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EARLY START WITH JOHN BERMAN AND ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN

Pope Francis' Inaugural Mass

Aired March 19, 2013 - 05:30   ET

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


MSGR. RICHARD HILGARTNER, HEAD OF U.S. CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS: I love how he brought together how parents care for children, and eventually, children turn and care for their parents.

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN, CNN ANCHOR: A very simple message.

HILGARTNER: Absolutely.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: I just like to welcome everyone to our coverage of the inauguration of Pope Francis. It is 5:30 a.m. in the east. And Pope Francis has just delivered his homily. It was a homily about protection, about protecting people, about protecting your brothers and sisters, husbands and wives. It was a very personal, I felt, homily.

We're also joined this morning by CNN's Chris Cuomo who's been leading so much of our papal coverage from Rome now, back here in the U.S. Chris, I wonder what struck you from this homily?

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: What struck me? I think that an inauguration, unlike how we've been distinguishing the papacy from presidential politics, the inauguration, however, in many ways, is the same. This is a big message. It is the pope's first opportunity to say what he's going to bring in that will be different, what will be the fresh message.

Not just to those 200,000 people in St. Basilica's Square, but I think one of the things we learned last week, what we recognized was the imprint that the Catholic Church will have on non-Catholics as a moral standard as to what types of political involvement they will have. So, what I heard from the homily, yes.

Everything about Joseph that we're discussing here, I think, was laid out well. The question is, where in it do you thread through understandings about how will we have more of a spine on moral matters? Right? Because that's a big thing he had to deal with. It was very subtle in this, although, I'm open to see how you guys all interpreted it.

Also, being open to change. That dialogue that needs to happen. This was about protecting, taking care of stewardship of the family, of animals, of plants, but I didn't hear a lot that was unorthodox.

BERMAN: As an American non-Catholic, I have to tell you, when he was speaking about protection, one of the first things that I did think about was the sex abuse scandal that has affected the United States, and of course, so much of the world. Raymond Arroyo, I'm wondering if you thought the same.

RAYMOND ARROYO, NEWSDIRECTOR, EWTN: Well, absolutely. When you're talking about protecting children, that obviously comes to mind, and by invoking St. Joseph, he did something very interesting. He sort of gave us a preview and painted the picture of what his pontificate may well, indeed, look like. He said that St. Joseph was humbly and silently with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, that he reached out.

Not only was he sensitive to the persons entrusted to him, but he recognized and looked at things realistically. This is what we've seen from this pope in the last few days. He goes out. He touches. He talks. He feels. I agree with Chris. I don't think we're going to get any unorthodox pronouncements from this man.

His job is principally to protect the doctrine, not innovate or recreate it. He can't. It's not within his competency. He's the Vicar of Christ. He's the successor of St. Peter. So, he's limited in his powers. But I see here -- the other thing that struck me, he keeps referring to himself, not as the pope. And you'll remember, Benedict, even John Paul II. The pope says. The pope is here.

What he said here is, the bishop of Rome. He keeps underscoring this part of the ministry (ph) as bishop of Rome, which is a slightly different emphasis. We'll see how that plays out in a days ahead.

SAMBOLIN: I also thought there was a sense of accountability here, because, you know, he asked people in positions of responsibility and economic, political, and social life, all the men and women of goodwill, let us all be protectors of creation. So, he took this opportunity, monsignor, to really reach out to the crowd that was there.

HILGARTNER: He knows who's there, too. He's got representatives of heads of state. He spoke not only to heads of families, heads of household, but he talked to civil authorities directly, recognizing that this message is going out to all the world and this is part of his mission as a preacher at that level is to speak to every segment of society.

FATHER EDWARD BECK, CNN CONTRIBUTOR: Let's remember, too, he took the name Pope Francis. Pope Francis, who prayed with brother sun, sister moon. So, the environmental message here should not be missed. Talk about protecting creation. It came up a few times. Remember, Pope Benedict, in putting out his commandments, said, thou shall not pollute.

So, here again, we hear again protect creation, protect creation. The other thing that struck me is, he spoke about power. What kind of power are we talking about? He used the gospel image. The power is to feed the sheep, feed the lambs, be protector. Power is service. Power is protecting the weakest. That struck me. That's a pope who's going to redefine what papal power means.

CUOMO: Let's bring in John Allen. He's in Rome. He's our senior Vatican analyst. John, we're discussing here whether this was a specific call from the pope or was it a little contextualized, little bit more of what we're used to where you have to thread through the message, itself. How did it line up for you?

JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Well, first of all, I think I was struck by the fact that Pope Francis surprised us by not surprising us. I mean, this is really the first time that he's been in public, but he's actually stuck to the prepared script, more or less, which I think reflects the fact that this wasn't evening at the improv.

He clearly have thought carefully about the message he wanted to deliver here today. I think all of the specific points that we've been talking about are on the money. But to me, the heart of this homily came near the end. When he talked about his understanding of power, because remember, this is his inaugural mass.

This is when the sort of fullness of the power of the papacy, he takes possession of it. And he indicated that the important thing to understand about power, from the point of view of the church is that power is about service. And he emphasized in particular, service to the poor, to the weak, to the least important in the eyes of the world.

And if you're looking for a kind of programmatic statement about, you know, what the heart of Francis' papacy is going to be, there it is. In that meeting with journalists earlier in the week, he said that his dream was of a poor church for the poor. I think this is going to be a hallmark of the kind of leader Francis wants to be. Somebody whose heart is open in a particular way to those that the world would see is the least among us.

This kind of option for the poor, trying to put the emphasis of his leadership, putting the church on the side of the poor. Listen, there's not going to be doctoral revolution here, but I do think there is going to be a significant new tone and a significant new mobilization of the resources of the church on Francis' watch in defense of the poor of the world. And, I think, that of itself is likely to be striking.

HILGARTNER (ph): You know, it's very interesting. He's starting off well, right? There are polls show, what 77 percent --

(CROSSTALK)

HILGARTNER (ph): Eighty-eight percent of -- so he's got very high personal things. I think we should take a look at why that would be, because, you know, on one level, the political axiom is leadership does not lead big answers -- big questions unanswered, OK. So, he lives by different set of rules, the pope. He doesn't have to come out the way a politician does and says I do this and I'll do this --

CUOMO: And yet, with 88 percent, what do you believe raised the expectation is? What is that enthusiasm coming from?

BECK (ph): Part of it is the magnetic personality of this pope. He's going out to the people. He seems, in a new way -- remember, we had a very long pontificate, at the end of John Paul's rank, he was so sick. He couldn't really -- that beautiful face that lit up so many other faces over the early part of the pontificate was ravaged by disease in the last days. He couldn't smile. He couldn't go to the people in the same way.

Benedict was more of a reserved professor, though, he had his own, I think, impish joy that people picked up on. He didn't necessarily go out to the crowds. He didn't feed off of them. This is a pope who's clearly used to being among people. He wants to hear them. He wants to touch them. That tonality, that shift, I think is to blame for a lot of the polling that you're certainly seeing.

In the days ahead, we'll see how this plays out. I think he's going to be, just from the early signs, though, much more relaxed, much more human. And the humor that he allows into the papacy is, for me, something that I think so many find attractive and will be a key hallmark.

CUOMO: Why is it that you don't hear coming from the Vatican, coming from the pontiff, I'm going to make changes to make sure that children are never abused again, that we are the highest level of moral accountability? Why don't you hear things like that, monsignor?

HILGARTNER: I think at this point, we have to remember that he didn't prepare to be pope. He didn't campaign. He didn't have a platform. It's not that this was thrust upon him unwillingly, but he didn't come into the conclave expecting to be elected. So, he didn't have plans. And, in these first days, there are so many practicalities.

I think we see some of that in the most broad and general terms today, articulated in lifting up St. Joseph as an example of protector. And it's going to take weeks for him to begin to articulate some specifics as he starts to enact --

CUOMO: That's the part I don't get. Father Edward, help me with that. Why do we have to deal with imagery about something that's so obvious and specific?

BECK: Well, maybe he's going to start with broad strokes and will get more specific as it goes on. It probably will not be the occasion where you're going to directly address the sexual abuse of minors, especially since it's not a worldwide issue, at least, in the same way it is for the United States, yet. Though, that's still yet to be seen in Latin-America and other places.

I just think here what we're going to see is the allusion to it. To say protector of children in that homily, I think, was huge that he'd been eluded to it. I think we'll see more specifics as the papacy unfolds.

CUOMO: You know, John, one of the things Zoraida -- in understanding this, for Catholics, it's not just like he's another leader, right? Because so much of your spiritual life, what you believe is most important to you as an individual is you're feeding from this message. And that is where the frustration certainly for American Catholics comes in. I need him to talk about women priests. I need him to talk about the abuse scandal very overtly and powerfully, because you're drawing off it as a moral center. And that's the balancing acted.

SAMBOLIN: You know what I thought was interesting is when he first came out on the balcony when we found out that it was -- he was the chosen one. The people in the crowd that you all talked to while you were out there were very hopeful. This is what we kept on hearing over and over again. And, I am a catholic also.

And I'm sitting there and I'm listening. I'm thinking, where do you get that hope from? In this very moment, it was just a moment in time where we saw him, where we heard him, yet, that was the overwhelming feeling.

BERMAN: Chris, you just brought up, of course, that he is the first new world pope from Latin-America, from Argentina where he was the archbishop of Buenos Aires. We have some pictures right now live from Buenos Aires where the people that he's been with for so very long, I believe we have those pictures, have been watching this papal inauguration in Argentina. There it is right there. It's there on the right.

And of course, Pope Francis asked the people of Argentina not to come to Rome. Don't fly to Rome, he said. Save your money. Give it to the poor. I'll be just fine over here. But, the people that he's been with the last several decades are there watching.

CUOMO: Been distracted by the dirty war allegations what happened in the 1970s in Argentina, his suggested role, which seems to have played out as it did the first time it went under analysis. But, I think that part of his legacy there is instructive of what could happen going forward. Very hard line on the way priests carried out their ministry. Very hard line. Very exacting as a disciplinarian.

And of course, though, contextually, they haven't dealt with the kind of depth of scandal and of understanding of what was going on that we have here. Some argue that's because it didn't because of people like him. We'll have to see.

BERMAN: There's a story in "The Washington Post" this morning, and I think it will gather traction as the day goes on, saying that Pope Francis, when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, did not choose to deal almost in any way in sex abuse accusations that were going on.

He didn't have some of the role that American leaders did where he actively, aggressively deceived or turned his back or maybe didn't address it head-on, but it was not something that he chose to address and he may have had that opportunity.

SAMBOLIN: A lot of people believe that, really, that sex abuse scandal has not really surfaced yet in Latin-America. Let's listen to the pope for a moment.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) POPE FRANCIS, CATHOLIC CHURCH: May the Lord accept the sacrifice at your hands for the praise and glory of his name, for our good and the good of all in his Holy Church. We pray, oh, Lord, that just as St. Joseph served with loving care, your only begotten son, born of the Virgin Mary, so we may be worthy to minister with a pure heart at your altar, through Christ, our Lord.

The Lord be with you.

(CHANTING) And with your spirit.

POPE FRANCIS: Lift up your hearts.

(CHANTING) We lift them up to the Lord.

POPE FRANCIS: Let us give thanks to the Lord, our God.

(CHANTING) It is right and just.

POPE FRANCIS: It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere, to give you thanks, Lord, Holy Father. All mighty and eternal God. And on the solemnity of St. Joseph, to give you fitting praise, to glorify you and bless you. For this just man was given by you as spouse to the virgin mother of God and set as a wise and faithful servant in charge of your household.

To watch like a Father over your only begotten son who's conceived by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, our lord, Jesus Christ. Through him, the angels praise your majesty. Dominions adore and powers tremble before you. Heaven on the virtues of heaven and the blessed seraphim worship together with exaltation.

They are voices, we pray. Join with theirs in humble praise as we acclaim.

(SINGING)

Holy, holy, holy Lord. The heavens and Earth are full of your glory.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: You're watching right now the inauguration of Pope Francis. We've been watching it all morning. So much symbolism here from the moment he arrived in St. Peter's Square aboard the pope mobile. No glass in that pope mobile at all, Father Beck.

BECK: Right. And we saw, therefore, him at his ability to reach out and touch an invalid man, to kiss babies. This is a shepherd who wants to touch his flock.

(CROSSTALK)

BECK: We're seeing some of the images there. Such a pastoral man and really feeding off that crowd as the pope.

BERMAN: Ray, as a pastoral man, Raymond Arroyo, you were noticing during his homily that this was the type of homily that a priest might give in a local parish.

ARROYO: Yes. There was -- he repeated the major themes, this theme of protection. He tied the bow around something that Pope Benedict started. Benedict was known as the green pope. He put solar panels on top of some of the Vatican buildings. Part of that rationale and when I spoke to Pope Benedict about it, he saw this is a connection point to the world.

Yes, we have to protect all of creation, and he said that includes human life, the frail elderly, but there's a consistent ethic of life here that's included when you talk about creation. I think you hear Pope Francis sounding similar tones here today.

SAMBOLIN: We heard all throughout his homily the word protect. Protect. And, John was saying that, for him, he felt that maybe that was for the sex abuse scandal, right? Protect the children. And we were having a really good dialogue here. You know what, let's listen in and then we'll pick up this conversation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

POPE FRANCIS: We offer you firstly, for your Holy Catholic Church, be pleased to grant her peace, to guard, unite and govern her throughout the whole world, together with me, your unworthy servant, whom you have chosen to preside over your church, and all those who holding to the truth, hand on the catholic and apostolic faith.

Remember, Lord, your servants, and all gathered here whose faith and devotion are known to you. For them, we offer you the sacrifice of praise or they offer it for themselves and all who are dear to them, for the redemption of their souls, in hope of health and well-being and paying their homage to you, the eternal God, living and true.

In communion with those whose memory we venerate, especially the glorious ever virgin, Mary, mother of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ, and blessed Joseph, her spouse, your blessed apostles and martyrs, Peter and Paul, Andrew, James, John, Thomas, James, Phillip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon, and Jude, Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: Monsignor, this is a crucial part of a mass here, the Eucharistic prayer before communion.

HILGARTNER: Yes. This is the heart of, for Catholics, our worship. The Eucharist, the mass, is literally thanksgiving. So, it's our highest form of praise and thanks. And it's the heart of that here in the Eucharistic prayer, the prayer they're praying today, is one of our oldest prayers, from the fourth century and has been handed down from generation to generation as part of our body of worship and the prayers of the mass.

In this particular part of the mass, they're invoking saints many of whom are popes who have gone before us. They started with the naming of the 12 apostles and the popes of the first two centuries and really connecting the history of the church together. And in a moment, then, there will be the prayers asking God to send the spirit upon the bread and wine that they might become the very body and blood of Jesus. And this is it.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

POPE FRANCIS: Be pleased, oh, God, we pray, to bless, acknowledge, and approve this offering in every respect. Make it spiritual and acceptable so that it may become for us, the body and blood of your most beloved son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.

On the day before he was to suffer, he took bread in his holy and vulnerable hands and with his eyes raised to heaven, to you, oh, God, his Almighty Father, giving you thanks, he said the blessing, broke the bread, and gave it to his disciples saying --

(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

(BELLS TOLLING)

POPE FRANCIS: In a similar way, when supper was ended, he took this precious chalice, in his holy and venerable hands, and once more, giving you thanks. He said the blessing and gave the chalice to his disciples, saying --

(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE).

(BELLS TOLLING)

(SINGING)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SAMBOLIN: You are watching Pope Francis' inaugural mass. We were taking a look at the cardinals there a moment ago. Communion is a daunting task this morning. There are a lot of people present. We understand that the pope will not hand out communion. Is that right?

HILGARTNER (ph): That's correct. He's going to sit. And the Eucharistic ministers, cardinals, others will be giving out the communion. Maybe because they didn't want everybody to rush to go to pope for communion.

SAMBOLIN: Let's listen in a moment here.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

POPE FRANCIS: -- the glorious ascension into heaven of Christ, your son, our Lord, we, your servants, and your holy people, offer to your glorious majesty from the gifts that you have given us, this pure victim, this holy victim, this spotless victim, the holy bread of eternal life and the chalice of everlasting salvation.

Be pleased to look upon these offerings with a serene and kindly countenance, and to accept them as once you were pleased able to accept the just of your servant able to just, the sacrifice of Abraham, our father in faith, and the offering of your high priest (INAUDIBLE), a holy sacrifice, a spotless victim.

In humble prayer, we ask you, almighty God, (INAUDIBLE) of these gifts be born by the hands of your holy angel, to your altar on high, and the sign of your divine majesty, so that all of us, through this participation, at the altar, receive the most holy body and blood of your son, may be filled with every grace and heavenly blessing.

Remember also, Lord, your servants, who have gone before us with the sign of faith and rest in the sleep of peace, grant them, oh, Lord, we pray.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: We've been talking about the process of communion here. It is no small feat this morning.

SAMBOLIN: Monsignor Hilgartner, you have some details for us.

HILGARTNER: There are 500 priests arranged to give communion down in the square. I mean, they're talking several hundred thousand people. I've been to masses there before, and I've been a communion minister. And, I remember a number of years ago being there and being dispatched halfway down the (INAUDIBLE). That was at the beatification of Mother Teresa.

And, I don't know what the estimates were that day, but it's a daunting task to do it in a timely fashion. So, they have a well- choreographed system to do this. And there'll be priests. You can't see them in the shot, but there are rows of priests standing somewhere near behind the altar, just off camera, who will begin processing down. You'll see them after the Eucharistic prayer concludes, processing down and throughout the square.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

POPE FRANCIS: Bless them and bestow them upon us. Through him and with him and in him, oh, God, Almighty Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, all honor and glory is yours. Forever and ever. Amen.

(SINGING) Amen. Amen. Amen

POPE FRANCIS: At the savior's command informed by divine teaching, we dare to say -- Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil. Graciously grant peace in our days. That, by the help of your mercy, we may always be free from sin and safe from all distress as we await the blessed hope and the coming off our savior, Jesus Christ.

(SINGING) For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. POPE FRANCIS: Lord, Jesus Christ, who sent your apostles, peace I leave you, my peace I give you. Look not on our sins but on the faith of your church and graciously grant her peace and unity in accordance with your will who live and reign forever and ever.

(CHANTING) Amen.

POPE FRANCIS: The peace of the Lord be always with you.

(CHANTING) And with your spirit.

(SINGING) Let us offer each other the sign of peace.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's an interesting shot. Diplomats, all --

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BERMAN: Welcome back, everyone. You've been watching the inaugural mass for Pope Francis right here. What are we seeing right there, monsignor?

HILGARTNER: He's exchanging the sign of peace with the ecumenical patriot, the Bartholomew of Constantinople.

BERMAN: And this is --

(CROSSTALK)

BERMAN: This has never seen this before.

BECK (ph): Well, not at a papal inauguration. The patriarch had been at other events, other liturgies with popes, with both Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict, but this is the first time the patriarch has attended the papal inauguration.

HILGARTNER (ph): Thousand years have gone by for this to happen.

SAMBOLIN: So, tell us where we are in the mass?

HILGARTNER (ph): This is the rights of preparation for Holy Communion. So, now you can see the lines of priests moving down for the distribution of communion in the square. They're all dressed in black cassocks with white surplices going down the aisle there. So, now is the preparation as the faithful prepare to receive the body and blood of Jesus in the Eucharist, even as the logistical preparations are being made for the distribution of --

SAMBOLIN: You were talking about the body and blood of Jesus. And here in the United States, it would be two separate things, right? You have the wine and then you have the bread. And there are we just getting -- are they just distributing the body?

HILGARTNER (ph): As a practical matter, at these things where there are hundreds of thousands of people, it's not practical. And historically, what we believe theologically is the whole body, blood soul, and divinity of Jesus are contained in just the species -- under the species of bread, the host, or -- holding the consecrated host here, inviting people to communion.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- supper of the lamb, Lord, I'm not worthy for you to come under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.