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STUDENT NEWS

Roman Catholic Church Will Choose New Leader

Aired February 28, 2013 - 04:00:00   ET

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


CARL AZUZ, CNN ANCHOR: It`s Thursday, February 28th. And it`s Pope Benedict XVI last day as pope. He announced his resignation earlier this month, and his time as pope officially ends this evening.

The pope is the head of the Roman Catholic Church. Christianity is the world`s largest religion, and Catholics are the largest groups of Christians. There are around 1.2 billion Catholics around the world. Yesterday, Pope Benedict made his final public speech in St. Peter`s Square. That`s part of Vatican City, the headquarters of the Catholic Church, and the world`s smallest country.

In yesterday`s speech, the pope talked about his spiritual journey during his nearly eight years as head of the church. There have been controversies and scandals surrounding the Catholic Church, like accusations of some priests abusing children and claims of corruption. Some analysts think the pope was referring to these issues during his speech.

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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: He spoke about how he had so much joy, he said, in the church, in his eight years of reign, but he also talked about how - that it`d been difficult times, he said, it had been far from easy on occasion. He talked about how the church had come across "agitated waters", and then sometimes found itself facing the different directions of the wind.

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AZUZ: Pope Benedict is the first pope in nearly 600 years to resign. What comes next? He`ll still be called Benedict, the name he chose when he became pope, and he`ll still be referred to as "His Holiness." But his official title will be Pope Emeritus. He`ll live in Vatican City in a small monastery. And Benedict is expected to devote his time to prayer and study. As for the Roman Catholic Church, it has to elect a new pope and here`s how that process happens.

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JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: The pope is the spiritual leader of 1.2 billion Catholics around the world, and the most visible religious leader of any kind on the planet.

The new pope is always chosen by the members of the college of cardinals. They are the highest office in the church under the pope himself. Normally, when a papacy ends either through death or resignation, cardinals from around the world gather in Rome, they have daily meetings to talk about the issues facing the church and the qualities the new pope needs. We are talking about slightly over 100 cardinals who file into the Sistine Chapel cast ballots and pick a pope.

Conclave is a term that comes from two Latin words, meaning with a key. It refers to the fact that the cardinals are locked behind closed doors while they go through a highly ceremonial process of casting ballots and then burning them. Then it goes as long as it takes for somebody to get two thirds - the shortest conclave in history took a couple of hours. The longest one took three years.

In the old days, they would burn ballots largely because they wanted to maintain the secrecy of the conclave, that is they didn`t want the vote totals to get out. What they realized, is that when people saw the smoke from the chimney atop the Sistine Chapel, they knew a round of balloting had ended, and so they came up with the system where they would put chemicals into the mix to turn the smoke black if no pope had been elected, and white, if a pope had been elected.

In theory, according to the law of the church, any person who was eligible for ordination to the priesthood and therefore, an unmarried male, could be elected as pope. But in practice, the new pope will be elected from among the cardinals who are voting. That is the cardinals who are under the age of 80, who will take part in this election. Which means that the roughly 150 cardinals aren`t merely voters, they are all also candidates.

When a candidate crosses that two thirds threshold, another cardinal will approach him and say, do you accept your canonically valid election as Supreme Pontiff? If he answers yes, from that moment forward, he becomes the pope. The next questions is, by what name will you be known? And at that stage, the new pope tells his brother cardinals what he wants to be called. And in a few minutes later, when the announcement is made from a balcony outside St. Peter`s Square, the whole world will know the name of the new pope.

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AZUZ: The deadline is tomorrow for President Obama and Congress to come up with the deal to lower the country`s debt. Otherwise, some forced spending cuts are automatically going to kick in. We are talking about $85 billion immediately, $1.2 trillion total over the next ten years. Tomorrow, we are going to look at where some of those cuts could happen. Today, we are looking at how we got here.

Every year the president is required to come up with a budget proposal. He submits that to Congress. Then Congress comes up with the final budget. Right now, the U.S. government spends more than it makes. A lot more. That`s why we have a massive debt. Back in 2011, during a standoff over the debt, the president and Congress came up with the plan. They set up the possibility of automatic spending cuts, but only if lawmakers couldn`t agree on other ways to reduce the debt. The idea was that the automatic cuts would be so drastic, that there was no way anyone was going to let them happen. Throughout 2012, political leaders never agreed on an alternative. The cuts were supposed to happen on January 1st of this year. They got pushed back two months, and that leaves us where we are now.

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UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s "Shoutout" goes out to Mrs. Mackin`s classes at Westminster High School in Westminster, California.

Who was known as the mother of the U.S. civil rights movement? Is it Harriet Tubman, Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks or Susan B. Anthony? You`ve got three seconds, go!

Rosa Parks is referred to as the mother of the civil rights movement. Partly because of her actions on December 1st 1955. That`s your answer and that`s your "Shoutout."

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AZUZ: On that day, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. The ensuing bus boycott is considered the official start of the civil rights movement. Parks passed away in 2005. She`s gotten numerous honors and tributes for her work for equal rights. The U.S. Postal Service released a stamp this year, honoring Parks. And yesterday, President Obama and congressional leaders unveiled a bronze statue of Rosa Parks at the U.S. Capitol. She`s the first African- American woman to be honored in this way.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: We celebrate a seamstress slight in stature, but mighty in courage.

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AZUZ: As we wrap up Black History Month, you can go to our home page and check out a gallery, a past and present African-American pioneers.

Next story today comes from Emily Longnecker, a reporter with affiliate WTHR. It reminds me of this great quote from Thomas Edison: opportunity is missed by most people, because it`s dressed in overalls and looks like work.

For a young man in Indiana, finding work was all that mattered. While he was on the way to interview for one job, he landed another almost by accident.

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JHAQUIEL REAGAN, HIRED AT RESTAURANT: I`m out there, you know, every day, trying to make a dollar.

EMILY LONGNECKER: Friday morning, though, 18-year old Jhaqiel Reagan was unemployed and broke.

REAGAN: I`m staying anywhere I can.

LONGNECKER: But a walk through this restaurant`s parking lot turned out to be the proverbial fork in what`s been a long road for this young man.

ART BOUVIER, OWNER, PAPA ROUX: He just says excuse me, can you tell me how far it is to the hotel (ph) Sherman.

LONGNECKER: The owner of Papa Roux, Art Bouvier, was out clearing ice and snow from the parking lot.

BOUVIER: I said, buddy, that`s about six or seven miles to Sherman, and I fully expected the next question was, can you give some money for the bus? And it wasn`t. He just kept walking.

LONGNECKER: 20 minutes later, Art was driving down 10th street, Jhaqiel and offered him a ride.

REAGAN: I was really appreciative.

LONGNECKER: What Art heard next, though, convinced him. This meeting was no accident.

BOUVIER: It was destiny. He said, I have an interview at a thrift store. I said - interview at a thrift store. You`re walking ten miles in the ice and snow to an interview at a thrift store.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Shrimp!

BOUVIER: And I just got the thinking, that`s - that`s a good work ethic.

LONGNECKER: So, Art took Jhaqiel`s number just in case. Just in case came hours later.

BOUVIER: I want to show you the ropes tonight, if you want, we`re a little busy in there.

REAGAN: OK, that`s fun. That`s real (ph).

LONGNECKER: Art was so impressed by Jhaqiel, he posted the story of their chance meeting on Facebook. Now, he has regular customers offering to buy Jhaqiel a bus pass so he can get here, to his new job.

REAGAN: I don`t know. I get my work ethics from my dad. You know, he`s worked his fingers to the bone all his life.

LONGNECKER: Like father, like son. Jhaqiel is willing to do the same. And now has the chance to do it.

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AZUZ: Know anyone like Jhaqiel? Tell us about him or her in our blog. Well, today`s post is all about work ethic. You`ll find it at cnnstudentnews.com. The same site where we are hoping teachers will also chime in with their opinions about today`s show.

Well, sometimes our "Before We Go " segment requires a little setup. But sometimes, all you have to say is monkeys riding dogs.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here! Here!

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AZUZ: Awesome.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The racers down the hallway are back at a local news station, the one in pink didn`t quite make it all the way down, but it gave her a head start to the finish. Who knew a simian could be such a cheater? The point of all this, was to promote a professional bull riding event that features these guys. I guess the monkeys just wanted to horn in on the event and to steer all the attention back to themselves. Or maybe they were just monkeying around. Other way, I`m sure, people went bananas over that performance. Sad, isn`t it? It`s time for us to split. We`ll see you tomorrow.

END