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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  September 24, 2015 10:00pm-10:31pm EDT

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israel. that's it for this edition of al jazeera, i'm antonio mora, thank you for watching. "america tonight" is next. i'll see you again in an hour. on "america tonight". . >> this is the first catholic cathedral in the united states. every catholic church throughout the united states are all daughters of this church. >> "america tonight"s adam may on the baltimore beauty hidden by history but ressor ected for the faithful. down to earth. is this what the pope is talking about. >> he has no choice but to speak out on that. >> in the heart of coal country,
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what does it mean when the pope thinks of heaven and earth? >> thank you for joining us, i'm joie chen. before he stepped out for an historic first, a pope before a joint session of congress, the leader of the 1.2 billion catholics made clear his views on threats to the environment. in the capital hill address, pope francis pushed lawmakers harder to face up to the reality of global warming. it was not an easy conversation. for catholics convicted to activism, the pope marked a turn point for the faith. >> in the beginning god created the heaven and the earth and it was without form or void. >> to here john tell it the idea of protecting the earth began with the one who was there in the beginning. >> when you think about the
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first chapter, first couple of chapters, you have a plan of god. god was the god of life. >> out here, in the heart of apple acha under the blue eastern kentucky sky. it is hard to separate god from the glory of nature. >> as we walk through here, there's such biodiversity. an interdependence on the life structures. whether it's a little and or spider. a tree or shrub. aum these things are integrated together. >> does this have to do with faith. >> it sure does, we are part of nature. >> he learnt to appreciate that when he arrived 45 years ago, to work with the region's poor. after a while they started looking over the shoulder and would see the mountains in the
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background. slowly it made a change in me. i could see the person, i could now she the person in the context. the context. the context of the beauty. of creation. sorry. i'm really passionate about this. >> it was their human suffering that redefined his life's work. >> i'm not an environmentalist. i'm a person who is a three ol onlian who believes out out. >> you're a priest. >> i'm a priest. i believe in care of creation. i integrate my faith with how i try to live. >> and the pope. >> the pope is the same, he's a priest. and a priest basically - he's supposed to be one that kind of like is bringing heaven and earth together in harmony.
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here in the heart of u.s.a. father john learnt that that is not always an easy case to make. >> you formed us in your own image and sent us over the whole world. >> the faithful lived dependent on an industry seen at ads with the environment. discover god in all things. there's a mystical meaning to be found in a leaf, in a mountain trial. in a due drop, a poor person's faith in a church sitting across from a coal plant, a sermon about climate change is often not welcome. >> when you deliver a whom
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ollie, do you know there's people with that don't like talking about the issues. >> sometimes they get up and walk out. why do they walk out? believe because they don't they feel that i have come to - become too party second. here in the other america, where jobs dropped to half and catholics make up 3% of the population. >> father john maintained a personal ministry, urging the flock. we listened in. as farmeron drove out with the
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parishioner rigg whitely. >> i know it will not suit everyone. as they studied the mountain, whitely reminds his pastor of the priorities in this community. >> i don't really push coal. but the people around this earlier, in the job, in the economy booms. >> cole is still essential to the industrialization of america. right now it strikes me that we are into another era always, and we are into the era of looking after the environment because unless we do that, we are going to be sick. we are going to be strapped for resources that we need. >> after four decades of
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approaching the message about the wilderness. >> god created man in his image. father john found it echoed in the teaching document. the encyclical release in summer. if i may, i'll quote. we have a god of life. all the verses that point to let us be stewards and cult bait. it was an unexpect hot of support. you have been campaigning for the environment for decades. what did us think. >> did you feel vindicated. >> absolutely correct. also i have more information and moral situation, just to apply to congregations, to say that
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this is part of catholic social teaching, that we look after the environment a chemist by training, the pope signalled his determination to address environmental issues, taking the name francis, the patron saint of nature. he mentioned climate change and ties global warming to human activity, generating controversy before the release. prominent american catholics urged him to steer clear of political subjects. >> father john as ahead of that line. >> if you sit around saying love, love, love, and don't make it concrete. everyone says it's a lovely sermon. is this what the pope is talking about. >> he has no choice but to speak out on that. the same way in one country goes
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to the war of another country, we think we better speak against violence of people. if we destroy the earth, you do violence against people, you do violence against god's garden and gift. our society is bombarding us with noise. >> now 70, father john is renewed by daily contemplation. and by his connection with nature. >> you can place this. >> i'll try it, here we go. into that was awesomism it's about four it's places like these that spiritual leaders must expect as true evidence of the bathe. is this what the pope meant? >> i would think pope francis would be alongside us, and skipping rocks the same as us. and maybe we'd have a prayer together. and it would be a prayer of
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thankfulness, and nice going god. next, act of faith. corey washington's workers, and a prayer for higher pay. >> later, looking up - long hidden from view, the rebirth of america's mother church.
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the pope of the poor. from the start of his papacy francis professed highs loyalty to the impoverished.
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he ind scored his concern -- underscored his concern. he hopes for the pope's prayer and intervention. protesters fighting for a living wage forrons serving powerful politicians petitioned for the pope's support. among the leaders, a man that lives a life in sharp contrast with those he serves. "america tonight"s lisa fletcher has his story. >> reporter: around the corner from the most famous resident charles wakes up before sunrise. to the sounds of the morning commute. >> the people on their way to work, when they come into the subway, they don't want to look in my direction. they drop their head, turn their head. you know, like passing or hurry down the stairs if i'm on the escalator.
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>> he is one of nearly 8,000 homeless people living in the nation's capital. he spends most nights outside this downtown metro station. >> i sleep two blocks from the white house. and the president doesn't have a clue. >> but unlike many in his situation, he has a job. at one of the last places you might expect. >> i work in an office building in the u.s. city. the nation's lawmakers. and i'm out there in the street, panhandling, asking for nickels and dimes. >> the day starts before down. >> when a metro worker tells gladden and his neighbours to move out for the day. >> i'll wake up and take in my little area, trying to keep it clean so the guy will not stop us from cleaning there. >> i eat a sandwich and a cup of
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coffee, and i go to work, and i start my day over by bathing. you know, freshen myself up. i wash my face first thing in the morning. >> i go down. there was poor circulation getting into my toes. they amputated three of my toes. >> the lint in my shoes coming off because of the amputation. >> i guess i'll be drunk walking down the street. i stumble a lot. i'm putting weight in areas where there's no support. >> reporter: behind the cleaning walls are dozens of other senate contract workers who don't make a living wage. and lawmakers who don't seem to care. >> these are the people that make laws. and there's a lot of people you may as well say in the world.
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their influence goes a long way. at the same time they don't acknowledge the people that service them. i clean the bathrooms, sweep the flaws and the cafeteria area. >> during the good week, they take home 350, barely enough to pay for food, clothes and medication needed for diabetes. it's the greatest nation on earth. every country in the world, citizens want to make it to america, because they look at the american dream. the apple pie, and streets paved with gold. and will you get here, and it's working for those that sets the law, and i'm sleeping in a subway station. >> during the eight years that gladden worked in the capital
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things have changed. dramatically, he says, when the federal government privatized senate food services jobs. before a senate employees brought home 30,000 a year. now contract workers are lucky to make half that. >> last year, president obama issued an executive order establishing a minimum wage of $10.10 for federal contract workers. >> 10.10 is not enough. it's a good president. i voted for them. but he has not done enough. he cannot stop there. he must follow up. there has to be a better way. that's why he was asking for union and $15 minimum wage. >> taking a queue from the people he served for the last eight years, gladden says it's
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time to put the democratic process to work. >> we went on strike. we walked through the capital hill. and tried to draw the attention of the media, the president, and everyone else. to get involved in what was going on. >> since the protest gladden stepped out of the shadows, hoping the voice may change his circumstance. since lisa fletcher bought us the story, he qualified for subsidised housing. for the first time in months, he's off the street living in a washington d.c. apartment. he has promised to give up the fight for a living wage in the nation's capital. next, racing faith, the basilica reborn and children raised in
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finally from us, the home of worship. in many ways the place which gave voice to the spread of catholicism in america. it's resurrected from a newly lost history, it's a worthy place of contemplation for the america's catholics. nation's first cathedral, we get a tour from adam may.
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>> reporter: the basilica of the assumption, a relatively unknown cathedral in baltimore maryland, considered by many the birth place of catholicism in america, a symbol of religious freedom. >> this is the mother church, the first catholic cathedral. every church is daughters of this church. bob knows the church better than anyone, as the cathedral's operations manager, he's the go-to guy on every knook cranny and historical note. >> a reading... >> here, catholic mass takes place every day as it does near thousands of churches and cathedrals across america. that was not always the case. >> there was a lot of distrust and dislike for catholics in the country, when the church was
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conceived of, the concept of having a catholic church was unheard of. prior to 1976 it was against the law to be catholic or anything other than the church. john carol had the vision and the money to build the cathedral. in the early 1800s, as the first catholic in the archbishop of america, one of the architects of the u.s. capital. the archbishop decided on the simplest possible neoclassical design, not a gothic cathedral like the ones in europe. so that all denominations feel welcome. part of the thought process was given the attitude about catholics, and the thought back to medieval europe, the last
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thing we wanted was a gothic cathedral sitting on top of the hill. construction began in 1806. why baltimore. why was it built here? >> a lot don't rls baltimore was a major port of debarkation for immigrants coming into the economy. that's why some of the first churches were ethnic churches, lithuanian, polish, italian. they started up based on what happened here, this was a grand experiment. the archdiocese was not just the city of baltimore. it extended as far moth as main, as far west as kentucky and as far south as what became the state of florida. >> they are big archdiocese. >> for an archbishop travelling by horse back. >> building america's first cathedral included the smallest touches. >> little things like here in the cornices there are actually
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acorns. it was a little bit of americana. >> and included the truly grand. >> how significant is the dome to why this is a beautiful building. >> it's a 2-piece dome. 400 tonne of brick. it's a dome within a dome. with an opening center. that is the centre piece. when latrobe was designing this, he envisioned a smaller dome, but was influence the by an amateur architect by the name of thomas jefferson, who said "i'm considering doing the same thing." the thought was pears the outer dome with skylights, allowing light to filter into the church so those sitting under the dome are going to see this light from above. >> a long with the nation, the cathedral evolved over the years, originally the balcony at the back was for those that could not afford to rent their own pugh, it was
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called the slave balcony. >> eastern in the church, the balcony at the rear was the slave balcony, but was not reserved for slaves. any particular time you'd see slaves, blacks, indentured servants. anyone that could not afford to sit in the church. >> what do you like best? >> for me, every peace is beautiful. i like the undercrop. >> was this originally a part of the building? >> the under-croft is down a set of stairs. underneath the main room of the church. this intricate structure in the base. supports everything above. including the double dome. the arches, and architectual device, born of necessity. >> when latrobe was designing this, he had problems with the building chairman, and as a
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result the building chairman sabotaged the work. >> this is how we get up the floor above. >> it health a chapel and serves as the final resting place. including the first one. archbishop carol. this is the foundation of the building. >> that's correct. this is the foundation, and the building stood through the weathering for community. changes in face. through the 20th century, as local churches grew popular, it lost mem bedrooms pews were empty. >> the church lost its lustre.
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>> it became the church that john ar ol didn't want. over the years, columns were renewed. pews changeded to darker cues, stained glass windows were put in, skylights were removed in 1941 because of their concern, 1941. we were in world war ii. what if a plane flew over. they sealeded it with tar and pitch. >> in the spring of 2004, the cathedral closed its doors for a 2-year, 43 million overhaul. it lost members, but not the love. >> this is my body that will be given up for you. >> the rebirth accomplished with money that donated by the citizens of baltimore. >> what had to be done, fimented. >> we had to take out all the things that weren't part of the original design. they ripped up the floor. the same with the exterior of
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the building, the renovation was not a renovation, it was the restoration. they had close to 400,000 coming through the church in a few months. >> reporter: it's a church that for nearly 200 years stood the test of time. it's history and symbolism now preserved for a new generation of worshippers. >> as you are sitting under the dome in a day like today and light is filtering down, you don't see the course, but know the direction you are coming from that's "america tonight". tell us what you think. talk to us on twitter and facebook and come back. we'll have more of "america tonight" tomorrow.
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i'm ali velshi "on target," pipeline politics, hillary clinton taking sign on keystone xl, what took her so long. plus, have mercy, what do do with philadelphia homeless, while the pope is in town. >> the political football known as the keystone xl got picked up and kicked this week by hillary clinton. the democratic presidential candidateneded months -


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