Return to Transcripts main page
ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
New Pope Elected
Aired March 13, 2013 - 22:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning, everyone. It's just after 3:00 a.m. here in Rome.
The world has a new pope, 1.2 billion Catholics have a new leader, and he's unlike any the church has have ever had, a man a who just a short time ago, stepped on to the balcony, and now begins day one of his papacy, is a true pioneer in many ways, the first Latin American pope, you no doubt know. The first non-European pope in modern times, first to take the name Francis after St. Francis of Assisi.
And though it is true that every papal conclave becomes a part of history, this one made history and pretty quickly as well. Extraordinary scene in the square, after five rounds of voting, a decision. And as the white smoke rose, the crowd in St. Peter's Square erupted. The joy this time not tempered by mourning as it was eight years ago, because for the first time in 598 years, the previous pope is alive and well, retired, not deceased.
As word got out, the crowd grew larger, people literally running to the square, Romans and visitors, even people making airline connections, racing to the square, more than 150,000 in all, officials say. All eyes on that small balcony, waiting, watching, wondering who would emerge, a favorite, Cardinal Scola of Milan, perhaps, an American, O'Malley of Boston, the first Canadian pope, the first modern African?
Who would it be? The questions were answered, as they have always been, by a cardinal taking the first step and uttering the traditional words.
"We announce to you a great joy, hap habemus papam, we have a pope."
But that pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, seemingly came out of nowhere, a surprise to many, cardinal of Buenos Aires, a nontraditional cardinal who lived humbly, cooking his own meals, taking public transit, where he would speak to people face-to-face, the humility extending to his first remarks. After leading the crowd in an our father and a Hail Mary, he asked them to pray for him, an unprecedented move.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POPE FRANCIS, LEADER OF CATHOLIC CHURCH (through translator): I would like to ask a favor first, first that the -- before the bishop bless the people, I would like to pray for the lord, so that the prayer of the people blesses also the new pontiff.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Shortly after his election, Francis called his predecessor, another first. Then he dined with his former fellow cardinals, including New York's Timothy Dolan.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ARCHBISHOP TIMOTHY DOLAN, ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW YORK: He's already won our hearts. He obviously won our hearts, because he's the new pope. But he just -- we just had a very -- a beautiful fraternal meal at the Domus Santa Marta, where we have been staying.
And he told us. He said -- we toasted him. The cardinal secretary of state toasted him. And then he toasted us, and he simply said, may God forgive you.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: So that is how the new pope spent his first hours.
Now more on the man himself, more on Jorge Mario Bergoglio's road to the Vatican.
COOPER (voice-over): Bergoglio's path to the papacy has taken more than 50 years. Born in 1936 in Buenos Aires, he originally wanted to be a chemist, but in 1958, decided to join the priesthood.
Although Francis is the first pope from Latin America, he has strong ties to Europe. His father was an Italian immigrant, and Bergoglio completed his doctoral dissertation in Germany. Seen as an intellectual, he speaks four languages, spent much of his early career teaching literature, psychology and philosophy, and has published at least 10 books, including one with Pope John Paul II, who made him a cardinal in 2001.
As archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio opted to live a humble life, taking residence in an apartment, instead of the archbishop's palace afforded to him. And he commuted with the people.
JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: He renounced his chauffeur-driven limousine that the archbishop of Buenos Aires typically had and actually took the bus to work every day, so the people of Buenos Aires knew that if they wanted a few minutes with their archbishop, they could simply hop on the bus with him and have a sort of informal rolling audience.
COOPER: Bergoglio has been close to the papacy before. In 2005, he was reported to be the runner-up to then Cardinal Ratzinger to assume the chair of St. Peter. He takes over at age 76, just two years younger than Ratzinger was when he became pope. He also has just one lung, having lost the other to infection as a teenager. But questions about his age and health seem to be far from the minds of his flock and his countrymen on this historic day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think that he has a very good skills, and he is very nice person, is very charismatic and simple person. So I trust that he can, you know, go ahead with the church and have a long life.
COOPER: Questions do remain about what type of pope he will be, as he inherits a church that still faces great turmoil.
COOPER: There's certainly a lot for the new pope to face and that is an understatement. A lot to talk about in the hour ahead.
But I want to start simply with remarkable events of the day with the Vatican press secretary, Father Thomas Rosica.
Thank you so much for being with us.
FATHER THOMAS ROSICA, VATICAN PRESS SECRETARY: Thank you.
COOPER: I don't know how you're holding up today. You must be exhausted.
ROSICA: It's quite a day.
COOPER: Yes, quite a day, to say the least. Your thoughts upon seeing Pope Francis out on that balcony?
ROSICA: I couldn't believe my eyes.
We were out walking on Sunday with him in the street here and just before we parted because he was going to begin the conclave. I said, your eminence, how do you feel? And he says, pray for me, I'm a little nervous. So, tonight, to see this beautiful scene, it has nothing to do with age.
But this is a great pastor, a great shepherd, very wise man. And the thing that radiates from him is in the church, it's our calling card, it's called holiness. I think a lot of us talked about let's put a CEO in there to clean up and let's do this. Holiness is what takes care of those things. This is a man whose life is rooted in the Gospel. I met him in Buenos Aires a couple times and I couldn't believe the simplicity that he was living in. Sold the house, in an apartment. He was caring for an handicapped Jesuit at the time.
He's a Jesuit, too, which is another first.
COOPER: Explain why that is a first, what that means, what that means to you.
ROSICA: The Jesuits are one of the biggest and most important orders in the church, the Society of Jesus. They're known for great St. Ignatius of Loyola, a whole host of saints in their community. They're known for their educational institutions, their mission lens.
They're at the service of the pope. Father Lombardi told us just a little while ago he never thought there would be a Jesuit pope. And he's a Jesuit too. I'm a product of Jesuits. They formed me and taught me. I don't believe to that community, to another community, but this is a wonderful community to have their first pope, but a pope who then takes the name of Francis. So there's -- it's a story of contrasts here.
COOPER: Francis, who talked about...
ROSICA: Francis of Assisi. Go and rebuild my church. So they took a Jesuit to take his name, Francis, to help rebuild and heal the church, because there are some divisions and some hurts. But I think most -- what the cardinals wanted to present us with is this great pastoral man, known with the poor, with the disenfranchised, with those who are living in irregular situations, somebody who has a special ministry to people with HIV and AIDS, to single mothers, to all of those things.
And look what we received tonight. It's a wonderful gift.
COOPER: You know, much was made before the conclave began about those who were of the Curia, those who were of the Vatican bureaucracy, those who were -- might be called reformers.
Where does this leave the church now, I mean, the election of this man? I mean, he's not he's not of the bureaucracy. He hasn't worked in the Vatican bureaucracy. Is that important, do you think?
ROSICA: He's not of it, but he certainly knew it. And he probably heard a lot of things last week at the meetings, and the questions, the great issues. You know, a lot of times in any government, whether it be an ecclesial government, our government, or governments of states, sometimes you tend to veer off track.
And it takes someone to bring us back. And in the church, we use people like these -- they're called saints and prophets -- who call us back to what we're supposed to be. And I think this is the person we need right now. And he's going to bring together the wonderful vision and hope that John XXIII gave. I thought it was John XXIII when I saw him.
I also saw the face of John I there with a smile. I saw the great gestures of John Paul II. And this man is deeply steeped in the teaching of Pope Benedict. What Benedict did was to teach us about Jesus. This man is going to show us Jesus' face and I'm absolutely convinced of that. And it's a moment of great surprise. In an institution that prides itself on tradition, and sometimes a tradition that doesn't really free us, he's going to take us back to the tradition that's freeing and to remind us who we are, because every time -- we have had some difficulties over the past years.
COOPER: I think back to eight years ago when I was here, and the sadness, obviously, following the death of Pope John Paul II.
And to be in the square on this night, there was such joy there, and such reverence, such silence at times when people were kind of reflecting and praying, praying silently, sometimes praying out loud. But the silence really struck me.
ROSICA: Yes, the silence, and also when he came out on the loggia, hello, everybody, good evening. Not a normal greeting when you see this.
He didn't follow the script. He decided to connect with people. This is a bishop who was coming to meet his people. Rome has been without a bishop for the past few weeks. He wanted to bond with people. So he brings to this whole office his personality, his holiness, his administrative experience in Buenos Aires, his sense of the world, his deep learning and his simplicity of life.
And all of those things can help us as we move forward. I think we struck gold. And it's very courageous of the cardinals to move out of Europe, to go to South America, which is a church that's alive and thriving and young, and now to say that one of their own pastors can come and be at the seat of Peter here to lead the church.
COOPER: I want to bring in our senior Vatican analyst, John Allen, as well.
John, as you reflect, we have spoken a lot already today, but as you reflect at this late hour on what you have witnessed today, what really stands out?
ALLEN: You know, in many -- we used to always say John Paul II was the pope of firsts, the first pope to travel as much as he did, the first pope to visit the Western Wall and all of these things. In a way in a flash, Pope Francis has become himself a pope of so many firsts, the first pope from Latin America, the first Jesuit pope and all of that.
But to me, and it may be this is sort of Catholic thing. You have to sort of have grown up in a Catholic environment to grasp the magnitude of this. But the most stunning part was the choice of his name, Pope Francis, because for Catholics, in terms of Catholic psychology, we have always sorts of thought there were two faces to the church.
There's the institutional church, which is it about power, and influence and moving the wheels of the institution. And then there's the face of the church that is close to the people. Close to the poor. Close to the earth. It's the spirit of the Gospel. And, you know, in the best of times, those two things go together. At the worst of times, they're at odds. But in any event, they're distinct.
Here you have the man who has reached the pinnacle of power in the institutional church and the very first decision he makes is to embrace that other face of the church and say this must be the face of authority and power in Catholicism. I think for anybody who understands the ethos of the church, that is an absolutely revolutionary first step for a pope to take.
COOPER: And you made an important point, because I have been getting a lot of tweets from people saying how do we know it's St. Francis of Assisi that he was referencing and not Francis Xavier. You're saying if it was Francis Xavier, he would be called Francis Xavier.
ROSICA: Francis Xavier of course is was a great Jesuit saint. And people who are named after him would be called Francis Xavier.
But I think the choice of Francis, Papa Francesco, mention the name Francesco here in Italy and people light up.
ROSICA: It's a great story that's unfolding before us.
COOPER: Yes, an extraordinary day.
We're also joined by Father Albert Cutie, who left the Roman Catholic Church to marry. And to address the new pope's physical condition, 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta joins us now also by phone.
Father Cutie, I'm just wondering your thoughts upon what you witnessed today.
REV. ALBERT CUTIE, EPISCOPAL PRIEST: I think it's great to see a pope from Latin America, you know, being Latin American myself. I think Hispanics all over the U.S., 50 million of us, have to feel very proud that there is a religious leader of this magnitude. The pope, the bishop of Rome is a Latino, is a Hispanic. I think that that was the first thing. We were not expecting that. I think most people are used to European popes.
And this is the first pope from our hemisphere and also the first Jesuit. And I too have a great appreciation for the Jesuits and especially their dedication to education and to evangelization. So I think this is a pope of many firsts. Today, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church assured the pope, Pope Francis, and all of the Roman Catholic people that we would pray for the pope and for his mission and for greater collaboration among all Christians.
So this is a great day I think for all Christianity.
COOPER: Sanjay, just in terms of health, the pope is 76 years old. There are reports, unconfirmed by the Vatican at this point, but widely reported that the pope has one lung, that he lost one during a childhood illness. Again, we haven't been able to independently confirm this.
If that's true, how threatening is that? What kind of adjustments does one have to make in life?
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I don't think it's that big a deal for a couple reasons. One is that, you know, we're talking about many decades ago that this occurred. So if there were any additional problems as a result of this, they probably would have already happened. You know, on the right side of the body, you have three lobes of the lung, on the left, two lobes. And we don't know if it's entire one side of the lung gone or not.
And, also, it would be important to know why. Was it cancer or infection? I have also heard some of these reports, Anderson, that it was likely an infection. Keep in mind, you're talking about the '50s. In the 1950s, there weren't widely available antibiotics or if it was tuberculosis, for example, widely available medications for that.
Surgery was the answer. But the body is remarkably resilient and also redundant, meaning that one side's lung can sort of take over the function for the other, if it, in fact, is gone.
COOPER: John Allen, much talk had been made about, you know, reform and reformers before this conclave. And some people have said that this pope is a reformer.
But in terms of doctrine, he's not calling for -- there's not going to be some big change in Catholic doctrine in any way.
ALLEN: No, as you and I have talked about before, the central fact about this conclave is that all of the cardinals, all the 115 who participated in it were named either by John Paul II or Benedict XVI.
In terms of the doctrinal issues, they were of one mind. So papal transitions are rarely about substantive issues, in that sense. They're more about changes in tone and style and approach and priorities. Now, in another sense, you know, St. Francis was himself a great reformer in the church. He sort of took the church back to its core values of the Gospel, the idea of closeness to the earth, closeness to the poor, a spirit of service rather than dominance.
And if that's your definition of reform, the fact that this new pope chose -- and also, remember, this is the first decision he makes as pope. What happens inside the conclave is when he crosses that two-thirds majority and is elected, the first question is, do you accept? Once he says yes, he becomes pope of the Catholic Church. The second question is, what name will you be known by? So this was his very first decision.
And to embrace this Franciscan spirit as his first decision I think sends a very clear symbol that in terms of returning the church to the sort of core sense of what it's all about, this is a reform.
COOPER: John Allen, thank you. Father Rosica, thank you so much. It's really been a pleasure the last several days.
ROSICA: Thank you very much. Thanks.
COOPER: Father Cutie as well, Sanjay as well.
Let us know what you think about all of the history you have witnessed today. You can follow me on Twitter, let's talk about it, @AndersonCooper.
Coming up next, more of what John Allen was talking about, the message that this new pope is sending by choosing the name Francis and how it may shape the church's role in millions of lives, more than one billion lives around the world.
And later, what it was like up close in the square as people waited and then celebrated, a moment they will never see again.
COOPER: Some of the images we have seen over the last several hours. We're here in Rome in the early hours, the first full day of a new and history-making papacy.
That break with tradition happened literally seconds after Cardinal Tauran uttered the very traditional, truly ancient word habemus papam, we have a pope, because in the very next breath he named a Latin American pontiff with the choice of name Francis that left people in the crowd breathless, some in tears, a name powerful enough to do that because it sends such a clear message.
Tom Foreman explains why.
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): In all of the Catholic world, few figures are as revered as St. Francis, so in the act of choosing that name, the new pope sent a strong and unmistakable message to his church. He wants change. He will bring reform.
ROSICA: Here's a pope that's going to come in, and look at a situation, take it back to basics. This is about the Gospel. This is about what we are at our best. We're called to be saints. And I just said, wow.
FOREMAN: The birth date for Francis of Assisi is believed to be around 1181 in Central Italy. Until his early 20s, he seemed destined to be a wealthy merchant, like his father. Then after being captured in battle and falling ill, a conversion. Through dreams and visions, religious historians say, he became convinced that the church needed to return to its roots. He took on a life of poverty, prayer and service, a discipline embraced by Cardinal Bergoglio.
REV. EDWARD BECK, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: This is a man who gave up his residence, his cardinal residence, moved into a small apartment, gave up his driver. He wanted to project and live a simple life.
FOREMAN (on camera): St. Francis of Assisi is one of the patron saints of Italy, so the name instantly forms a bond between this new pope from Argentina and the country that has given us so many popes.
(voice-over): Many miracles are attributed to St. Francis, among them, an ability to talk to animals, especially birds. So Catholics will no doubt remember the seagull that sat atop the Vatican smokestack shortly before the white smoke appeared, and Pope Francis emerged.
Tom Foreman, CNN.
COOPER: Well, joining me now is Ashley McGuire. She's a senior fellow of the Catholic Association. Also back with us is John Allen, our senior Vatican analyst, and Father Albert Cutie.
Ashley, your reaction upon hearing this pope elected?
ASHLEY MCGUIRE, CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION: I think initially it was surprise. I was in the square, and there was a few minutes where people were looking at each other, wondering if they had actually missed the announcement, because they didn't hear a name that they were looking for.
COOPER: It was very difficult to hear in the square.
MCGUIRE: It was very difficult. But I was so moved by his initial words and the way that he actually bowed and silently received the prayers. And a friend of mine, she speaks Italian, was translating for me and told me that he was saying that your prayers are a benediction to me.
And so I was so moved by that and by his humility.
COOPER: In terms of what happens now, John Allen, I mean, what are the next several days? What -- how does this -- this man who has not worked inside the Vatican bureaucracy, how does he take over the Vatican bureaucracy?
ALLEN: Well, in terms of what's going to happen immediately, he's going to have a mass with the cardinals in the Sistine Chapel, the cardinals who elected him, in the Sistine Chapel, the same space, of course, where the election took place, tomorrow.
If things hold to form, Pope Benedict eight years ago used that. He delivered a homily in Latin, which incidentally within 24 hours was able to put together a four-page Latin homily, sort of laying out a program in synthesis for his papacy. We would expect something similar from Pope Francis.
He will then the next day have a meeting with journalists and we will get some indication there of how he intends to comport himself with the global media. All of that is going to be happening. However, I think in many ways, the most important debut he's going to make, and the most important tone he's going to strike, we have already seen. I mean, in five minutes, what we got was a remarkable testimony, not only to the humility of the man, but also how he understands this choice of name in practice.
I mean, again, Francis is about simplicity and closeness to the people. If you ask the typical Italian on the street why they love Francis, the first thing they will tell you is because they are priests who love people, who are close to the people. And the fact that he began by saying before I bestow my blessing on you, I need your blessing on me, I think that symbolism spoke volumes about the kind of pope he wants to be.
COOPER: Father Cutie, you left the Roman Catholic Church so you could get married. The church's teaching on priestly celibacy, they're certainly not going to change. No one expects that. So what do you expect to change in this new papacy, if anything?
CUTIE: Well, I have got to tell you, Anderson, I feel very enthusiastic about what I saw today and I agree with your panelists that there was a less stuffy pope, very much a people person, that whole idea of bowing his head and a moment of silence and asking the people to pray for him, to bless him before he blessed them.
That shows a pope that really wants to be close to the crowd, close to everyday people. And I think that that's a good movement for the church, because what we have experienced, unfortunately, is a moving away from what happened at Vatican II. Vatican II tried to strip the church away from a lot of its pomp and circumstance.
And in a way, we have returned to a lot of that. And I think that with this pope, what we're seeing is a sense of openness in the contemporary world, a sense of simplicity, and they are all things that really the world is looking for. We're looking for the Gospel message and it looks like Pope Francis is giving us in the first moments of his papacy this desire to connect with everyday people.
COOPER: Ashley, as a woman of faith, do you hope to see a greater role for women in the hierarchy of the church? Because you look at those 115 cardinals, obviously, all men, all of a certain age. Do you hope there's a greater role for women moving forward?
MCGUIRE: You know, I think there's already a huge role for women in the Catholic Church.
I think -- I actually spent time in the Vatican interviewing women while I was here. And I was blown away, I mean, by so many things. There's so many women who are actually in charge of very important Vatican offices. The Vatican itself is almost half-women, which I didn't know. And the one department that I was interviewing is almost 80 percent female.
So, you know, I think that women are already playing a huge role in the Catholic Church. And I think that we can only expect that to continue with this new papacy.
COOPER: John, do you see a change in the role of women, in the leadership in the church?
ALLEN: Oh, absolutely, everything short of priestly ordination, obviously. But I think outside that realm -- in other words, if you can get past that -- and I know it's hard for a lot of people to get past that -- but, actually, the Catholic Church compares relatively well to other institutions.
In the United States, for example, one-quarter of diocesan chancellors -- that's sort of the CEO position below the bishop -- are women, which actually outperforms, say, Fortune 500 companies, major law firms, and the military, in terms of the percentage of senior leadership positions that are held by women.
Now, that said, I think it is clear that there still is an image problem for the Catholic Church when it comes to women. There is a perception that this is a patriarchal boys club. I think one of the challenges facing Pope Francis and church leaders at other levels is to try to counteract that by in every way they possibly can putting women forward in meaningful leadership positions so that people can see that the Catholic Church wants to hear the voice of women.
COOPER: We have got to leave it there.
Ashley, I appreciate you being with us on this extraordinary day.
Thank you, John Allen and Father Cutie as well.
Coming up, we're going to take you right to the center of the excitement as the new pope stepped out to greet the public. Miguel Marquez was right there just on the balcony. We will show what he saw next, so you will really feel what it was like to be there.
And later, two American college students who had a front-row seat to this historic time as interns at the Vatican. We will talk to them ahead.
COOPER: For many seeing the announcement of a new pope is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Ahead, I'll talk with two American students who saw it up close. They're interns at the Vatican.
COOPER: The announcement of the new pope is exciting for everyone, obviously, gathered at St. Peter's Square, but perhaps particularly exciting for those who came from Argentina. I spoke with a few people from Argentina today, and they were clearly proud that one of their fellow countrymen became the new pope. Here's what one man told me shortly after the announcement.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a sensation that, you know, that your country is now there, in the maximum authority of the church. So I think also that this is a clear sign also for, you know -- for Latin- American people, because it's one of the biggest communities of Catholics in the world.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Whether you're a person of faith or not, it was truly an exciting scene here today as the new pope stepped out onto that balcony. The huge crowd gathered in St. Peter's Square, a spectacular sight from any angle. But our own Miguel Marquez was right in the thick of it. Here's what he saw. Take a look.
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The anticipation intense. The crowd 150,000 strong, jammed into St. Peter's Square.
White smoke billowed, and the largest bell in the basilica signaled the election of a new pope. And within minutes, the square filled to capacity. And then...
(on camera): This is the moment, the moment that the tens of thousands of people gathered here in this square have been waiting for. It's electrifying, it's an extraordinary moment. Look this way. Look at all the cameras, snapping a picture of the new pope!
(voice-over): Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio becomes Pope Francis. He asked the crowd to pray for his predecessor, Pope Benedict.
Then, in a dramatic and touching moment, he asked for a silent prayer. From the massive crowd, not a word, not a sound. The prayer, he said, was for him, to help him in his new role.
(on camera): A hundred thousand people, probably more, and the silence.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I know. I know. I was shocked, too. Definitely. It was -- I think it's just -- you're in the moment. You wanted that one curtain to drop and see who it was.
MARQUEZ (voice-over): For his fellow Argentines, it's a moment not only for their country, but the world.
RICARDO SAERZ, CATHOLIC PRIEST: He's a very humble person. Everyone in Argentina knows that. He doesn't use a car, he doesn't -- he uses the metro, the subway. He doesn't like to be -- call himself monsignor, your excellence, his eminence. Just Jorge Mario. And the maximum you can call him is father.
MARQUEZ: A humble man about to embark on an extraordinary journey.
COOPER: Miguel Marquez joins us now.
Miguel, one of the things that really struck me, begin in that crowd, is just the youth of a lot of the people there. The young age. And people from all around the world.
MARQUEZ: You saw all the national flags out there before, and after, and certainly the Argentinians chanting their approval. The most interesting thing is that, when you talked to them, they said, "Yes, we're proud as Argentinians, but he's a man of the world," and they believe that he will certainly unify the church.
Pretty impressive evening all around, Anderson.
COOPER: Yes. Miguel, I appreciate your reporting today.
Some students from Villanova University have gotten a once-in-a- lifetime experience, seeing history unfold right before their eyes, as interns at the Vatican. Villanova is a private Catholic university near Philadelphia. It's got a unique partnership with the Vatican. John Hodgins and Danielle McMonagle, two of the interns, joining me now.
You had no idea, obviously, when you started your internship, you would be here for this history-making event.
DANIELLE MCMONAGLE, INTERN AT VATICAN: Absolutely not. I mean, we found out -- we started basically the day that the announcement came out that Pope Benedict would be resigning.
COOPER: That was your first day.
MCMONAGLE: So our first day, basically.
MCMONAGLE: So it was a great way to start but a complete and total surprise to both of us.
COOPER: And you were surprised today, you were in St. Peter's when the smoke hit?
JOHN HODGINS, INTERN AT VATICAN: Absolutely.
COOPER: You guys didn't have any inner word on...
HODGINS: We had no inside scoop.
COOPER: They didn't tell the interns?
HODGINS: We had been told -- people were asking back home, "Hey, do you guys know? Do you know" -- can you get us something inside. But no idea. It was a surprise to us. We thought maybe tomorrow.
And I mean, what was it like to be -- to be in that square? Sort of fascinating to hear everybody's different vantage points on it.
HODGINS: It was quite a rush of excitement for me. It was more than I had anticipated, for sure. We were standing there and all of a sudden you just hear cheers, people jumping up and down. Even -- even people dressed very well, you'd think a little more formal, and they're just beyond excited for this event.
COOPER: It's one thing to study the Catholic Church, to be a person of faith. But to actually work inside the Vatican, what is it like working there? MCMONAGLE: It's like nothing else. I mean, it's such a completely unique experience, especially compared to other internships we've been a part of and to see things like this, to see history unfold in front of us, it's just so unique and different.
COOPER: Does it feel like another country? I mean, it is another country, just a few blocks away from here.
HODGINS: You know, it's -- I wouldn't say a totally different country. It -- when we first got here, it felt a little foreign to me. But now I feel right at home with it. It's a lot like America, to be honest.
COOPER: What -- how long does the internship last for?
MCMONAGLE: We'll be here until the beginning of May. So we have a little bit more time to -- we're here during Easter, which we're extremely excited for.
COOPER: What do you tell your family and friends? What sort of questions do they want to know about?
MCMONAGLE: We were actually just talking about the amount of e- mails and Facebook messages we've been getting from home and it's incredible. We're just like trying to tell them -- keep them up to date on everything but just sharing our experiences and some pictures. It's been amazing.
HODGINS: A lot of it, they want to know what exactly we're doing for the Vatican. Because we have this internship, we work for the Vatican, but no one really knows exactly what our title is.
HODGINS: And so we've just been telling them, hey, we're working on a Facebook page, or doing these social media type things and then they get to see that. They get to follow it.
COOPER: You're a communications major.
COOPER: So that's what you're working, communications.
COOPER: Well, listen, it's extraordinary. What an internship, you could not have picked a better time, a more extraordinary place. So glad you're here.
MCMONAGLE: Thank you for having us.
COOPER: Wish you the best. Have a great time.
We're just going to -- on the new pope's agenda tomorrow, his first full day as the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Catholics. We'll talk about that ahead.
COOPER: Roman Catholics have their first Latin American pope. A new chapter in the church's life and a whole new life for Pope Francis. Coming up, what his first full day will be like, ahead.
COOPER: So many emotions we saw in St. Peter's Square today. We're going to have more on the historic election of the first Latin American pope. But first, let's take a look at some of the other stories we're following. Isha is here with a "360 Bulletin" -- Isha.
ISHA SESAY, HLN ANCHOR: Anderson, after 18 days on the witness stand, accused murder Jodi Arias finally wrapped up her testimony. She answered 230 questions from the jury. Tomorrow, psychologists and a domestic violence expert are expected to testify for the defense.
In Syria, heavy fighting near Damascus. The European Union said one of its humanitarian workers was killed in a rocket attack outside the capital.
Meantime, Save the Children reported today that more than 2 million Syrian children have suffered trauma, malnutrition or disease since the war began.
President Obama gave his first address tonight to Organizing for Actions, a nonprofit group pulled (ph) from his re-election campaign. Some Republicans say the group is just a way for wealthy donors to get access to the president, which the White House says isn't true. At tonight's dinner, the president talked about division in Congress, but said he thinks both sides do want to come together.
Iranian officials plan to sue the Hollywood filmmakers who made "Argo" over what they call the film's distortion of -- portrayal of their country. That's according to Iranian state television. "Argo," which won an Oscar for best picture, tells the story of the rescue of U.S. diplomats during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979.
And skier Lindsey Vonn won her sixth straight World Cup downhill title, even though she's been sidelined by a serious knee injury for weeks. The final race of the season was cancelled due to fog. She won the title by one point -- Anderson.
COOPER: Isha, thanks.
Just ahead, he went to bed a cardinal, woke up a pope. Tomorrow, Pope Francis faces his first full day as leader of the Roman Catholic Church. We'll tell you what's ahead for him then.
COOPER: Welcome back.
The human scale can get lost on days like this. Pope Francis arrived in Rome as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Today in an instant, the life he's known ended. He'll likely not be returning to Argentina any time soon.
When he spoke today, the new pope seemed to acknowledge the enormity of what lies ahead for him. He asked the crowd in St. Peter's Square for their prayers and said he would ask the Madonna, the Virgin Mary, for support.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
POPE FRANCIS I, LEADER OF ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH (through translator): Dear brothers and sisters, I would like to express my gratitude to my friends, to your embrace. pray for me. Tomorrow I'm going to pray to the Madonna so that she shelters and guides the whole of Rome. Have a good evening and have a good rest.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: This is where Pope Francis will say those players, the Basilica of St. Mary Major, the largest church in Rome, dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
Protocol will shape some of his first full day, but he's already putting his own stamp on it. He plans to visit Benedict, the pope emeritus, in the morning before saying mass at the Sistine Chapel.
CNN's senior Vatican analyst, John Allen, joins me again, along with CNN contributor Father Edward Beck.
Father Beck, what are you most hopeful for after witnessing today?
FATHER EDWARD BECK, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: It seems to me there's a real shift in tone. And I think that's significant.
Remember, we come from a tradition where the pope is considered a monarch over the papal states. There is a coronation with the ceremony; he's carried around on a throne. I think Pope Francis couldn't be further away from that. So there's a real hope and more -- more of a shift of tone with this papacy. The common person.
I had a woman call me from New York in a parish I work in, and she said, you know, "I think I could go to confession to this man." That means he's perceived as a man of the people. He rode the bus so that he could converse with his parishioners. And I think for me right now, that seems to be the biggest moment.
COOPER: And in terms of sort of the inner workings of the Vatican, in terms of where the church goes from here, how do things change?
JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: We spend an awful lot of time in the run-up to this vote talking about business management as a voting issue. That is, a pope who needs to be able to get control of the child sexual abuse crisis, a pope who needs to be able to deal with accusations of financial mismanagement, a pope who needs to avoid the meltdowns that we have seen over the last eight years.
I think it remains to be seen to what extent that's going to be something that Pope Francis can pull off.
But I think what he -- what he's reminded us of in these sort of symbolic first moves he's made, and above all, the choice of his name, is that ultimately, getting the business management right has to flow from your conception of what leadership is about.
I think he's tried to put the accent on leadership as service, as opposed to leadership as domination.
One other point to make about the reforming dimension of his papacy. He comes out of a religious order, the Jesuits. And as Father Ed can certainly tell us, as a member of a religious order himself, one of the things you learn in community life in religious orders is how to function as a team, how to make sure the right people are in the right jobs to get the work done. And I think that experience will be of enormous benefit to Pope Francis, as well.
COOPER: And it is essential for a pope to have a team who you can trust and a team who you can work with around you.
BECK: Most definitely. You do not want the pope laden with administration. You want get that he can trust the running of the trains on time to somebody else and that he can really be a shepherd to his people. This is not only the shepherd of Rome but now the world. And you want a pope who's freed up to be able to do that.
COOPER: It's been a long day for everybody. Father Beck, I appreciate it. John Allen, as well. Excellent commentary, as always.
From the smoke rising above the Sistine Chapel to bells ringing at the Vatican to thousands gathered in St. Peter's Square to see the new pope step out on that balcony, it has been a moving day here in Rome. Here are just some of the sights and the sounds of this extraordinary day.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are seeing smoke coming out of the chimney from the Sistine Chapel right now.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It is black smoke.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Which means there is no pope.
COOPER: Darkness has come. It is -- really beautiful lights in St. Peter's Basilica have turned on, and the crowds have been gathering, really, for the last several hours. It's now just a little bit past 7 p.m. in the evening here in Rome.
There you have it. Smoke. That looks like white smoke.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It certainly seems to be turning progressively more white as it issues from the chimney. COOPER: We have been told also that the bells of St. Peter will ring, but last time that took some four or five minutes before for confirmation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The bell is ringing here in Rome, the campagnoni (ph), the big ring. That means one thing, John Allen. What does it mean?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It means...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Habemus papam. We have a pope.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Let's listen in.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at that picture, how many people?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I announce to you a great joy. We have a pope.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We believe that the name they said was Bergoglio. Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. He is the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and we have that confirmed now from Vatican radio. He has taken Francis.
The curtains are open. The cross bearer is coming out. And there he is.
POPE FRANCIS (through translator): Let us pray for the whole world, because let us have a big brotherhood. Let us pray in silence, your prayer to me.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We are very, very excited for South America. This is the first time that we have a South American pope. And he looks so natural, so easy.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The big surprise for me. I can't believe it. It is the first time the Argentinean pope. I don't know. It's -- I like my country.
COOPER: And that is how the pope was introduced: "I announce to you a great joy. We have a pope."
We'll be right back.
COOPER: Well, that's it for us. Thanks for watching. "ERIN BURNETT OUTFRONT" starts now.