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The People's Pope. Aired 10-11p ET.

Aired September 26, 2015 - 22:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: The following is a CNN special report.

CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: He is a pope like no other.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Tens of thousands of fans coming out to see the pope.

CUOMO: Pope Francis is changing the Vatican and challenging traditions.

ELIZABETHA PIQUE, AUTHOR, POPE FRANCIS: LIFE AND REVOLUTION: I think he really opened a new chapter in the history of the church.

JORGE BERGOGLIO, POPE FRANCIS: (Speaking Foreign Language)

CUOMO: From the slums of Buenos Aires to the seat of St. Peter. We retrace his extraordinary journey with those who know him best.

BERGOGLIO: Are you ready? Are you ready?

CUOMO: Pope Francis, rock star, reformer, "The People's Pope."

Vatican City, a world unto itself. Headquarters of the Catholic Church and home base for its leader, the pope. After the death of John Paul II in 2005, a surprising candidate emerged to replace him. Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio from Latin America.

AUSTEN IVEREIGH, AUTHOR, THE GREAT REFORMER: FRANCIS AND THE MAKING OF A RADICAL PEOPLE: Cardinal Bergoglio was increasingly spoken of in some circles in Rome as being a possible future papal candidate. There was clearly a group of cardinals not just in Latin America who were looking to him.

CUOMO: Over the last 2,000 years, more than 260 men have occupied the role and countless more have coveted the power of the papacy, but as for Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, he desperately did not want it. So when German Cardinal Joseph Ratsinger was elected pope, friends say no one was more relieved than Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio.

IVEREIGH: He avoided coming to Rome as much as possible. I think what he disliked in the Vatican was what he saw as a certain kind of pomposity, a certain kind of traditionalism. CUOMO: With Pope Benedict XVI installed in the papal apartment, Bergoglio was free to go home. This is Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, a place known for steak, soccer, the tango. This is the place that would shape the man who would become Pope Francis. The Bergoglio family lived here. The Flores neighborhood which looked very different then.

IVEREIGH: Jorge Bergoglio is a low middle class kid in a low middle class area of Buenos Aires.

CUOMO: Austin Ivereigh is author of "The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope" and is interviewed dozens of Pope Francis' friends and associates.

IVEREIGH: If you had to describe the neighborhood of Flores in the 1930s, the roads aren't paved at that stage. They're mostly dust. The roads turn to mud when it rains. These are simple houses usually one-story.

PIQUE: They tell Jorge Bergoglio he was the typical family of migrants from Italy.

CUOMO: Journalist Elizabetha Pique has known the pope more than a decade and written a book about him called "Pope Francis: Life and Revolution."

PIQUE: He had a very normal childhood. He would go and play with friends in the street. He would play football.

IVEREIGH: And people were very struck by his concern for others. I think that was there from the very, very beginning.


In 1950, I started at the school that was called the food industry. I studied chemistry dedicated to the food industry and that's where we met.

CUOMO: Oscar Crespo has been close friends with Pope Francis since they met in school 65 years ago.

CRESPO: (Speaking Foreign Language)

We were good friends. And the truth was that he was one of the students that stood out most in class.

CUOMO: Very smart, but not arrogant. He was very willing to share and to help.

CRESPO: One of his characteristics, a characteristic of his entire life was humility.

CUOMO: Of course, Bergoglio's humility did not rule out occasional mischief.


CRESPO: (Speaking Foreign Language)

We had in the first, second, and third year in Spanish language professor whom we admired very much.

CUOMO: Right, you loved him. You loved the one teacher but then he left.

CRESPO: (Speaking Foreign Language)

But he retired. And they named him as place of teacher who was very rigid.

CUOMO: So rigid that the two friends wrote a note on the blackboard demanding the return of their former professor.

CRESPO: (Speaking Foreign Language)

And when the new professor walked in, she saw that and didn't like it very much and she called the head master. He gave us a stern warning and this is the only stern warning Bergoglio had in his whole career.

CUOMO: By all accounts, he was a pretty typical teenager.

PIQUE: Being a teenager, he would go and dance tango, Milonga, and he would participate through parties.

CRESPO: (Speaking Foreign Language)

CUOMO: He danced well?

CRESPO: (Speaking Foreign Language)

Yes, he danced well. And he liked it. He would go dancing every Saturday at the parties that the club hosted.

CUOMO: And that one dance club he worked part time as a doorman.

IVEREIGH: And these are very respectable kinds of dancers but just in case there was any trouble, they had somebody stand outside and he did that job for a while. He was a kind of a bouncer.

CUOMO: And like so many teenage boys, he developed a crush on a girl.

CRESPO: (Speaking Foreign Language)

He didn't like to let his feelings for the opposite sex arise, but when he was 16 or 17 years old, he met a young lady and he told me that she made his head spin because of the way she was. She was very intelligent, very well-educated.

CUOMO: When we come back, a secret.

CRESPO: (Speaking Foreign Language)

He said I'm going to tell you something that I haven't told anyone else.

CUOMO: And the woman who wanted to keep the future pope from even entering the priesthood.

IVEREIGH: I think it came as a big shock to her.



CUOMO: The air in Buenos Aires was heavy with anticipation on September 21st, 1953, and 16-year-old Jorge Mario Bergoglio had big plans.

JOSE BEGOGLIO, POPE FRANCIS NEPHEW: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

He was going to a picnic with friends.

CUOMO: Listen to the moment that changed everything, the pope's nephew, Jose Bergoglio.

JOSE BERGOGLIO: Among that group of friends there was a girl he had a crush on and he was going to declare his love to her.

PIQUE: And he was passing by this church of his neighborhood, and he felt the need to go to this church.

CUOMO: More than just a need. In a radio interview in 2012, then- cardinal Bergoglio expressed wonder at the force that drew him inside.

JORGE BERGOGLIO: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

I don't know what happened. I felt like someone grabbed hold of me from within and carried me to the confessional. I confessed, but I don't knot what happened and there I felt like I had to become a priest.

JOSE BERGOGLIO: And he never went to the picnic. He never declared his love to that girl. That day, he declared his love to God.

CUOMO: His parents expected him to become a doctor, but young Bergoglio saw another path to healing, one he confided to his friend, Oscar Crespo.

CRESPO: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

He said, I'm going it tell you something that I haven't told anyone else. I've decided to dedicate myself to the priesthood.

CUOMO: His mother stumbled on to his secret while she was cleaning.

JOSE BERGOGLIO: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

She found books in Latin, theology, philosophy, the bible, then she grabbed my uncle and said, Jorge, listen to me, how do you expect to get into medical school? This is not medicine. My uncle replied, yes, mom, this is medicine for the soul.

CUOMO: Medicine for the soul.

JOSE BERGOGLIO: He was 18 years old and he came up with that answer.

IVEREIGH: She argued against it and said, no, wait, you know, you're too young. And things got quite bad in the Bergoglio household. It got quite tense for some months apparently, but Jorge went off to seminary at the age of 20.

CUOMO: First his parents then a second obstacle to his calling, his health.

IVEREIGH: He had a terrible pneumonia, cysts on his lung which were then removed in an operation which resulted in horrific pain and he did nearly die. I mean he was kept alive with oxygen tanks.

CUOMO: Though that surgery would become a major issue many years later, then the young Bergoglio recovered and soon made a big decision to switch to a Jesuit seminary.

EVEREIGH: The Jesuits are the great reformers, the great radicals, the great missionaries of the Catholic Church. They began in the 16th Century. You know, precisely with a radical mission to reform the church and to be among the people.

CUOMO: Reformer, radical, a priest among the people. All would define the man Bergoglio became. In December 1969, he was ordained in soon named to lead all the Jesuits in Argentina, quite young for the job, but with a mandate for reform.

IVEREIGH: Well, the Jesuits ignored other older Jesuits and they chose him.

[22:15:01] And many of them said to me, you know, we look to him as a kind of -- he was the storm pilot, you know? He was the one who needed to take the tiller in the storm and it's very interesting how this has been a consistent theme actually throughout his life, that when the church is in crisis, they look to him.

CUOMO: His first turn at leadership was as he admitted in a magazine interview troubled, quote, "My style of government as a Jesuit at the beginning had many faults. I was only 36 years old. That was crazy. I had to deal with difficult situations and I made my decisions abruptly and by myself. It was my authoritarian way of making decisions that created problems."

Six years later, he took on a different leadership role as head of the Jesuit College, Colegio Maximo de San Jose. At the college, he lived in this small simple apartment looking now much like it did back then.

FATHER ANGEL ROSSI: He is a quiet and a simple man. A sign of a great leader is to be a good listener, and he is one of the greatest in that respect.

CUOMO: Father Angel Rossi was at the college with Bergoglio. ROSSI: Bergolio breaks all the rules. He's a deeply spiritual person

who lets himself be guided by his heart, a great commencer of the soul, isn't he?

CUOMO: Bergoglio taught by example, spending as much time in the community as the classroom.

DANIEL LOPEZ: This was in the 1980s, 35 years ago. He was the wise man in a poor village, a working class neighborhood.

CUOMO: Daniel Lopez was a very young boy living in that neighborhood. Life was hard, but Bergoglio made the kids feel important, that their lives could matter.

LOPEZ: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

And here at Colegio Maximo, he gave us children's day which is the most beautiful day that we kids had at the time where they would give us hot chocolate, they would give us toys. The toy was a nice gift that you could take home because sometimes mom and dad couldn't buy anything for us.

CUOMO: Even more important than toys, Lopez says Bergoglio taught them how to be good people.

LOPEZ: He was, as you'd say, a superhero. He energized you. He also challenged you. He gave you discipline. He helped me to become a good man.

CUOMO: Daniel became the first in his family to attend college, earning a degree in Business Administration.

Coming up, the period in the life of Pope Francis you rarely hear about.

IVEREIGH: Now clearly the new regime and the Jesuits wanted him out of the way.

CUOMO: Exiled.

IVEREIGH: He was told not to have contact with the other Jesuits, so he was effectively silenced.



CUOMO: Jorge Bergoglio was a star as a young priest. He'd been picked to lead all of Argentina's Jesuits then moved on to head this Jesuit College in Buenos Aires where he was revered for his faith and common touch.

IVEREIGH: He had seized to be head of the Jesuit order and yet he continued to have a power over the Jesuits in the province which was very, very unusual. Now, a number of the other -- particularly the older Jesuits resented that. CUOMO: Priests are not immune to jealousy and petty politics. Bergoglio was about to feel the bite.

IVEREIGH: The new regime and the Jesuits wanted him out of the way.

CUOMO: Far out of the way. They exiled Bergoglio, sending him to Cordoba, 400 miles from Buenos Aires.

ROSSI: (Speaking in Foreign Langauge)

He went to Cordoba to go through a period of reflection, of silence.

CUOMO: Father Angel Rossi who has known Pope Francis for 40 years used to visit with him in Cordoba.

ROSSI: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

He said, "I never considered it an injustice." These were the circumstances. It was painful and he did not have it easy.

CUOMO: Journalist Sebastian Pfaffen and Javier Camara interviewed Pope Francis about his time in Cordoba.

SEBASTIAN PFAFFEN, JOURNALIST: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

A lot of people talking about it as being an exile, that they took him out of Buenos Aires and that they sent him to Cordoba with no activity, no role, not even a mass schedule. He lost all authority.

JAVIER CAMARA, JOURNALIST: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

The Pope, himself, told us that in Cordoba, he spent time in the shadows, a dark time.

CUOMO: This was his room.

CAMARA: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

He studied. He prayed a lot. He wrote a lot.

IVEREIGH: I read quite a lot of what he wrote in that period and it's clearly a dark time for him, a wintertime, a time of paring back.

CUOMO: A process that would put Bergoglio on a very different path. Here, he prayed before sunrise, meditated and listened to confessions.

CAMARA: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

When we asked Pope Francis what he read during that time, he said, "I don't know why, but during that time I read the history of the popes" and we asked if that helped him today and he said, "Yes. Yes, it helped me a lot."

CUOMO: Bergoglio's exile in Cordoba lead to his realization that humility should drive his service and that would become his signature trait. PFAFFEN: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

It was only two years of his life, but I don't have the slightest doubt that it helped him to become an even more humbled person, simpler, more dedicated.

CUOMO: And ready for his next challenge.

IVEREIGH: Cordoba came to an end because the man who became the Archbishop of Buenos Aires Antonio Quarracino basically said to the Vatican, look I need this guy as my assistant bishop.


CUOMO: So after nearly two years in exile, Jorge Bergoglio returns here to Buenos Aires but he is a changed man and now comes his second chance at leadership.

IVEREIGH: So when he became bishop after Cordoba, you immediately see in his leadership style that it's much less executive it's all about walking with people, giving time to people.

CUOMO: Gone was the hard-charging style of days past, in its place, a profound humility that he never lost.

PIQUE: In 1998 when he became archbishop of Buenos Aires he decided not to go and live in the residence of the archbishop, but he decided to live in a small and very simple (inaudible) room in the (inaudible). He had the right to have the car with a chauffeur and he said, "No, thank you."

CUOMO: Instead parishioners could find the prominent head of Argentina's Catholic Church standing on a subway platform or sitting next to them on the bus. Even when Pope John Paul II made him a cardinal in 2001, Bergoglio remained unassuming.

When he started to move and become bishop, archbishop, cardinal, did your friend change or is he the same Jorge?

CRESPO: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

Jorge is the exact same person today that he was at 13.

CUOMO: Really?

CRESPO: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

He said exactly the same.

CUOMO: With exactly the same stinging sense of humor, Bergoglio's nephew, Jose.

JOSE BERGOLIO: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

It is customary to give a light slap on the cheek to each child taking confirmation and he have been giving a light slap to everyone. When it came to my turn, he gave me a tremendous slap that made my head turn.

CUOMO: How would you describe him as a man? Is he funny?


CUOMO: How is he special?

SKORKA: Acidic.

CUOMO: A little acidic?


CUOMO: He gives you a little bit?

SKORKA: Yeah, acidic humor.

CUOMO: Can he take it or can you give it only?

SKORKA: He -- no, he takes and he gives.

CUOMO: You might not expect this man, Jewish Rabbi Abraham Skorka to be one of the pope's closest friends, but he is.

In America we have an expression that's slang where we say "A brother from another mother."

SKORKA: Yeah, that's true. That's true.

CUOMO: Is that you and Francisco?

SKORKA: Yes, we are brothers.

CUOMO: They appeared together on a series of archdiocese T.V. shows. As you got to know him, interfaith dialogue became very important. That has some critics in the Catholic Church but why is it so important to him to be that way?

SKORKA: Because the dialogue's the key in order to reach peace. Peace in the world. Peace in the church.

CUOMO: You think you rubbed off on him a little bit? You influenced him how he thinks now?

SKORKA: Undoubtedly, and he influence of me. I learned a lot from him.

CUOMO: One of the big lessons from him to you, do you think?

SKORKA: What it means to be humble.

CUOMO: Next, death threats and danger in the slums of Buenos Aires. Did the threats stop after that? Did things calm down?


CUOMO: April 2005, the Catholic Church was in trouble. Empty pews and coffers, the shame of sexual abuse by priests and how that abuse was ignored by church leaders making matters worse.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A statement now from the Vatican. Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II has died.

CUOMO: The most popular pope in modern history, gone.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: All the cardinals go into the Sistine Chapel and start what is the most important moment of their careers as cardinals.

CUOMO: That moment, to elect a new pope, but this time something was different.

IVEREIGH: Remember the conclave, the secret affairs, you're not supposed to know who got what, but a cardinal who had taken part in that 2005 conclave later that year published a diary which gave a very detailed account of the voting and the numbers.

CUOMO: Some say it was no accident the diary came out. To show there was someone other than cardinal Ratzinger getting support, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio.

IVEREIGH: And he was deeply alarmed by this and over lunch on the second day of the conclave said to the other cardinals, no, do not vote for me, please vote for Joseph Ratzinger.

CUOMO: But why? Journalist Elisabetha Pique knows Bergoglio well enough that he baptized both of her kids.

PIQUE: Well, I think I would respond with something that he said to a little girl from Jesuit school and she asked did you want to be pope. And he said you have to be crazy. You have to be totally crazy who want to be a pope.

CUOMO: Perhaps Cardinal Bergolio didn't want the pomp and the politics or didn't feel ready for the papacy. Perhaps he simply felt his place was here, leading the priests of Buenos Aires in the work that mattered most to him, ministering to those in need.

IVEREIGH: He wanted his priests to be in the hospitals, in the old people's homes, in the Shantytowns, in the places of suffering.

CUOMO: Like this, one of the worst slums in Buenos Aires. In 2009 he sent Father Carrara to the slums and Carrara has been here ever since.

[22:35:04] And Bergoglio asked you to come to the slum. What did you think?

FATHER GUSTAVO CARRARA: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

More than 40,000 people live here. So the responsibility of a bigger congregation, I accepted it with joy. CUOMO: Cardinal Bergoglio came here often to be with the people and to support the local priests. When one priest received death threats from drug lords, the future pope stepped in literally.

CARRARA: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

He went there to walk through the slums, to talk to the residents and also of course, to visit the priests there. So that the people would see that their archbishop supported his priest.

CUOMO: Did it make a difference? Did the threats stop after that? Did things calm down?

CARRARA: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

Yes, after that, there were a few things but it calmed down. Things calmed down.

CUOMO: In December 2011, Cardinal Bergoglio turned 75. That's the Vatican's mandatory retirement age, so he submitted his resignation and waited for his replacement.

CRESPO: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

And I'm not giving away any secret when I tell you. I asked him, where will you live? And he said, "Well, I'll go live my retirement at the Flores house where the bishops live."

CUOMO: No one could know then that this would be a defining moment in the history of the Catholic Church. A year passed as Bergoglio waited for his chance to retire but the Vatican chose no replacement a delay that would make all the difference.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: For the first time in 600 years, a pope is retiring, Pope Benedict XVI.

CUOMO: Stunning news.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is something that none of us...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: ... none of us have heard before. A pope announces he is resigning.

CUOMO: This simply isn't done. It's been almost 600 years since a pope resigned. No one saw this coming certainly in this country.

Benedict XVI resigned a move unprecedented in the modern papacy. The scene was now set for the radical change that would come.

IVEREIGH: In 2013, all the talk was of Vatican dysfunction. How can we put our house in order, how can we sort out the money, how can we have better governance in the church?

CUOMO: Now, cardinals who had favored Bergoglio's election in 2005 got another chance. Was he the reformer the church needed? Did Bergoglio even want the job? And was he strong enough to lead the church?

SKORKA: So they sent some people to ask him questions. Someone asked him the question, how is your health? How do you feel with your lungs?

CUOMO: Because with the pneumonia he had and the surgery.

SKORKA: Yeah. Yeah.

CUOMO: Everybody was talking about it.


CUOMO: When we come back, the humble priest emerges as Holy Father. Cardinal Bergoglio important to note we believe finished second to Pope Benedict in the last conclave. He could be the great uniter. He is someone everybody respects.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're looking at live picture outside St. Peter's Square.

CUOMO: March 2013, St. Peter's Square.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The crowd is pretty sizable and they've actually just shut off another street.

CUOMO: Tens of thousands waited and wondered who would be the next leader of the Catholic Church.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We can officially say at CNN, this is black smoke.

CUOMO: Inside the conclave, votes for Jorge Bergoglio just as there had been in 2005.

And the last conclave he was saying no, no, no, no, no, not me.

SKORKA: Not me.

CUOMO: Ratzinger, Ratzinger is your guy so he changed.

SKORKA: He changed. He understood that if he is elected, he must accept because the situation is a very dangerous situation.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They need to get this right. It's been the biggest decision this church has made in modern history.

CUOMO: Once, twice.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have black smoke that means no pope.

CUOMO: Four times, black smoke, then on the fifth vote...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Seems to look a little lighter than last time.

CUOMO: The white smoke that signaled a new pope.

UNIDENTIFED MALE: (Speaking in a Foreign Language)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The curtains are open, the cross bearer is coming out and there he is.

CUOMO: Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There he is, our new pope, the Catholics' new pope, Pope Francis. The first Pope Francis the Catholics have ever had. The first pope from South America they've ever had.

JORGE BERGOGLIO: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

CUOMO: Cheers from Catholics around the world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Argentina. Argentina.

CUOMO: Especially back home in Argentina where close friends like Oscar Crespo were overwhelmed.

When you saw the smoke and you heard Jorge Mario and he walked out onto the balcony, what happened in your head, what happened in your heart?


CRESPO: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

When the Cardinal came out and announced, "We have a pope" and then he started with his weird language.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Speaking in Foreign Language).

CRESPON: (Speaking in Foreign Language)

It was something that I can't describe. It was an emotion. My friend, the pope, the tears started to fall. It was impossible to stop it.

CUOMO: When he became pope, when did you hear from him?

SKORKA: He called me up by phone, "Hello, yeah, Bergoglio speaking. That's what he said. And he said he had the people caught me and don't leave me to go back to Buenos Aires, but what can I do? I was elected pope."

CUOMO: His first decision as pope choosing the name Francis of Assisi, a saint who advocated for the poor. The message was clear. A change was coming.

JORGE BERGOGLIO: (Speaking in Foreign Language) Francis of Assisi. For me, he is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects creation.

CUOMO: The new pope, Francis El Poverino, the poor one, he embraced the cheers, but also the challenge he would now have to do in the Vatican what he did so well here in Argentina as a leader, but also as a reformer.

PIQUE: He is not afraid, you know, of breaking the traditions of the Vatican. He is not afraid to explore new ways.

CUOMO: The first pope ever to take the name Francis then became the first to live in the Vatican City guesthouse, Casa Santa Marta rather than the apostolic palace. He explained in an interview, "I chose to live in Santa Marta in room 201 because when I took possession of the papal apartment inside myself I distinctly heard a no."

IVEREIGH: The big difference between the Casa Santa Marta and the apostolic palace is simply this. In the Casa Santa Marta, he sees people, he's among the people. He can't be isolated. He wants to be accessible.

CUOMO: Just weeks after becoming pope on the Thursday before Easter, Holy Thursday, there was yet another first.

IVEREIGH: He did something he had always done as archbishop of Buenos Aires which is go to a place of pain as he calls it. In this case it was a prison. And he washed the feet of prisoners there including a woman prisoner who was also a Muslim. And this is something that no pope had ever done before. It was a very, very powerful gesture.

CUOMO: And it made a powerful statement to the world. This pope is like no other, redefining the Catholic Church through his unique style and surprising actions.

IVEREIGH: He's very aware that when he embraces some guy who's just, you know, physically wrecked that that guy obviously feels the embrace and the love of God, but he's also aware that there are all these television cameras. He's very aware of the power of these gestures. He knows he's teaching when he does this and he's touching people's heart.

CUOMO: Pope Francis wants a church that hearkens back to his Jesuit roots, one that cares for those most in need. In his mission statement, Pope Francis said, "I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting, and dirty because it has been out on the streets rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security."

IVEREIGH: There's a steely core there, there's a determination. There's a focus in him which really is quite astonishing. I keep saying to people, he's not a lovable teddy bear. He's a tough guy with a vision. And once he's decided what God's will is, bam, he's like a bulldozer and nothing will stop him.

CUOMO: When we come back, controversy, division. IVEREIGH: I think there's a lot of resistance.

CUOMO: And the Pope's surprising tone on sexuality.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He has opened up a civil war within the church.



IVEREIGH: Wherever the Pope goes, he is a rock star. He attracts people to him in a really quite remarkable way.

CUOMO: They are attracted to a rock star who doesn't act like a rock star, who often sounds less like a pope and more like a parish priest.

JORGE BERGOGLIO: (Speaking in Foreign Language).

CUOMO: Popular with the people and empowered to reform the Vatican, including its finances and removing some of the old guard.

PIQUE: A pope that is doing the big cleanup. We know that we had a lot of scandals and a lot of very obscure maneuvering in the church, and he is cleaning up.

CUOMO: Cleaning up and speaking out, rebranding the church. But is the pope changing the rules? Not really. But he is changing what to focus on and how. Addressing homosexuality.

JORGE BERGOGLIO: (Speaking in Foreign Language).

If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?

CUOMO: Family planning.

JORGE BERGOGLIO: (Speaking in Foreign Language).

Some people believe that, excuse my wording, that in order to be a good Catholics we have to be like rabbits. No. Responsible parenthood.

CUOMO: Even expressing compassion for women who have had abortions. "I have decided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, to concede to all priests for the Jubilee Year the discretion to absolve of the sin of abortion.

[22:55:10] Those who have procured it and who, with contrite heart, seek forgiveness for it." Who knows what's next.

CUOMO: Do you think that your friend Bergoglio would have liked to have had a family, if he could have?

SKORKA: Of course, of course, of course. It's not an easy life his life. He devoted all his life for a cause, for the church.

CUOMO: Does he think it has to be that way, or that's just the way it is?

SKORKA: In our book, we analyzed the theme of celibacy. And he said this is not an unchangeable dogma, could be that in the future celibacy we will change.

CUOMO: You heard right. Celibacy could change. And if it's no longer required of priests, it will be the biggest change in centuries. This all sounds great to some but not others.

IVEREIGH: And so, in the Vatican, there is a lot of grumbling about this Pope so I think there's a lot of resistance. A lot of people dislike his style of governance because it brings uncertainty. It's unpredictable.

CUOMO: It's not just uncertainty that rattles some Catholics, it's also the fear that the church could lose its meaning.

DOUTHAT: When the church is seen as essentially throwing up its hands and surrendering to modernity on some front. What happens is first there is a tremendous burst of excitement.

CUOMO: Ross Douthat is a conservative Catholic and an Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times.

DOUTHAT: But once that burst of excitement passes, the church has basically removed one reason why people actually believe in it and go to church.

CUOMO: Orthodoxy as meaning that the rules are absolute and without them Catholics lose identity, purpose. Douthat believes the Pope could have a very successful pontificate and sees many positive signs, but...

DOUTHAT: At the same time he has opened up a civil war within the church that had, you know, gone underground a bit unto the last two popes. And civil wars within Christianity are actually a big deal in historical terms.

CUOMO: What's the civil war?

DOUTHAT: The civil war is between people who think that ultimately the church is just going to have to evolve with the sexual revolution and people who think that the church has a message around issues of sexuality that goes all the way back to the New Testament and can't be changed without changing Christianity itself.

CUOMO: A battle that is playing out in the crucible of American Catholicism, just as the leader of that church comes to visit.

Is he excited to go to America?

SKORKA: Yes. He feels this as a great challenge. This is the impression that I have.

CUOMO: Challenge why?

SKORKA: He will have the opportunity to give to this leading country and all the inhabitants a special message.

CUOMO: But when he becomes the first pope to address Congress, it's almost certain not everyone will like his message especially some politically conservative Catholics.

DOUTHAT: They think that he is, you know, talking too much about climate change, that he is too critical of capitalism, that he is too harsh about a system that has, after all, lifted lots of people out of poverty and so on.

JORGE BERGOGLIO: (Speaking in Foreign Language).

A poor person who dies of cold and hunger in not news, but if the major world stock market fails two or three points, it is the biggest scandal in the world.

CUOMO: A church that hid from controversy is now led by a Pope who courts it.

IVEREIGH: Pope Francis isn't changing church teaching. He's expressing it in ways that are fresh and vigorous, surprising, using colloquial language and emphasizing things which perhaps hadn't been heard before.

CUOMO: Change in the form of a man, a man of principle and purpose, shaped by where he is from, focused on where he is going and trying to convince a church and a world to accept his prayers.