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tv   Pope Francis Man of Many Firsts  CNN  November 24, 2013 7:30pm-8:01pm PST

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>> bianca. bianca. bianca. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> his papacy is hailed by many as a fresh start for a troubled catholic church. >> there is a kind of rock star quality to this man. a sense of a new day dawning, wherever he goes. >> his demeanor, style and words have garnered attention the world over. >> translator: if a person is gay and accepts the lord and has goodwill, who am i to judge them? >> people listening and looking are seeing a different atmosphere. a different attitude here.
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>> six months into his teen you're has the 266th pontiff, has pope francis changed attitudes and galvanized hundreds of millions of catholics. >> i have no doubt he has the ability to get it done. >> but there are those who are not entirely sold on the new pope. >> there are some people who are saying i want a poem pope who acts like a pope. >> it's history in the making as we look at pope francis, a man of many firsts. >> the curtains are open. the cross barrier is coming out. and there he is. >> six months -- >> good morning from rome. the world has a new pope. >> a new pope in the form of the white smoke rising from the chimney of the sistine channel. >> exactly six months since cardinal stepped on to the balcony of st. peter's basilica
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in rome with the announcement of a new pope. >> he looked scared. he looked forbidden. my first thought was, we are going to have someone who will stand there and preside and we have to bow down in front of him. >> the department chair at keen university in new jersey. >> if you looked very closely, it is as if his eyes began to blink very rapidly behind those glasses, as if he came into the moment. this is what christians call, grace. >> translator: let us pray in silence, your prayer to me. >> then he did something very traditional. which is he said, i ask for your prayers. but then he bowed. he made a physical act of humility to the people. and in that moment, i think he bound himself to the people. i think people said, wow, we need him. he needs us. we're in this together.
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>> in addition, then, what francis did was he referred to himself not as pontiff maximus, the supreme pontiff. not as pope. but the simpler title, bishop of rome. >> john alan is cnn analyst, author of eight books on the vatican and catholic affairs. >> everything you needed to know about the kind of man and what kind of pope francis was going to be was revealed in that debut on that balcony. >> pope francis has also revealed, he is not afraid it weigh in on matters of global conflict. the pope spoke out on syria, writing a letter to russian president vladimir putin as the g-20 summit got under way in st. petersburg. the pope said to leaders present each and every one, i made a heart felt appeal for them to help find ways to overcome the conflicting positions and to lay aside the futile pursuit after
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military solution. >> he is also called for a day of prayer and fasting for peace in syria. and he is using almost every means at his disposal to back this up. one thing that is clear, on the six-month anniversary of francis's papacy, is that he wants to be a bold global leader. one of the ironies about pope francis is that when he was in argentina, most people would say he wasn't a very active political player but i think what he recognizes is, the stakes are different now. he's no longer the archbishop of a major city, he is the pope of the entire catholic church. >> that debut goes back to 1969. when he was ordained as jesuit priest in argentina where he was born. he became archbishop of bay
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necessary air res in 1998. his hallmark was service and humility. three years later in 2001, pope john paul ii appointed him a cardinal. and after more than a decade, on the march 13, 2013, he was elected to lead the world's estimated 1.2 billion catholics and installed as pope six days later. >> and this is the greatness of the man i think that he is. that he knows who he is. he knows what his responsibility is. >> cardinal theodore mccarrick is archbishop of washington, d.c. he says francis is handling his job well. >> he doesn't question because he knows he's going to carry with jesus and he knows the people out there and his job is to help them. >> becoming pope was one of the significant firsts for pope
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francis. >> the first outside europe in 1300 years and the first pope to utter the word gay. >> so we have the first jesuit pope. it seems strange a pope would be a jesuit because jesuits take a vow to do what pope tells them. >> but even more stunning to many was the name he chose. peter farone is a life-long catholic and writer for the catholic magazine "common will." >> first pope to be named after francis of assisi. so francis of assisi was a rebel and someone deeply committed to the poor and to prayer and to a kind of radical vision of living out christianity. this is the first pope it take that name, and it's not an accident. >> and it is perhaps after jesus and peter and maybe mary, the most iconic name in the catholic imagination.
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because it used to be believed that no pope could take the name francis because there was only one francis. and the fact that this pope does it told me two things about the man right away. one, this would be maverick pope, not shackled by convention. and two, this told me this would be a very franciscan pope in the literal sense of the world. meaning somebody before all else was going to embrace lady poverty, lover of st. francis. >> while service to the poor is one of the tenets of the catholic church, people come to see the often lavish image of the the papacy that the church is out of touch with ordinary followers. some church observers say pope francis's dressed down style from the beginning may be creating some unease, even among the cardinals who elected him. >> i wouldn't be surprised if some of them are wondering, what did we bargain for. did we know what we were
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getting? so if i'm living in a palatial residence and i'm amass ing wonderfully ornate vestments and then here comes pope francis and he is living in a guest house with simple clothes, i have to look how i'm putting forward my own image in my own diocese. >> we have this focus on what we call cuff link or cadillac of catholicism. and i think the era of cuff link or cadillac catholicism is gone. in fact, one of the interesting things i read was a whole series of interviews with men who were ordained priests in april, may and june right after the election of francis in march and what were they talking about? oh, how much they always admired france of assisi anyway so i think soup kitchens will be the new cadillacs. >> translator: bishops must be
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pastors, close to people. men who do not think and behave like princes. >> we do not need leaders in this church who have the mind-set of princess. i think if he knows, if he wants preach that successfully to the 5,000 bishops in the catholic church an more than 400,000 catholic priests of the world, he has got to model it himself. >> just ten days after installation of pope his humility was in full display on holy thursday before easter one of the most say credit times on the calendar. >> he went and washed, including the feet of women, including the feet of two people who were non-christians. some people argue that is incorrect and it should only be men. because they represent the 12 apostles who were all male. immediately, after he did that, there were churches and cathedrals around the country washing women's feet the same day. >> i don't think he cared whose feet he was washing.
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he washed a woman's feet. he washed a muslim's feet. and guess what? the church is still standing. >> also natural for him is getting close to his flock. in his first international trip to brazil, he captivated the people. and also sent shock waves around the world. ready to run your lines? okay, who helps you focus on your recovery? yo, yo, yo. aflac. wow. [ under his breath ] that was horrible. pays you cash when you're sick or hurt? [ japanese accent ] aflac. love it. [ under his breath ] hate it. helps you focus on getting back to normal? [ as a southern belle ] aflac. [ as a cowboy ] aflac. [ sassily ] aflac. uh huh. [ under his breath ] i am so fired. you're on in 5, duck. [ male announcer ] when you're sick or hurt, aflac pays you cash. find out more at
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the catholic church has been plagued by scandal. most recently the sexual abuse of children coverup, money-laundering allegations, vatican bank, so called vati leaks, including release of embarrassing papal documents by a vatican butler. six months into his papacy, observers say pope francis is changing the narrative. >> it was church in crisis. catholic watergate. now within 24 hours after francis's election we were talking about new day dawns for the catholic church and charismatic pope takes the world by storm. >> july, francis took his first international trip as pope to celebrate world youth day in brazil. the most populous catholic country in the world.
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the reception in rio de janeiro was overwhelming and raised security concerns. many were calling the 1981 assassination attempt of john paul ii and one woman attacking benedict 16th twice in 2008 and 2009. >> i will tell you, after the mob scene on the first night of the brazil trip unfolded and the motor cade was hijacked, i spoke to churchman and cardinals who were holding their breath and frankly saying, on background, dear god, i hope we don't have to go back to the conclave next week because i hope this guy doesn't put himself in harm's way. >> his love of the people, hope love to reach the people and touch the people and get involved with the people is so overwhelming. it's more of a desire to reach the people and to touch them.
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>> his final mass along rio's iconic beach drew 3.5 million, according to the vatican. he challenged believers to be vocal. >> translator: don't be afraid to go and to bring christ into every area of life. to the fringes of society. even to those who seem fartherest away, most indifferent. the church needs you. your enthusiasm. your creativity. and the joy that is so characteristic of you. >> bikinis gave way for rosaries. as francis took the world's most famous stretch of sand and surf by storm. but that was the story line. and one of these iconic global figures that radiates a desire to awaken the better angels of our nature. that was the spirit of copacabana beach for that weekend in july. >> perhaps an impromptu press
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conference he gave at end of his week-long visit. on the plane back to rome, he was in high spirits taking questions for more than an hour. at one point, said this -- >> translator: if a person is gay and accepts the lord and has goodwill, who am i to judge them? >> those remarks reverberated around the world. >> i think that it was very important sign that he was truly going to be in a position of toleration and understanding and attempting to come into dialogue with people who were homosexually oriented without prejudging them. >> also stunning, his use of the word "gaye." when church officials previously had used the word homosexual. >> this is how the people on the periphery look at life and describe life. and that's where he is. he wants to talk to them in their own language. this is the pope francis. you love everybody.
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>> the pope's comments drew a mixture of praise and criticism among catholics. critics thought francis didn't go far enough. church doctrine remains the same, engaging in homosexuality is a sin and quote intrinsically disordered. pope francis's predecessors both talk tough on the gay issue. pope benedict xvi, last year. >> translator: father, mother, child, essential elements of the experience of being human are lost. >> pope benedict had a charisma, but this was the charisma of a professor you respected. whereas francis is an uncle you run up to and hug. he is what we need at this moment. someone who is gentler. someone who is more open. he is not going to change doctrine, but he will preach it differently. >> which was apparent when reporters asked him about women
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becoming priests. he sounded a jewel tone. >> translator: if reference to the organization of women, the church has spoken and said no. this door is closed. i have said it, but i repeat it. women in the church are more important than bishops and priests. >> i think that the church is going to see some big changes over time. will women be admitted to the holy orders to the priesthood? now, pope john paul ii said that we are not able to do that because it is a situation that is determined by the example of our lord in selecting 12 men to be the abossles. however, there were certainly many women in the early church who had leadership roles in prayer. >> in september the pope
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continued to make news. leading no doubt that he was radically shifting the conversation on social issues. he warned the church not to interfere spirit actually in the lives of gays and lesbians. and he said the church needed to be more about not condemning. yet, the winds of change are upon the holy sea as pope francis looks to reform the church including how it's run. >> i bet the people are shaking right now. black friday sale, the price you see is the price you pay? yep, best prices of the year. i can't see. honey. [ laughs ] brad. yeah? what are you doing? uh... hi. hi. [ male announcer ] it's the chevy black friday sale. during the chevy black friday sale, get this malibu ls for under $20,000 or this cruze ls for around $17,000.
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with an estimated 1.2 billion catholic followers, pope francis presides over the largest christian bodies in the world making him one of the most powerful men on earth. but he has his work cut out for him as he exercises that power to make fundamental reforms. perhaps most painful, cleaning up the mess from a decade's long sex abuse scandal that dates back to the '60s.
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>> things were held up in the vatican. the machinery was not functioning smoothly or efficiently to process these cases. so some of that is in fact a concrete dpampl of why it's imperative that this be looked at and addressed. >> the numbers still from 30 years ago are unfortunately sometimes still coming up horribly so. but we've moved forward. we've mord from there. and here we have a new bobby who has expressed clearly that his mind is -- he has no compromise on this. >> another priority, which francis is already tackling, is reforming the central governing body of the church viewed widely as ineffective. francis has pointed a group of eight cardinals to review it.
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>> i think they're shaking right now. sometimes it takes somebody from the outside to come in with fresh eyes who is not beholden to a certain circle to affect change. >> what could be considered the first scandal of his new administration is the allegation of corruption at the vatican bank. over the summer, italian police arrested a senior bank official for a reported money laundering scheme involving about $26 million. cardinal evoekted in 2005 con claf knows pope francis personally and informed some of his thinking as he deals with these issues. >> he wants to be a good manager of the -- of the people's money. if he sees it, the poor are giving help, it should be used to help others. and being used in that bad way,
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he's not going to stand for that. >> there will be some blowback. the honeymoon is going to be over at some point. how that will happen remains to be seen. but what's more important is what happens with all of us. it's not when you get knocked down. it's how you get up again. there are lots of people who say things i want a pope who looks more like a pope. my response to that is, what the hell does that mean? let's let him be pope how he wants to be pope, not how other people dick ate how he wants to be pope. >> the papacy is an impossible job. we want popes to be media rock stars. we want them to be fortune 500 c ceos. and any one these things is hard to do the course of a lifetime. you roll it all up together, it is a prescription for
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impossibility. >> and as pope francis seltss in his job on the heels of benefit diktd xvi resigning earlier this year, pope francis must also figure out how to spend the tide of leaders leaving the church. >> if there's anything that will bring people back, it is the understanding that the church is there not to yell at people, but there to be an instrument of god's love and forgiveness. and if there's anything that will characterize pope francis, it is that. >> as the first noneurope latin american, what does the future look like for pope francis? >> i think he has a hard job ahead of him. i'm inspired by how happy he is. i know if i are with in that job, i would be awfully worried about a number of things. but i think he is going to lead us into the future that is more simple, that is less emphasizing
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details and more emphasizing the heart of the faith. that's what i see as the future with pope francis. >> it remains to be seen. but he certainly as people who are a lot smarter than i am has said, he's changed the narrative from being do youer and glum to being exciting and full of vim and viger. he has clearly shown that you can be 76 years old with one lung and had an awful lot of energy. >> he didn't carry a definition with him in this job. he was able to set the definition for himself. and i think over the early months of his papacy, he's don a masterful job. >> and if he can turn things around and in essence rebrand the catholic church, he may become a man of many more firsts and perhaps a pope talked about
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