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No New Pope Announced; Life in Space

Aired March 12, 2013 - 15:00   ET


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: You also have very popular American cardinals, Cardinal Timothy Dolan from New York, Cardinal O'Malley from Boston. Perhaps unlikely it would be an American. What do you think the chances of an American pope are?

REV. EDWARD BECK, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: I think the chances are slim, but I think it would really be an amazing thing if that were to happen, and certainly for those of us from the United States.

And it would be unexpected. But I think it is a slim chance. Despite the fact that people say the United States is not the only superpower, they still -- I think we still are perceived that way. To put the papacy in the hands of a United States pope and the United States government being what it is, I think it is probably a slim chance.

COOPER: And fascinating as I think it would be to be inside that conclave and see the vote take place, I have actually been kind of more interested in the discussions that go on later tonight and sort of the -- this politicking without actually politicking and people running without really saying they're running or acknowledging in any way that this is something they want.

It must be a fascinating -- sort of fascinating conversations going on behind the scenes.

BECK: I think it is. It is all very subtle. And, again, there is a secrecy involved.

But what is interesting to me is that last time there was a cardinal who anonymously published his diary with the votes. Now, when you hear about how strict it is that you're not supposed to do that, for a cardinal to have done that, and so we know the exact tabulations from last time of who voted for whom, how many, and, of course, Cardinal Ratzinger and...


CUOMO: Just to show how things can change, people will look and say, oh, these names, we have heard these names, the man -- the cardinal who was deemed to finish second according to the diary, he's not even being mentioned, Cardinal Bergoglio from Argentina.

BECK: Yes. You would think he would be one of the top front- runners. CUOMO: But he's not there.

Now, interestingly, a lot of pressure on the 115 cardinals that is internal, that is religious, but also external because they know they have 1.2 billion followers. There is different levels of discontent with the church. They figure out how to progress. People outside St. Peter's almost as important as the cardinals inside.

We're looking at video from earlier today, and this was the procession down the hall of blessings as the cardinals entered the Sistine Chapel, took a look at Michelangelo's Last Judgment and on the way in, they were chanting the names of saints and all saying in unison, pray for us now. They sang a hymn. We watched all of them individually acknowledge the oath that they had made together.

And then, of course, they began their voting procedure, after a meditation, and we saw the smoke so we know the results. Outside St. Peter's, people were watching this, many of whom are deeply invested, invested on the deepest level, with the potential outcome. A lot of them are running by us right now, who were just at St. Peter's.

Becky Anderson is still in St. Peter's Square, with someone I believe who was there taking it all in and seeing the black smoke -- Becky.

BECKY ANDERSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. I got a few people with me here. Julia is from Edinburgh from Scotland and we have got Donna and Barbara who are from the -- let's start off with you guys.

You were there, right?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We were there. We were there to see the smoke, yes.

ANDERSON: And how was it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was -- I thought it was white at first. So I was, like, oh, my God. Oh, never mind, it is black.

ANDERSON: It is difficult, isn't it? Because it is dark here.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hard to see. It is.

We were disappointed that it was black because we're leaving tomorrow, but it was great to be here to see it.

ANDERSON: An unscheduled event on your itinerary as well I guess for all of you. How did it feel when you stood and saw the smoke?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was fantastic. We had been waiting for an hour, so we were sort of wondering when it was going to happen. But then, as you said, it sort of blasted out and it was white at first, and it was a -- and then we were, like, it was black. But there was an awful lot of it. I didn't expect there to be so much smoke actually as there was. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And also since it was so late.

We thought, well, maybe they're just...


ANDERSON: Let me tell you some of the facts, because people like facts -- 7:42 in the evening here, this year, 2013. The last time in 2005, it was 8:08. So you have been waiting an extra half-an-hour.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All right. We didn't have it too bad.


ANDERSON: Exactly. You say you guys are leaving tomorrow. Are you?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Leaving. But while we were here, we went to the mass this morning with all the cardinals and we were really able to see -- be involved with a lot of the conclave, with the priest friends who kind of let us in their circle to see what was going on.

ANDERSON: This is quite a secret.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We don't know any secrets. But it is -- he didn't know any -- that he was revealing.


ANDERSON: But wouldn't tell you who would be the next pope? You can't tell us live on CNN?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: No. They didn't know anything like that.

ANDERSON: Wonderful. What an experience for all of you. This is really something.

To me, it seems as if there were thousands of people by the time the smoke came. And yet they have all sort of very quietly left. This isn't a football crowd, is it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Absolutely not. Even while we were waiting, it wasn't -- there wasn't any chanting or cheering. It was very quiet all the way through, wasn't it? People were very respectful and patient, really, yes.

ANDERSON: Good. Thank you.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Priests that were saying -- saying the rosary and it was very quiet around us. We were around an order of nuns who were chanting softly, and it was beautiful.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was good. Yes. I don't know, it was such an awesome experience, even with the black smoke and we didn't get to see it. It was just like being able to be there at all was fantastic. ANDERSON: Wonderful. Wonderful. Thank you, all, very much, indeed, for joining us. I know perhaps you will be back tomorrow as well. Safe journey. Thank you very much, indeed.

How do you sum it up? It was an experience for so many people here, as I said, an unscheduled event on many people's tourist itinerary. For others, they're still in town, they will be back. Many pilgrims here of course as well will do it all again tomorrow.

COOPER: I remember being here eight years ago. And traditionally there is a sadness around this event. We lost one pope before electing another.

It is different this time, because there really is a kind of joyful atmosphere to people in the square. You heard the excitement of people from Edinburgh, from the United States, people wanting to be here and it is not tinged with the same kind of sadness because there hasn't been a death preceding this.

BECK: Or those nine days of mourn when someone does die. Here, we saw Benedict fly off in a helicopter. He seemed very relieved to be able to do so. We have seen him walking in his gardens now and he seems very happy.

So you're right, there's more a sense of joy and exuberance, of something new happening, where we don't have to say goodbye to something that was really unfortunate.

COOPER: And it is a moment of potential, it is a moment of change, no matter who becomes pope. There will be a new direction, one way or another, whether it is status quo, whether it is -- but there will be a new voice, a whole new way of looking at the papacy.

BECK: And a new personality. That will bring its own interest. No matter who it is, it is not going to be pope emeritus Benedict. People will be expecting who will this be, what will they do, how will they do it? What will the personality be? Will they be more like John Paul II with charisma and playing on the world stage? Will they be more like Benedict, a quiet intellectual? All of that remains to be seen, which is part of the interest I think in what happens here.

CUOMO: We will get some video here in a little bit of them closing the door, because that is such a big symbolic moment of when the conclave, which loosely translated means with a key, begins, the doors close.

Here is Guido Marini. He's the one who gives the call, which is everybody out. He's already done that at this point and he's coming to close the doors. Let's take a listen and remember what happened earlier today.

Just like that it begins, the Swiss guard outside, of course, because we will remember when Pope Benedict finished his resignation and was at Castel Gandolfo to be away from Rome during the conclave, Swiss guard left. They came and now in the moment where there is no pope, they are with the highest authority, which is the College of Cardinals.

And of course their next boss is most likely in that room among the 115. They're in the right place. We were talking earlier today, Anderson, and I know you have spoken about it, that they are one church, they all belong to the same faith, but they're from so many different countries, 40-plus countries in this group of 115, and we all heard these different languages used in the mass. You see the different flags from all the people who were at St. Peter's.

But do you believe, Father Beck, as a Catholic priest, that your church is ready to pick someone who is from Africa or from South America as pope?

BECK: I do think we are finally ready for that, yes.

And I think there is a possibility it could happen. Perhaps South America, Brazil, we're looking more -- I think the candidates that we saw in the beginning from Africa seem to have faded from those that we're talking about. But I think it's certainly possible and they will bring with them their own concerns. They will bring like the issues of poverty, social justice, and these are things people are concerned about in those nations. And I think any pope from those nations will make them primary concerns.

CUOMO: Interesting political dynamic, because 1.2 billion Catholics, they're growing fast in Africa, South America, and Asia.

COOPER: And there are some cardinals who may not be from Latin America or South America, but who have worked there and have experience there, speak Spanish. And so that is seen as helping their chances because of their potential.

One cardinal who has worked extensively from Columbia is -- his name has been in contention. So, there is a lot of focus this time around on Africa, on Latin America, and that being a future growth area for the church.

BECK: And bringing with it its own concern, because if you look at the country like Brazil, 123 million Catholics, but the Catholic population is in decline because of Pentecostalists. And so you have to say, what will the new evangelization be in those countries to reclaim those lost Catholics and to try to increase that Catholic population again?

COOPER: It's also interesting. In past years, we talked about geographic divisions among these cardinals, and sort of voting blocs based on geography. We're hearing less and less of that this time around.

BECK: Yes. There seems to be that is not part of the conversation. You're more hearing reformers, Curia bloc, those who want something else to happen that can clean up the Curia, but you're not hearing those geographical blocs in the same way this time.

COOPER: And interestingly enough, the people who are sort of viewed as reformers or anti-establishment cardinals are actually -- there has been talk that they are supporting an Italian cardinal from Milan.

BECK: Who really has never worked in the Vatican. He's not seen as part of the bureaucracy because he's been bishop -- archbishop of Venice and then archbishop of Milan, so very pastoral archbishop and cardinal, so not seen as part of that clique.

CUOMO: At the end of the day, we know that there is a wide range of people it could be, but we also know the table has been set for the discussion with this first vote and the black smoke.

So next comes the mass tomorrow morning and then the voting begins. The real interesting thing, as you said earlier, Anderson, is what goes on tonight after dinner. We will have to wait to see what the outcome is with the next set of votes.

We're going to back to Atlanta right now. Anderson and I will be covering this. And, Father Beck, thank you. We will see you here until we have a pope -- back to you in Atlanta.


BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): As the president heads to the Hill, his CIA director telling Congress about threats to America from cyber-war to North Korea.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Suddenly, the world is bathed in the light of the sun.

BALDWIN: They're currently in space, but that didn't stop these three astronauts from talking to me about asteroids, Twitter, and Bare Naked Ladies.

And as the feds figure out whether a reported celebrity hacking is a hoax or a crime, I have asked one former hacker to see how easy it is to get my secrets.



BALDWIN: President Obama has just concluded his meeting with Senate Democrats and is now headed back to the White House. He will be back on the Hill tomorrow, and the day after that, three days, four meetings on Capitol Hill, Senate Democrats first, that meeting as we reported, just over.

Tomorrow, the president meets with House Republicans, doubleheader Thursday, Senate Republicans, House Democrats.

Jake Tapper, chief Washington correspondent for us here at CNN, and, Jake, a lot of folks, they seem to want to think this is a big show. We keep hearing the phrase charm offensive, as it were. But let's remember it is a crucial moment because if they get this right, could be, you know, economic boom, if they don't, could have some serious trouble. Do we see the talking as progress, at least?


"National Journal"'s Ron Fournier interviewed a bunch of people including one White House aid who told him -- quote -- "This is a joke, and we're wasting the president's time and ours. I hope you all in the media are happy because we're doing it for you." That was a quote sent around by many Republicans this morning when it was published by "National Journal."

When the White House was asked about it, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said he didn't know who said the quote, but it did not reflect the views inside the building that they were very serious about this engagement. It really depends on who you ask. There is at least one White House aide who thinks this is all for show and many Republicans who share that opinion.

BALDWIN: So three days in a row meeting on the Hill. Let me ask you something I know you are reporting on for "SITUATION ROOM" because as I understand it, Chuck Hagel, the new defense secretary, has done this abrupt 180 on a newly created combat medal. Tell me about that.

TAPPER: It called the Distinguished Warfare Medal and it's for individuals who are fighting the new kind of war, including, for instance, drone operators.

It was created by former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. And what new Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is doing is not considering whether or not this should be a medal. This will be a medal. The question is, where will it rank? There is something called an order of precedence. And right now, this Distinguished Warfare Medal is right in the middle with about eight medals above it and 11 below it in terms of the ranking.

And earlier today, the spokesman for the Pentagon, George Little, had this to say about Chuck Hagel's order on this issue.


GEORGE LITTLE, PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: In light of concerns about the medal's placed in the order of precedence, Secretary Hagel will work with the senior leadership to review the order of the precedence and associated matters. And the secretary has asked that Chairman Dempsey lead this review and report back in 30 days.


TAPPER: Now, I'm friends with a lot of service members who are around the world right now, from Afghanistan, to here in Washington, D.C. I asked them what they thought.

Most of them seemed to think that it was appropriate to have a medal for this, but it should not rank higher than, for instance, the Bronze Star or the Purple Heart, although one individual did write this: "It makes me sick to my stomach knowing all the hours we put into sweating from a run with bullets flying, hiking endless mountain ridges and standing guard that that is lower precedence than a guy who looks at thermal images from 2,000 miles away and whose only job is to really make sure he doesn't crash in between meals. I don't think they should get anything other than a handshake at a local VFW and a beer at the bar."

BALDWIN: Wow. Wow.

TAPPER: The opinion of one soldier, although I'm not saying that reflects that majority. I just thought it was colorful. I thought I would share it with you.

BALDWIN: Sure. I appreciate you sharing. Variety of opinions, including one very honest, candid opinion.

Jake Tapper, thank you.

By the way, let's remind everyone, your big new show, "THE LEAD," it debuts right after this show, starting next Monday, 4:00 p.m. Eastern right here on CNN, "THE LEAD" with Mr. Tapper. Thank you, sir.

Coming up next, NASA makes a big revelation about Mars. And get this, they say life could have existed there. You're about to hear what they found today.

Plus, astronauts, three of them, on board the International Space Station talk to me from space. We talked asteroids and we about this once in a lifetime mission. Don't miss it.


BALDWIN: Big, exciting announcement today from NASA. We have been reporting on this Mars rover up on Mars for the past couple of months.

Let's talk to Chad Myers, because the news today is that we now have learned that Mars at some point in time, many, many years ago, could have sustained life, which is significant because?

CHAD MYERS, CNN METEOROLOGIST: Because now they can look for life.

BALDWIN: Because now they can look for life.

MYERS: The first thing they wanted to do, got to get this right, what they wanted to do was look to see if it was habitable. Could there possibly be or are we just wasting our time? Now they know that there was water in this lake, where they are now. They drilled that hole.

You know up on top everything is red. But when they drilled the hole in the earth -- or in the Mars surface, it was white. The stuff under there was white. There is clay in there. And there was clay and there was calcium. And when they burned it, they found oxygen, they found carbon dioxide, even found a little bit of trace of water. All these things happened at the bottom of a lake. At some point in time there was a lake on Mars. That's where we are now. They found water, they found carbon dioxide, oxygen, some sulfur, all these things, they put them in there, warmed them up in the oven, from 480 degrees all the way up to 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Now they know they're looking for organics, they're looking for carbon that could have been coming from something that was at some point in time alive.

The water, they think, was good enough for you and me to drink. That's how pure it was.

BALDWIN: That's incredible.


BALDWIN: It's something people have been wondering about forever and now we know that there was life.

MYERS: We don't know if there is life.


MYERS: Could have been.


MYERS: They also think that maybe the radiation could have done something to prohibit the life, because there is no real atmosphere up there. They're looking now for a place that didn't have a lot of radiation, maybe some place in the shade, some place that is low, because it would have had water, and some place that obviously the organics could be drilled out of the soil and we can look for it.

BALDWIN: So let's stay with space, because I know you love space, I love space. And if you have ever wondered exactly what it would be like to be working and doing all these experiments, you know, in the International Space Station, what it would be like to float in space, I talked to three astronauts on board the football-sized ISS today.

And, of course, as a space geek, it was awesome just to talk to them about social media, the photos they have been taking, asteroids and, yes, even sandwiches in space making news. I actually started by talking to the commander of the ISS, asked what it's like. Here they were.


KEVIN FORD, NASA ASTRONAUT: There are about 150 experiments going on at any one time, literally hundreds and hundreds in the past, and to come. A lot of scientists on Earth think of things that they could do in zero g.

Things like the way metals cure, for example, and the way fluids react in space can tell us a lot about some of the unknowns we have on Earth. Also, we can do science, some medical science, studies on osteoporosis, those kinds of things.

BALDWIN: As a huge space geek, I'm in awe of all three of you.

And, Tom, I cannot help but notice this camera floating in front of you, which makes me just kind of wonder, do you ever get used to this feeling of floating, of zero gravity?

TOM MARSHBURN, NASA ASTRONAUT: You get better at being able to do useful work in zero gravity, but it's always fun. It is always a complete delight. It's like a dream, being able to fly from place to place. And your feet kind of become like your hands.

And so that's why we don't have shoes on. We're always just wearing socks so we can stabilize ourselves. But it is always an enormous amount of fun.

BALDWIN: Chris, my question to you now, because you're really making waves with all your tweets, your pictures all around Earth, your sandwich making, the peanut butter, the honey. I understand you have been rocking out with the Chieftains the Bare Naked Ladies with your guitar. What do you make of just the response here on Earth just from your Twitter page?

CHRIS HADFIELD, CANADIAN SPACE AGENCY: Brooke, I think it is marvelous.

When I first flew in space, gosh, 17 years ago, I have been trying ever since to let people know what a magnificent human experience this is. It is new for our species to able to see our Earth, in all of its just beautiful glory in one place, in one glance, and in 90 minutes, just to go around the whole thing.

To try and describe that, I do my best, but now with the technology that NASA has on board and with technology like Twitter, it went over half-a-million followers today in fact that are directly following what we're doing on board here, we can show people real time this incredible richness that we are all privy to, that we all live with, but you just don't get to see any other way.

And so I think the response reflects that. We are doing science on the space station. We're learning how to leave Earth permanently, but at the same time it teaches us a tremendous amount about our planet and our place in it. But I think the followership on the Twitter feed and everything else really reflects that.

BALDWIN: Chris, do you have a favorite photo, a favorite vista, something you have seen from your perch high above us?

HADFIELD: When we're in the Cupola, which our huge bulging bay window and it faces the Earth, sometimes -- even sometimes all three of us jam in there, but often there are two of us in there waiting for something to happen, waiting to come up on a continent, or even maybe what I think is the most special, waiting for a sunrise or a sunset, because that transition, as we race around the Earth, and come into sight of the sun or the sun comes into sight of us, the atmosphere blossoms so quickly with all the colors, just a rainbow exploding around the world.

And then suddenly the world is bathed in the light of the sun because of our tremendous speed. And it is a repeating miracle. It is just beautiful to see.

BALDWIN: Can we -- gentlemen, can we talk about asteroids? Because they have been making a lot of news down here where we are, that there was the quick buzz past Earth a couple of weeks ago. We saw what happened with the meteorite over Russia and then just this weekend another asteroid.

And straight up, how concerned should we be about asteroids hitting Earth?

MARSHBURN: Well, asteroids are out there. We have got a surveillance system that is looking for them.

The chances are very, very small that anything would happen anytime soon. However, the chance is always out there. Asteroids are worth looking at, not only where they are and where they're headed, but they may very well be very rich in minerals and other materials that would be very useful to us. So there is a lot of reason to go out to them.

The technology required to go to one and to stay in sort of an orbit around one and to do a space walk so you could actually attach yourself to an asteroid, that's all technology that we need to develop. And whenever we try something that hard, all of the benefits, the technical benefits that come from that benefits everyone, really.


BALDWIN: And, again, my thanks to all three of them for talking to me from space.

And coming up, as we saw moments ago, no new pope. We saw the thick black smoke billowing from this chimney high above Vatican City. What does this mean as we enter into day number two of the conclave, as it is evening time in Italy? We'll check in with Chris Cuomo, live in Rome, next.