And, the longest, in 1903 to elect St. Pius V, took five days. That's the longest in the 20th century. CNN Vatican analyst John Allen, literally wrote the book on this new pope. He's the author of "Cardinal Ratzinger: the Vatican's Enforcer of the Faith." John joins us from Rome this evening.

John, good to see you. What does this pope's election tell us?


Well, I think what it tells us is the cardinals who elected Joseph Ratzinger was Pope Benedict XVI and obviously at least two thirds of them, believe that his clarion call for a tenacious defense of the church's traditional doctrinal stance, along, obviously, with the depth of intellect he brings to presenting those positions, are what is need in this age which is, as you rightly indicated, summarizing Cardinal Ratzinger's homily leading in to the conclave. The church is buffeted by a number of forces, chief among them, what he called a "dictatorship of relativism," in which the very idea of objective truth seems to be slipping away.

I think the interesting thing to see will be as he negotiates this transition from being the chief doctrinal enforcer of the Vatican to now being the pope, and that is sort of a universal pastor for the whole Catholic Church. If he's able to maintain those strong traditional doctrinal stance, but add to it a layer of the kind of optimism and energy and hope that, of course, we all associate with his predecessor John Paul II.

COOPER: Well, that's a great point, and it gets to my next question, which is that Pope John Paul II communicated people very easily, very forcefully, and traveled more than any other pontiff. This pope has had very little hands-on pastoral experience, as far as I can read. Can he possibly appeal to people in the same way, literally reaching out, and touching people as John Paul II?

ALLEN: Well, I don't know that he can do it in the same way. You can't duplicate another man's charisma. I think -- what I would say is that, from the fleeting moments that we saw of him this evening, he got off on the right foot. You know, he appeared in that balcony of St. Peter's Square with a huge smile on his face. That is not at all the public image that many people have of Joseph Ratzinger as a rather stern, kind of dour, pessimistic figure. Instead, we saw tonight a man who was beaming, I would say, you know, waving to the crowd in a gesture of affection and then struck a note of real humility at the beginning, calling himself a simple laborer in the lord's vineyards.

So, that probably was the kind of right presentation to begin with. Again, Anderson, I think the fascinating thing about what this pontificate is going to be -- so often, popes step in as question marks. I mean, the world did not know much about Karol Wojtyla, the Cardinal of Krakow, when he was elected as John Paul II. The world knows a great deal about this man, Joseph Ratzinger. Not everyone like what they see. Ratzinger obviously has to be aware of that.

COOPER: That gets to my next point. There are many critics of this selection. A Catholic writer, Andrew Sullivan, wrote on his website today that it's a full scale attack on the reformist wing of the church. Sullivan cites the pope's history of silencing dialogue and in his own writings in which he once argued that violence against homosexuals is predictable if they keep pushing for legal rights. Was this the most conservative choice the cardinals could have made?

ALLEN: No, I think there were probably cardinals someone to the right of Ratzinger in at least some issues on the College of Cardinals. Certainly among the top tier papal candidates, Ratzinger was the top candidate. I think what it indicates is that the cardinals obviously felt that someone who was going to be rock solid in defense of the church's position is what the moment calls for.

At the same time, I don't think, Anderson, we should underestimate the fact that so many aspects of Ratzinger's personality have in a sense been hidden from public view by the nature of the job he's held. Let's not forget this is a man of tremendous intellectual accomplishment. He is someone I think is universally recognized as being a very spiritually profound guy. In addition to that, there also is a striking contrast between his public reputation and his private personality. He's known as a very generous, humble, kind, even shy in private. The question will be, will he let some of those qualities shine through now in his very public role as Pope Benedict XVI?

COOPER: All right. John Allen, thanks very much, Vatican analyst for CNN. Appreciate it, John.

World leaders were quick to send greetings to the new pope. President Bush made these remarks earlier today.


GEORGE W. BUSH, UNITED STATES PRESIDENT: Laura and I offer our congratulations to Pope Benedict XVI. He's a man of great wisdom and knowledge. He's a man who serves the lord. We join with our fellow citizens and millions around the world who pray for continued strength and wisdom, as his holiness leads the Catholic Church.


COOPER: Getting a lot of e-mails from you watching, about what you think of this new pope. We'll try to read some of them throughout the program, and at the end, to have your voice heard. Send us an e- mail now. Log on to, then you click on the "Instant Feedback" link.

Coming up next on 360, women and the church. The new pope says no to female priests, but will he expand their role in other ways? We'll take a closer look at that.

Also, what's in a name? Why did this pope pick the title Benedict XVI? We'll find out and tell you why theories on the second coming may have kept him from choosing Peter.

Also tonight, tradition versus modernity. Abortion, sexuality and a declining number of priests in the U.S. A look at how this pope may handle the challenges facing the Catholic Church here at home.

All that ahead. First, your picks. Most popular stories right now on


COOPER: You can hear the crowds. A moment of history, a moment of glory. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger no longer. Stands before the world as the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI. This has been one of the most popular stories on, as you just saw before the commercial break. Web surfers are reading up on the new pope. One thing that they may be missing is his name, why Benedict XVI? A lot of you have been e-mailing us that question this evening as well. As always, Rudi Bakhtiar has the answers -- Rudi.

RUDI BAKHTIAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: All right, Anderson, we're going to try to figure this one out, as to why Joseph Ratzinger chose the name Benedict XVI and why he didn't choose another, perhaps more familiar name.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Josefun (ph), Santa Romane Ecclesia (ph), Cardinale Ratzinger.

BAKHTIAR (voice-over): We heard something in today's announcement that we probably won't hear much of in the future. The new pope called by his Christian name. Now, Joseph Ratzinger has a new name, one he chose for himself before he stepped onto the balcony -- Pope Benedict XVI.

Like everything else involved in selecting a new pontiff, selecting a new name is also steeped in tradition.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: By what name do you wish to be known? And that's actually quite interesting, because that's the first window we might have into the kind of pontificate that he wishes to have.

BAKHTIAR: So maybe something of the measure of the man can be taken by knowing his namesake. Pope Benedict XV reigned during the dark days of World War I, a war remembered for unspeakable death and destruction. The pope favoring neutrality, but condemned the war's atrocities.

But this pope may have been thinking back to other Benedicts.

DR. JOSEPH KOTERSKI, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY: I suspect that what he's doing is thinking all the way back to St. Benedict, who was a 6th century individual, who's the founder of Western monasticism, that is the beginning of monasteries in Europe.

BAKHTIAR: There have now been 16 popes named Benedict, but it's not the most popular papal name. That would be John. There were 23 of those. Benedict and Gregory are now tied for second place, followed by Clement, Innocent and Leo. And there were certainly some more interesting papal names as well, like Hilarius in 461, Telesphorus in 125, or Lando in 913, the last original papal name.

But the tradition of the popes picking their own names dates back to 533, when a pope named Mercurius changed his name to John, John II to be exact, because he was named for the god Mercury, and thought a pope shouldn't have a pagan name.

Since then, it's been about pontiffs picking the names of predecessors they admire.

KOTERSKI: John Paul I was brilliant when he chose that particular name, wanting to suggest both the newness and a continuity. And then John Paul II had taken that same name, tried to emphasize that he stood for precisely the same project, for the revitalization of the church. And yet for the fact that it had to be in continuity with what the church has always been.

BAKHTIAR: One name we probably won't see again, that of the original pope, Peter.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Peter obviously was the first pope in the line. He was the leader of the church, chosen personally by Christ himself. And I think there's a sense -- and always has been -- that he is irreplaceable and repeatable. And therefore, not only would it be in poor taste, but it would be seen as somewhat arrogant, I think, for another pope to take that name.


BAKHTIAR: In fact, according to Father Koterski, legend has it that the next time there's a pope named Peter, it will signify the second coming. So the theory is that the next time a pope feels confident enough to call himself Peter, they will believe that he has some special calling there.

COOPER: All right, Rudi Bakhtiar. Thanks very much. Appreciate it. Now we know.

The new pope is already making a name for himself on Ebay, of all places. Here is a news note for you: We looked, found more than 150 items on Benedict XVI already up for auction. They include a spoon, a refrigerator magnet, plenty of pins, buttons and charm bracelets. You can also buy a hand-signed photo, new pope t-shirts, and even a 2005 commemorative and colorized coin with Pope Benedict XVI on its face.

Capitalism moves quickly.

Our special edition on the new pope continues. Let's get you up to speed on other stories making news right now. Erica Hill from HEADLINE NEWS joins us with the latest. Hey, Erica.

ERICA HILL, HEADLINE NEWS ANCHOR: Hey, Anderson, good to see you. Probably the other real big story of the day is, of course, the 10th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombings. And that anniversary marked today, marking the worst domestic terrorism in this country. Children who lost parents in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building read the name of 168 people who died in that incident. Vice President Cheney and former President Clinton attended today's memorial services.

The man accused of the BTK serial killings waived his right to a preliminary hearing -- an acknowledgment that the state has enough evidence to go to trial. Dennis Rader is charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder, dating back to 1974. His attorney says Rader will plead not guilty at his arraignment on May 3rd.

Being obese, apparently, isn't as dangerous to your health as previously thought. New calculations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention place it at number seven on the list of preventable causes of death in the United States, not second, as the CDC reported earlier this year. That new study finds most people who are modestly overweight, rather, actually have a lower risk of death than people of normal weight.

But still in the interest of helping everybody live more healthfully, the government has unveiled a new food pyramid. Gone is that one-size-fits-all model. Now, some 12 different food pyramid models, all geared toward different lifestyle and nutrition needs. The food groups are represented by bright rainbow colored bands. You can check it out at Even get a look at your own pyramid, Anderson, and make sure that you find the one tailored to you.

COOPER: I was just trying to make heads -- I was like trying to move my head to figure out what that pyramid was all about. I don't get it. Do you get it? Which pyramid are you?

HILL: Pardon me?

COOPER: Which pyramid are you?

HILL: I haven't looked it up yet, I'll be honest.

COOPER: Erica.

HILL: I've been busy. I've had things to do, you know. I was prepping for the show and stuff.

COOPER: We'll see you again in about 30 minutes. If you have time...

HILL: I'll see if I can fit it in...

COOPER: ... try to check your pyramid.

HILL: ... but frankly, I can't make any promises.

COOPER: All right, Erica Hill, thanks.

Coming up next on this special edition of 360, women in the church. The new pope closing the door on them becoming priests, but will he find other ways to keep women in the fold? We're covering all the angles.

Also ahead tonight -- new millennium challenges for centuries-old church. Look at how Benedict XVI will handle the pressures of modernity.

And a little later on a lighter note, did you see the confusing smoke signals, was it white, was it black, was it gray? Did you see all the people on TV trying to figure it out? Well, if you didn't, we'll take you "Inside the Box" and show you. Stay with us.


COOPER: Some of those hoping to one day see a female priest in the Catholic Church probably got a sinking feeling after the bells tolled today when they heard who was named the pope. After, as recently as just yesterday, then Cardinal Ratzinger reaffirmed his belief in conservative Catholic teachings which bar women from becoming priest. Nevertheless, as CNN's Gary Tuchman reports there are some who are holding out hope that change will come.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The body of Christ.

GARY TUCHMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Communion at a Catholic Church.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The body of Christ.

TUCHMAN: And there is not a priest in sight, just this nun because of the priest shortage that the main spiritual leader at the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Mammoth, Arizona.

SISTER MARIA CANEZ, BLESSED SACRAMENT CHURCH: When I was a little girl I wanted to be a priest, yes. And then I found out I couldn't be a priest, so then I became a religious, and that was fine. But then I became an administrator of a church, and I wanted to be a priest again.

Our father, who art in heaven.

TUCHMAN: Sister Maria Canez is the pastoral administrator at Blessed Sacrament. She leads weekday services but watches visiting priests come in on most Sunday to celebrate the Sacramental Masses, which only they can do. Across the country there are now many women who run parishes, and often preach there because of the priest shortage. Here in the Diocese of Tucson there are three women. Sister Carole Ruland is far more traditional than Sister Maria.

SISTER CAROLE RULAND, SANTA CATALINA CATHOLIC CHURCH: I've been asked by God just to serve the people of this parish. And my concern is to be faithful in doing that. And that's what God called me to do, not to try to change the church in -- in other areas.

TUCHMAN: The bishop of the diocese of Tucson who Sister Maria says, she respects a great deal, does look at things differently. BISHOP GERALD KICANAS, DIOCESE OF TUCSON, ARIZONA: Women have been entrusted with many gifts. And in some ways some women, religious women or woman, (INAUDIBLE) they leaders in the church, have gifts far more important and powerful than a particular priest may have.

TUCHMAN: But at Blessed Sacrament some parishioners wish the new pope would allow women to become priests.

JOSIE MIRANDA, PARISHIONER: I feel we've been blessed with sister's presence here.

TUCHMAN (on camera): Among the Catholic faithful, there is much anticipation about what changes the new pope may or may not make. Suffice it to say there is one particular nun in the Arizona desert who won't be content with the status quo.

Do you think women are considered second class citizens in the Catholic church?

CANEZ: Yes, I think so.

TUCHMAN: How come?

CANEZ: Well, because we really don't have a voice. And one of the things that I pray for and I hope for, for the future, is that we will have a voice. That we will be listened to.

TUCHMAN (voice-over): Gary Tuchman, CNN, Mammoth, arizona.


COOPER: Well, CNN Vatican analyst Delia Gallagher joins us now from Rome. Delia, more than half of American Catholics think the new pope should allow women to enter the priesthood.

How likely is that?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN ANALYST: It's very unlikely under this pope. And I think that most people have realized that. We know from Cardinal Ratzinger's teachings throughout his tenure at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, he's been one of the for most voices against women becoming priests, due to his understanding and the Catholic Church's understanding of what priesthood is. Mainly a priest acting in the person of Christ, and therefore represented in the male. But that's not to say that he won't open up the Vatican to women. John Paul II did it. He has had women working here at the Vatican, and indeed in Cardinal Ratzinger's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith he had many women advisors. So, I think there is a certainly high possibility that women's voices can be heard in the hierarchy of the church, which is a separate question from women becoming priests. I don't think the issue of women priests is on the table for this papacy.

COOPER: But I mean, it's fascinating. You know, when I was in Vatican City there really aren't any women in the hierarchy of the church. And I'm not talking about priests. I'm just talking about administrators. You don't see them offices like you -- it seems to be all guys. Is that something that really will change? Why didn't it change more if it was going to?

GALLAGHER: Well, what happens, Anderson, is you have women at administrative levels in the Vatican. I think there are probably about 400 of them. Of course, some of those do include secretaries and so on. But generally to be at the top level of the hierarchy at the Vatican have you to be a priest, because have you to be a bishop. So that is the problem with women in the very top roles at the Vatican. That probably can't happen under this papacy, because they have to be consecrated as bishops in order to act in these higher roles. But they can still act as advisors on a lot of the commissions. That's what they did with Cardinal Ratzinger in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. So, they are important voices if the cardinals decide to listen to them. And so I think that what you get back to is are those women conservative women of a like mind? And yes, they obviously will be. So it's not so much a question of are they women or men, but are they of the same sort of line of thinking as the cardinal and as the pope?

COOPER: Delia Gallagher, thank you very much, from Vatican City. Appreciate it.

Coming up next on 360, the sex abuse scandal, abortion, contraception. How will this new pope handle some of the most decisive issues facing American Catholics.

And it is the ultimate secret society. What really goes on behind the walls of the Vatican, a really remarkable rare glimpse coming up.

Also, later on this special edition of 360, where there is smoke there's -- well there's not always smoke that you can tell what color it is. Watching smokestacks and listening to the bells. It was fun to watch the TV folks try to figure out what color the smoke was today. We'll show you "Inside the Box."


COOPER: Well, here in the United States, where a quarter of the population is Catholic, many people have been hoping that a new pope might bring change to the church. But let's remember, American Catholics make up just 6 percent of the world's Catholic population, and only 9 percent of the cardinals at the conclave were American. That means the issues here don't necessarily resonate with the global Catholic Church and the new Pope Benedict. CNN's Jason Carroll looks at some of the challenges facing the American Catholic community.


JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Crowds in St. Peter's Square cheered the announcement of the new pontiff. But back in Boston, one man wondered if the accolades are premature.

BERNIE MCDADE, ABUSE VICTIM: I personally had wished that it was an outsider of Europe to be the pontiff. It would have signaled more change, in my opinion.

CARROLL: Bernie McDade says he was sexually abused by a priest as a child, making him, according to the U.S. Catholic Church's own records, one of thousands abused by priests over the past several decades. McDade's concern now -- Pope Benedict XVI is too traditional and may not be able to exact change he says is needed.

MCDADE: The American people will not tolerate this situation as it stands right now. And Rome needs to know that.

CARROLL (on camera): Managing the problem of sexual abuse by priests is just one of several challenges facing Pope Benedict XVI. For example, many American Catholics support a woman's right to choose. The new pope does not.

(voice-over): So how then does he reach out to people like Tamara Hallisey? Her daughter, Sasha (ph), who's 8, attends Catholic school, but Hallisey disagrees with the new pope's stand on reproductive issue.

TAMARA HALLISEY, CATHOLIC: I think at the end of the day, if you ask people privately, it's really a private issue. And that's where it should be. And not be discussed in an open political or religious forum.

CARROLL: Despite her differences, she still stays with the church, but a number of Americans are leaving. And the number of men entering the priesthood is declining.

TERRY BRIZZ, CASE WESTERN RESERVE: The new pope is 78 years old, very conservative. So I wouldn't expect any dramatic changes in the Catholic Church moving forward.

CARROLL: But the U.S. Conference of Bishops say their new pope will mend some differences in the U.S. church.

BISHOP WILLIAM SKYLSTAD, PRESIDENT, U.S. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS: Well, he's a man who certainly for us, as Catholics in the church, will be a sign of unity in our universal church. He will continue to I think work for peace and reconciliation, not only within the church but in the world as well.

CARROLL: Many Catholics are hoping he can do just that.

Jason Carroll, CNN, New York.


COOPER: Well, joining me to discuss some of the challenges facing Pope Benedict XVI and the Roman Catholic Church is someone who knows him well and has some insight into his personality, Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete. He's the national director of the ecclesial movement Communion and Liberation. He's also professor of theology at St. Joseph's Seminary right here in New York. Monsignor, thank you very much for being with us.


COOPER: You were surprised that Joseph Ratzinger was selected as pope.

ALBACETE: I was. I was surprised, because I thought the image problems would be difficult to overcome.

COOPER: You say image problem of what?

ALBACETE: The fact that he is unbending, strict disciplinarian. Right wing, extremist. That image problem.

COOPER: What do you think -- the fact that he was selected, what do you think that means?

ALBACETE: That means that -- well, first of all, I think the cardinals knew that that was not true. But that they were willing to take the risk of this image problem shows an agreement with his vision about the kind of world we are living in that I found welcome, but surprising.

COOPER: His vision is what?

ALBACETE: His vision is that we are in a world in which humanity's integrity is threatened. And that we are in a world in which the powerful are the ones that can impose whatever they want on the ones that don't have the -- anything to appeal to for their defense. I think he thinks we are in a world in which the totalitarianism of Nazism and the communists is going to be Mickey Mouse compared to what can happen. Because mostly of the technological advantages that we have to implement our view of what it means to be a human.

COOPER: Is that the message which -- I mean, the congregations here in the United States want to hear?

ALBACETE: I don't know. I don't think -- I don't know if they want to hear it or not. It's not want to hear, they want to hear, no. I mean, I think the radicality of his fierce opposition -- this is a man who -- a book -- his last book contains the statement "Christianity is not convincing." It is not convincing. It has no power to convince, because it doesn't show itself as an alternative to the cruelty that surrounds us.

COOPER: So only by returning to -- I mean, the firm vision of Christianity can you make it convincing?

ALBACETE: But not only a vision -- it's not a vision or words. It's witness. It's an example. Namely, he proposes, he gives you the agenda. The creator -- the promotion of what he calls creative minorities. People, smaller communities, that live the Christian life in a way that is attractive. Attractive in that it is embracing of -- especially people who hurt.

COOPER: So if large numbers of people leave, or if people continue to leave the church, maybe that's not a terrible thing. ALBACETE: I don't think he counts.

COOPER: Really? You don't think he counts?

ALBACETE: No, no. I think he follows the founder of it all, who said the good shepherd abandons 99 sheep and goes out to find a stupid one that got lost. I don't think numbers are a problem to him. Reality is. Big numbers can hide the fact that there's really nothing there, that it is just emotion. And...

COOPER: And so as long as there's a core following who really...


ALBACETE: ... creative initiatives. Now, this strategy, if I could call it that, this method, has been done before in the (INAUDIBLE) church by a man named St. Benedict.

COOPER: And that's why...

ALBACETE: And there you have it.

COOPER: There you have it. Monsignor Albacete...

ALBACETE: Thank you.

COOPER: ... it's fascinating to have you in. Thank you very much.

ALBACETE: And it's fascinating to talk to you. Bye-bye.

COOPER: I appreciate it. Thank you.

Coming up next on this special edition of 360, we're going to take you inside the Vatican, behind the sacred walls. A rare look at where the new pope will reign.

Also tonight, some confusing smoke signals. Could you tell what color the smoke was, Monsignor?


COOPER: I couldn't either. "Inside the Box," we're going to show you how TV got it and maybe got it wrong in some cases. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Remarkably beautiful sight: you are looking live at the Vatican, St. Peter's Square, St. Peter's Basilica, where earlier today, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became the 265th pope, taking the name Benedict XVI.

With his election the veil of secrecy that surrounds much of the Vatican was lifted, but really, only for a few moments. Behind the walls and the curtains is a world of history, of treasures that are thousands of years old. For the most part it is all off limits to our eyes; however, we were treated to a rare and astonishing look inside, and what we saw will take your breath away.


(voice-over): It's one of the most recognizable sites in the world: the dome of St. Peter's Basilica, the heart of the Vatican, the papacy's most recognizable symbol.

It's a huge church: you'll find 31 altars inside here, 27 chapels, 390 statues, nearly 18,000 square yards of marble floors. But it's only a fraction of what is really here, inside the world's smallest independent state.

You are seeing more than virtually any outsider ever does, because of "National Geographic" producer John Bredar. A few years ago, he won permission to show the world the inner workings of the Vatican. It wasn't easy.

JOHN BREDAR, PRODUCER "INSIDE THE VATICAN": What you quickly realize with the Vatican is that, you know, they don't need the press coverage. They have been doing just fine for about 2,000 years without any.

COOPER: This is the spiritual as well as temporal home of the Roman Catholic Church. Why this particular place? Because, under the main altar on Rome's Vatican Hill, is the grave first identified by tradition, later by excavation of St. Peter himself, considered first among the apostles of Jesus. Carved into the soaring rotunda are Jesus's words from Matthew's gospel, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I shall build my church."

Outside is St. Peter's Square, the magnificent open area. But there's much more to see. Along the deeply shaded walk ways and bright sunny courtyards, are the buildings and palaces where the rest of the Catholic Church's daily work is conducted. There's art restoration, preserving a collection of paintings, sculpture and tapestry from the best artists the world has ever known.

BREDAR: They have a tapestry laboratory there where they maintain these amazing, huge, like, 20 by 30 foot tapestries which were done by Raphael, the famous Renaissance artist. And these nuns spend their entire lives restoring the silk and wool and cotton thread. I mean, it's a vocation. It's like a form of prayer.

COOPER: They don't work on preserving art here. Over at the Vatican library, they preserve history, as well. Here's Henry VIII's petition for divorce; the dangling red seals are from bishops who took his side The pope said no. History changed. Look at this signature. It's Galileo, the Galileo. Here's a handwritten letter from Michelangelo.

But nevermind the history, the art, and the architecture, there's also diplomacy. Nearly 200 nations maintain diplomatic relations with the Vatican, with all the diplomatic formality that entails. Everywhere, you see the colorful presence of the Swiss guard. Each member really is Swiss. They all have to be Catholic and they aren't just for show.

BREDAR: But they are actually a very well-trained security force, some of whom operate in plain clothes just like our secret service.

COOPER: Now, they will protect Benedict XVI who just moments after he was elected took a walk towards the room that holds the white papal robes, literally following in the footsteps of the popes before him.

One individual has just been elected and he has to stand up and walk across the Sistine Chapel, and he's heading toward the door that's in the wall where Michelangelo's "Last Judgment" is. And he's heading for that door -- there's a room on the other side called the Room of Tears. And as we were filming this, it occurred to me, what kind of awesome burden was descending on this guy's shoulders as he made this walk, out of his peer group, out of the men who had elected him, because he was no longer a peer. He was now going to be their leader, and not just their leader but the lead are of a billion people, spiritually. And to imagine what kind of burden that was, was just overwhelming. No wonder they call it the Room of Tears.

It's the next chapter in the continuing history of the Catholic Church.


(on camera): Quite a burden indeed. That remarkable documentary, "Inside the Vatican," originally aired on the National Geographic Channel. It's now available on DVD.

We're following a number of other headlines making news right now. Erica Hill from "HEADLINE NEWS" joins us with the latest.

ERICA HILL, CNN ANCHOR, "HEADLINE NEWS": The only person charged in the United States in connection with the September 11 attacks is now offering to plead guilty. According to sources, Zacarias Moussaoui has told prosecutors, as well as the judge presiding over the case, that he is willing to enter a guilty plea. Now, the judge will meet with Moussaoui this week to discuss his intentions and determine whether he's mentally competent to enter a plea.

Two journalists who face possible jail time for refusing to reveal their sources about the leak of a CIA agent's identity have lost another round in court. The full federal appeals court in Washington refused to hear an appeal of their case. The Justice Department is now trying to determine who leaked the name of a former CIA agent Valerie Plame to reporters. Miller and Matthew Cooper say the First Amendment protects them from divulging confidential sources.

And Amtrak's high-speed train Acela which serves the New York- Washington-Boston corridor will remain idle, until at least Friday. The company that makes the disc brakes for the train is short of parts. Amtrak halted Acela service last Friday because of cracks were found in most of the brakes in the fleet. Acela carries an average of 9,000 riders a day throughout the week. And, that's a look at the headlines from "HEADLINE NEWS." One of the things that's running a little slow, by the way, Tried to get my pyramid...

COOPER: You couldn't get it?

HILL: I can't. I'm still waiting.

COOPER: All right. Well, you know, that Acela is not a high speed train. It's like 30 minutes faster than the regular train, so I -- don't even get me started.

HILL: It's still faster but no, like, Japanese bullet train.

COOPER: Yeah, yeah. Don't get me started.

All right, see you again in about 30 minutes. Thank you, Erica.

Next on this special edition of 360...


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I believe from this live picture that might be black smoke. It started out a little white, white-ish gray, now it's turning black.


COOPER: Did you see it earlier today? It was fantastic. No one knew if it was white or black or gray. We'll take -- show you what it was like "Inside the Box" on CNN.

And, your e-mails pouring in. We want to hear from you. Log on to Click on the instant feedback link. We'll share some of them, coming up later.


COOPER: When the pope was selected there was smoke, but what color. Frankly, we had a tough time knowing whether it was white, black, gray, maybe it was the Vatican chef cooking away. Now that the new pope has been selected perhaps it is time to prepare for the next one and how those selections are announced. Because clearly, where there's smoke there isn't always fire "Inside the Box."


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are seeing smoke at the top of the Sistine Chapel coming from that chimney right there. We're trying to determine exactly -- we believe from this live picture right now that might be black smoke. It started out a little white, whitish gray now it's turning black.

COOPER (voice-over): The problem with smoke is, well, it's smoky. Smoke is often used to obscure things. In wartime you throw up a smoke screen to make sure the enemy can't see you. So, using smoke for clarity only seems to lead to confusion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Vatican Radio so far is saying it is black. And you can hear no bells. However, once again there was a lot of confusion about what color this is.

COOPER: For those of you not up on the meaning of smoke signals. The idea is that a puff of black smoke means no pope has been selected, while a puff of white means a pope has been picked.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But the crowd is not at all sure, they're running towards it. They think it looks white.

COOPER: But for anyone watching today, the puffs looked both black and white which we all know comes out to gray, forcing everyone to wait for the backup method of notification, the Vatican bells.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, they should start tolling to bells to let us know if this is conclusive.

COOPER: Now, we know the Vatican is a place steeped in tradition. That hasn't stopped the church from using modern conveniences like telephones. So, may we humbling offer this solution, lights. A red light for stop, we've not made a decision. A yellow for caution, we're still thinking about it. And a green, go ahead and welcome the new pope. It's a simple effect and would keep all of us from singing that old platter's tune "Inside the Box."


COOPER: I think they'll probably stick with smoke.

A lot more coverage on the new pope, Benedict XVI coming up at the top of the hour with Paula Zahn. Let's get a preview. Hey, Paula.

PAULA ZAHN, HOST "PAULA ZAHN NOW": Hi, Anderson, thanks.

U.S. Catholics are looking for a whole lot more than smoke signals or location indicators from the Vatican. At the top of the hour the potential flash points dividing the American Church from the new pope. From the sex abuse scandal, to gay marriage, to birth control, plenty of U.S. Catholics are worried their concerns at the top of our hour -- Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Paula, thanks. That's about six minutes from now.

But next on this on this special edition of 360, some of your e- mails. You're reaction to Pope Benedict XVI, the new leader of the Catholic Church. We'll be right back.


COOPER: Some remarkable images from this remarkable day. A day of changed and continuity. We've been getting a lot of e-mails from you over the course of this hour. Time for some of them to be read out. We wanted to hear from you about the new pope. A lot of you wrote in.

Maribeth, from Michigan wrote,"I feel that the new pope will prove to be a positive image of the church. I am very concerned though, that if he does not allow women priest, churches in America will not survive because of the priest shortage."

That's unlikely to happen, we should point it out, Maribeth, but we appreciate you writing in to us.

Shelia from Arkansas writes, "I am a women in the Roman Catholic Church and do not feel oppressed by my faith. I don't want a pope to water down the faith, bend, or break."

And Reuben from Denver writes, "The election of Pope Benedict XVI suggests that the holy spirit is working in a mysterious way to reform the church, and demonstrates God's infinite sense of humor." A different take.

Send us your e-mails thoughts anytime. You can log onto, then you just click on the instant feedback link. We do read them all, we can promise you that. We can't get them all on air, obviously, but we do our best.

We appreciate you joining us on this special edition of 360 where we have been focusing entirely on the new pope, Pope Benedict XVI. We've been looking at -- trying to cover it from all different angles.

Though, CNN's prime time coverage continues, though, of coverage of the pope with Paula Zahn. Hey Paula.



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