tv The Rundown With Jose Diaz- Balart MSNBC September 23, 2015 6:00am-8:01am PDT
group that none of us are a part of. and he doesn't need to sit down and watch focus group information to address us with the things that he will talk about, both before the joint session of congress and at the united nations. it's the top of the hour. we are extending "morning joe" special coverage here as we follow the pope making his way from the papal nunciature in washington d.c. to the white house for a special ceremony. josé díaz-balart is on assignment covering the pope as well. as we continue our coverage, these scene are just vivid and beautiful. as you see the faces of the pope who broke his way into the crowd. i feel sorry for his handlers, joe, because he wanted to connect with the people. at one point i saw a woman touching his face, and they were embracing, and he made his way through and was kissing small children. this is what he loves. >> how interesting. as she was touching his face, he actually leaned in, leaned in to
her. >> to listen. >> to listen to her. pope francis is actually the fourth pope to ever visit the united states. the first since 2008. and also before that, 1979, pope john paul ii was here. he is only the third pope to visit the white house. and very interesting that, when you look at the history and you look what barack obama has done to welcome him to the united states, he went out to andrews. it was only the second time he went out to andrews to visit a head of state. exactly. the first time he went to pick somebody up there, he was actually catching a ride somewhere else. this is the only time since he has been president of the united states that the president has gone out to meet a head of state. >> i think the president might want to rethink his automobile choices as well. this pope leading by example even in the small, very environmentally correct car that he is driving to the white house
in. this, of course, he was supposed to be at the white house at this point, but stopped to take a moment to meet the hundreds, maybe even thousands of catholics who were excited, chanting as he walked out of the papal nunciature. now you are looking at the white house, the south lawn where the pope and the president will make an address. looking at these scenes, let's bring in senior communications adviser to the vatican, secretary of state, greg burke. joining us on the set. what a day. historic address to congress to come still. but this symbolic part of this visit equally as historic. >> well, it is. i think it's interesting, in talking about the president going out to pick him up. obviously it's a great sign of honor. on the other hand, the president can't do wrong. it is the most popular man on the planet right now. there is obviously good reason. but i think getting back to the message and anne did a really good job saying, you know, this is not a political pope. there are political ramifications, but essentially he is coming to bring a message,
god loves you and there are a lot of core larrys to that. i love the scene in rome of him touching the woman's face. >> god loves all of you. >> used to be that nobody really touched the pope too much. now every old lady in italy asks him for two kisses and he gives them to him. >> kisses everyone. >> let's bring in chris matthews and andrea mitchell both live in washington. chris matthews, these have to be moving scenes for you. what are your thoughts? >> well, i guess i am looking at the beautiful scene in front of the nunciature, an amazing place. it's right across from the vice president's house. also on the corner is the old fella that's been there forever -- i cannot remember how long he's been there. maybe ten years with a big placard like a sandwichman in front of it complaining about the fact that he was abused by a priest. he looks like a guy who was.
i don't know if he's there today but he's almost always there. as you brought up the issue of the clergy and its abuse of altar boys which is notorious in the world, in this country, i think that's always going to be part of the story here. i was overwhelmed by this guy from argentina, which he is. italian guy from argentina, meeting americans for the first time on their own soil and realizing this is a complex country. the great thing about travel. we love to travel professionally for for fun. you realize it's so different and so unlike us. you don't know what the unlike part is until you get there. then you never change because you always think of the country the way you discovered it. i think his values, think of of the goe lliath of the north. we're a country of mixed capitalism with a lot of social programs and a lot of safety net. we're not the bad guys. i said the other day on the show on "hard ball," the east germans
didn't know the west germans. i was there during the big changes in '89. they thought it was rugged capitalism and no safety net. west germany was one of the most socialist countries in the world. you have to go there. you have to show up, as you guys know. when you show up, you learn stuff. look at him there with those people. he is meeting an america that he has never met before. an america here. the kids are just thrilled. >> thrilled. >> these kids will never forget. look at this crazy guy kissing him. this guy -- this is a cling-on. we've met them in public. we know what it's like. the guy who won't let go of you. the guy is introducing him. he doesn't need introductions. get away from me. >> chris was talking about past scandals with the church. it takes an extraordinary leader like this to move beyond. >> and i think that is part -- you mentioned it as part of the story, chris, but i think what
his part in this story is, he came in and apologized for the sins of the church, the sins within the church, because we are all sinners, and made it a part of his narrative. i think the second wave that was electrifying about him was who am i to judge. >> i agree completely. >> bringing in those who are disillusioned or disenfranchised. looking at sexuality and divorce, and looking at human failures as things that we all have in common instead of things that separate catholics from the rest of the world. this is what's inspiring about him. >> that's a message that jesus brought to his disciples when the disciples came to him and asked, who is the first among us, who will be seated at the right hand of the father in heaven? jesus talked about servant leadership, the last shall be first, the first shall be last. and there was an iconic scene,
mike barnicle, when jesus actually got on his knees and washed the disciples' feet. it shocked and horrified them. they said they were unworthy. yet that's exactly what this pope did. it's what he does every day. and he shows that he is a leader but he is a servant first. >> he's also, you know, his essence, i think a simple pastor. he is now the pope, and his message has always been one of the faith of the catholic church. it's about mercy. forgiveness, about understanding of others. andrea, i don't know what your eyes are taking in as you view the scenes in this city where you spend so much of your life. but i can't recall a figure coming to washington d.c. who has engendered such enormous affection for that figure as we have seen in just under 24 hours for this particular pope. >> reporter: i have never seen
anything like this. it is so immediate. it began the moment he stepped down those stairs from the airbus, the al italia plane, and the greeing witing with the pre. he rolled down the window of the fiat and put his arm out and had the arm up on the -- his hand up on the roof. and he was just, you know, another tourist. he was looking. he wanted to see everything. there were no waves or people to wave to on the parkway, but he still had the window down because he wants to be accessible. and look at the pictures that we're now seeing, replayed from when he came out of the nunciature. the children. you have been commenting. the people taking selfies and people respond to what he is projecting, the love and the affection and the accessibility that he is projecting because who would approach any kind of foreign leader or state visitor and hug and kiss the way people
are approaching this man. >> they really are. >> reporter: i would think of him, joe, think of him as royalty, as head of state, as a holy person. and they just feel they can grab him and hug him. >> i know! it's inspiring. mika said, he is so difficult for security to handle. i am sure they understand there is just not handling him when he is close to the crowds. let's bring in michael steele. michael, you were in seminary before you back slid into politics. it has to be a meaningful moment for you as well. >> it is. i was thinking about the pope who drew me to the call to follow the priesthood. that was john paul ii. and after three years with the august stinnian order, i felt a different path. and i am thinking about the young men and women who will be called to the servant leadership because of this pope, who are
inspired by him, who will reach within their own soul to understand the journey that they have to face ahead of them in serving people. the interesting thing that this pope, i think, brings to that conversation, joe, is that it's not necessarily serving in a religious habit or with a priestly collar but serving your neighbor. i think mike barnicle said it earlier. you know, do unto others. be there for otrs. and that is an inspiring message that i think the world is longing for right now, which is why you see this gravitational pull to the center of this pope's message. >> let's bring chris matthews in. briefly, chris, we in america are criticizing our political parties and our bureaucracies for not providing us the leaders that we deserve. you look a the catholic church, a massive institution with over a billion members. it's quite remarkable that two
out of the last three popes have been historic figures, transcendent figures. pope john paul ii and now pope francis, in two completely different ways. the catholic church has gotten it right. >> yeah. >> yeah. i think -- i think it's not entirely by accident. the church is too big to fail. that means a lot of things. they will make adjustments when they think that their viability is on the line. cardinal told us -- back with david gregory when we were doing a show in this room, joe and mika. he admitted that basically the college of cardinals went out looking for a pope like this. they shopped for this fellow. he almost beat benedict in the race. it was hard to beat him. he jumped into that void quickly. so he was sort of the guy in line first. the one they wanted, the one they almost got last time and got him now was a pastoral priest, one known for looking
out for the people. not some intellectual but somebody who knew how to connect with people. they new, the college of cardinals, the problem they had that you guys have been talking about. by the way, they owe it to the church. i was at my aunt's funeral. she has been teaching special education kids since 1942. these people are truly pro life. he asked to speak to them because they've been the faithful. they've stuck with the church. we're going to be pausing at the moment that the president greets the pope at the white house, which is due to happen any second now, just to sort of take that in. as we wait, mike barnicle, to touch on what chris matthews and joe really initiated here, this pope very much like pope john paul ii, matched the moment of the times. and electrified the world. young people, in the case of john paul ii.
>> the roots of our faith as catholics are on vivid display here with this pope because the roots are ordinary people. ray flynn, one of the reasons -- not to confuse you with pope francis, ray, i would never do that. but one of the roots of your. larity when you first ran for mayor of boston is people identified with you as an ordinary person, not one of the elites, not someone with a lot of money running for office. as you watch these visual scenes that we're looking at here and see the pope reaching out to touch people, what goes through your mind as a parochial school kid who grew up in rather meager circumstances? >> i'm thinking of denver, colorado, when john paul ii first came to the united states, the second time, 1984. the impact that he had on young people, just like francis is having here. over these years, mike, i have met a lot of working-class poor kids like us growing up in
neighborhoods of boston. and i've seen those young people who are inspired by john paul ii become priests. and the influence that he had at that time in america. i think francis is going to have the same kind of impact with people who have been marginalized, people who might have walked away from the church, who still call themselves catholics but just haven't gone back to church. >> i have seen that actually, mr. mayor and mr. ambassador around this table. i sit next to catholics every day. mika brzezinski and mike barnicle. and i noticed a sadness whenever the faith was brought up before francis. it's something you guys usually didn't verbalize on the air but sort of a world weariness. it has evaporated since. you all both are proud to be a member of this pope's church. that's a remarkable transformation into hard-bitten
worldly-wise reporters. >> for the past 10 to 12 years where ray and i live in greater boston, we've had parish after parish closed, shuttered. >> one scandal after another. >> the few churches that were available to you to go to daily or sunday mass, you would walk in, and it would look like an assisted living facility. the average age would be about 92. last sunday, ray, i went to mass on the campus of boston college and it was thrilling to be there at st. ignatius. it was packed. the average age was maybe 25, 26 years of age. again, a jesuit ministry. but -- this pope, this particular pope, has helped bring the church back i think in the eyes of many lapsed catholics. >> i think, as you mentioned, young people. i know many were like, i don't think i'm going to do it. they kind of fall out. something so beautiful is happening here.
when you look at these pictures of the pope in the crowd and all of those young faces that are eagerly choosing to be there, flocking to him. he may be the pope, but for this generation of young people, this is the selfie generation. they flock to people like beyonce or taylor swift or maybe the president of the united states. that would be something cool and they would want to be there and want to be a part of it. they would talk to each other online about it. this is pope francis, who has talked about not judging, who am i to judge. who has talked about feeding the poor and who has apologized for the sins of the church. and these young people are drawn by those forces. >> he is taking catholics to where they want to be anyway. that's what he is doing. >> has been selfish. let's go, wail waitito kelly o'. she is live at the cathedral of st. matthew. >> reporter: i think this is sort of the home office visit for the holy father. you will see all the pomp and
ceremony at the white house. this will be a private event for the u.s. conference of catholic bishops where they'll have midday prayers. it's also the intersection of american politics and catholic life in america. this was the church where president john f. kennedy had his funeral. at the front there is an inlaid piece of marble that talks about the fact that the president's remains were here and the service was held here. it is also the place where one of the most iconic photos took place. john f. kennedy jr. was out front with his family when he saluted his father's casket. you can imagine that photo in your mind. it happened right here. so today the holy father will have prayers. we're told it will be done in spanish with the american bishops and move to the basilica for later in the day. this is also a place where there are office buildings in my peripheral vision and people in the buildings are looking down. they'll be watching.
the street has been cleared because there is no public access to this event. it is really about the church. and as i said, kind of a home office visit for the holy father. back to you guys. >> kelly, thank you. greg burke, looking at the itinerary, any moment now the president and pope will be making remarks in english, the pope. i am wondering. there has been a lot of surmising about what he might talk about. i would think the migrant crisis would be something that would be front and center in his mind given what we have learned about him. >> yeah. i think this will be a shorter talk. obviously at some point immigration will come up, poverty will come up. climate is going to come up. i would expect at some point cuba to come up as well. i don't consider this a victory lap for cuba exactly, but it was interesting that the pope gave so much time to cuba before coming here. that's not to say he is dissing the united states. i think he really does have a pastor's vision of this is a global thing. they're two very different churches.
cuba the situation is basically opening up the church in cuba. here it's a different matter. he sees a church here which is very big, very well educated, and very generous, by the way. >> right. as we look at the scene here at the white house, we should let you know just about how interested everybody -- you saw outside the papal nunciature, all the people along the streets. there are 11,000, joe, ticketed people on the white house lawn waiting to see the pope on this beautiful, beautiful morning. >> and right now they are starting to see the white house move to action. it appears that the president and the pope are preparing to come out. andrea mitchell, it will be, obviously, a historic moment. and while many politicians in washington d.c. are focused on the politics of this, as we've been sitting around the table, we suspect this pope has a mission that is spiritual and not political when he comes to
this country. >> reporter: indeed. as anne thompson has been communicating from her conversations with him on the plane flying in from cuba. he sees himself as a pastor, first and foremost. so people can infer a political message, but that's not what he's doing. i see the hail of trumpeters are raising their trumpets. that will mark the beginning of the state visit. this will be absent the usual military parade that takes place on the south lawn with the colonial troops because he does not command -- he is a state leader but he doesn't command troops. >> here they come. president and mrs. obama are coming onto the south lawn to greet the pope. i think we should pause for a moment and watch this play out.
of greeting at the white house. >> president obama, michelle obama greeting the pope right now. about 22 minutes late. the ceremonies are about to begin. [ cheers and applause ] ladies and gentlemen, the national anthem of the holy sea, followed by the national anthem of the united states. >> present arms.
♪ as we watch the president and the pope beings we wonder what these two men will be talking about today, what their focus is going to be about. mika, obviously, ronald reagan had a very close relationship with pope john paul ii. when they got together they would talk about things such as arms control with the soviet union, latin american politics and a lot of things that i suspect these two gentlemen won't be discussing today.
instead, a refugee crisis, growing instability across the globe. and a disparity between the rich and the poor. >> and what you are seeing right now is just moments before the two men, the pope and the president, will be making those remarks. this is the army fife and drum corps playing music troop and review. after they finish the president will go to the podium. i believe the president will speak first. the pope will be making his remarks in english, we are told. this is an incredible moment in history. and on a beautiful, beautiful morning in washington at the white house. >> i hope the pope doesn't sit down. he looks pretty tired, greg. >> the pope does look tired. it reminds me of the visit where ronald reagan, i think back in 1982, fell asleep while visiting the vatican and people worried
about his health. >> he won't do that. he says sometimes that happens in the afternoons when he is praying. >> this has been a grueling three days for him. it only continues. >> yeah. three days, and 78, almost 79, i thought about when we were talking about what a great draw he is among young people. >> it's quite a trip. >> andrea mitchell, you were on the trip in 1982 when ronald reagan did nod off, his head bobbed a few times. his critics wondered in that meeting whether he was up to the job, but much got done. >> that was incredible. that was a day when a war broke out in beirut in the morning and we left for rome from france and ended up at windsor castle at a state dinner. and mrs. reagan said don't ever over-schedule him again. we were exhausted. it was no wonder he fell asleep, but it did make a lot of news. >> there is a lot ahead on his
schedule. a private meeting at the white house. he will be performing the first canonization mass on u.s. soil today. tomorrow pope francis will be the first pope in history ever to address the u.s. congress. so it is going to be a packed few days. on friday he continues the tradition of addressing the united nations. >> he was actually, the pope, pope john paul ii was actually invited to address congress by tip o'neal in 1979 but had to turn it down because of a packed schedule. it looks like the president is now moving towards the podium to address the audience.
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 size 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 have been celebrated as the first pope from the americas. [ applause ] >> this is your first visit to the united states. 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 as 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. and what is true in america is true around the world. from the busy streets of buenos
aires to the road villages in kenya, catholic organizations serve the poor, minister to prisoners, build schools, build homes, operate orphanages and hospitals. and 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. and yet i believe the excitement around your visit, holy father, must be attributed not only to your role as pope but to your unique qualities as a person. [ applause ] >> in your humility, your embrace of simplicity, in the
gentleness of your words, and the generosity of your spirit, we see a living example of jesus' teachings. a leader whose moral authority comes not just through words but also through deeds. [ applause ] >> you call on all of us, catholic and non-catholic 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 call to lift up the poor and 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 with empathy in a truly open heart. [ applause ] >> from the refugee who flees war-torn lands to the immigrant who leaves home in search of a better life. [ applause ] >> it means showing compassion and love for the marginalized and the outcast, to those who
have suffered and those who have caused 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. [ applause ] >> holy father, we are grateful for your invaluable support of our new beginning with the cuban people, which holds out the promise -- which holds out the promise of better relations between our countries, greater cooperation across our hemisphere and a 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 brought us together. and 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 places of worship, the
faithful are imprisoned and churches are destroyed. so we stand with you in defense of religious freedom and inter-faith dialogue, knowing that people everywhere must be able to live out their faith free from fear and free from intimidation. 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, experiences discomfort and contemplate the distance between how we lead our daily lives and what we know to be true, what we know to be right. but i believe such discomfort is a blessing, for it points to something better. you 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 world 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 side lines of this march of living hope. for that great gift of hope, holy father, we thank you and welcome you with joy and gratitude to the united states of america. [ applause ] you are watching live as president obama welcomes pope francis to speak to some 11,000 people on the south lawn of the white house. and joe, the president really crystalized what this pope stands for in his words and in his deeds. >> a man of humility, simplicity, and generosity. now let's listen to pope francis. [ applause ]
good morning. >> good morning. >> mr. president, i am deeply grateful for your welcome in the name of the all americans. as the son of an immigrant family, i am happy to be a guest in this country, which was largely built 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 who are to guide the nation's political future, in fidelity to its founding principles. i will also travel to philadelphia for the world meeting of families to celebrate and support the institutions of marriage and the family at this critical moment in the history of our civilization. [ applause ]
>> mr. president, together with the citizens, american catholics are committed to building a society which is truly tolerant but inclusive to seafeguarding the rights of individuals and communities and to rejecting every form of injustice, discrimination. [ applause ] >> with countless other people of good will, they are likewise concerned with the efforts to build a just and vastly older society respect their deepest concerns and the right to
religious liberty. [ applause ] >> that freedom reminds one of america's most precious possessions. as my brothers, the united states bishop, have reminded us, all are called to be vigilant, precisely as good citizens to preserve and defend that 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. [ cheers and applause ] >> accepting the urgency, it seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem we can no longer be left to our future generation. [ cheers and 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. [ cheers and applause ] >> such -- such change demands on our part a serious and responsibility, not only of the kind of the world we may be leaving to our children, but also to the millions of people living under a system which has overlooked them. our common home has been part of this group of the excludeds which cries out to heaven and which today powerfully strikes our homes, our cities, our
societies. to use a telling phrase of the reverend martin luther king, we can say that we have martin luther king, we can say that we have defaulted on our promissory note, and now is the time to honor it. we know by faith that the creator does not abandon us. he's never forsaked his loving plan or repents on having created us. humanity has the ability to come together in building our common
home as christians inspired by the sanctity, we wish to commit ourselves to the conscious responsible care of our common home. mr. president, the efforts which were recently made demand broken realizations and to open new doors to cooperation within our human family represent positive steps along the path of reconciliation, justice and freedom. i would like all men and women of world will of this great
nation to support the efforts of the international community to protect the vulnerable in our world and to stimulate integral and inclusive models of development. so that our brothers and sisters everywhere may know the blessings of peace and prosperity which god wills for all his children. mr. president, once again, i thank you for your welcome and i look forward to these days your
country. god bless america. [ applause ] >> pope francis making remarks on the south lawn of the white house following president obama who welcomed him. he touched on a number of issues. started off in an interesting direction as well. >> he certainly did. the pope first started by talking about immigration, calling himself the son of an immigrant family and said he was proud to be in a country that was built by immigrants. but i think the line that's going to have the biggest impact certainly in washington has to do with climate change where the pope said climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation. he went on to say when it comes to the care of our common home, we are living at a critical moment in history. >> what you're looking at right now is the st. augustin choir of
d.c. that is going to be performing for the pope and the president and that will be the conclusion of the ceremony outside the white house. the pope and the president will make their way inside for a private meeting, the beginning of really a whirlwind trip to the united states. >> mike barnicle, i had said before that this pope, pope francis, would probably speak more on spiritual matters and political matters but that really wasn't the case. he touched on some of the hot button issues that america's debating right now, that congress is debating, whether it is immigration, whether it's traditional marriage and family, whether it's climate change. he went there. >> he waded right in, joe, on several elements that -- before the congress and before the american people. one of the interesting things that he noted that has been glossed over is one of the principle reasons for his trip to the united states is the world conference of families in
philadelphia and he referenced that saying that one of the reasons he came, he's going to travel to philadelphia to support institutions of marriage and family and i suspect that we'll get several head lines out of his comments there in philadelphia, if not before that. but he was very, very strong on the environment. >> were you surprised? >> i wasn't surprised at any of the topics. totally agree with you that family somehow gets -- we forget, that was the reason he came and that was the first thing he said, i'm coming for philadelphia. it is interesting that it's at the end. i'm not surprised by the other topics, the ecology. people are paying more attention because he's in washington. but if you read the encyclical on the economy, it is very strong. no doubt about that. reference to cuba. he didn't use the word "cuba," but recent developments of religious liberty. here there is the whole debate going on and that's a waeg debate, too, about obamacare and
what limits -- >> talking about religious liberty but also talking about something that some of the president's critics in the conservative christian church that suggested he hasn't talked enough about which is christian persecution, the president talked about that and then the pope followed up. >> and this pope really, it's not surprising that he would go there on any of these issues directly. chris matthews, this is how he started his papacy, quite frankly. addressing the issues that are right there that some people don't feel that comfortable talking about. >> well certainly he talked about martin luther king. that was an interesting thing to go back to the '63 speech in washington at the lynn cop memorial talking about the check that hasn't been paid that had been promised. the promissory note about poverty. i also thought it was interesting, he was a very spanish accent. that was the president doing that, given the controversy of an anchorwoman doing that. i think it was interesting he talked about religious freedom
in this country. i think clearly he was talking about the questions of how we implement obamacare and our other programs with regard to requirements we place on religious institutions. the pope is very much aware that the conference of bishops in this country didn't like the way this was handled. >> it is very interesting. mr. ambassador, there may be conservatives that mumble and mutter about this speech but i saw a pope that was actually splitting the difference because he did talk about religious liberty. it was conservative christians hol talked about the implementations of the affordable care act. he also talked about family and the importance of family at this moment in our civilization. he gave something to both sides. >> he really did, joe, in this politically divisive environment that we're experiencing in washington, d.c. across the country politically. i think he has some captivating
united themes. you heard what you heard. i heard what i heard and i suspect that's how americans are going to take it. i was really hoping that he would talk about religious persecution, persecution of christians throughout the world. he did. i think that is one of -- that would be my headline, that he directly addressed that issue. and the other one, my other headline would be, joe, is both the president and the holy father addressed the issue of poverty and in indequality economically. two of the most profound world leaders talking about the poor, marginalized, the special needs. i think, again, you hear what you hear but that's my headline. >> i heard something for everybody. i will tell you for me personally though, i want to touch on religious persecution
again. i think back to the message that ronald reagan and pope john paul ii sent to those behind the iron curtain back in the late '70s and '80s. and it inspired -- we heard stories later, it inspired people locked up in soviet gulags. here we heard both the president and the pontiff speeblg about religious persecution. and too many christians across the middle east and across the globe have believed that their plight has been ignored for too long. it certainly wasn't today on the world's largest stage. >> exactly. what's great about this, this is a theme pa pothat pope francis going back to but it gets lost a lot. here today at the white house especially doubled up with the president as well, it is a message that's getting out. >> just so you know what's going on right now, there is a receiving line inside the white
house. the holy father and the president are going to be exchanging gifts shortly inside the white house. and there will also be -- which is usually a very symbolic and beautiful moment. the pope is going to wave from the south portico balcony to the 11,000 people who are on the south lawn -- here it comes right now. at the top of the hour, the pope and the president after addressing on the south lawn of the white house now waving to the people. and it is the top of the hour. you're watching live coverage here on msnbc of the historic visit by pope francis to the white house, to washington, d.c. and his first visit to the united states of america. this is the fourth time a pope has visited the united states. the third time a pope has come to the white house and this pope
electrifying the world with his life by example and some of the messages that the president chrissalized today in terms of the symbolism this pope carries and the pope's words themself going right there to some serious issues that pertain to our political system. >> and as we said before, giving something to both democrats and republicans and apolitical people who actually believe that the bible is probably more important than reading opinion pages. the president welcomed this pope on behalf of 70 million u.s. catholics. mike, i love how barack obama talked about america being excited not only because of his role as pope, but because of his unique qualities as a person, his u millty, his simplicity, his generosity and a living example of jesus' teachings. it was beautiful. >> well, he's a pope who literally gives you the impression that you can touch him and he touches you.
he's a pope who i think, as with his papacy thus far and his trip to the united states, has certainly reinvigorated the roots of the catholic church. he spoke today in one phrase that jumped off the page to me. one human family. his hope is that we protect the vulnerable in our world. and the roots of the catholic faith, at least as i understand the catholic faith, as i've witnessed the catholic faith -- and i've never been any place in the world -- cambodia, central america, dorchester, massachusetts, south side of chicago, poorer sections of los angeles, where you don't find a jesuit or catholic priest ministering to the poor, to the vulnerable, to the hurt, to the damaged. i think this pope represents that to a lot of people and i think it restores elements of faith to many catholics who have forgotten what the faith is truly all about.
>> the president went out of his way to talk about what the church does globally in the u.s. and also globally in education, in health care, in taking care of the poor. it was very interesting because i think that's a message that's often been lost and which many of us knew and grew up with. the church educating poor immigrant families. that has made a huge difference. >> all right. we're, of course, watching this story happen live in washington, d.c. as the pope is visiting america and has just met with president obama inside the white house and addressed the south lawn. on beof ha of joe scarborough and myself, it's been an honor to cover this story with you. and our coverage continues here now on msnbc with tamron hall. good morning, everyone. as mika just mentioned, it is an honor to be covering this occasion. another historic day in this country. i'm tamron hall with our continuing coverage of pope francis and his six-day visit to the united states. right now, the pope and
president obama are heading to the oval office for a private one-on-one meeting. this is the greeting that took place earlier this morning. that meeting is scheduled to last some 45 minutes. less than an hour ago, as mentioned, the president and the first lady, michelle obama, welcomed francis to the white house. the pope again arriving in that modest fiat 500 sedan, same one he used upon his arrival at joint base andrews yesterday afternoon. this was another moment watching these two leaders, one of the church and one of the world's most powerful country, stand there side by side. this morning the pope was greeted in a stately arrival. ♪ >> 11,000 guests were at the
white house greeting the pope. remarks were delivered bit spanish speaking pope who delivered his remarks in english. >> holy father, on behalf of michelle and myself, welcome to the white house. i should explain that our backyard is not typically this crowded. but the size and the spirit of today's gathering is just a small reflection of the deep devotion of some 70 million american catholics. >> 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. >> nbc news white house correspondent kristin welker joins us live. already just in a few hours this morning, moments that will be relived over and over. before we start to what happened there at the white house, just going back to the initial view of the pope walking out, greeting and hugging those school children who waited overnight for this opportunity walking right past that vehicle and in to the arms in some cases of those children. >> it just encapsulates everything that we know about this pope. he's known as the people's pope, tamron. before he got to the white house, as you point out, he took the time to greet some of those thousands of people who had been up all night waiting just to catch a glimpse of him. a lot of them got more than that, got to shake his hand, got to take a picture of him, got to embrace him. again, it just underscores what this pope is known for. we heard that today in his remarks. as you noted, he spoke in
english, a gesture to american people, the president and the pope both talking about themes on which they agree, some of them thorny topics here in the u.s. -- climate change, immigration. i thought it was incredically significant that pope francis referenced martin luther king particularly as this country grapples with fresh tensions between law enforcement community. you talked about that welcome ceremony here at the white house. it is just wrapping up. then president obama and pope francis will meet in the oval office, a meeting slated for 45 minutes. this is the second time the two men will have met though. i can tell you the first time that they met in 2014 for the vatican their meeting lasted a lot longer thatten expected. i'm told they will likely bill upon some of those themes that we heard them talk about in their public remarks. they'll also likely talk about the refugee crisis. papal experts telling me this is really a pope that transcends
politics, that we shouldn't think about this in the context of politics, even though so much of what has already been discussed resonates politically. but this will also touch on some difficult issues that we are facing here in the united states and all across the country. this kicks off a day that will be filled with poignant moments. when pope francis leaves had he he will participate in a parade, then he will become the first pope to canonize a saint on american soil. then tomorrow he addresses a joint session of congress and heads to -- >> we'll go through his schedule. but the one-on-one meeting with the president and the pope, to your point, they've met together at the vatican, march 2014. the white house is already indicating they want to continue the dialogue which included the environment, which included economic\s throughout the world and the issue of capitalism that we've heard this pope speak of so much. so while the vatican and many
would categorize this as a pastoral visit, we see that part of it. when you see this image of these two individuals together, you cannot escape the reality that this is political for one half and obviously spirit all for the other half. >> reporter: that's absolutely right. the white house has been down playing the fact that there are any political overtones to this visit but you are absolutely right. for this president it is significant to have the pope -- and you just heard him really praise the fact that the president has taken on climate change and of course the pope was instrumental in helping to normalize relations with cuba. you heard president obama reference his involvement in that. for this white house it is certainly significant. it has helped president obama to argue some of these key points. however, i think that in addition to the point that you're making, what will come out of this day are the broader themes. about religious liberty.
i think there were things on both sides of the aisle, particular will you think about themes like religious liberties. and again, don't forget the refugee crisis which is something that's consumed lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, presidential candidates as well, as you know, as this country watches that crisis quite closely. i and also told when you think. . relationship between president obama and pope francis, the white house feels as though they've started to form a strong bond when they met back in 2014 for more than an hour. they are hoping to build on that today. again they are slated to meet for 45 minutes. i think we'll all be interested to see just how long they wind up speaking. >> thousands of people have lined up outside the white house gates since early this morning hoping to get that glimpse of pope francis. this is their best chance to see the pope at least in d.c. in less than an hour the pope will circle around the white house he lives, the park at the south end of the white house. it is the first time the pope will be traveling in the pope mobile here in the united
states. msnbc's casey hunt joins me alongside the route. we'll talk about the politics and pastoral part but i want to talk about the people. this is their first opportunity. what are you hearing there? >> it is their first opportunity, tamron. we've been here since early this nonk where there were people waiting almost all night in some cases to come in through these security gates and to be some of the first people to line up right along these grates. they're from all over the world. there are so many, in particular latino families who have come here. they're waving flags that say el salvador, mexico, buenos aires, there were chants of "papa francisco" earlier today. they were able to listen to both the president and the pope addressing the south lawn of the white house and there were cheers that rippled through the crowd when pope francis talked about the fact that he was from an immigrant family.
so that's something that resonates very deeply. almost 40% of american catholics are latino, hispanic. so it is really a community that's come out in droves for him. we have obviously -- he's known as the people's pope. he goes quickly off script. we've already seen that this morning where he spent 15 minutes taking selfies with people outside of where he's been staying. this is going to be our first time to see him on u.s. soil in that pope mobile. pe's also been known for taking trips out of that pope mobile which of course helps explain the extensive security that's here. all of central washington is shut down. all of these major arteries in and out of the city. it's snarled traffic and all of the law enforcement organizations have convened here. it is being run by the secret service but we're seeing law enforcement, air force officers, people -- national guard -- from really every corner of the law enforcement community as well as the medical community. we have ems staff on scene as well.
i think everyone is prepared for francis -- excuse me, for pope francis to potentially get out into this crowd. they are certainly very, very excited to see him and hear from him and i think it's going to take him quite a while to make this little loop. he's going to come down 17th street, across constitution avenue, right along the national mall in washington, then back up 15th street to the white house. >> thank you so much. let me bring in my colleague, host of msnbc's "hardball," chris matthews. there's so much to talk about. first address the make-up of this audience, these people standing out on the street. i noticed this yesterday -- so many of these people either immigrated to this country, have family members who may be even locked up in this political debate of what we do regarding immigration reform, so many of them speaking spanish, uttering just a few words of english and praise about pope francis. they identify not only with this religious leader, but his story.
>> yeah, tamron. thanks so much. i think that the catholics growing up like i did felt we always had to fight to be assimilated. you began to see that even in grade school when i went to school in philadelphia. everybody waving flags. we were like george m. cohen types, "america, america," especially to prove to everybody, especially after world war ii, that we were an american family. it is a bit of a struggle with the latinos coming in to the country in more numbers, they have to struggle, too, to show that they are true americans. we have this political discourse, this nonsense from donald trump about the president being some sort of illegal immigrant from africa. i would like to think that catholics especially are sensitive to that kind of nonsense and don't like it. they consider it un-american to be going after people's heritage and questioning their loyalty to this country.
they are americanists. i think it is an issue and it's sensitive. i think the president went right after that today to try to win them to his side. talking to 70 million catholics today, it is very clear he wants them to be happy about him receiving the pope the way he did today. you know what's missing today, tamron? where are the nuns? the nuns have been -- my aunt died after teaching for 73 years, teaching special education. they're the ones that have held the church together. they haven't had scandal. they have worked like hell since the time they went in at maybe the age of 17. they've held the church up and they're humble and they do the job and they's holy and they're not even there today. they should have been the ones receiving the pope, i think. >> to your point, we did see many of the nuns yesterday. but in the audience today, chris, thousands of invited guests, sister simone campbell,
assistant director of the network of nuns. a controversial nun, if you will. but still nevertheless a significant figure in the debate over the role of women in the church, the role of nuns and how nuns are viewed within the church. among other guests who were there to your knowledge we are very aware some of these people were seen as controversial invites. you have a gay catholic blogger from houston who said he struggled returning to the church, pope francis bringing him back in to the arms of the church with his words of non-judgment and what he believes the church should focus on at this point. >> right. i think that's a big message from this pope. i've never seen anything like it. the jewish people i work with love this guy because he's inclusive. he's not out there saying i'm right, you're wrong. some time after the new testament began the old testament is irrelevant.
we're all part of the abrahamic traditions. i think he's trying to restore that sense of brotherhood and sisterhood and it is really important in this world we don't get into an east/west fight over islam and christianity. >> this pope is bringing this message to a city that has been built with divisiveness, that continues even to this point of where is this group, why is this group missing. many of these questions will be asked. but the overall message i thought was brilliantly put in a "new york times" piece today, bringing up the connection of martin luther king to this pope, and then having martin luther king's name mentioned today in this ceremony. >> weren't you impressed? weren't you impressed. >> i was absolutely. here i am, my catholic school days and years far behind me. but this piece actually quoted a hindu woman who was there to see the pope and many of the volunteers from philadelphia, to washington, d.c. are people who
are not catholics and see this as such a divisive time in this world, not just this country. and the irony here of this pope being at that location, in a sense ground zero to what we are seeing as the ugliest part of democracy but also its most beautiful. >> i hope tomorrow before congress it is not like benjamin netanyahu where it was extremely divisive. i hope the message by speaker john boehner is positive and unifying and it can be. both sides heard something they warranted to hear today from the pope, whether about income i inequality or climate change or issues like obamacare and implementation of those programs and how they are forced upon institutions like the church. there was a lot in there for both sides but i think maybe hearing it from the one fellow. i also like the fact that he really made an effort to speak
english and it was infallible. weren't you impressed how soft spoken he was as a world leader? >> he says so much with his eyes. i remember the very first day we watched as the curtain shook at the vatican and this man came out with the most gentle eyes, and engaging, welcoming smile. then to your point, to have him try in a sense in a language he's not comfortable to try to further bring in that audience to let us all know quite honestly that he is here to connect and no the to preach to those who are willing to listen. but i do have to get your thoughts on this st. matthew prayer that is coming up. this is where the funeral mass for john f. kennedy was held, the first roman catholic president, this country's only, in 1963. here you have another emotional moment for american catholics and this journey of religion, politics and the litmus test that we've had to discuss this week. >> we love st. matmatthew's in
washington. it is a wonderful old church in the middle of downtown washington. it feels like an old-time church. it is where a lot of really great catholics have had their funerals like phil hart of michigan and john f. kennedy. that's where john f. kennedy jr. gave that famous salute on that sidewalk down there with his mother and sister. it means a lot that it is a neighborhood church. you can walk there for mass at lunch time. i used to go there every week with my oldest because my wife was anchoring the news on weekends. we'd always go to that church downtown and i think it is a great church for catholics to keep in mind and love actually. >> we'll continue this special coverage, the energy, the at sphere, the people, the pope, all that is this visit to america for pope francis. we have amazing pictures of pope francis greeting the crowds. the children who waited for hours just for a glimpse. and in his modern day of technology, a selfie hugging adults, blessing children.
coming up, i'll talk to the host of the radio show the catholic guy a guy. beyond the moments we're watching play out this very hour. but first a few interesting facts with the papal visit in the united states. the last pope to come here was benedict in 2008. pope john paul ii visited seven times. and pope paul the vi was the first pope to visit in 1965. (vo) maggie wasn't thrilled when ben and i got married. i knew it'd take some time. and her sensitive stomach didn't make things easier. it was hard to know why... the move...her food...? so we tried purina cat chow gentle... ...because it's specially formulated for easy digestion. she's loved it ever since.
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i'm deeply grateful for your welcome from all americans. as the son of an immigrant family, i am happy to be a guest in this country which was largely built by such families. >> welcome back to msnbc's special live coverage of pope francis in america. right now the pope is at the white house meeting with president obama for that one-on-one meeting in the oval office. later he'll depart the white house for a parade. i'm joined by the media manager for new york cardinal timothy dolan and host of the catholic guy on xm sirius radio. and kathleen, let's start with
you. the line there -- as the son of an immigrant family i am happy to be guest of this country which was largely built on such families. >> it was a wonderful been wonderful opening. what we expect from francis who always leads with encouraging words and the positive calling on the united states to live up to its founding principles. >> this is a live picture right now. let me update our audience as you see there, the president of the united states giving what appears to be a tour. we forget that here is this pope, educated man, but a man who's never travel to the united states. these are buildings and struck thurz that he's read about but now he has the opportunity like any of us, if we had the great chance to be at the white house to see this. >> his message is consistent but he focused on the american context, our founding principles. identified as the son of immigrants, mentions martin luther king. it's really so moving and as somebody who studies the religious experience in the united states to see a pope and
a president together, it's so recent these meetings. yes, john paul ii was the first pope to come to the white house in 1979. but paul vi when he came 50 years ago had to meet with president johnson here in new york in the waldorf-astoria. to have him at the white house even after there had been a catholic president would have been -- would not have been accepted. >> given also the timing of the pope's critical role in thawing relations with cuba here, and we talk a lot about politics here and we try to separate the pastoral message of what the pope is bringing of hope and acceptance. but we know he was just days ago in cuba and the implications of that visit when you have a raul castro, as giddy as some of the school children that we saw today meeting this pope. >> it's true, he's not viewing these situations through the lens of u.s. politics like we are. he's viewing them through the lens of the gospel but he's well
aware of their implications and ends how important his role is. he's established a great deal of moral credibility and leadership. >> you were traveling in cuba, you've seen this pope on this journey expectations are high. let's put it in perspective though, this meeting that will take place. the environment, economic opportunity and not so gently placed in his remarks -- immigration. the challenge that this pope has made to european nations and churches in europe to help and assist these immigrants who are right now fighting for their lives to get to safety with their families. >> so i want to say first of all just as an american and a catholic, this is exciting stuff. to see the pope walking around. i'm shocked he doesn't have this gigantic smile on his face. i've got to point out, as we all know, it is hs first trip. can you imagine your first trip to america and your first trip
to the white house and the president is the one giving you the tour, the president's the one showing you around saying now over here you're going to see this, over here you're going to say that. i can't help but think he's completely overwhelmed. >> as remarkable of a moment as that is, talk about that greeting in south america. can you imagine, hundreds of thousands -- i mean for perspective here, yes, it is an incredible honor, the president of the united states. but he is the pope of the people. do you get more joy than the people who are handing you their babies in the middle of your parade in brazil and the car goes the wrong direction? >> oh, that was absolutely fantastic. i don't want to -- i only wanted to paint the picture with the white house because i find it so fascinating. but you also -- take a look at how much the pope is not an actor. when the national anthem for the vatican is being played, the guy looks like he needs medication, we's standing there, he's looking around, he's not sure what to do. when he's around people he is energized, he is thrilled. he is the people's pope.
but he's the pope who just wants to be in touch with humanity. he wants to be in touch with culture and community and of course with the politics he wants to talk about how to help those people who throw the jerseys at them, who throw their babies at him to be blessed. he wants to talk about how can we help everybody on this planet, especially those who are oftentimes forgotten. >> let's bring in some of the realities though, to your point. it is an image that would warm just about any person's heart whether you are catholic or not to see this man of peace, this humble man. but you are the media manager for the new york cardinal timothy dolan. we know that some more conservative within the church, maybe to say take issue with some of the remarks of the pope would be a harsh way to word it, but in reality some of the messages from this pope, including his message of who am i to judge, and saying that the church needs to focus on other issues and not isolate one sin
over all sin is a message that is not fully accepted by the most conservative within the church. >> that's right. i think it is to be understood in a context. right? the context is this -- is the pope saying that he's changed the church teaching on a variety of topics? of course the answer is no. but some folks are going to say, let's be careful that the world hasn't misunderstood what the pope has said, that there's a way to be able to approach all folks without judging them, making sure everybody knows that god loves them. and still saying, but the church teaching remains the same. so some folks, yes, sometimes you can use the label conservative would fit there. you know. some folks would say i just want to make sure that the people still understand what the church teaches, along with this message. and i think the pope has come at it like this. oh, i don't think there's a misunderstanding of what the church is teaching. i think it's our articulation of it which has been so unappealing
for so many years that why not try a different approach and a different tact. i think that's what pope francis is after. >> i think many people have that same interpretation. kathleen, back to the meeting with the president. we don't know how long it is going to last. there was more than a few headlines noting how long their meeting at the vatican lasted here. but if you are a fluy on the wall, with your studies and your knowledge of this pope, is it a let's gret to brass tacks kind of conversation, is it goal oriented or an overview conversation that you believe is likely taking place. after all, it is a follow-up. they have the ground rules of things they like to talk about. >> they do. let's remember that everything we thought they were talking about in the spring at the vatican they weren't talking about. they were talking about cuba. we found that out later so we don't know. i expect it to be a very warm and personal encounter. pope francis does, whether he's meeting little children or the president of the united states, he's the same. he's focused on his encounter.
he used that word in his opening remarks. so i expect it to ibe very warm. i expect that they will be talking about global challenges. as i was listening to the pope talk, i couldn't help but call to mind the words of dorothy day, founder of the catholic worker movement, who talked about how what we're called to do is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. and that is -- was his message with that, yes, poverty should be front and center. but he's also come to challenge those that are comfortable to go outside of our comfort zones. he does that symbolically himself by venturing into the crowd and going off script to hug children. where are we all. where can we step out of what makes us comfortable in order to radically change our lives and to serve the church's mission. i suspect speaking to president obama, a powerful leader, he'll be talking about how he, too,
might step out of his comfort zone. >> kathleen, thank you so much. leno, thank you as well. our special coverage of the pope's historic day will continue throughout this day, including the unprecedented security operations, not only under way right now in washington, d.c., but in new york, as well as where it will all wrap up, the great city of philadelphia. we'll be right back. ♪ i built my business with passion. but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy for my studio. ♪ and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means thousands of dollars each year going back into my business... that's huge for my bottom line. what's in your wallet?
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he's coming to a city that's pretty divided on issues and he's trying to bring us all together. so i thought today was the day i needed to come out and see the man who's trying to change it all. >> he's just spreading the real message of jesus. the whole idea of love and we're all loved, we're all god's children. so -- and he gets that. >> that was just a few of the people who came out to greet the pope this morning before he made his way to the white house. i'd like to bring in president
of the jesuit conference of canada and the united states. he was just on the white house lawn for the speeches. father, thank you so much for joining us. let me get your reaction to what we saw play out as the first pope spoke in english and the words he chose to use. >> well, there was a great deal of excitement when he walked out. immediately we could understand him which was very important. he talked about himself as an immigrant, and then related it to this nation being built by immigrants which struck a chord with so many people. he talked about religious freedom. he talked about the environment. then he talk about the unique role the united states has in assisting particularly the vulnerable. then he concluded with the words "god bless america." and you could see particularly -- i was seated behind the choir. when he quoted the reverend dr. martin luther king, particularly
the quote about holding a pr promissory note, you could just see a sense of love, of compassion and hope coming from this historic visit of pope francis to the united states and being received by the president. >> i want to point out to our audience, this is new video just in to us of the start of the meeting with president obama and pope francis. let's listen in. >> we were just commenting that i noticed all of you are much better behave than usual. thank you, everybody. >> so you see there, the press corps getting their access to this image again that we'll talk
so much about because there are no cameras about the private meeting of the one-on-one with pope francis and president obama. father, let me bring you back in to talk a little bit about this meeting. to my colleague, kathleen's point, when they met in 2014 everyone thought they would be talking about a number of topics. instead they were talking about cuba and the pope's role in facilitating the thaw in that relationship. this time around the speculation that it will be economic inequality, the crisis not just involving syrians but also what's happening here in this country and the debate over immigrants from mexico and all over the world who will either be welcomed in this country or, in some political debates, sending them away. how does the pope approach the meetings, especially one of this magnitude? >> it's interesting that you
talk about syria and the situation in the united states. i happened to be in st. peter's square when the pope asked everyone -- he was speaking to the world but he was speaking it particular will to those in the square. he asked every catholic parish to take in a syrian family everywhere in europe. with 11 undocumented people in the united states, it is quite imaginable that the holy father is going to talk to the president about this. we don't know everything he's going to discuss but this is someone -- this is a pope who does mott hold his cards close to his vest. he's very clear about what he believes in, what he wants for the world. i think what he's going to represent even behind closed doors to the president of the united states are themes he'll hit upon with the bishops later today, with congress tomorrow, and with everyone whom he encounters. >> it was said earlier this morning, a vatican official was quoted as saying, in a sense, the pope is skeptical or suspicious of wall street. i'm sure he has many questions
as it relates to how this works, this notion of a debate over minimum wage in this country while you have those on wall street who make many millions of dollars more than the workers every day. but how does he balance this message of a pastoral visit with topics we know it seems impossible to separate from politics? >> well, as a pastor, a pastor preaches the gospel. the gospel parables and the gospel message has implicit political overtones inasmuch as the gospel says how we should relate to one another as brothers and sisters. so he will speak as a pastor, using pastoral themes. but when he talks in his apostolic letters against unfettered capitalism, and when he talks about the need to recognize the poorest among us, he feels he's speaking as a pastor, not as a politics. he's a pastor with very keen
political instincts, and yet at heart he is a pastor. i think he's going to keep that message very much based on the gospel, based on his faith and his call to care for all citizens of the world. >> let me go back again to what we all believe and know is the most important thing for this pope -- the people of the church. quite honestly, whether you're catholic or not. and looking at this image of many of those from latin america who have an especially high level of pride and who want this connection, who believe that this connection will take them to a higher place as an individual. and i don't mean in the sense of a heavenly place, but a better life that you can live as a human being to see this. how does it feel for you? >> well, you know, i'm a member of the jesuit order. pope francis, as we know, is a
jesuit. there is a certain simpatico nature to hearing him speak and knowing that i was formed in the same religious order that he was formed in. and seeing that, we have not had a pope from a religious order since gregory xvi in the mid 19th century. as a jesuit, he's a missionary. he really wants to take the church really beyond what it does day in and day out to go what he calls to the peripheries. so when you see him going to tk l particularly home to latin america and embracing the poor, the poor throughout the world, we see someone who is not just himself going but he's inviting all catholics to embrace the larger faith, to meet people or cultures that we might not be familiar with or know. because in a sense we are all one family on this planet. >> i have to point out, one of the stops for the pope is catholic charities where he will attend a lunch where 200 homeless people will be fed.
we saw him wash the feet of juveniles right after becoming pope here. there's a lot of fuss made over the choice of a car. fiat as an example of the life that he lives. but in fact, it is these images that we will see a little bit later, including choosing to be not with the highest of powers in that town, but those who many would see at the lowest point of their lives. >> yes. it's interesting, sundit's not he's against people who have acquired wealth or people who have political influence in society. it's that he thinks we will learn so much from the poor and the suffering because perhaps in their suffering they are closest to god and they can lead us to god. there's no question, you will see his face light up when he walks into catholic charities, when he has a meal with homeless people, because he just has an
empathy, a sympathy for people who are in need. >> father, thank you so much for your time. it is a great honor to have you as part of our coverage. we greatly appreciate your insight. the coverage will continue as we take a live look now at the crowds. tens of thousands all around different locations in washington, d.c. waiting to get that glimpse. we're back with more as the president has welcomed pope francis to the white house and their one-on-one meeting we're told is about to start. ♪ [engine revving] ♪ ♪ ♪
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it may not be obvious yet, but one of these kids is going to change the world. we just need to make sure she has what she needs. welcome to windows 10. the future starts now for all of us. and sometimes i struggle to sleep at night,blind. and stay awake during the day. this is called non-24. learn more by calling 844-824-2424. or visit your24info.com. we want to bring you some live images. there they are, many of them, would describe themselves as the faithful. others just inspired by pope francis standing along the parade route which will start after this one-on-one meeting that the pope is having right
now with the president. the route of the parade will leave the white house to 17th street, left on constitution, if you've got your gps here. then follow on to 15th street, returning to the white house grounds. the ellipse route of the parade. the pope will leave the white house then to head to the cathedral of st. matthew the apostle. what we've seen today has been historic. but when we see this pope along that parade route with the people, these are the images that will last a lifetime. it is being called the largest security operation by the secret service. pope francis is expected to draw crowds of millions as the secret service puts over nine months of preparation to the test. three cities, 16 events and thousands of law enforcement snipers, s.w.a.t. teams, police helicopters, are all in place to keep the pontiff and the faithful safe. the pope will be in washington, d.c. until tomorrow when he
departs for new york city. joining me now live from times square is nbc's stephanie gosk. it is said, stephanie, of times square that those corners of the world have more cameras than any other place. one of the most secure places in the world. nevertheless, it can be heightened for something of this occasion. >> reporter: sure. i mean there are plenty of eyes in the sky. there will also be helicopters in the air. there really are no shortage of superlatives when it comes to describing this security event. biggest. most complicated. most layered. it is why the department of homeland security took the rare step of declaring it a national special security event which, in effect, allows the federal government to bring its full force to bear on the operation. it means that the secret service is in charge. when we spoke to the director of the secret service, he told us that he personally has been to rome multiple times talking about this trip and negotiating
this trip. just looking at just the recent last day with the pope here, i have to believe that one of those compromises for the secret service is that little fiat he's driving around in. tamron? >> security wise, when we mention, stephanie, that the secret service will take over -- or basically take the lead here, i would imagine just the effort of coordinating all of this is unprecedented given as well, we know, that the u.n. general assembly will also be taking place. >> reporter: absolutely. here in new york city, you've got more than 50 organizations and agencies involved. that's state, federal, local. you also have the vatican as well and coordinating that really does take one overseer and that's the secret service in this case. also as you mentioned, the complications here had new york particularly, because of the united nations general assembly, you have the biggest historic group of world leaders coming
together this week. you already see the effects of that on the streets here in new york as those convoys are making their way around. by the time the pope gets here it is going to be nearly impossible to go anywhere in this city in a car. tamron? >> stephanie gosk, thank you so much. we'll be right back as we await pope francis' parade in washington, d.c. hey america, still not sure whether to stay or go on that business trip? ♪ should i stay or should i go well this fall stay with choice hotels two times and earn a free night.
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mr. president, once again, i thank you for your welcome and i look forward to these days in your country. god bless america. >> we are back with our special coverage of pope francis' historic visit to america. the pope is expected to leave the white house very soon for what's described as a small parade. what we mean by that probably is the length, not the numbers of people who will be out there. in the last hour we saw the pope and president obama inside the oval office where they are wrapping up a private meeting. president obama also gave pope francis a tour of the white house as they walked to the oval office. and now when the pope departs the white house moments from now he will head to the white house ellipse, the park at the south end of the grounds. and for the first time during his u.s.