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U.S. Rolls Out Red Carpet for Pope Francis; Can European Leaders Agree on Plan to Manage the Migrant Crisis?; Volkswagen's CEO Resigns. Aired 3-4p ET.

Aired September 23, 2015 - 15:00   ET




HALA GORANI, HOST: Tonight the United States rolls out the red carpet for Pope Francis.


GORANI: Thrilled crowds greet the Pontiff at the U.S. Capital as Francis spends his first full day on U.S. soil.

Also this hour, big news. Volkswagen's CEO resigns amid an emissions cheating scandal that has tarnished the world's biggest car maker.

Plus, division. Threats of lawsuits. Can European leaders agree on a plan to manage the migrant crisis?


GORANI: Hello, everyone. I'm Hala Gorani. We're live from CNN London and this is "The World Right Now."


GORANI: Well, it is just past 3:00 p.m. in Washington, D.C., where Pope Francis is in the middle of a busy day. He's expected to celebrate mass at

the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception very soon close to catholic university, we'll bring you that live. First, let's take

a look at his first morning in the United States.


GORANI: That is the Vatican national anthem at the White House welcoming ceremony. The Pope and President Barack Obama spoke to a crowd of 11,000

ticket holders and neither shied away from controversial issues, including climate change.

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: And, Holy Father, you remind us that we have a sacred obligation to protect our planet, God's

magnificent gift to us.

POPE FRANCIS: It seems to clear to me also that climate change is a problem. We can no longer be left to our future generation.

GORANI: The shoe of solidarity on climate change may have made some Republicans cringe, but the two leaders also touched on another hot button

issue; immigration.

POPE FRANCIS: I would like all men and women of world will in this great nation to support the efforts of the international community to protect the

vulnerable in our world.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: You remind us that the Lord's most powerful message is mercy. That means welcoming the stranger with empathy and a truly open


GORANI: The Pope then toured the national mall waiving to the many well- wishers lining the street.

After that he prayed with American Bishops. The Pope alluded to the sexual abuse crisis calling it a crime that must not be repeated.


GORANI: Right now the Pope is at the Vatican's embassy where he is staying. You can understand the need to take a break, of course, during a very busy

day in a new country. And by the way, I want to show our viewers some live pictures coming to us from the Basilica where Pope Francis is expected to

in fact perform a canonization, the first live on U.S. Soil.


GORANI: These are live images coming to us from Washington D.C. not far from Catholic University where you can see a choir rehearsing. Big day for

the Basilica. Pope John Paul II performed mass there in 1979. It's not the first papal visit.

Let's bring in CNN's senior Vatican analyst, John Allen. He was in Cuba during the Pope's visit there and traveled on the papal plane to


John, first of all, let's talk about these controversial issues, climate change, immigration. The Pope must have known that these are hot button

topics in the United States. What do you think was behind the choice to bring those up today during this visit?

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Well, Hala, I think it's important to put them in context because those are not the only hot button issues the

Pope touched upon. He also brought up the defense of marriage, which is a very controversial matter in the United States in the wake of the Supreme

Court's ruling legalizing same-sex marriage.

He also talked about religious liberty and he gave a big thumbs up on to the U.S. Bishops for what he called their vigilance on that issue. And

that basically Hala, is code language for the Bishops taking on the Obama administration over the so-called contraceptive mandates that is

requirement the private employers cover contraceptives as part of a basic insurance package.

So if you look at the totality of what the Pope had to say, there was some stuff there for the left and some stuff there for the right which I think

the same - I think simply reinforces the point that this Pope in particular and in many ways catholic social teaching in general just utterly defies

the left/right divides of American politics and obviously Francis knew that going in.


GORANI: Right. Well, one of the things he could have expected based on the reception he receives pretty much anywhere he goes, is that he is treated

like a rock star. There are about 70 million, I believe, Catholics in the United States, but really it transcends religion here. He is just a figure

that is greeted with a lot of enthusiasm no matter where he goes.

ALLEN: Yeah, I mean, I've covered all ten. This is Francis's tenth overseas journey and I've covered all ten of them. And I will tell you everywhere he

goes, you know, he is the star of the show. It doesn't matter who else might be in a room with him.

You know, I frankly think Justin Bieber could be in a room and Pope Francis would still be the dominant personality. Now that's in one point his office

you know, there are 1.2 billion Catholics around the world and they always get excited to see the Pope. But I think you're right. There is something

special about this man. In some ways I think he's become new Nelson Mandela, that is the kind of the new voice of moral authority on the global

stage and you don't have to be Catholic to feel like this guy walks the talk.

GORANI: Indeed. And he's playing mediating roles in international crises. I mean, Cuba, among other sort of conversations and negotiations he's had a

part in. Is that something that will be in the end when you think about it probably beyond talking about with the softer language about some of the

very important issues of the Catholic Church, one of his important legacies here?

ALLEN: Oh, sure. I think Pope Francis is utterly sort of rejuvenated the Diplomatic and political capital of the Vatican which many thought had been

something at a low ebb during the Benedict XVI years.

You know it's interesting Hala, when we were in Cuba at the beginning of this trip there were dozens of reporters from Colombia on hand just on the

off chance that Francis might involve himself in the peace talks currently being held in Havana to try to end Colombia's six year civil war.

And at the end they were devastated that he didn't do it and the reason is because they felt like he is the only figure on the global stage who

actually could have moved the ball across the finish line. I think it illustrates the fact that you know whether people like Francis's message or

not, I think there's a universal message that this Pope matters, that when he speaks, when he acts history can change.

GORANI: Let's talk a little bit about what to expect later today, John. He is heading toward Catholic University in Washington, D.C. He's going to be

- and by the way, he'll be in an open motorcade I understand on his way there. He's going to be then headed to the Basilica at the National Shrine

of the Immaculate Conception. That's where he will perform the canonization of Junipero Serra and a mass as well. Why is there controversy surrounding

this canonization?

ALLEN: Well, Serra was a Spanish Franciscan missionary in what is today California in the 18th Century. And there are some who believe that he was

complicit in sort of colonial era abuses against native persons on America's West Coast.

Now his defenders will argue that you know while, there were undoubtedly abuses committed, and the church was part of that situation, that Serra

himself did everything he could to mitigate those abuses and to defend the rights of native persons. Obviously Pope Francis agrees with that side of

the argument or he would not be going ahead with this canonization.

And by the way, this canonization was fast tracked by the Pope. He dispensed with the requirement for a second miracle which I think indicates

to you how much Francis believes in the virtue of this figure.

GORANI: All right, Interesting. John Allen, always a pleasure, thanks very much. Our senior Vatican analyst joining us from Washington, D.C.


GORANI: John mentioned covered all ten overseas trips of Pope Francis. No one better to join us to talk about this one. Thanks very much.

This is an historic U.S. visit but it also, you can imagine especially when I just mentioned that the Pope would be traveling towards Catholic

University toward the Basilica in an open motorcade. Imagine the security challenge there, especially when you consider that Pope Francis is famous

for mingling with the masses, kissing babies and children and the rest of it. You can imagine what kind of security challenges this is.

Brian Todd has that angle of the story.


BRIAN TODD, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Unplanned moments like this one two years ago in Rio De Janeiro are trademark Pope Francis, telling his

drivers not to avoid crowds. At one point, after a wrong turn, his silver Fiat hatch back becomes caught in a swirl of well-wishers. Trademark

Francis and a nightmare for those who protect him.


TODD: It's got to be nerve racking?

ANDREAS WIDMER, SWISS GUARDS: You use your body a lot.

TODD: In what way?

WIDMER: You get in - you basically get in between and you use your body to protect the Pope.

TODD: Andreas Widmer was a member of the elite Swiss Guards, the men who protected the Holy Father for more than five centuries. He has lived the

fear those around Pope Francis are feeling today.

Widmer says Pope John Paul the Second, who he guarded in the 80s was a lot like Pope Francis, often wanting to make unplanned forays into large

crowds. Security around John Paul tightened after a gunman tried to assassinate him in 1981, shooting him at least twice.

Secret service and police officials say they've done their homework on this Pope's patterns and observed how the Swiss Guards have protected him.

WIDMER: We have watched very closely all of his appearances around the world, how he interacts with the crowds.

TODD: Widmer and former secret service agents tell us there'll be layers of security in the crowds, agents blending in watching for strange body

language and facial gestures.

The Pope mobile they say is armored, although much of it is open air, leaving him exposed.

So does the Pope wear a bullet-proof vest?

DAVE WILKINSON, FORMER SECRET SERVICE AGENT: A high level protectee would not wear armor or any type of ballistic vest in an interior site, but they

would most likely wear it at an outside venue.

TODD: We asked Widmer, as a guard, can you tell a Pope who likes to go off script to hold back?

WIDMER: No, you don't. You try to work with the Pope and see what he wants to do and then adapt and provide the best security that there is. The

security is not what leads the Pope. It's the Pope that leads the security.

Again the Pope is doing his ministry and that needs to be optimized and that's what a Pope is all about. The security can be optimized around his


TODD: So you don't ever tell the Pope say sir, you cannot go do that?


TODD: What's the most danger threat to a Pope? Andreas Widmer says it's usually someone who's mentally ill approaching the Pope wanting to act out

some notion in their mind.

He says the real challenge there is to be measured and you have to protect the Pope, you have to protect others nearby from the assailant and you have

to protect the assailant from himself.

Brian Todd, CNN, Washington.


GORANI: Well and we expect to see some of that unpredictable crowd activity later this hour.


GORANI: In the next 20 minutes Pope Francis should be heading to the Basilica at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington

D.C.. You're seeing live images coming to us from inside the Basilica.

He will celebrate the first mass on U.S. Soil and he will also canonize a new saying. We were speaking with our Vatican analyst John Allen saying

that canonization was fast tracked. And it will be the first canonization there as well on U.S. soil.


GORANI: We'll bring you that as soon as it happens and as soon as the Pope starts heading toward the Basilica.

Now before we head to a break, a major development in the scandal rocking the world's biggest car maker.

The CEO of Volkswagen Martin Winterkorn has resigned saying the company needs a fresh start. The announcement of course coming after that scandal

and crisis talks at headquarters head quarters on how to limit the damage over rigged Diesel emissions.

Atika Shubert has our story.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Volkswagen CEO, Martin Winterkorn, is a VW veteran and a highly regarded engineer an

infamous stickler for detail. So many were shocked when Volkswagen was caught cheating on the emissions test. Just one day after this videotaped

apology from the CEO.

MARTIN WINTERKORN, FORMER CEO VOLKSWAGEN: (As translated) I am deeply sorry we have broken this trust.

SHUBERT: A Volkswagen announcement on his resignation, Winterkorn corn himself did not appear but provided the statement, "I am shocked by the

events of the past few days. Above all, I am stunned that misconduct on such a scale was possible in the Volkswagen group. As CEO I accept

responsibility for the irregularities that have been found in diesel engines and have therefore requested the supervisory board to agree on

terminating my function as CEO of the Volkswagen group. I am doing this in the interests of the company even though I am not aware of any wrongdoing

on my part."

He also said, "Volkswagen has been, is, and will always be my life."

Volkswagen headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, have been shaken to the core. More than 60,000 employees work here. The massive factory, an area

the size of Gibraltar, dominates the landscape.


SHUBERT: But this scandal affects much more than just Wolfsburg. One in seven jobs is either directly or indirectly tied to the automobile industry

here in Germany and that industry makes up 20% of the country's GDP. So Volkswagen is a big chunk of that.


SHUBERT: Winterkorn's resignation may be a start and Volkswagen is asking the German prosecutor to launch a criminal investigation into the cheating.

But more answers are needed to restore confidence to the made in Germany brand.

Atika Shubert, CNN, Wolfsburg, Germany.



GORNAI: Also this, some welcomed good news. Egypt's President has issued a pardon to 100 prisoners including two Al-Jazeera journalists.


GORANI: We followed this from the beginning. Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed were arrested in December of 2013 along with their colleague, Peter

Greste. They were convicted on charges of aiding the Muslim brotherhood. They've always denied it. Charges that Amnesty International and others

said were politically devoted. Greste was deported to his home country, Australia earlier this year and a nightmare for Baher Mohamed and Mohamed

Fahmy in Egypt finally over. (END VIDEO CLIP)

GORANI: Still ahead, European leaders are trying to come up with a quota plan every nation can agree on as scenes like this play out in Hungary,

Croatia and beyond.


GORANI: There is division and there are disputes. Can the leaders agree on a plan, any plan, to confront this crisis?>





GORANI: Well European leaders are meeting right now in Brussels to try and get a grip on the refugee crisis engulfing the continent.


GORANI: The President of the E.U. Council Donald Tusk, urged the leaders to come up with a "concrete plan", before the meeting started.

But here's the thing relations are strained to say the least. Because four Eastern European countries are voting against the plan to resettle migrants

on Tuesday. One of them, Slovakia, says it will even sue the European Union launching a legal challenge over the compulsory quotas.


GORANI: While the politicians talk the flow of migrants and refugees heading toward northern Europe continues unabated. 44,000 have entered

Croatia according to the country's Interior Ministry. The majority of them are passing through with the ultimate aim of getting to Austria or Germany.

Ben Wedeman has the latest from the Croatian/Serbian border.


BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: This is a train full of migrants and refugees from Syria and Iraq. It's about to depart from

Tovarnik on the Serbian/Croatian border to the Hungarian/Croatian border. It's a five hour journey.

From there they'll be transferred to buses to the Hungarian side, another train, their ultimate destination is probably Austria.

Now this is just an indication of this constant flow of people in the direction of northern Europe. And of course, Europe is very divided at this

point as to how to deal with the refugees.

They've agreed to a quota system but some countries, for instance Slovakia, have said they're going to take this quota system to court because they

don't want it. And fundamentally the countries of eastern Europe like the Czech Republic, like Slovakia, like Hungary, of course, have made it clear

that they're not happy about this system. That they are in a position of being countries that don't want to take refugees who, in fact, don't want

to end up in those countries anyway.

[15:20:22] Nonetheless, what we have seen now for weeks is a steady flow of refugees and migrants towards northern Europe and no halt in that flow.

Croatia for instance has taken since just the middle of last week more than 40,000 migrants and refugees. Many of them like these are really just

passing through the country ending up of course Hungary, and then Austria, and then to points further north.

But as this train pulls out of this station we can expect, unless there's some dramatic change in this situation, more such trains to head north.

Ben Wedeman, CNN, in Tovarnik, Croatia.


GORANI: Keeping his cool even though a bottle fell right on the side of his head. A lot more coming up.


GORANI: We continue to follow Pope Francis's historic visit to the United States. Regarding the schedule keeping you up to date, he's going to start

performing mass at Catholic University very soon. We will bring that to you live. On Thursday he will address congress in Washington, D.C.. We'll speak

to the woman organizing a volunteer effort for the landmark visit and it involves tens of thousands of people. We'll be right back.




GORANI: Any moment now Pope Francis will head to Catholic University in Washington, D.C., to hold an historic mass there. He will become the first

Pope to canonize a saint in the United States on U.S. Soil.


GORANI: Earlier in the day the Pontiff gave a speech to thousands at the White House and dove right into several pretty divisive issues like climate

change and marriage as well as immigration.

Later he met with Bishops at a cathedral. He addressed the sex abuse scandal rocking the church. He told them crimes against minors should never

be repeated.

As the Pope continues his very busy schedule let's look at the other cities he'll visit during his six-day trip in the United States. You see them

there on the map. On Thursday he'll leave Washington and head to New York for two days. And then he will wrap things up in Philadelphia on Sunday. It

all ends on the 29th of September.


GORANI: Pope Francis is the leader of the world's 1 billion Catholics and although he lives at the Vatican now, his background and early life were

anything but opulent. Here's a look back.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) is a lower middle class kid in a lower middle class area of Buenos Aires of mostly Italian immigrants. That's

where he grew up.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: A typical childhood he would go and play with friends in the street, he would play football.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was a pretty ordinary kid. He was a lanky teenager. His childhood friends remember him really as always having his head in a



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was special but also normal because he would go also then being a teenager he would (inaudible) and he would participate to


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (As translated) I've known this man since I was 13 years old. We've known each other for 65 years through every stage of our lives.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And people were very struck by his concern for others. I think that was there from the very, very beginning.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just before his 17th birthday when he had this experience in the confessional, something he says made him go in and he

said confession to a priest he didn't know and he always said what went on in that confession left him convinced that he would be a priest.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As translated, he said, I'm got to tell you something that I haven't told anyone else. I've decided to dedicate myself to the


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And I think it was through that experience we see the beginnings of a very tender and loving man that I think he subsequently

became as a bishop and now as a Pontiff.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (As translated) his passion for the poor is real, and I believe that if he could, there would not be a single poor person in the


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He stresses in a very special way dialogue's the key in order to reach peace.

His relationship with (inaudible) with the Protestants and with the other churches he tries to build that reality of no so many divisions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Actually the way he's living now as a Pope isn't so different from how he used to live Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires. But

that's Pope Francis. He is above (inaudible).

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He devoted all his for a cause of the church.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He's not you know playing a role. He's himself and he's authentic.


GORANI: He is authentic. That's what so many people relate to. We were discussing this a little bit earlier. Really regardless of religious

affiliation, so many people see this Pope as a voice that they want to cheer.

The U.S. Congress as well on Capitol Hill tomorrow, Thursday, will be hearing straight from Pope Francis. Beth Zentmeyer trained the volunteers

welcoming the Pontiff, she's the Protocol and Special Events Inviter at the Office of the Speaker for the House of Representatives.

Zentmeyer joins me now from Washington. Thanks for being with us. I understand, how many people are we talking about here? Because people are

calling this a mini army to manage the Pope visit on Capitol Hill.


encouragement we've definitely created a large team. We'll have over 100 volunteers from different congressional offices, Republicans, Democrats,

house, senate, congressional officers and committee staffers.


GORANI: OK. What will they be doing exactly tomorrow?

ZENTMEYER: So our special event reps will be the face of the institution to meet the ticketed guests, answer questions, provide way finding and the

number one thing is to help all guests scope out a great piece of real estate to watch the address.

GORANI: So people will be able to come up to some of these volunteers identifiable how, by the way?

ZENTMEYER: We'll all be wearing green.

GORANI: All right. So you'll all be wearing green. If you have a ticketed guest, see someone wearing green, that says help me, I need to find the

best spot to see -- by the way, Beth, one moment, We're seeing the Pope leave the Vatican embassy. He's going to be heading in a motorcade toward

the Basilica and then Catholic University.

And he is greeting his, I guess there's no other word, his fans in this case. Lots of mobile phones out. I'm sure a few attempts at selfies.

We understand, Beth, stand by, that he's going to be switching to an open motorcade midway. He'll start in the little Fiat, and then he will be

switching to that open motorcade on his way to the Basilica. We're going to join my colleague Chris Cuomo who is in Washington, D.C., following the

historic visit.