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A New Pope is Elected

Aired March 15, 2013 - 16:00:00   ET


CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN HOST: Hello, everyone, I'm Christiane Amanpour, and welcome to the special weekend edition of our program.

This week, the whole world watched as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina became Pope Francis, a surprise choice, one that not many had predicted. But a pick that has galvanized Latino Catholics, who make up 40 percent of the church.

And their power is felt not just in Latin America, but also here in the United States, where their growing numbers played a pivotal role in Barack Obama's victory in the last presidential election.

Indeed, President Obama was among the first to congratulate the new pope, who is not only the first from Latin America but also the first Jesuit. He was known to be a champion of the poor when he served as Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

And his choice of papal names speaks volumes about who he is and who he hopes to be. St. Francis of Assisi cared for the destitute and the powerless, and he was known for his love of animals and the environment, which is so brilliantly depicted in the frescoes at his basilica.

Now with decades of scandal, both financial and sexual, that's been buffeting the Catholic Church, many leaders welcome what they hope will be a new beginning. One cardinal who knows Pope Francis is Theodore McCarrick of Washington, D.C., and we spoke about what he wants to see from the new pontiff.


AMANPOUR: Cardinal McCarrick, welcome to the program again.

CARDINAL THEODORE EDGAR MCCARRICK: Thank you so much. It's great to be back with you.

AMANPOUR: You must be delighted, not just a new pope but one from the Americas for the very first time.

MCCARRICK: It is one of the -- it is really one of the historic times in the -- in the history of the Catholic Church. The church really is in Latin America more than anywhere else in the world. So that I think we -- the fact that we have an American, you know, from (inaudible), the new hemisphere, I think that's going to be great for the church.

It will be great for the church throughout the world. I think we've had -- we've had wonderful European popes for hundreds and hundreds of years. But now it's time. The church is now -- is now demonstrably universal, demonstrably Catholic in that sense. Now we have demonstrated it in a very special way.

AMANPOUR: Let me ask you about Pope Francis himself. Obviously Francis of Assisi, a beloved saint for all the reasons Catholics know -- his humility, his identifying with the most downtrodden, his love of animals -- those great paintings and frescoes on the Church of St. Francis in Assisi. What is it about him, do you think, that caused the pope to name himself after him?

MCCARRICK: I think there are four loves in the life of Francis. I was meditating on this since we -- since he chose the name.

One is Francis loved the church. He tried to reform the church and did give the church a new impetus, a new understanding of what it was, brought it back more and more to the time of Jesus in that -- in that medieval time of his. So that's the first -- and this pope loves the church.

Secondly, Francis loved the poor, as you just said, loved the poor, worked for the poor. The poor were his delight. And I think this pope has that same kind of gift.

And thirdly, Francis loved nature. And I think this pope is going to be someone who will -- who will fight for the ecological needs of our time, will make sure that we're doing what we need to do to keep this world together and give it -- be able to give it to our children and grandchildren.

And fourthly, Francis loved peace and I think this pope realizes that that is going to be one of the great needs of our times, that he has to be an apostle of peace in our world.

AMANPOUR: So St. Francis of Assisi, really pastoral ministry; Pope Francis having been archbishop in Argentina, would you say he's a reformer and if so, how? Or is he a conservative in the traditional mode? In other words, what can the church look forward to in terms of any changes, if at all?

MCCARRICK: Well, I think with regard to doctrine he is faithful to the Lord, as I've known him for a while and he is -- he will not preach any gospel except the gospel that Lord Jesus preached.

And so we won't expect -- we cannot expect any changes in the doctrine of the church and I -- we -- I think we Catholics really wouldn't want -- wouldn't want one, because this is the gospel and we must be faithful to it.

Pope Francis will be faithful to the gospel. But I think like John -- like Pope John XXIII, he will try to bring the gospel into the -- into the modern world, not changing it, but making it more able to reach the people. So I think we will find -- and I think he will do it more by action than by words. Last night, his wonderful -- his wonderful presentation, very simple, very humble.

And it's -- to begin -- good evening, as if I'm coming into your house. That's the impression that he gives. He's coming into the house of the world. He's coming into the house of the church and he's welcoming them and they're welcoming him and we begin with prayer for his predecessor, what a beautiful thought, to pray for Pope Benedict and then to ask them to pray for him.

And all these things, I think, have given us the ideal of what the kind of papacy we will have under Pope Francis. I think it will be -- it will be traditional and conservative in that we will not -- we will never change what Jesus has taught us.

But I think it will be reforming and then open and collaborative because that's what Francis was and that's what this man has been in all his life -- and very humble, very humble.

AMANPOUR: When I talked to Cardinal Dolan and when I talked to you during the resignation of Pope Benedict, you both said that the next pope must be a good evangelizer, must know how to bring more people back into the church.

Tell me the challenges that this pope faces, especially in Latin America where he comes from, where the Catholic Church, yes, has the most Catholics in the world -- 40 percent -- but also is under pressure from other Protestant denominations and charismatics and Pentecostals, the secularization in the United States. What challenges does he face?

MCCARRICK: Well, I think maybe, too, more than anything else, first of all, the challenge of reaching the young people. That's going to be something very, very important to him. But I -- and then also the challenge of making sure that those who don't practice with it anymore can see the value of coming back to it.

AMANPOUR: His name was not in the media as one of the leading frontrunners. Now they do say that he came second to Pope Benedict in 2005. You would know, because you were there in 2005. How do you think and why do you think --


MCCARRICK: They do say that.


AMANPOUR: I'm going to take that as a yes, then.

How do you think he was the one who made it this time?

Why? How did that process happen?

MCCARRICK: The -- I think -- according to how -- as I read it, as I think I read it that way even before it happened, I think there were some very important and very wonderful candidates for the -- for the papacy.

And each of them had his own group that recognized his goodness, recognized his goodness. And each one of them had their own people. But I sort of felt and I think others did, too, at a certain period of time, it might happen that you couldn't get an answer, because you had these three groups and you were waiting to get someone to move forward and nobody would.

We all felt -- not all of us, I guess, but some of us felt that the -- that, at that time, you would need someone like a -- like a Cardinal Bergoglio, who would be so respected by everyone and so -- and then loved even and had all the experience that they needed.

And gradually, as they realized that this could go on for a long time and we weren't going to get anywhere they -- I think people started to think, well, what about Cardinal Bergoglio? What about Cardinal Bergoglio?

And I had thought of -- many of us had thought of it beforehand, that this might happen. So I was not totally surprised. I was delighted. I was not totally surprised by the announcement that he -- should be our next pope.

AMANPOUR: What about Cardinal Bergoglio? Well, he's now Pope Francis.

Cardinal McCarrick, thank you very much indeed for joining me.

MCCARRICK: Thank you very much. Always nice to be with you. God bless you.


AMANPOUR: And when we come back, electing a pope is a spiritual choice, but it's also a political one, rife with rumor and speculation. My conversation with two of the most talked about contenders this time around. Either of them may indeed be contenders next time around. That's when we return.




AMANPOUR: Welcome back to the program.

I mentioned that when Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was chosen as pope it was a surprise to many Vatican watchers. There were names mentioned far more often by the cognoscenti. And I spoke with two of those men in the days leading up to the conclave, Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana and Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.

Turkson was seen by many as the right candidate to become the first black pope, especially since Africa is a growth area for the Catholic Church. We'll hear from him in a moment. But first to Timothy Dolan. The power of his personality had led many to believe that it finally might be time for an America pope.

But he, like many U.S. cardinals, is still dealing with the sex abuse scandals that have rocked the church to its core. And I spoke with him about how the church might finally move beyond these scandals and also about his hopes for the church under its new leader.


CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN, ARCHBISHOP OF N.Y.; PRESIDENT, U.S. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS: The turmoil that we see in the church today, not new. We've had tension; we've had turmoil in the church since the beginning.

We've got it today. It's probably more glaring today because the church is under such intense scrutiny because of what we're going through now.

A call to purity, heroic virtue, sanctity, especially when it would come to what you mentioned, the terribly nauseating and painful episode of clergy sexual abuse. We have to remind ourselves that that happened not because of the church's teaching; that happened because church teaching, what's best in the church, was not listened to and obeyed.

We're going to have to work, Christiane, on the renewal of the sacrament of marriage. That's the great vocation crisis today, isn't it?

AMANPOUR: We -- you talk --

DOLAN: People -- our Catholic people aren't getting married. And the ones that are, aren't able, for some reason, to obey what we believe marriage is all about.

AMANPOUR: You talk about marriage and, in fact, in a new poll done by the Pew Institute, about 58 percent of American Catholics believe that the next pope should start talking about allowing Catholic priests to marry.

Do you think that's a possibility?

DOLAN: That he might start talking about it?

AMANPOUR: That should it happen?

DOLAN: Or that it should happen?

AMANPOUR: Should it and would he?

DOLAN: He -- I would say he might talk about it and think about it, but I don't think it's going to happen. I think the past popes have listened and spoken about it and talked about it. So it's not going to be new.

It startles me sometimes, they say why won't -- why won't -- why doesn't church talk about married priests? I think we talk about it -- I can't get my hair cut without my barber asking me about married priests. I mean, every --

AMANPOUR: I'm sure there's a lot of talk --

DOLAN: -- everybody talks about it.

AMANPOUR: You don't think it's going to go anywhere in terms of --

DOLAN: I don't think he would on that one. I don't think there would be that kind of change. Well, you know, this is what's difficult to understand, because we -- and I include myself in this -- usually think of leadership models in an earthly managerial way.

So whenever you have a new leader, whether that be the President of the United States, whether that be the CEO of CNN, what are they talking about, what changes do I want to make?

For a pope, the mission statement is to conserve, in the best sense of the word. His job description is to -- is to conserve, to preserve the patrimony of the church, I mean the spiritual patrimony of the church, the timeless teaching as passed on to us from Jesus to his apostles through 2,000 years of the church.

Now, that doesn't mean that he might not change the way it's presented. But to tamper with the immutable teachings of the church, he wouldn't see that as his role. He would see it as his sacred responsibility to preserve that.

AMANPOUR: What do you think -- and again, this is all part of how Catholics view their hierarchy now. I mean, Catholics are expected to -- and they are preached to by bishops, priests, cardinals, the pope -- to live a very, you know, life according to the rules of the Catholic Church. And yet Catholics have watched many of their priests -- and we touched on this briefly -- violate those rules.

DOLAN: Oh, yes.

AMANPOUR: What does have to happen in this church to bring Catholics back to being able to respect their prelates?

DOLAN: Sure. There has to be -- there has got to be a recovery and a renewal of purity and holiness and virtue in the life of the church. You know what Pope Paul VI said, he was -- he died, remember, in '78.

But he said modern men and women learn much more by witness than by words. So he said what you just said, that very often the way we do things, the way we live has more of an impact than what we're saying.

And if what we say doesn't gel with how we're living, it's counterproductive. Right? So --

AMANPOUR: You know, 63 percent or so of American Catholics look at this sex abuse scandal in the priesthood and they say that Pope Benedict XVI -- although he instituted zero tolerance, he met with abuse victims, he apologized -- did only a poor to fair job of dealing with it.

And I want to ask you yourself, because you've had to deal with all of this; you were deposed in New York --

DOLAN: Last Wednesday --

AMANPOUR: -- last Wednesday.


AMANPOUR: You were the Archbishop of Milwaukee and one of the most egregious violations happened there.

DOLAN: Before my time.

AMANPOUR: Father Lawrence Murphy (ph) -- before your time. Many would say that you did your best to try to account for that.

DOLAN: Thank you.

AMANPOUR: But others would say also, the critics, that, you know, you didn't allow the names of the abusers to be made public. Some would say that, you know, some of the desires to bring in an independent litigator may have, you know, prevented some of the money, some of the reparations and settlements going to the victims.

What do you say about all of that, since you had to be deposed about that?

DOLAN: I was deposed about that and grateful that I was. I have been -- I had said two years ago, please come, I want to tell the story and the deposition went rather well.

By the way, the deposition was about the fact that I did reveal the names, so that's something I did that they agreed with.

In fact, the victims said do that, please, and we did.

We have to remember, Christiane, that there are certain groups that are never going to be happy with what we've done, OK? All I can tell you is that, even though in the past the Catholic Church was a model of what not to do in this, I would maintain that today the Catholic Church is a model of what to do. And I'm not bragging about that; that would be self- serving.

Outside independent people tell us this, that now the church is doing it right, OK? So we could dwell on the past. We could go back decades and decades and decades of this nauseating abuse or we can say mea culpa for that; we have learned from it and now, thanks be to God, there is a rigor and a renewal and a responsibility in the church that is laudable and exemplary.

And I think that is 100 percent true.

You mentioned a good point, though, Christiane, that we can't seem to get that news out --

AMANPOUR: Would you say a lot of effort needs to go into, you know, finally calling to account and stopping, not just the abuse but the hiding, the shielding of the abusers, which is another big complaint?

DOLAN: I think we've done it. My Lord, if we're -- if we're trying to hide abusers, we're sure doing an awful job, because every day it's on the front page of the newspaper, so --

AMANPOUR: From before, holding people accountable, from having tried to shield them before? You know there was a huge controversy and there remains a controversy of Cardinal Mahony.

DOLAN: Cardinal (inaudible) Mahony, the archbishop of Los Angeles.

AMANPOUR: Indeed, coming here. He had also been deposed. There were thousands and thousands of pages of documents that his own archbishop said made terribly painful reading, the consistent shielding of priests from any kind of accountability.

DOLAN: Yes, from decades ago.

AMANPOUR: Correct.

DOLAN: I think as a church we've said that was a wrong thing to do, should never --

AMANPOUR: So you're confident that there will be zero tolerance?

DOLAN: (Inaudible) we can never -- we can never let up and we can never forget it and we can never say oh, thank God that's over, let's move on.

It's constantly got to be before our eyes.

AMANPOUR: I need to ask you now, are you going to be the next pope? You are on many people's lists of frontrunners.

DOLAN: Well, I've been on my mom's list for a while. But I don't know how many other lists that I've been on.

But I don't think so. I'm flattered that you would even think that, but I don't think that's a possibility.

AMANPOUR: You have used extremely colorful language, in fact, to play that down. I think you said, you know, that you might be smoking marijuana or something.

DOLAN: I said people who say that might be drinking too much grappa or smoking marijuana.

They asked me today, and they said, "Do you have a chance to follow Pope Benedict?"

I said "I've got a better chance following A-Rod at third base for the Yankees than following Benedict XVI as the bishop of Rome."

And I mean that. I'm flattered that people think that, but I wouldn't bet the house payment on it.


AMANPOUR: And now to Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana.

When asked if he might become the first black pope, he said, and quoting here, "If God would wish to see a black man as pope, thanks be to God."

The American basketball star, Dennis Rodman, even went to Rome to campaign for him shortly after visiting with Kim Jong-un in North Korea.

That presumably didn't affect the conclave decision. But when I spoke with Cardinal Turkson before the conclave, he seemed to have had a pretty good idea of where the next pope of the Catholic Church might come from.


AMANPOUR: Many people are wondering whether, for the first time, the next pope will be from out of Europe, or at least for the first time in a long, long time, from outside of Europe. And they particularly point to Africa and even Asia, where the Catholic Church is growing the fastest.

Do you think it's time for a new face, a younger face?

CARDINAL PETER TURKSON OF GHANA: It is. It is certainly possible to have a cardinal come from a certain part of the globe, from Latin America, from Africa or from Asia. I mean, in several places -- Latin America is (inaudible) well over 500 to 700 years.

In several places in Africa and Asia, we've had a church celebrate 58 (ph) anniversaries and centenaries. So we begin to see from all of this in our young churches mature prelates, mature churchmen, who are capable of exercising leadership in their church.

So the possibility that a candidate or any of the guys (ph), any of the cardinals to be elected pope can come from the certain parts of the globe is very real.

AMANPOUR: A lot of Catholics are looking for a more modern, you know, a more modern faith to satisfy the needs and requirements of today's modern world. What do you think?

TURKSON: We need to be true and faithful to the faith which made the church a church. And we need to be true to being relevant in society in fulfillment of the mission of a church. So we have these two, as it were, coordinates to, you know, to, you know, trace our trajectory true. We may not sacrifice one for the other.

So while the church, yes, seeks to be relevant to society, responding to the various needs of humankind, variants in our lifestyles and all, we also need all the time to have a mind on, you know, what it is that a church believes or what a church consider its their posit of faith.


AMANPOUR: And when we come back, imagine a world where people of all faiths live in peace and harmony. No, it is not a vision of heaven. It happened here on Earth 2,600 years ago. And this small piece of clay tells a big story, when we come back.




AMANPOUR: And finally, the new pope is going to have to excel at interfaith relations as well. And there's a lesson even older than Catholicism itself, 2,600 years ago, long before there was even Christianity and Islam, a Persian king, Cyrus the Great, created a society where all faiths were respected.

And the human rights of all people were protected and tolerated. This little clay object, the Cyrus Cylinder, tells us how he did it. You may know the story from the Old Testament, how the first temple in Jerusalem was destroyed in 586 B.C. by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians.

They forced the Jewish people into exile and captivity until the Persian king, Cyrus, conquered Babylon and freed the Jews to go home and rebuild their temple. His account is written on this ancient clay.

And if you look closely, you can see the cuneiform figures, the oldest form of writing, carved into the surface. In 1879, the cylinder was discovered in what is now modern Iraq. And it's not just a touchstone for Jews and a source of Iranian identity, it also helps form the basis of democracy and human rights in Europe and at the founding of the United States.

The Cyrus Cylinder usually resides in the British Museum in London, but it's just started a tour of five major cities here in the U.S. I spoke with director Neil MacGregor before an audience at the cylinder's first stop, the Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C. I asked him about the meaning of this ancient artifact.


NEIL MACGREGOR, DIRECTOR, BRITISH MUSEUM: So we're at the beginning of a new kind of state, a new kind of state craft. And what is decided then, what Cyrus decides after he conquers Babylon in 529 (ph) B.C., is that he is going to allow the different communities to go home to their lands from where they've been deported.

And he's going to allow all the different parts of the empire to worship their own gods. This is an astonishing statement of how you run a multicultural, multifaith society.


AMANPOUR: Imagine a world that is Catholic in the truest sense of the word, multifaceted, compassionate and all-embracing. And that's it for the weekend edition of our program. Meantime, you can always get in touch via Twitter @camanpour. Thanks for watching and goodbye from New York.