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Pope Benedict XVI Celebrating His First Mass as Pope

Aired April 20, 2005 - 07:00   ET


BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Only hours ago, Benedict XVI celebrating his first mass as pope, and already answering some of the questions about where he will lead the Roman Catholic Church.
Meanwhile, here in the U.S., tens of thousands of Americans at risk of identity theft, after a major online trading company loses some secret files.

And the president pushing an energy bill as critics say his proposal will do nothing to help you with the pump. We'll ask the White House about that, on this AMERICAN MORNING.

ANNOUNCER: From the CNN Broadcast Center in New York, this is AMERICAN MORNING, with Bill Hemmer and Soledad O'Brien.

Good morning, everyone. I'm Bill Hemmer. Good to have you along with us today. Soledad is out today.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: She is. I'm Carol Costello.

HEMMER: Good to have you, Carol.

In a moment here, in just the last few hours, we've seen and now we have heard more from Pope Benedict XVI. Celebrating a morning mass at the Vatican, inside the Sistine Chapel, delivering a rather intriguing message, too. We'll talk about that message today.

Also we'll also hear for the first time from American cardinals about why they chose Cardinal Ratzinger. Roger Mahony, the cardinal from L.A., is our guest in a moment.

COSTELLO: Also, coming up, we'll reaction from around the world to the election, including from the pope's home country, which would be Germany. Not everyone there is happy. In fact even the pope's brother has some reservations.

HEMMER: Jack Cafferty, what's happening.

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN ANCHOR: Lest we take it all too seriously a couple of my viewers have already written me. One suggesting that the College of Cardinals will now be known as the rat pack in honor of Cardinal Ratzinger, and that Lent, because it's the first German to hold the position in 1,000 years, will be known as Oktoberfest.

The new pope has a lot on his plate. The cafeteria Catholics in the United States probably wouldn't have picked this guy. There are divisions within the church and he's got a tough job if he wants to try to get this whole thing united. We'll take a closer look.

HEMMER: Thank you, jack.

CAFFERTY: Oktoberfest.

HEMMER: Yes, I like that. I had a Catholic e-mail me yesterday, saying enough of the cheap wine; let's bring in the beer.

CAFFERTY: There you go. See.


COSTELLO: I'm sure this pope has a sense of humor and he won't mind the jokes this morning.

CAFFERTY: The other thing is he probably doesn't watch the show would be my guess.

HEMMER: There is that.

CAFFERTY: He's probably not tuned into AMERICAN MORNING.

HEMMER: Let's start at the Vatican today. U.S. cardinals already showing support of the new pope, Benedict XVI. The cardinals holding a news conference an hour ago after the new pope's first mass, and they offered a softer image of the man often called an hardliner and an enforcer.


CARDINAL FRANCIS EUGENE GEORGE, ARCHBISHOP OF CHICAGO: Who is Joseph Ratzinger? I'd say two things that were told me in the last couple of months. One was by a friend from France, a layman, whom I spoke to yesterday, who said you have chosen a humble genius. And the second is a phrase that comes back to me from an encounter I had at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith with a woman who was part of the cleaning staff there.

And speaking of Cardinal Ratzinger, she said, (INAUDIBLE) this is a true Christian.


HEMMER: That was from about an hour ago. Alessio Vinci now live at the Vatican.

Today, the new pope led his first mass there. What was his message, Alessio?


Well, Joseph Ratzinger was elevated to pope in the very same Sistine Chapel where this morning he presided over that mass. There was an anticipated homily that he was supposed to deliver in Latin. That was actually replaced by a long pause for meditation. And only at the end of the service, Pope Benedict XVI delivered a message in which he laid out a few goals of his papacy, including the fact that he's going to work hard for the unification of all Christians, the need for an open and sincere dialogue with other religions. And also he asked for cardinals and bishops around the world to pray and to support him. Here perhaps a message, a call for what has been described so many times by people who have criticized in the past Cardinal Ratzinger as being too centralized, as being promoter for a church that is too much concentrated on Rome, here asking for the bishops around the world to pray and to support for him. At some point, clearly still adjusting to his new role, Pope Benedict XVI said he was experiencing a feeling of inadequacy and inner quiet.


POPE BENEDICT XVI (through translator): There are two contrasting feelings in my soul at this moment. From one moment, I feel an inadequacy and an inner disquiet because of the responsibility that has been entrusted to me from the apostle Peter towards the universal church. And on the other hand, I feel lively in me, a profound gratitude towards God.


VINCI: The mass this morning was reserved to the cardinals, who elevated him to the papacy. On Sunday, of course, there will be a large mass here in St. Peter's Square, where he will be officially inaugurated as the 265th pope of the Roman Catholic Church.

Bill, back to you.

HEMMER: Alessio, thanks. Alessio Vinci there at the Vatican.

Cardinal Roger Mahony, the archbishop of L.A., one of the 11 U.S. cardinals, and one of the 115 who voted in the conclave, and Cardinal Mahony is my guest at the Vatican now. We welcome you back here.

When Americans wake up today, they're continue to dive into the whole issue of who is this man, essentially, even among Catholics. What do you want the world to know? And what will you tell your people back in L.A. about who this man is?

CARDINAL ROGER MAHONY, ARCHBISHOP OF LOS ANGELES: Well, I've known him for many years. And I would say that the Catholics of the world, and certainly in Los Angeles can look forward to a man who is very spiritual and very pastoral. True, he is very, very intelligent. He is a great renowned theologian. But if you read his works, so many of his works are deeply spiritual and he cares about people. So I think that people are going to be very pleased with him. He also has the graces of office, and I think he's going to respond in a very positive way to his new role.

HEMMER: Two weeks ago when we were in Rome together, you told me that the issues in this church are substantial, and many of those issues come down to local level, within each archdiocese across this country and the U.S. How does this new pope address the local issues?

MAHONY: Well, as we learned by meeting with and visiting with cardinals from all over the world, the pastoral cares, challenges and needs really differ tremendously around the world. So I think this pope wants to be well informed. He wants to get our input. He asked, in his address today, he asked for our counsel and our advice, and I think that that is real, and I think he wants to hear from us, and he wants to us be pastors of our local churches I think in a less centralized manner.

HEMMER: There is a vow of secrecy that I'm sure that you'll honor again on this television program, but give us a sense of how he reacted within the Sistine Chapel and perhaps among the cardinals there yesterday.

MAHONY: Well, you know, it's one of those spiritual moments. I was sitting almost directly behind him and off to the side slightly. So I could observe him very carefully. And it was almost a sense of putting himself in God's hands, of saying, Lord, whatever your will is for me. Almost a resignation, Lord, whatever you ask of me. And from that point on, he just seemed to be very much at peace, as if he knew that he could rely on the presence of Christ in his life and the grace of God for this new office.

HEMMER: He turns 78 over the past weekend. Are the cardinals saying with this election now, are you saying do as John Paul II did, but don't do it as long?

MAHONY: Well, I don't think anyone expects the new pope to imitate or be in the same shoes as John Paul II. Rather to take this man with his gifts, and his charisma and his talents, and let him bring the message of Christ to the world in a sense of hope and joy for people, so we really aren't reflecting backward; we're looking forward. And he in his talk today, he said I'm really grateful to Pope John Paul II. He gave us a church that is more courageous, that is younger and more filled with hope.

HEMMER: Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles. Thanks for your time today from the Vatican today.

MAHONY: Thank you, Bill.

HEMMER: Here's Carol.

COSTELLO: It's been said that just as Pope John Paul II was influenced by his Polish roots, so too was Pope Benedict XVI, influenced by his Bavarian youth.

Chris Burns joins us now from Munich, near Pope Benedict's hometown of Trounstein (ph) in the Bavarian Alps.

Good morning.


Actually, we're in Munich, where the now pope used to be archbishop and preached at this very church, at the (INAUDIBLE) in downtown Munich. And yes, as a matter of fact, he is a product of this land here in Bavaria, that is a very, very traditionally strongly conservative Catholic place. But this place is also quite divided over their opinions about this new pope.


CHRIS BURNS, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In his native Bavaria, surprise and jubilation by his supporters. In Munich, where Joseph Ratzinger, the son of a policeman studied theology, then became archbishop and cardinal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): I'm happy. We have the first Bavarian pope.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): To be honest, I didn't expect Ratzinger to be elected to be the next pope.

BURNS: Though even in Germany's conservative Catholic stronghold, criticism of the new pontiff, long dubbed God's Rottweiler, who was the Vatican's chief watchdog for doctrine.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): It is catastrophic, because this man is far too conservative. With his views, I mean, this is a bad thing for the Catholic Church.

BURNS: A recent poll indicates Germans are split over the man now called Pope Benedict XVI. More than one-third oppose him; less than a third support him. Nevertheless, a leftist chancellor expresses pride.

GERHARD SCHROEDER, GERMAN CHANCELLOR (through translator): The new pope, Benedict XVI, is German. It's a great honor for the whole country.

BURNS: A key test for the pontiff will come here in Cologne this summer, during the church's European youth jamboree.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): I think it is great, really great. I'm already looking forward to World Youth Day. I think this will be the first big challenge, and we'll see whether he will continue to be that conservative. I don't think so.

BURNS: Back in the Alpine foothills of Bavaria, where the pope still has a home, his brother expresses some reservations about the new position.

GEORGE RATZINGER, BROTHER OF POPE BENEDICT XVI (through translator): At age 78, it's not good to take on such a job which challenges the entire person and the physical and mental existence. At an age when you approach 80, it's no longer guaranteed that one is able to work and get up the next day.

BURNS: Reservations his brother obviously paid no attention to.


BURNS: Obviously, the papers here are paying great attention to the new pope, and in fact in Bavaria here, their headline is, of course, a Bavarian is the pope. And take a look at the national newspaper, "The Bill," the newspaper, (INAUDIBLE), "We Are the Pope." A great sense of pride among many people, this country being half Protestant, or at least 27 percent Protestant, 27 percent Catholic. A lot of people still claiming him as their own, looking the other way at the moment about certain issues in which he's very strongly a traditional conservative, giving him a break at the moment and trying to see exactly what policies he's takes as pope -- Carol.

COSTELLO: Today is the day to celebrate. Chris Burns live in Munich this morning.


COSTELLO: In a moment, Pope Benedict XVI's impact on women in the church, why one well-known nun says his election could pose a big problem. She'll explain.

HEMMER: Also in a moment here, the president calling on Congress to pass an energy bill, but it does really tackle the problem everyone's talking about? Rising gas prices. Dan Bartlett is his adviser. We'll talk to him a bit later this hour.

COSTELLO: And listen up. Why 200,000 more Americans should be worried about identity theft today. That's just ahead, on AMERICAN MORNING.


COSTELLO: Is this new pope a controversial figure? We have world reaction this morning. Here's Zain Verjee.


ZAIN VERJEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: For Catholics in the developing world, it was not to be. Many had hoped the princes of the church would elect a cardinal from Latin America or Africa to fill the throne of St. Peter, and reflect the changing face of the Catholic Church.

Latin America has the world's largest Catholic population, and the African continent is the church's fastest-growing flock.

As the great bells of St. Peter tolled in Vatican City, so they did in Mexico City, amid prayers and tears, support.

I think it's been a good decision, says Avelia (ph). Some of the faithful in Honduras were disappointed that their cardinal, Maradiaga, wasn't chosen. Maria Pavone's (ph) explanation, I think he's still not ready. What impeded him was his age.

There was celebrations in Rio de Janeiro. Marion (ph) was thrilled at the news. It's marvelous, she says, because he will fix what's wrong. I think he will lead with the will of steel. That, for some Catholics, like Claude Santos (ph), is the problem. I think he's somewhat conservative, she says. We wanted a bit more movement in the church. As cardinal, Joseph Ratzinger was known for his rigid position on church doctrine, saying no to homosexuality, no to birth control, no to the marriage of priests, and no to abortion. In Europe, many Catholics want to see a shift. This French pilgrim says, she hopes the new pope will reconsider the church position on condoms. In Spain, many of the faithful were more positive.

I think it's a great choice.

A little younger would have been better.

In Italy, dancing in St. Peter's Square, and congratulations all around. Paolo, a souvenir seller says, it's a great joy. I used to see him pass and nod to me, a great pope. For sure, he will be a great pope.

Many Catholics around the world believe the decision was ultimately guided by the holy spirit, and the holy spirit, they say, can't be wrong.

Zain Verjee, CNN, Atlanta.


COSTELLO: Zain Verjee reporting. Over to you Bill.

HEMMER: All right, Carol. There is word today already of yet another potentially huge case of identity theft. We're told again that hundreds of thousands could be affected, and Andy is "Minding Your Business" on that, after this.


HEMMER: Welcome back, everyone. Seems like we've been talking about this day after day after day. New revelations now about another company struggling with identity theft. And Andy Serwer fills us in, first check minding your business.

Another one, huh?

ANDY SERWER, "FORTUNE" MAGAZINE: Another day, another case. This one maybe not quite identity theft; maybe identity loss. Let me explain here. Online discount brokerage Ameritrade sending out letters to 200,000 of its customers saying that its files containing their customer Social Security numbers account information, and other personal information may be missing. Here's what happened. They sent four tapes between two secure locations. Some kind of box fell open. The tapes got lost. They recovered three of the tapes. One tapes still missing. Well, they're saying it was the fault of the people transporting the tapes, but you know, it's ultimately their fault, of course. And why they can say it's 200,000 customers out of their 3.7 million, we're not clear on that right now. The company in Omaha, Nebraska, giving some information. But we've seen how companies have figured out it's X and then next week it's Y, which is to say 10 times more. Let's hope this isn't the case.

HEMMER: Who, by the way, does banking with Ameritrade?

COSTELLO: I do. That's why I'm so concerned about it. Now I do want to ask you this question, though. They're going to send me a letter in the mail informing me if I'm one of the 200,000 people, right?

SERWER: Right.

COSTELLO: And what are they going to say to do?

SERWER: When you get the letter, bring it in, we'll read it on air.

COSTELLO: I hope I'm not one of the 200,000. It's so upsetting.

SERWER: It's really a problem.

HEMMER: Good luck, Carol.

SERWER: Yes, Carol.

What's that number again?

CAFFERTY: As we were talking during the break, there's probably a baggage handler at the St. Louis Airport that has got your last month's statement.

COSTELLO: He's making stock trades. Maybe he'll do a better job.

SERWER: Yes, who knows, it may work well for you.

CAFFERTY: We're laughing about it, but I mean, it's very upsetting. It hasn't happened to you or me, but you would feel violated.

COSTELLO: Yes. You're so understanding and compassionate.

CAFFERTY: My feminine side coming out.

Time for the Question of the Day now. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger would probably not have been the first choice as pope for many of America's Catholics. Pope Benedict XVI spent the last quarter century as the Vatican's conservative watchdog. His nickname was God's Rottweiler, which I think is a very cool nickname. He's been a staunch defender of traditional church doctrine, a fierce opponent of liberalism. He's disciplined priests who have pushed for reform in the church. He's dubbed other faiths, quote, "gravely deficient." He's even written that pro-choice politicians should be denied communion.

America's so-called "cafeteria Catholics" are likely to be disappointed. It's very unlikely the new pope will yield on women priests, gay rights, birth control and other traditional issues in the church.

The question is this, what does the new pope have to do to unite the Catholic Church?

HEMMER: Can he?

COSTELLO; And if you come across Carol's Ameritrade stocks, send it in to us?


COSTELLO: Don't give out my middle initial, please.

There's still more to come on AMERICAN MORNING.

Ahead on "90-Second Pop," Hollywood immortalizes American Idol's Ryan Seacrest, but does he deserve an honor that puts him alongside Orson Welles and Marlon Brando? Plus, after "American Idol's" disco inferno, which contestant should boogie on home tonight? That's later on AMERICAN MORNING.



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