tv Pope Francis in America Al Jazeera September 23, 2015 9:00am-10:01am EDT
priests and bishops should have the smell of the sheep on him. >> there he is among his flock. we see a lot of young people in that crowd. when we talk about the catholic church and oh, it does look like he is going to get into the fiat. >> the small little fiat car. >> a lot man made about the tiny italian car that the pope has decided to travel in. >> absolutely. this is an even more fancy car that he drives in the vatican. there are times he had like a ford focus and avoided the special papal license plate. >> is that part of his jesuit upbringing. >> it's in part. like every other priest in the religious order, he took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. this is something about how he thinks about the papacy. he doesn't think of it as being a monarch.
he sees his job as a ministry of service there, touching a young person on the head. >> what does that mean? is there a special be symbolism for that or is it just effect another? >> it's a form of blessing. he was probably using his thumb to make a small cross on the person's forehead. that's an indelible moment that stays with a person for years. >> there he is, getting into the front seat of that fiat. this will be part of -- we shouldn't over emphasize, this is going to be an extremely secure motorcade. >> it only takes him five minutes to get to the white house. >> they have cleared the streets around washington, and mike viqueira, our senior washington correspondent is waiting on the other end. mike, i can tell you we are seeing live pictures, the hope has just gotten into his fiat and he will on his way to you at the south lawn shortly. what are we to expect when he gets there?
>> he will drive up in that fiat, which were also enamored of to the diplomatic entransjust over my left shoulder here. the president and mrs. obama will appear on the truman dalcon knee. there will be are you under the influence and flourishes. the trumpets will be played by military personnel. both president obama and pope francis will speak here. they've assembled 15,000 individuals. i have to tell you, i won't say it again, you couldn't ask for a more beautiful fall day in washington, 70 degrees and the sun beaming down. there will be ceremony, we'll see the march of the fife and drum core and the picture passing the rose garden into the oval office, a photo op. we don't expect a lot of substance and certainly in the days leading up to this, the white house has emphasized the fact that this isn't going to be a political discussion.
political issues aren't going to be on the table, although inherently, the issues that the pope is talking about and the very issues that the white house itself says that pope francis and president obama have as a matter of public policy on a personal level, their priorities, they mesh. many of inherently political, including climate change and immigration. on the other side of the spectrum, the president's affordable care act, of course, obamacare, his signature achievement, the on going controversy among conservatives and catholics about contraceptive coverage. a lot of that is on the table, but we don't expect any of that to be emphasized in the meeting and essential what's going to be revealed publicly from their encounter here at the white house, a lot of that is going to play out however over the next several days as the pope goes from here to st. matthews cathedral just a few blocks north of the white house. he'll be speaking to u.s. bishops here.
many people are going to be listening very closely to what they have to say to the bishops. obviously controversy there, too, as patrick has outlined. the mass before an estimated 25,000 there in northeast washington. he'll be speaking in spanish, canonizing junipo serra, the controversial spanish monk. this is a disaffected church here in the united states. catholics are walking away from the church. their very lowest in generations of total americans, 21% or 22% now identify as catholic. this is an individual who in pope francis, who is breaking from the dogmatic strick emphasis on the social strictures of the church and emphasizing the compassionate
nature of the church, something that the pope has insisted as recently as yesterday, speaking to reporters on his way to havana of church doctrine. he is emphasizing a different part than we've heard over the past 10 years or so with predecessors. >> this pope has had resonance in this country and beyond. let's go to some of the gathered masses waiting to catch any possible glimpse of the pope. we know that the motorcade is on its way to the white house. what are people around you saying, what his the atmosphere like? >> well, as mike just said, it's a picture-perfect day here in washington, d.c., under blue skies, bright sunshine and there's a cool breeze here, so really perfect conditions for a parade. people are really excited here. the crowds continue to swell. they opened the entrances to the parade route about 4:00 a.m. this morning and there's been a
steady stream of people coming through here and trying to line constitution at we're at 17t 17th where the pope will make a corner. this is a great location to catch a glimpses of the pope. people are excited. we've spoken to people from argentina. people in the crowds have seen other popes, as well, pope benedict and pope john paul. younger folks, some are having the first opportunity to see the pope. they say messages he has talked about have resonated, particularly with some of the young people. in the last week or so, we've been talking to conservative catholics about views that the pope has made public in the last few months, that encyclical released in june rewarding climate change and strong stance that catholics have an obligation to really take care of this planet. it's a tough issue for some conservative catholics now having to reconcile their political views with religious
beliefs. others are saying this is something we've seen in genesis, not new, for the first time, we're hearing a pope use scientific evidence to talk about man made climate change. there are those political issues, but really here on the ground, what we're seeing is all of these people coming together to catch a glimpse of the spiritual leader, who as we heard so many times before is seen as the peep's pope. >> you just reminded me, you just reminded me that it was just last week pope francis said hey look, the bible is not against revolution and the big bang theory, some ways getting back total base of his region as well as science. if you're just joining us, you're watching a live picture of the white house and the elaborate welcoming ceremony that is there to greet pope francis, making his first trip to the united states, who will be arriving, his motorcade in just the next few moments. you are looking at the south portico door of the white house where president obama and first lady michelle obama will be
exiting, as well as the rest of the welcoming committee for pope francis. that is what we are waiting for now. let's bring in patrick horn beck. you talk about the popularity of pope francis, a pom says that 63% of american catholics approve of francis. beyond that, 41% of ordinary americans, who don't necessarily identify as clicks. have we seen that before? >> absolutely, stephanie, people all across the religious spectrum find something new and appealing in this pope. the numbers among catholics, i think may be a little low. previous polls were 70, possibly the high 70's. what may be happening is that people grasp a little bit more of the pope's full message, the full agenda. they're finding that he doesn't fit neatly into any of our american political categories. this is not a pope of the democratic party anymore than the republican party. because of that during his visit
to the u.s., he's going to challenge everybody to think a little bit more about what his message is and how that relates to the important things now in american public life. >> people keep saying it's a pastoral visit and not political. >> pope francis believes that the message he teaches of god's love, mercy and justice requires human societies and human beings to take action that is may be different than what they would do otherwise. because of that, there are implications, which are fundamentally political. the pope isn't here to support a political party or a particular bill that's going through congress. he's here to talk about general themes, like justice or caring for the environment. then, i think he would tell you it's up to us as people here in the u.s. to figure out what that means for our own politics. >> let's talk about president obama and pope francis. they have met before. they met last year in the
vatican. there seemed to be genuine affect between these men, not to mention their stories have similarities. pope francis is the first jesuit, the first latin american pontiff, president obama the first african-american president. are those narratives interwoven, give them a connection? >> these are both groundbreaking men. i would add they've both worked among the poorest of the poor. we've heard about president obama working in chicago as a communities organizer. when jorge mario bergoglio was in buenos aires, he would go into the columns and say mass for people there. both have demonstrated this commitment to work on those marginalized by society. that's one reason they've turned out to be good friends to each other. >> when you look at the pomp and grand i don't say city of this welcoming ceremony for the pope and now the solemnity of the moment as things get quiet there at this live shot we're seeing
of the white house. what does that say to you about how this nation views the pope and the respect for him, the reference? >> americans have respect, i think for most of the popes, certainly benedict xvi received such a visit when he came to the united states. pope francis has talked about what he calls the joy of the gospel, the title of his first major public writing. i think he wants people to be happy. i think he wants people to find joy in life, whether poor, rich, one of the things that he talks about that was part of his jesuit training is what he calls indifference. what he means by that is not not caring, but not being wrapped up in the pomp and grandeur. >> patrick, we do have breaking news on an unrelated matter just into al jazeera from egypt. egypt has pardoned dozens of prisoners, including al jazeera journalist baher mohammed and mohamed fahmy. that is according to egypt's
presidential spokesman, quoted in the official news site. dozens of other act visits have been released as a pardon marking the holiday. none of the seven al jazeera journalists sentenced in absentia have been pardoned. greste has been reds. they were given sentences ranging from three years to 10 years. the al jazeera network continues to demand all charges and sentences against its journalists of dropped. i wanted to fit in that breaking news. we will have more on developments on that story out of egypt as we get them. pardon me. >> wonderful news. >> it is good news for those journalists that have been in jail in egypt. let's get back to our top story here. we are looking at a view of the white house and the south portico door where the president will exit to meet the pope. i think we're less than a minute
away from the motorcade arriving. you can see a huge crowd gathered on the south lawn. what can you tell me about the welcoming committee and who will be greeting them? >> absolutely. we just saw vice president biden walking out. the vice president, of course, the highest ranking catholic in the united states at this moment, although of course, the speaker of the house is also catholic. nancy pelosi. >> isn't it like 30% of congress? >> it may be that high. six of the nine supreme court justice are catholic, which is a remarkable majority, unprecedented in america history. many of those people may be here. certainly the president's cabinet walked out a few moments ago. >> there's been some controversy about some invited. it is a huge crowd, but among them are leaders in the gay rights movement, among them are transgender leaders. there are nuns who deified the church's teachings when it comes to the order nation of priests. what statement does the
president of this country make by inviting those people? >> i think it's a medal be of american democracy and catholicism. just as there's no one single american perspective, there's no one single catholic perspective. throughout this visit, i think we'll hear the whole broad range of opinions being expressed within the j catholic church, in favor of women priests, against, changes to marriage and contraception, for and against those things. this pope has encouraged that sort of internal dialogue and disagreement, which is a huge change from his predecessors. >> far from calling the vatican a democracy, but is it less a monarchy? >> i think so. part of jesuit training is listening to those who are down below them, who report to him. jesuits have practiced this for centuries. it's new in the papal office. the pope as i mentioned is a monarch. he runs the vatican city state.
he may be the last absolutely man arc left in europe. when you think about pope francis, king, man arc, none of those titles come to mind. this is a humble man, authentic man. i think he's a little uncomfortable by some of the trappings of the office, but he has that sense of being here on a mission. he comes bringing a mention which is religious, a message that has political and social implications here in the u.s. i think we'll be knocked off our feet by the breadth of the concern he brings had him. >> i want to go back to our correspondent mike viqueira, who is near this shot we are seeing live on the south lawn. can you tell us more about these 15,000 some odd people that are there on the lawn to witness the pope's first words to the u.s.? >> it's certainly an eclectic crowd looking around. we talk about the security and
number of people here to hear the pope speak. the gates of the white house were opening at 5:00 for the public to stream in. it was ticketed only public, those with some connection to the white house are afforded tickets, those with some connection to the church and of course we've already spoken about the somewhat controversy choices that the white house has made, some controversial in conservative circles. you can see clear down to the white house fence here. 15,000 individuals straining to get a glimpse of the pope. some of the v.i.p.s, i know you referenced vice president biden, congressional leadership, secretary of state john kerry very close to the action, as it were. a lot of anticipation here, and i think you've spoken to the common touch of pope francis,
certainly a pope for the times, really, in two respects, emphasizing the gap and wealth between rich and poor, something that's become a major issue here in the united states as reflected on the remarkable surge among some politicians who weren't expected to caught to the top of the polls. bernie sanders is wandering around the crowd here. also an appeal to many disaffected collision, former catholics we've talked about, the church losing membership as are conventional denominations around the country. one interesting aspect is one bright spot in the church for its membership where it's growing is among hispanics. this is obviously a pope from the latin world, native language spanish. he will be speaking in spanish with two exceptions here at the white house and before congress. at the big mass he is going to perform at the shrine of the
immaculate conception basilica, speaking in spanish and canonizing a spanish monk from the 18th century, it is not lost on anyone here that a lot of this. >> i was and dovetails with what the pope that said about migrants and refugees but specifically about the immigration issue here in the united states, obviously a force for immigration reform. these are inherently political messages in the context of the environment that he enters right now. i'm going to turn around just so we can look at what's happening. i'm hearing camera clicks, just in case we do see the president and first lady appear. i've got a birth's eye view. >> you'll give me a heads-up, mike with that let's check in among the people and this pope has been called a pope of the people. he's been called a pope of the poor. what are people around you saying? are most of them members of the
catholic church or do you also see outsiders that have come in out of curiosity or out of particular interest or reference for this pope? >> yeah, i mean, you know, as i mentioned earlier, this crowd is continuing to swell. the gates opened at about 4:00 a.m. this morning. we've got a little bit less than an hour before they close then, so people have a little bit more time to get in here. we've seen people coming from far and wide, some people coming local, some coming from all over the word to get a chance to come out here and see this pope in washington, d.c. we've seep signs about some of the political issues. >> let me stop you there, because -- >> discuss on his trip here. >> let me stop you there, because we are seeing the colors raised and that generally means that the president is about to exit and that the pope has arrived. let us just take this in for a moment. the colors raised, the green color guards are flanking that
balcony there on the south side of the white house, and you see the red carpet that's been rolled out. the president and the first lady will be walking out shortly to greet the pontiff, he will exit his fiat and they will escort him to the stage. let's just listen in here. ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states and mrs. michelle obama. ♪
>> ok, so there you see the president and first lady standing at thently of the red carpet there. those are the marine color guards. that of the marine band playing. shortly, we should see the pope arrive at that other red carpet that you saw there opposing the president and the first lady. this is sort of a wider image of what we're looking at, that main stage there. we're just moments from now we will expect to hear pope francis first comments in english to the american people since he arrived less than 24 hours ago. let's bring in mike viqueira and
get his vantage point. mike. >> all right, i see the pope's vehicle coming up the driveway. in 10 seconds, he'll be pug in front of the crowd cheering, doing everything you might expect, holding up their cameras, trying to get a photo. it is a fiat with flags on the hood, which is something you don't often see, sort of a juxtaposition there, says everything you need to know about the low key and unpretentious pope, now pulling up, greeting the president and first lady.
>> who is the cardinal flanking the pope? >> he is the pope's english translator. one of the things pope francis likes to do is to speak off the cuffness native language, spanish. he repeats it in english with exactly the same gestures and intonation. it's much more personal than a standard translator would be. >> he's 78 years old, he has one lung. he has a long trip that is just beginning, it began in cuba. this is the beginning of a six day trip to the united states and it kicks off on the south lawn of the white house. mike viqueira, how is your view, what are you seeing? >> i am seeing what you're seeing, bathed in sunlight, the two principles here, the president and pope in shadow. let's pause for a moment here.
again, patrick, south lawn welcoming ceremony, quite unusual to have for anyone that's usually reserved for word leaders, it's for special occasions, just goes to show how much this pope means to this president, i think. >> absolutely, they are in many ways akin to each other. you talked about how they are both firsts of their kind, francis being the first pope from latin america and president obama being the first african-american president. >> let's listen to what he has to say.
has made. holy father, on behalf of michelle and myself, welcome to the white house. [ applause ] >> i should explain that our back yard is not typically this crowded, but the sizes and the spirit of today's gathering is just a small reflection of the deep devotion of some 70 million american catholics. [ cheers and applause ] >> it reflects as well the way that your message of love and hope has inspired so many people across our nation and around the world. so on behalf of the american people, it is my great honor and
privilege to welcome you to the united states of america. [ applause ] >> today we mark many firsts. your holiness, you've been celebrated as the first pope from the americas. [ applause ] >> this is your first visit to the united states. [ applause ] >> and you are also the first pontiff to share an encyclical through a twitter account. holy father, your visit not only allows us in some small way to reciprocate the extraordinary hospitality that you extended to me at the vatican last year, it also reveals how much all
americans from every background and every faith value the role that the catholic church plays in strengthening america. [ applause ] >> for my time, working in impoverished neighborhoods with the catholic church in chicago to my travels at president, i have seen firsthand how every single day, catholic communities, priests, nuns, laity are feeding the hungry, healing the sick, sheltering the homeless, educating our children and fortifying the faith that sustains so many. what is true in america is true around the world from the busy streets of buenos aires to the
remote villages in kenya, catholic organizations serve the poor, minister to prisoners, build schools, build homes, operate off fannages and hospitals. just as the church has stood with those struggling to break the chains of poverty, the church so often has given voice and hope to those seeking to break the chains of violence and oppression. i believe the excitement around your visit, holy father, must be attributed not only to your role at pope, but you're unique qualities as a person. [ applause ]
>> your simply city, the generosity of your words and generosity of your spirit, we see a living example of the jesus' teachings, a leader whose moral authority comes not just through words, but also through. you call on all of us, catholic, and non-click alike to put the least of these at the center of our concerns. you remind us that in the eyes of god, our measure as individuals and our measure as a society is not determined by wealth or power or station or celebrity, but by how well we
hue to scriptures who refer to the marginalized. to stand up for justice and against inequality and to ensure that every human being is able to live in dignity, because we are all made in the image of god. [ applause ] >> you remind us that the lord's most powerful message is mercy. that means welcoming the stranger women pathoand a truly open heart. from the ref ve who flees war-torn lands to the immigrant, who leaves home in search of a better life. [ applause ] it means showing cam passion and lineup for the
marginalized and the outcasts, to those who of suffered and those who cause suffering and seek redemption. you remind us of the costs of war, particularly on the powerless and defenseless and urge us toward the imperative of peace. holy father, we are grateful for your invaluable support of our new beginning with the cuban people, which holds out the promise. [ applause ] >> which holds out the promise of better relations between our countries, greater cooperation across our hemisphere and better life for the cuban people. we thank you for your passionate voice against the deadly conflicts that ravage the lives of so many men, women and
children and your call for nations to resist the sirens of war and resolve disputes through diplomacy. you remind us that people are only truly free when they can practice their faith freely. [ applause ] >> here in the united states, we cherish religious liberty. it was the basis for so much of what have brought us together. here in the united states, we cherish our religious liberty, but around the world at this very moment, children of god, including christians are targeted and even killed because of their faith. believers are prevented from gathering at their place of worship.
the fateful are imprisoned and churches are destroyed. we stand with you in defense of the religious freedom and interfaith dialogue, knowing that people everywhere must be able to live out their faith free from fear and free from intimidation. [ applause ] >> and holy father, you remind us that we have a sacred obligation to protect our planet, god's magnificent gift to us. [ applause ] >> we support your call to all world leaders to support the communities most vulnerable to changing climates and to come together to preserve our precious world for future generations. [ applause ]
>> your holiness, in your words and deeds, you set a profound moral example and in these gentle but firm reminders of our obligations to god and to one another, you are shaking us out of our complacency. all of us may at times experience discomfort, contemplate the distance between how we lead our daily lives and what we know to be true, what we know to be right. i believe such discomfort is a blessing for it points to something better. i shake our conscience from slumber. you call on us to rejoice in good news and give us confidence that we can come together in humility and service and pursue a word that is more loving, more just, and more free. here at home and around the
world, may our generation heed your call to never remain on the sidelines of this march of living hope. to that great distant hope, holy father, we thank you and welcome you with joy and gratitude to the united states of america. [ applause ] >> president obama concluding his remarks and the pontiff enough at the podium. the world waiting to baited breath to see what he'll say, his first words to the united states on u.s. soil. let's listen.
>> good morning. mr. president, i am deeply grateful for your welcome in the name of all americans. as the son of an immigrant family, i'm happy to be a guest in this country, which was largely build by such families. [ applause ] >> i look forward to these days of encounter and dialogue in which i hope to listen to and share many of the hopes and dreams of the american people.
during my visit, i will have the honor of addressing congress, where i hope as a brother of this country to offer words of encouragement to those called a guide the nation's political future through its founding principles. i will also travel to florenceia for the word meeting of families to celebrate the institution of marriage and family at this critical moment in the history of our
civilization. [ applause ] >> mr. president, together with the fellow citizens, american catholics are committed to building a society which is truly tolerant but inclusive to safeguard in the rights of individuals and communities and to rejecting every form of injustice and discrimination. [ applause ] >> with countless other people are good will, they are likewise concerned that efforts to build a just and vastly older society respect their deepest concerns and the right to religious
liberty. it is one of america's most precious possessions. as my brothers, the united states bishops have reminded us all are called to be vigilant precisely as good citizens to preserve and defend the freedom from everything that would threaten or compromise it. [ applause ] >> mr. president, i find it encouraging that you are proposing an initiative for
reducing air pollution. [ applause ] >> accepting the urgency, it seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem we can no longer be left to a future generation. [ applause ] >> when it comes to our common home, we are living at a critical moment of history. we still have time to make the change needed to bring about a sustainable and integral development, for we know that
things can change. [ applause ] >> such change demands all our part a serious and responsibility commission not only the kind of of the word we maybe leaving to our children, but also to the millions of people living under our system, which has overlooked them. our common home has been part of this which cries out to heaven and which today powerfully describes our homes, our cities,
our societies. to use a telling phrase of the reverend martin luther king, we can say that we have defaulted on our promissory note and now is the time to honor it. [ applause ] >> we know by faith that the creator does not abandon us. he never foresakes his loving plan or having created us. humanity has the ability to altogether in building our
common home, as christians, we wish to commit ourselves to the conscious responsible care of our common home. mr. president, the efforts which were recently made to mend broken relations and to open new doors to cooperation within our human family we present positive steps along the path of reconciliation, justice and freedom. i would like all men and women of good will in this great nation to support the efforts of
international community to protect the vulnerable now at war, and to stimulate integral an inclusive models of development. [ applause ] >> so our brothers and sisters everywhere anyway know the blessings of peace and prosperity which god wishes for all his children. mr. president, once again, i thank you for your welcome and i look forward to these days in your country.
god bless america. [ cheers and applause ] >> pope francis concluding about 10 minutes of comments in which he waded right into the intersection of faith and politics on issues of immigration, on issues of injustice, and racial discrimination. >> of liberty and the bulk of the speech devoted to claims change. there had been speculation about whether this was going to be a political visit or spiritual one. what did you think? >> absolutely, the focus on claims change is striking. this is a pope who three, four months ago issued a document accepting climate change as a scientific fact, calling on people to safeguard god says creation, saying it's no longer 10able for human beings to say that we are in charge, that we have dominion over everything and can do with it as we will.
as i heard this speech, this is a pope so legal aligned in many ways with this president, he down played their areas where they don't entirely match up, both the pope and the president here align themselves with each other. what's going to be really interesting in a couple of hours is the pope will go to address the u.s. bishops, who have been some of the fierce evident critics of president obama and that will be very interesting to see. >> what we are looking at right now is on the south lawn, the st. augustin choir, the mothers of african-american catholics, you can see the two leaders enjoying this singing. ♪
>> mike, the pope and the president have now reentered the white house and i will just note here that patrick and i who have been watching this pope for a couple of days did notice that he is limping. he is 78 years old, he is in good health, but this has been a packed trip and he started in cuba. mike, kell us where things go from here. >> well, the pope will go back inside the white house. there are more ceremonial aspect to say this. he'll be signing a guest book there just inside the doors that's known as the diplomatic entrance inside is the diplomatic reception room. very shortly in a few moments here, in a few moments, perhaps, we are going to see the pope and president walking along the columnade along to the west wing. it is lining the rose garden, the west wing of course the home
of the oval office, the cabinet room and other famed areas, iconic areas, we should say of the white house grounds, where the two will sit down. there will be the standard photo op, the press will be led in to see what if any kind of questions the two men are thrown by the press. the white house very interested in providing access to have these two leaders seen together, that live shot of them walking along the columnade is something unusual that you don't often see here at the white house. >> i want to bring in patrick hornbeck to continue the conversation about these two speeches you almost wonder if they coordinated. president obama touched on religious freedom, immigration and climate change, and that reflected what pope francis talked about. >> absolutely. pope francis picked up on many of the same things as the president. i'm sure they didn't actually
coordinate they're speeches. >> in reality, you have to wonder what that means, just talking about the question of religious freedom. we've been talking a lot about this clerk in a county in kentucky -- let me pause so we can see this wave, this moment. this moment. [applause] just another remarkable photo op we are seeing, pope francis wave from the south balcony with the first lady and president obama.