tv 2020 ABC September 4, 2015 10:00pm-11:01pm PDT
as night falls in rome and vatican city, tonight, one truly historic global event. the faithful gathering in america. more than 6,000 miles away. families coming together. they don't know why. only that it will be a television first. david muir, inside the vatican walls with pope francis. before the pope comes to america, america comes to the pope. hundreds gathering in three u . u.s.u.s. cities. about to learn they're getting
their moment with the pope. >> you're going to talk to pope francis tomorrow. >> are you serious? >> oh, my gosh. >> what? >> americans overcome. >> this is their moment with pope francis. >> a never before seen event. a town hall. a virtual papal audience with the people's pope. the tears from a struggling mother. >> i've made some mistakes. >> to the young people. >> it's so nice to meet you. >> their trembling voices and brave hearts. >> to a surprising request in english. to the american nun, with no idea what the pope was about to do. tonight, a once in a lifetime event. >> do you have a message for
america before your visit? >> reporting from the vatican, with the abc news exclusive, pope francis and the people. here's david muir. >> good night. from the vatican, where pope francis is preparing for his visit to the united states. an historic first for american television. pope francis is about to connect with americans across the united states. he'll take questions and hear stories of hardship and survival. this pope is already breaking the mold. >> reporter: our journey to the vatican. where millions visit every year, drawn here by their faith, and their fascination with a pope who is of the people. and who has opened doors in ways we have never seen before. face to face with his followers,
hand to hand with so many children. and we have been invited here for an historic first. walking into st. peter's square, where so many have come to hear pope francis. but we are drawn here for something else. to connect the pope to everyday americans back home who have no idea they're about to ask the pope their questions. because as they sit there i find myself standing outside this back door, inside vatican walls. where they tell me the pope will soon emerge. i would stand there and wait. we are just a few steps from the pope's modest residence. in one of the first signals that he would be different, pope francis chose to forgo the grand papal apartment, instead choosing to live with other priests in a simple building. the surprises from this pope began the moment he stepped onto that balcony -- wearing white, a simple cassock, his orthopedic shoes. that night, a limo waiting, he instead chooses the van, with the very cardinals who had just named him pope.
returning to his hotel, to pay the bill himself. now, riding in a ford focus, telling priests and nuns to drive humble cars. we saw it here in rome, the nuns waving to us. pope francis has never used a computer, owned a cell phone, but he is on twitter. tweets approved by him. 22 million followers. the first pope to take a selfie. "time"'s person of the year, "esquire," "rolling stone" -- the cover reads, "times they are a-changing." everywhere he travels, surrounded by millions. lifting children, the boy who kissed the pope's crucifix. the heart he drew from the window, not once but twice. pope francis is about to come to the u.s. we asked americans across this country if they ever met the pope, what would they ask? >> if i met pope francis, i would ask him how does he give hope to the hopeless? >> i would ask the pope how can i help those in need when i am in need?
>> i would buy him a beer and ask him, you know, what's the secret to life? >> if i met the pope i would ask how to be a more impactful youth. >> reporter: all questions if they ever met him. all drawn in by his common touch. outspoken on the poor, immigration, climate change. and famously saying if someone is gay, and searches for the lord, who am i to judge? >> he wants to be the church to be a place of comfort for people, rather than a place of judgment. >> reporter: and back inside the vatican where i've been waiting. the door suddenly opens. the door closes, and pope francis is standing right there. a simple request -- he wanted to meet me before the cameras. the pope emerges. our walk to the room in the vatican where he will now take questions from americans back home. and hundreds of them are just now seeing the pope too. cristo rey jesuit high school in chicago. the sacred heart catholic church
in mcallen, texas. and in los angeles, they see the pope too. they've just learned they're about to meet pope francis. a virtual papal audience, a conversation with him -- unprecedented. the pope entering the room. a smile from him. surprise at the scope of the crew. he shakes everyone's hand in that room and blesses them. and then, we would sit down with the pope. [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: we tell him we are honored, speaking in english and in spanish, his native language. we are curious if you have a message before your visit to the united states? >> translator: a big hello. a big hello to the catholic community of the united states and to everyone, to all citizens
of the united states, that's my message, an affectionate greeting. >> reporter: holy father, we want to take you now to chicago to the cristo rey jesuit school. [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: my colleague tom llamas is there with students. tom, this is their moment with pope francis. >> david, thank you. holy father, as you know, we are here in cristo rey high school. all the students here are so special. they live amidst gang violence. they come from low-income neighborhoods, yet somehow they not only are overcoming the odds, they are beating the odds. many of the men and women you see here will be the first in their families to attend college. but there are two young women we'd like you to meet. the first is valerie herrera. valerie, if you can come up and talk to us? >> hello, holy father. it is such a privilege to be talking to you about my story.
since i was four i started to get my vitiligo around my eye. and it was something that i didn't know what was happening, right? but when i started going to school, well, you know, i was picked on. i was bullied because of how i looked like. >> it's all right. >> music has always been something i was able to use to escape all the bullying and everything. and i joined the choir in middle school. and it was just something that was helping me to show people who i really was. and there wasn't just, "it's
just a girl that looks different from everyone else," but the girl that has many talents and that is not just someone who looks different, but -- but just a normal girl like everyone else. so my question is, what are you expecting from us, the youth? what are you expecting us to do, to be? >> reporter: the pope, after hearing valerie's story about bullying in her childhood, finding music to overcome it is about to surprise us all in english. >> valerie, i would like to hear you sing. may i ask of you to sing a song for me? >> sure. [ applause ] >> what song do i sing?
i don't know what song. >> go on. >> take a deep breath. you got this. >> my gosh. >> you got this. >> reporter: and it wasn't only the pope encouraging her. we spot valerie's mother right there in the church signaling with her hands, you can do it. >> okay. >> be courageous. >> come on, valerie. [ applause ] >> well, this song is in spanish. [ singing in spanish ] ♪
[ applause ] >> thank you very much. very kind of you. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: my first response to your question is that, what i hope for from youth is for you all not to walk alone in life. that's the first step. i hope for many other things. that you feel encouraged to walk with the love and the tenderness of others. life is very difficult. it's difficult to walk alone. you get lost. you get confused.
you can stop, because you get tired of walking in life. each young person has to seek someone to help them along the path. this might be your father, your mother, a kinsman, a friend, a grandmother or grandfather. but someone that will help you to face things in life. first, walk with company. second, i hope that young people walk with courage. it was difficult for you just now to take the first step on that path when i asked you to sing for me. you were excited. you didn't know how. but you were courageous and you took the first step and you sang very beautifully. keep singing. you sing beautifully. courage gives you joy and joy gives you hope, which is a gift
of god, obviously. you have the strength to overcome. don't be scared. don't stop. always move forward with courage and with hope. and if you ask god, god will give you that hope. that's my response, valerie. and thank you for the song. >> thank you, holy father. >> valerie, thank you so much. holy father, we want to introduce you to another young woman who is also incredibly courageous who has dealt with alexandra vasquez, if you can come up now. >> reporter: 17-year-old alexandra vasquez is next telling pope francis her story. her lifelong struggle to overcome the loss of her father who died when she was just 5. >> and sometimes it gets really hard and sometimes, like, i don't really sleep much. but i just -- i try to think about my dad and how he would want me to be a good person. so i always try to make him proud.
i hope that i can make a difference in people's lives. >> go on by the path. god bless you. >> reporter: a smile from alexandra and from valerie. i turn to pope francis, a song for the pope? that's difficult. [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: when we come back, the families in los angeles get their moment with the pope. and soon, the bravery of a single mother on display, wiping away her tears when she hears the pope's message for her.
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this sign summing it up, "population too many." which is why the pope is checking in with los angeles tonight, reaching out to places he wanted to visit, but will be unable to. >> how are you? hey, babe. >> reporter: rosemary, a 31-year-old single mother of two. >> i love you. >> reporter: who had no other choice but to move her family into a shelter. >> there's times where she didn't want to get out of bed and we had to. i had to remind her. baby, we need to do this. >> reporter: rosemary getting her first apartment for her girls. a family grateful, a prayer of thanks for their blessing. >> can we say grace? >> reporter: and we sent cecilia vega to tell them, they'll now share those blessings with the pope. >> you guys are going to talk to pope francis. >> no. are you serious?
>> yup. >> oh, my gosh. i'm going to cry. wow, that's beautiful. i don't even deserve it and god is just so good to me. >> reporter: and there's marcus, the brave teenager who was once in a foster home, once adopted, and until just last week, was living in a shelter. >> this is my prized blazer. i wear this a lot. >> reporter: showing us his best jacket. and we tell him that's a good thing because he's about to talk to the pope. >> i'm going to tell you something, marcus. you're going to talk to pope francis tomorrow. >> am i really? are you serious? >> yeah. >> thank you, guys. thank you. he's one of my heroes. >> reporter: we're with him that morning as he puts on that jacket and tie. while back in rome, beside pope
francis, we're about to hear from marcus and that mother and her girls in los angeles. as you can see they're excited for their moment with pope francis. and in fact in that room, many of them have just learned that they will in fact get a chance to talk to the pope today. cecilia? [ applause ] >> holy father, the majority of the people here in the room with me today come from nine different shelters in this city. these are shelters that house the homeless and the destitute in los angeles. this is my friend marcus here. he's one of them. he is 19 years old. marcus told me that he has spent more nights living on the streets of this city than he can ever count until he moved into a shelter. and holy father, marcus has a question for you today. >> hi, holy father. it's a great honor to meet you and to be able to speak with you and to represent all of the people. the young people here, who are without a home here in the united states. so my question for you, because i know why you're so important to me, but why is this trip to
america so important to you? [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: for me, it's very important to meet with you all, with the citizens of the united states, who have your history, your culture, your virtues, your joys, your sadness, and your problems, like everyone else. i'm at the service of all churches and all men and women of good faith. there's something very important for me, which is closeness. for me it's difficult not to be close to people. when i approach people, as i'm going to do with you, it's easier for me to understand them
and help them along life's path. that's why this trip is so important, for me to draw close to your path and your history. >> thank you. >> holy father, i have someone else, some very special people i would like you to meet. this is rosemary and her daughters celeste and alyssa. they were living in a shelter for a very long time and they only recently moved into their very first apartment ever. alyssa is 11 years old. she's a brilliant little girl. and she would like to tell you a little bit about herself. >> your holiness, it is so nice to meet you. when i was living in the shelter, i used to see people with their families and fathers. and they used to walk to a big house and open the door and they're all so happy. and i was walking to a shelter
and i felt ashamed. i had my family, my sister and mom. who really support me at times when i'm really sad. and i have an apartment and a dog named chico. and i really love all of them. >> and this is rosemary. what would you like to tell the holy father today? >> hi, holy father. my name is rosemary. i want to send you this, love. and it's hard for me to be a single mom. i struggle and it's hard for me to hear my daughter tell me these things. i've made some mistakes as a person, as a mother. i've felt guilty at times and ashamed. we have each other. and that's what's important.
that we can still do it. and when i look at my daughter, alyssa and celeste, and i see how beautiful they've grown, it's just inspiring me to not give up. every day i try, and i hope and i pray. and i just want to thank you and want to say i love you and god bless you. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: thank you, rosemary, for your testimony. i want to tell you one thing. i know it's not easy to be a single mother. i know that people can sometimes look askance at you. but i'll tell you one thing, you're a brave woman because you're capable of bringing these
two daughters into the world. you could have killed them inside your womb, and you respected life. you respected the life you were carrying inside you. and god will reward you for that, and he does reward you for that. don't be ashamed. hold your head high. "i didn't kill my daughters. i brought them into the world." i congratulate you. i congratulate you, and god bless you. [ applause ] >> reporter: and thousands of miles away in rome sitting beside the pope we see those tears. [ speaking foreign language ]
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church in mcallen, texas, is a beacon of hope for thousands of immigrant families who stream across the u.s.-mexico border just miles away. most are detained briefly at this processing center, put into holding cells. and while this is a flashpoint here in america, for sister norma her focus is on the humanity. >> they are dirty, muddy. in most cases sometimes wet from crossing the river. they haven't eaten or slept for a while. you see that they're scared, they're frightened. >> reporter: she has set up a welcome center here at the church. >> tears just start to fall, tears of joy. there are people here in the united states that says, "i want to help." >> reporter: the pope is about to surprise her. and then there is ricardo. >> my name is ricardo ortiz. i'm 19 years old and i'm one of the many millions of dreamers in the united states. >> reporter: more than a million dreamers brought here by their parents. many of those children say america is the only place they
know. ricardo came from mexico at 4 years old. >> i feel like an american. i did all my school here. my education was here. my lifestyle is of an american. >> reporter: he even earned a soccer scholarship for college. but it was taken away when the school learned he is undocumented. and amid the debate in this country about what to do with the millions of undocumented immigrants and their children, the pope has been outspoken. once saying that "migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity." but what will the pope say right here tonight? as we return to the vatican, about to connect pope francis to hundreds waiting for him in texas. now let's go to sacred heart church on the u.s./mexico border in mcallen, texas. [ applause ] the crowd erupting into cheers when they see the pope. chanting, "we see him, we feel him. the pope is here."
and we send it to mariana atencio from our sister network fusion. >> thank you, david. this church, just five miles from the border with mexico, has been a temporary refuge for tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants. immigrants like ricardo, who i want to introduce to you today. ricardo, come on up here. ricardo has been living in texas since he was 4 years old. and today, he wants to tell you his story. >> good morning, father. it's been my childhood dream to meet you one day. coming out of middle school, i didn't understand what it was to be an immigrant child. i didn't understand that because i was born on the other side of a border that life would be different for me. at the age of 16, 17, my dad had an accident. i had to become the breadwinner of the family. i had to be the person that supported our family.
having to support a family of six, having younger brothers look up to you, really made it hard on me. there was times that maybe we had to skip a meal, maybe we had to eat beans and a tortilla because there was no money. when it got time to head out to college they informed me that i wasn't able to attend the university of my dreams, because i wasn't a united states citizen. i ended up going to a community college, started working full time, started supporting my family. i have a question for you, father. it's with all these problems in the world, poverty, our education system, and immigration itself, what do you feel is the solution to this problem? thank you. [ speaking foreign language ]
>> translator: clearly, listening to your story, i can tell you that life made you a father before your time, because you had to support your family from a very young age, while your father was ill. but you knew how to do it because you had a father who had the courage to initiate you along that path of work and struggle and the courage afterward to put you in school with great sacrifice. there are many injustices in this life. jesus was born on the street. he was born as a homeless person. and god sometimes, many times, speaks to us through his silence. the question you asked me, the number of people who
experience hunger, who don't have the means to grow, to tend to their health, who die as children, who can't afford an education. the number of people who have no home, the number of people who see it now, today, emigrate from their country. and so many of them die along the way. i look at jesus on the cross. what to do? the world has to have greater consciousness of the fact that exploitation of one another is not the path. we are all created for friendship in society. all of us has responsibilities for everyone else. no one can say, "this is as far as my responsibility goes." we are all responsible for everyone, to help each other out
as best as we can. friendship in society, that's what god created us for. speaking in soccer terms, i would say to you that the match is played between friendship in society and enmity in society. you take care of yourself and let the other person take care of themselves. that is not god's plan. that's what i can think of to say to you. and also to express my admiration for you. life turned you into a father before your time. so when you actually become a father and you have your own children, keep educating them. and bring them along the path that you learned from your father. thank you. >> thank you, holy father. >> reporter: when we come back, one more person sitting in that church -- sister norma. who was not expecting this.
nor were we. >> translator: i want to see her. >> reporter: when the pope asked to speak to that nun. ko choose? but i could keep this one strictly for the ladies... discrete notifications, yurp! ok, let's talk about business. set up a worldwide tour... i'm gonna have to go with this one. can i get this in gold? ♪ the new gs6 edge+ and the new note 5. get the samsung galaxy note 5 with jump on demand for zero up front and just $25 bucks a month. only at t-mobile. ♪ things you never, never knew before. ♪ ♪ like "i" before "e", except after "c". ♪
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a special "20/20" continues, with pope francis and the people. here again, david muir. >> reporter: it was just this week, the pope saying during mass in rome, we must pray for the thousands of refugees, who have died on their journeys. the parents and their children trying to seek a better and safer life. remember, you met sister norma on the u.s.-mexico border, providing food and shelter. she's sitting right there in the church listening to the pope.
and he is about to hear from an 11-year-old who was helped by the nun. >> wendy is 11 years old. and she just made a 26-day journey with her mother and is from el salvador. she wants to tell you a little bit about what she had to go through. [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: we came from el salvador with my mom, because it was too dangerous with the gangs. we were starving. we slept in the mountains with my mom. they were threatening my mom. as we crossed the river, i almost drowned. >> but she's here now, holy father. and she, even after everything she went through, she made a drawing for you.
>> translator: that's very beautiful. >> translator: i made a heart. and i also made you. my mom, and me. i put, i love you, pope. >> translator: thank you very much. thank you very much. now i'd like to say a word. >> reporter: at one point, the pope signaling to me, spotting that nun in the pew -- sister norma. saying he'd like to speak to her. >> translator: there was a sister there from a religious order. i'd like to see her. she was hidden there among the people. [ applause ]
sister, i want to thank you, i want to thank all the sisters of religious orders in the u.s. for the work that you have done and you do in the united states. it's great. i congratulate you. be courageous. move forward. take the lead, always. i'll tell you one other thing. is it appropriate for the pope to say this? i love you all very much. [ applause ] >> reporter: the bravery inside that church on the mexican border. and they waited so long to see if they would get the opportunity to communicate with the pope. and now they have.
when we come back, we take you on a tour, where the pope will visit when he comes to america. and what he's about to ask americans to do for him. and just this week, this image of the pope -- buying new glasses in rome before his trip to america. telling the store owner he didn't want to spend much.
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the toaster, from baseballs to bobbleheads, even this towering mural in new york city, proclaiming "welcome pope francis." americans from all over the country awaiting the pope's arrival. the president will greet pope francis at the white house. and he'll be the first pope to address a joint meeting of congress. >> anyone who thinks the pope is going to come and kind of endorse a particular agenda is going to be proven wrong. he is going to challenge the left and the right, democrats and republicans. >> reporter: even here in rome we meet american students we found with a prediction before the pope's visit. do you think that this pope is preparing a message for america? >> oh, yeah. >> he's going to let them have it. >> reporter: really? >> i don't think he's going to hold back. >> reporter: income inequality, immigration? >> racial inequality especially. that's huge. >> reporter: the pope will also journey to new york city. he'll visit ground zero,
offering a prayer for the thousands of americans who were lost on 9/11. he'll hold mass at st. patrick's cathedral. he'll address world leaders at the united nations. and remember, pope francis is the most re-tweeted leader in the world. his final stop, philadelphia, expected to bring a million and a half people to the streets. he will walk out onto independence mall, speaking from the same simple wooden lectern abraham lincoln used for the gettysburg address. but before he gets there, a gift from america. a cross sent from all the students at that chicago school where valerie found her voice. i tell him this cross hangs in every classroom at that the school. when we come back, the one thing pope francis is asking americans for tonight. and you'll hear from the people he's touched. the deep impact he's had already. >> i'm still in heaven, still experiencing his presence. i was like, "oh, wow." >> reporter: and for more pope francis and the people, our
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so, let's go for the bells and the whistles. fridges that open like this, and whoa, did you see that? it's time to reset our expectations. right now it's all within reach. let's do this. this labor day save on a samsung laundry pair with built in sink. the home depot. more saving. more doing. this "20/20" special continues. once again, david muir. >> reporter: as we prepared to say good-bye to pope francis, the crowds in those three american cities erupting once again in applause. and for those able to ask the pope questions tonight, to share with him their stories of adversity, they are moments they will never forget. valerie, who after her bravery, that song, a hug from her mother. telling us it is a moment that changed her. >> i know now that i am an inspiration to many people who feel like they're alone.
so i'm just an example that you can be courageous. >> reporter: and then the nun he singled out, sister norma. >> i said, oh, that's me. he's actually speaking to me. and i saw his little hand go come, come, come, and i go like "oh, my god." i felt like a little child called forth by their dear father. i'm still in heaven, you know? still experiencing his presence. it was wonderful. >> reporter: his message to ricardo to keep going. >> for him to tell me that just made me realize that what my father and my mother have taught me was right. and it's something that i'm going to continue to do. >> reporter: and the single mother he called courageous. >> when he said, "rosemarie, you should be proud of yourself."
i was just like, "oh, my gosh, he's actually telling me." "he's telling me that i'm doing good." and i'm like, all right! it's me! >> reporter: and we ask one more question -- do you have a message for america before your visit. a parting message? [ speaking foreign language ] >> translator: i am full of hope to meet you all. i pray for you all, for the people of the united states and i ask you all please to pray for me. thank you. [ speaking foreign language ] >> reporter: and after we thank the pope, he stands up. and in that room connecting with each of us one more time. handing us a rosary, a blessing. all of it part of a message he hopes we'll bring back to america.
and as the hundreds who are gathered back home continue to cheer on pope francis, we are reminded of the smile he shared here tonight. one final round of cheers for pope francis. and we will never forget being in that room, as every day americans from across the country had their moment with the pope. and as we say good night here from the vatican, a number we came across -- in his first full year as pope, 5.9 million visitors came here to the vatican. triple the number before him. and he's about to bring that energy to america. i'm david muir. from all of us at abc news, thanks for watching tonight, as we say, good night from the vatican. a bay area kite surfer is
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