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Pope Francis at Saint Patrick's Cathedral for Evening Service; Pope Delivers Homily at Saint Patrick's Cathedral. Aired 7-8:00p ET

Aired September 24, 2015 - 19:00   ET


[19:16:52] ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: And welcome to all of those just joining us. You can see the Pope here, Pope Francis right now about to lead an evening prayer service at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York. We are right outside watching this. We're going to be bringing this to you in full.

I'm Erin Burnett. This is OUTFRONT and let's listen in now to the service going on right behind me in St. Patrick's with Pope Francis.

POPE FRANCIS: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.


[19:15:38] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In this you rejoice although now for a little while, you may have to suffer through various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire, may prove to be for praise, glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Although you have not seen him, you love him. Even though you do not see him now, yet believe in him. You rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

[19:17:26] POPE FRANCIS (through a translator): I have two feelings for my Islamic brothers. First, I recognize that today is the day of sacrifice as they celebrate the day of sacrifice. And I wish I could have made this greeting to be warmer. But I am close and my sentiments are close. I am close to them in the face of tragedy. Tragedy that they suffered in Mecca. In this moment, I give assurances of my prayers, I unite myself with you all. A prayer to almighty God, all merciful.

The Cathedral of St. Patrick's, built over many years through the sacrifices of many men and women is a symbol of the work of generations of American priests and religious and lay faithful who helped build up the church in the United States. Many priests and religious in this country that have not only in education but in other areas have had a central role assisting parents in handing down to their children the food that nourishes them for life. Many did so at the coast of extraordinary sacrifice and with heroic charity.

I think, for example, of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, who founded the first free Catholic school for girls in the United States or in Saint John Neumann, the founder of the first system of Catholic education in this country. This evening, my brothers and sisters, I have come to join you in prayer that our vocations as priests will continue to build up the great edifice of God's kingdom in this country. I know that, as a the Presbyteriate in the midst of God's people, you recently have suffered greatly in the not distant past by having to bear the shame of some of your brothers, brothers who have harmed and scandalized the church in the most vulnerable of her members.

[19:22:40] In the words of the book of revelation, I know well that you have comfort from the great tribulation and I accompany you at this time of pain and difficulty. And I thank God for your faithful service to his people, doing so in helping you to preserve on the path of fidelity to Jesus Christ. And I would like to offer two brief reflections. The first concern is of the spirit of gratitude. The joy of men and women who love God attracts others to him. Priests and religious are called to find and radiate lasting satisfaction in their vocation. Joy springs from a grateful heart. Truly, we have received much, so many graces, so many blessings. And in this, we rejoice.

It will do us good to think back on our lives with the grace of remembrance. Remembrance of when we were first called, remembrance of the road traveled, remembrance of graces received. And, above all, remembrance of our encounter with Jesus Christ so often along the way. Remembrance of the amazement which our encounter with Jesus Christ has awakened in our hearts. Sisters, brothers, priests and religious to seek the grace of remembrance so as to grow in the spirit of gratitude.

Perhaps we need to ask ourselves, are we capable of counting our blessings? Or have I forgotten them? A second area is the spirit of hard work. A grateful heart is spontaneously impelled to serve the Lord and to find expression in a life of commitment to our work. Once we realize how much God has given us, we learn that a life of sacrifice, of working for him and for others, becomes a privileged way, a privileged way of responding to his great love. Yet, if we are honest, we must recognize how easily this spirit of generous self- sacrifice can be dampened. There are a couple of ways that this can happen. And both are examples of that spiritual worldliness which weakens our commitment to serve as dedicated men and women. And it diminishes the wonder of our first encounter with Christ.

[19:27:28] We can get caught up in measuring the value of our apostolic works by the standards of efficiency, good management and outward success, which govern the business world. Not that these things are unimportant, of course. But we have been entrusted with a great responsibility, and this is why God's people rightly expect accountability from us but the true worth of our apostolate is measured by the value it has in God's eyes, to see and evaluate things from God's perspective, calls for constant, constant conversion in the first days and years of our vocation and, need I say, it demands great humility. The cross shows us a different way of measuring success. Ours is to plant the seeds.

God sees to the fruits of our labors. And if at times our efforts and works seem to fail and not produce no fruit, we need to remember that we are followers of Jesus Christ and his life, humanly speaking, ended in failure, the failure of the cross. Another danger -- another danger emerges when we become jealous of our free time, when we think that surrounding ourselves with worldly come efforts help us to serve better. The problem with this way of reasoning is that it can blunt the power of God's daily call to conversion, to encounter with him. Slowly but surely, it diminishes our spirit of sacrifice, our spirit of renunciation and our spirit of hard work. It also alienates people who suffer material poverty and who are forced to make greater sacrifices than those that we made ourselves.

Rest is needed, as are moments of leisure and self-enrichment, but we need to learn to rest in a way that deepens our desire to serve with generosity. Closeness to the poor, the refugee, the immigrant, the sick, the exploited, the elderly living alone, prisoners and all God's other poor, will teach us a different way of resting, one which is more Christian and generous.

Gratitude and hard work, these are two pillars of the spiritual life which I have wanted to share with you this evening. With you, the priest and religious men and women this afternoon.

I thank you for your prayers and your work and for the daily sacrifices that you make in the various areas of your apostolate. Many of these are known only to God, but they bear rich fruit for the life of the church.

I would especially like to thank and express my esteem and gratitude to the religious women of the United States.


What indeed -- what would the church be without you? Women's strength, fighters, with that spirit of courage which puts you on the front lines in the proclamation of the gospel. To you, religious women, sisters and mothers of this people, I wish to say thank you.


A big thank you and to tell you that I love you very much.


I know, I know that many of you are on the front lines in meeting the challenges of adapting to an evolving pastoral landscape, like Saint Peter, I ask you, that regardless of the difficulties and trials that you face, be at peace and respond to them as Christ did.

[19:35:08] He gave thanks to the father, took up his cross and looked forward.


Dear brothers and sisters, in a few moments, we will sing the Magnificat. Let us commend to our lady the work we have been entrusted to do. Let us join her in thanking God for the great things he has done. And for the great things he will continue to do in us and in those whom we have the privilege to serve. (APPLAUSE)

ERIN BURNETT, CNN ANCHOR: And you just heard the pope give his homily, a standing ovation, talking about women, talking about sex abuse in the church. Right now, you're going to see Cardinal Dolan, of course, the leader of this church, going to make some comments. There will be a couple of songs before that. And then, Cardinal Dolan will speak.

And the pope is, again, going to come out onto the streets outside of St. Patrick's Cathedral. We'll see him drive up Fifth Avenue, a drive of about 20 blocks or so, still lined with thousands and thousands of people to see the pope tonight as he comes out.

Let's continue to listen in to the service right now.


[19:41:26] BURNETT: All right. We are now hearing, as we said, a couple of the songs that they are going to be singing as part of the service. It's not a full service. I'm here with Father Beck, our religion commentator, and Delia Gallagher, our Vatican correspondent, and Bruce Feiler, author of "Walking the Bible".

Delia, what exactly are we seeing now? We heard the pope give the homily. What is happening right now?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Well, this is a vespers service. This is an evening prayer service. And it consists of various psalms, various prayers. It is something that they have done throughout the millennium, Catholic Church, and you'll find it in every monastery, it's something that punctuates the day, and the pope does it at the Vatican, morning prayers, afternoon prayers, and evening prayers.

So, this is as a traditional prayer service and we're listening right now to one of the psalms.

BURNETT: And, Father Beck, this is a pope who is visibly exhausted after the long schedule he's been keeping but continuing with this grueling day, again, sympathy for the clergy in dealing with sex abuse, and also a standing ovation for his comments respecting women's roles in the church.

FATHER EDWARD BECK, CNN RELIGION COMMENTATOR: Yes. People were surprised when he was speaking to the bishops in Washington that he kind of said that for the speed that it has suffered, and this is saying nothing about the victims that have suffered, which you have to remember, he is addressing priest and religious here. And a lot of them have had to go through this because of brother priests, a few who harmed and scandalized the church and the most vulnerable.

So, he's saying to them, yes, I know you've suffered because of it, but you all have to do better. He said, don't have long faces. He said two things. Have gratitude, joy in your vocation, don't walk around, he has said before, looking glum. Nobody wants to join a group like that.

And then, he said, work harder. Have a spirit of work, not spiritual worldliness. Don't worry about being efficient, good managers. Don't have so much free time, he said. Don't worry about your free time, your worldly comforts. Sacrifice, renunciation, hard work.

I thought what he said, people shouldn't be making greater sacrifices than you are. So, it was very challenging to them like --

BURNETT: It was. It was.

And, Delia, the nuns, there were a lot of nuns there. And there was a standing ovation for his comment on women.

GALLAGHER: He was wonderful with the nuns. He said, I love you. There was such an expression and outpouring from him. Very important because there's been difficulty with the U.S. nuns --

BURNETT: The pope is speaking again. We'll listen.


[19:49:31] BURNETT: And this is Cardinal Dolan about to speak. I'm here with Bruce Feiler.

Bruce, I see he's about to speak. This is a very big moment for the cardinal.

BRUCE FEILER, AUTHOR: Well, this is his cathedral, of course, and he helped raise $177 million renovation that he's able to show off for the pope. It's a beautiful sight.

BURNETT: It's a beautiful sight and it is a beautiful church. As Cardinal Dolan is smiling at the pope, a friend of the pope, he knows him, of course, very well personally.

[19:50:04] It is a very special day for Cardinal Dolan showing off what is truly a glorious looking church, the blue sky behind it as he welcomes Pope Francis to his home.

Let's listen to Cardinal Dolan's remarks here at this prayer service begins to wrap up.

CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN, ARCHBISHOP OF NEW YORK: Once you entered those famous doors on Fifth Avenue, you became an official New Yorker.


But you already had a home in our hearts and souls. This great cathedral is in the middle of midtown Manhattan. Geographically and spiritually, we are here in the heart of New York City.

New Yorkers and people from all over the world come to St. Patrick's cathedral to pray, to cry, to rejoice, to sense God's love and grace and mercy and the mass and the sacraments, and this evening our bishops, our priests and deacons and seminarians, religious sisters and brothers, our wonderful lay leaders, our civic officials, our friends and neighbors have come to pray with you and for you.


(through translator): Today in Congress, you talked about two people from New York, Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton.)


Now, for the past three years we have all worked very hard to repair and renew and restore our beloved St. Patrick's Cathedral. Thanks to the workers whom you saw outside and to the extraordinary generosity and leadership of so many people here.

We have seen this repair and restoration as an invitation from Jesus to the spiritual renewal of ourselves and his church as you have asked. Your presence this happy evening renews all of us and provides a special blessing to all our work for this cathedral we so love.

And now we ask you, Holy Father, at the end of this vespers to bless our repaired cathedral. Thank you for stopping by. Come back soon.


POPE FRANCIS: Lord, bless this church which we have been privileged to build with your hand. May all who are here in faith to listen to your word and celebrate your sacraments, experience the presence of Christ who promised to be with those gathered in his name, for he lives and reigns forever and ever.



[19:56:09] BURNETT: Now the pope will be meeting briefly with the people who restored this cathedral, several years of a project and nearly $200 million. They worked day in, day out to make this cathedral beautiful again. You heard the cardinal make a joke about the work.

It is an amazing moment the pope, Delia, will be meeting with the people that built the church.

GALLAGHER: He said when you walked through the doors, you became a New Yorker and the pope laughing but the man who is sitting his chief of liturgical affairs, the man that organizes all the pope's masses that never cracks a smile was laughing, too. So, Cardinal Dolan who has the reputation of making people laugh, even at the Vatican, doing it again, a warm welcome for the pope. I think this was a nice ceremony for the pope to be able to meet with his priests and sisters and the nuns in particular getting a big shoutout as it were from the pope.

BURNETT: Very momentous moment for women. Father Beck, the pope, though, meeting right now, you know, when

we were -- as he walked in at the pope mobile, the people that restored this church, men and women outside. Every one of them with their phone in the air, taking a picture of this pope, and they get to meet him, which is so fitting right with the kind of pope that he is.

BECK: Yes, it is. They did rush to finish in time. It was a little behind schedule and Cardinal Dolan said, you need this finished by the time the pope gets here. They indeed did. And these donors are delighted and archbishop, obviously, Cardinal Dolan, was in his glory smiled ear to ear to show this great cathedral to this pope.

BURNETT: And we saw a moment, Delia, where the pope and Cardinal Dolan embraced and that was not a formal embrace. That was an embrace of two men who know each other and are fond of each other a personal moment.

GALLAGHER: That was a Cardinal Dolan embrace, that would be seen by the rest of Europe and the rest of the world as an American embrace. It really was.

BECK: Looked like he hurt his ribs.

GALLAGHER: Very physical, very casual. You don't hug the pope like that, you don't do it normally. That was really a great image of a metaphor for this trip.

BECK: Cardinal Dolan most definitely.

BURNETT: And, Delia, truly a splendid moment. What will happen from here, the pope, there will be a procession out of St. Patrick's Cathedral. We're sitting outside and Anderson Cooper is here and he'll get into the Fiat, not the open air pope mobile but the Fiat and drive the wrong way up Fifth Avenue, another moment for New York where he will be spending the evening.

GALLAGHER: Making a special exception for the pope, which I think is OK.

BURNETT: Wrong way up Fifth Avenue, Anderson, when does that happen?

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Not often. There are an awful lot of people who are still lining Fifth Avenue, hoping to get a glimpse of the pontiff. Perhaps, we'll be disappointed he's not taking the pope mobile on the way back but the car is outside. It looks like ready

GALLAGHER: Well, I wonder, also, if there is going to be people on the Upper East Side where the pope is going. He's going to stay at the residence of the Holy See observer to the U.N. You know, the U.N. has a representative of the Vatican permanently here and have a residence on the Upper East Side, which is where the pope will be staying.

BURNETT: He will, of course, Anderson, in great irony will be going up the most expensive street for real estate in the world and staying in one of the nicest addresses in the world as well.

COOPER: Tomorrow he will be visiting a group in Harlem and going to Ground Zero as well. So, he's trying to see as much of New York as possible. Here we're getting a glimpse of him as he begins to leave St. Patrick's Cathedral.