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tv   Pope The Most Powerful Man in History  CNN  April 8, 2018 7:00pm-8:00pm PDT

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>> ted has too much to drink and gets into the car with a young woman. >> he took a radically wrong turn. >> rescue units marshalled all resources. >> they called me to say that john kennedy's plane is missing. >> how much tragedy and death can one family take? one of the most powerful men on earth, holds a position that has existed for nearly 2,000 years. as the world changes and faith evolves his authority remains. what began with one apostle has become 1.2 billion followers under one man. he is the head of the catholic church, the pope.
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and this is his path to power. ♪ ♪ in this episode, choices in the face of war leave an indelible mark on the papacy. while the world debates sainthood for one of the most controversial popes of the modern era, history is forced to
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consider, did the catholic church do enough? pope francis is the third sitting pope to visit a nazi death camp. on july 29th, 2016, he makes an historic visit to auschwitz in poland. in this camp alone the nazis put more than one million people to death. >> according to catholic teaching today anti-semitism is
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a sin. jewish people are not to be converted. they have their own relationship with god. but this was a christian society that somehow was able to view jews that as enough of an other, outsider, that they could live with this. >> pope francis's visit to the death camp immerpss the church in a harrowing time in world and church history. faced with the haunting images of the holocaust, pope francis is confronted by the legacies of his predecessors. >> the question is not only what we think the pope did during the world war ii and holocaust but what we think the pope should have done. >> pope pius the 12th is a polarizing figure.
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many brave his bravery in the face of facism, while others believe he could have done more. >> there is a controversial move to kansanize pius the 12th to have him declared a saint. the real crux of the issue is whether the actions of this pope in the midst of the great tragedies of human history, were that's the stuff of the vicar of christ, is that the stuff of a saint. >> the controversy surrounding pius the 12th begins before he ever becomes pope. from 1917 to the 1929 eugene yo pacelli serves as a papal ambassador stationed in germany. >> he was tapped by the vatican to try to go to germany to bring an edlin to world war i. he didn't bring an end to the war but he stayed in germany, helping displaced persons,
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injured persons. then the soldiers come back. >> because of world war i and germany losing world war i unrest. there was political os. there was revolution. >> you've got a bunch of young men who don't have jobs and feel like they were betrayed by their country. there is this violence in the streets. they start forming organizations that eventually morph into the nazis. >> oppressive government regimes across europe gain traction by blaming outsiders immigrants and jews for the post-war economic crisis. in 1922 benito mussolini leads the facist party to a victory in italy, while hitler and the
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nazis rice to power in germany where pacelli is stationed. new pope pius the 11th is faced with unprecedented unrest. >> pius the xi was an interesting pope, a diplomat, very experienced in international politics. and he saw the evil of naziism. >> the nazi party stands firmly as anti-religion, putting jews and catholics in their cross hairs. alarmed by what he sees happening in nazi germany, pius the xi dploers pacelli to be his eyes and ears on the ground. >> hitler and the pope pius the 12th are in at the same time. he is reporting back to roam
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about what's going o >> pie us xi and pacelli had a unique relationship. pacelli was really really critical in helping to steer much of the major decision that is pius xi made. pius xi asked pacelli to become his secretary of state. and so pacelli becomes the second most powerful man in the government of the church. as facism explodes over europe. catholics become enemies of the state. >> the thing about catholics in particular, catholics had a relationship, a devotion to something outside of government. >> there is going to be conflict over the status of catholic youth groups and whether the youth groups ought to be brought up the umbrella of facist organizations. >> there are some catholic
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bishops who were beaten. who had their homes and their offices ran sacked. >> the church of course to be able to operate has to be physically secure. >> the vatican is faced with an extraordinary dilemma. because of his experience as a papal diplomat pope pius xi enlists pacelli's hope to negotiate with the facist italian government. the result is the lattern treaty. >> italy and the vatican reach an agreement to allow the church to function, allow the pope to feel secure when he left the vatican itself. >> in 1929 is really a milestone. the italian government is a dictatorship in the hand of benito mussolini. and the treaty returns to the pope sovereignty, which meant independence. >> the lattern treaty made the vatican city into an independent nation state.
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>> in exchange for vatican autonomy, the pope agrees to halt all opposition to mussolini's regime. the 1929 agreement sets a precedent. the church is willing to negotiate with dictators in exchange for sovereignty. >> announcer: pope the most powerful man in history. people would stare. psoriasis does that. it was tough getting out there on stage. i wanted to be clear. i wanted it to last. so i kept on fighting. i found something that worked. and keeps on working. now? they see me. see me. see if cosentyx could make a difference for you- cosentyx is proven to help people with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis... ...find clear skin that can last. don't use if you're allergic to cosentyx. before starting cosentyx, you should be checked for tuberculosis. an increased risk of infections and lowered ability
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for having given something. part of the deal was that the church was to remain outside of politics. >> with church opposition out of the way, mussolini's facist government flourishes. >> the lattern treaty, it's a major step in the consolidation of the dictatorship. mussolini can turn to the population that is largely peace and show he has made piece with the spiritual leader of the church. >> while mussolini and the church mutually benefit from piece in italy, adolph hitler is elected chancellor of germany and naziism becomes the law of the land. >> jews were a target almost immediately. january 30th, adolph hitler becomes chancellor of germany, the first anti-jewish law is
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april 1st. and the nazi movement not only was anti-semitic, they were anti-communist, anti-socialist, anti-catholic. for catholics suddenly they couldn't join their youth group organization without fighting with the local nazi youth. their schools would be confiscated. day to day violence was an every-day occurrence from 1933 onward. >> after the success of the lattern treaty pope pipious xi looks again to eugenio pachl yes to help cath likes in the face of another troubling dictator. in july 1933 pacelli negotiates another treaty, this time with the german government, called
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the reich concordant. >> this was a defensive measure. the stay says okay we will allow the church control over its affairs. but the price to be paid is that the church is not to be involved in politics. it's a controversial agreement. some see it as a packet with the devil. it effectively takes the catholic church out of the political realm. at the moment when opposition to a evolving dictatorship was more needed than ever. >> it was a fatal stepping back from confronting pure evil. >> although the treaty officially prevents the vatican from working against hitler. many german catholics refuse to stay silent. >> an aanonymous woman writes to pius xi and she says i'm walking along in the streets day to day and children are beating up their jewish neighbors. how can we be good, moral thinking catholics with this
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going on around us? despite the ten ets of the agreement nazis continue to interfere in catholic life. nuns and priests continue to be arrested. and hitler passes sterilization laws which stand in diameteric opposition to catholic tradition. >> hitler wasn't a man you could ever trust opinion and of course you could never do a deal with hitler. >> and yet the vatican just stays on course. we have a treaty. we have a treaty. we have a treaty. >> and so the oppression of the church went on. and it got worse. infinitily horribly worse. >> as the 1930s wear on, hitler's dictatorship becomes more and more violent. a litany of anti-jewish laws are
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passed, including a boycott of all jewish businesses. enemies of the state, including catholic priests are put on trains to labor camps. >> the concentration camp at dachau, some described it as the world's biggest seminary. at one point in time there were thousands of catholic priests there. >> 2500 catholic priests died at dachau, not catholics, priests. at this point there is no way that the church and the third reich are going to get along. >> the vatican writes more than 50 complaints to nazis about violations of the treaty. but pius xi does not speak out publicly against hitler. >> the latter part of the 1930s,
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pius xi began to prepare himself and the church for some kind of direct confrontation with the facist regimes. >> he distrusted hitler. he was also opposed to racism. he was personally not very friendly to the jews. he shared the very widespread christian belief that the jews as a people had been responsible for jesus's death. but he thought that that didn't mean you had a right to invade their human rights. and in fact wrote a cycle condemning zboo. >> in 1938 i pius xi enlists pacelli's help again. he drafts a encyclical. >> it's a highest statement a pope can make. >> pope pius xi calls the german
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encyclical, "with burning concern." in it he condemns race frims a theological perspective. >> it was talking about how it's foolish to think that god would lock all of what is great in humanity into a single race. >> with the nazis on high alert for any subversive activity, the vatican uses a secret career network to smuggle the encyclical into germany. >> it was read from the pulpits in catholic churches throughout jeremy on palm sunday. >> it was the only time that the whole of germany heard a denunciation of the regime from pull pits, an extraordinarily brave thing to do. >> but the papal risk is a
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measured one although the encyclical denounces racism it fails to mention hirmt or naziism by name. >>s pacelli is ever mindful of the need and desire to maintain a diplomatic relationship. so it's an interesting sort of doctrinal statement that perhaps lacks some of the political punch that that hour called for. >> regardless of the ambiguous language hitler gends soldiers into every german church to confiscate it. >> anybody said it, repeated it or they were arrested or beat up our property seized. creating fear over retaliation. that's what hitler played upon. >> in 1938 hitler's regime expands into austria. more anti-semitic laws are
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passed. more jewish homes and businesses are destroyed. and still the vatican remains publicly neutral. but on the night of november 9th, 1938, german will explode in violence, marking a sinister shift in the nazi agenda that the world will not be able to ignore. a hilton getaway means you get more because you get a break on breakfast get an extra day by the pool get to spend more time together
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in the two years after pope pius xi releases his anti-racism encyclical, the vatican remains publicly silent about hitler's growing facist regime. and on the eve of november 9th, 1938, nazi violence against the jews reaches a fever pitch. >> crystal nacht was the night of shattered glass. it's the night when the nazis went to the jewish businesses, the synagogues, and smashed everything. >> 30,000 jewish meant were sent to a concentration camp. it was a very public violent attack on jews. and after that it was game over. >> bishops from all over europe write to the vatican's secretary
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of state eugenio pacelli demanding a response to the violence in germany. >> the primate of the catholic church in england wrote to pacelli and said we need to clear this is nazi terrorism against juice. can you make a statement? and pacelli writes back saying, well it's a difficult issue. and what we need to do is just issue a statement of general love and concern and mercy for all in a universal way. >>? january 1939, hitler makes a bone chilling speech, threatening the annihilation of the jewish race in europe. more men, women and children are sent to concentration camps. despite the vatican's neutrality treaties, pope pius xi can no longer remain silent.
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>> it's quite clear when pius xi was dying he was about to denounce facism in quite explicit terms. >> pius xi begins to draft on the human race, an encyclical in which he condemns anti-semitism. but he dies before it is ever released. now, with europe on the brink of another war, the cardinals must elect a new pope. >> the conclaf of 1939 comes at a critical moment. it's very clear that nazi foreign policy is becoming increasingly aggressive. and so the election of a new pope garners great interest well beyond the catholic world. >> pius the xi had clearly gramd pacelli to become the next pope. >> after a conclave lasting less than 24 hours, vatican secretary
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of state eugenio pacelli is sworn in as pope. he chooses to call himself pius xii to honor his mentor. >> one of the things that made pacelli the right choice at this point in time was that all the rival parties believed that he was in their camp. he was as it were all things to all men. >> he was widely recognized for diplomatic skill. it was seen that given that the world was in a state of such tension that a diplomat pope and one with with considerable experience in international affairs might be in order. >> as tensions in europe continue to rise, pope pius xii is paced with a daunting task. he must navigate the role of religious leader in an increasing secular world. >> i think it compels popes to ask themselves who they represent. and for whom should they speak.
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>> pius xii was trained as a papal diplomat. he deeply internalized the doctrine that papacy functioned best as a neutral force but can the papacy really be neutral in the face of naziism? >> six months after his election the nazis invade poland. and world war ii is officially declared in europe. >> the ni invasion ofoland in september 1939 is catastrophic for cath likes. poll sand is a catholic country. polish catholic likes were dealt with harshly. priests were murdered on the spot. with women raped. the vatican received reports of this. and cries for help. >> this was a war against religion, against jews, against
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catholics, against anything that was non-german. >> pius xi. is forced to re-examine his commitment to quiet diplomacy. with the church under attack it is up to the pope to defend the faithful. so instead of around 40 bucks a month, i got it for just 12 bucks a month. and cut, that's a wrap. uhhh wrap on what? paul! it's paul from "paul: the movie!" already seeing a sequel, gonna be huge. meet your co-star. what are you doing here? we're going hollywood baby! switch to sprint and lease the cinematic lg v30+ for for people with hearing loss, visit sprintrelay.com $12 a month or the lg g6 for $6 a month. for people with hearing loss, visit sprintrelay.com plus, get the best price for unlimited. for people with hearing loss, visit sprintrelay.com were great at being human. and if all of mankind were made up of kind women and kind men. it would be spectacular if the golden rule was golden to every man. and the good things that we ever did
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six months after eugenio pacelli is elected pope, the nazis invade poland. catapulting europe into world war ii. despite pressure from allies forces, including u.s. president roosevelt, pius xii's statements remain measured and neutral. meanwhile, hitler's agenda only grows in scope and horror. >> the nazis started a program to eliminate people with mental and physical disabilities. that eventually morphed into the final solution. >> there was a decision to exterminate every jewish man, woman and child everywhere in europe. >> in the 1930s, nazis sent jews outspoken catholics, communists and the handicapped to
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concentration camps. but in 1940 hitler opens auschwitz, the first and most lethal of what will be 8 nazi death factories. camps engineered for the systematic mass murder of jews. by the end of the war more than 1 million jews will perish in auschwitz alone. >> news, letters and cables of exactly what the nazi regime was doing went to and from the vatican daily by the hundreds. >> many of his own reliable sources were telling him that the nazis are engaged in a particularly cruel and unique campaign against jews. he receives one memo from a military chaplain that begins simply, the jews. a dreadful situation which dates to 1942. >> the vatican knew precisely what was going on. there was no better informed
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organization in europe than the vatican. >> as the horrific images from germany and poland spread across the globe, the deaf out look to the pope for guidance. but ever the diplomat, pius xii worries against action against hitler might provoke more violence against cath likes. >> if pius xii spoke out would it make it worse for cath likes? actually you could hardly make it worse for polish cath likes. >> as he himself says, i have to watch what i say. because i want to avoid a greater evil. but what he can do he will do. and a great example of the way pius xii dealt with this question comes in the christmas address of 1942.
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>> in his christmas address broadcast internationally on vatican radio, pope pius xii makes one of his only public statements about the war. in it, he speaks for human rights and against racism. but he fails to mention hitler, the nazis or the jewish people by name. >> he made a very generalized statement about the rights of people, that he thought was all he needed to say about the jewish question. >> the bottom line was, even after violence against jews, the decision in rome was, we're not going to name the nazis. and we're fallout going to name jews. we're just going to offer universal love and charity. so it's another opportunity that was missed. and a critical one. >> he worried a lot about the consequences of speaking out. one wonders did he ever think about the consequences of not speaking out?
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>> despite pius xii's public neutrality. hitler's march towards world domination reaches the pope's doorstep. in september of 1943 hitler invades rome. >> it was a situation where the pope thought that they had an operating agreement, did not think that was going to happen. but about 2,000 jews were rounded up. >> the day of the round up, the pope says he doesn't want to have to come out and condemn explicitly nazi behavior. it's obviously a veiled threat to do precisely that. but he says he doesn't want to do it. so the threat of a public condemnation is dangled which tell us in fact that he and his men understand the power be and the value of the pope's words. and repeatedly, consistently even as people are being rounded up, he declines to utter that clear word.
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as the war rages outside the vatican walls, pius xii becomes a target. rumors fly about a nazi plan to kidnap the pope. >> hitler actually got a general and told him to draw up plans to invade the vatican. pius the gathered earn and released them if they wanted to leave. but also submitted a letter that was his resignation that said if i'm captured, i resign the papacy. they will not capture the pope they will capture eugenio pacelli, but not the pope. >> as bombs go off and juice are right nowed up right under the pope's windows, pius xii must take stock. his diplomatic efforts have failed. and the vatican is now directly in nazi cross hairs.
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in september 1943 nazi troops invade rome. an imminent attack on the vacan looms, and more than 2,000 roman jews are rounded up
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for deportation to extermination camps. they're held at the military college of rome, mere blocks from st. peter's basil ka. but despite the atrocities unfolding at his doorstep. pope pius remains publicly silent. >> he takes the path of diplomatic caution in terms of his public pronounce mts. but it's not that the pope was inactive. there is a view that the pope works behind the scenes to try to put an end to the roundup. there is some evidence that that in fact actually worked. >> they got several jews released, primarily because they were married to a catholic, or invoked the concord ate to avoid deportation. >> he says let's do what we can to alleviate suffering on the ground. >> there were some vatican
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trucks that would take food and blankets and try to bring additional supplies to where needed. >> some believe that pope pius xii's silence is a cover, that throughout the war he has secretly involved with covert operations with the allies. >> the pope did secretly tape his conversations. during the week of his election in 1939, the vatican's tapes show clearly that he opted for public acquiescence with the nazis and at the same time deciding they must be resistant behind the scenes. pius xii received information from a vatican spy in german. and he passed this information on to the western allies. >> some historians even speculate about papal involvement in a plan to assassinate hitler. >> the key figure in the german resistance to dpirl was admiral
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wilhelm, kanaris. who pacelli met in the 20s when he was in germany. he reached out to his old friend pacelli and said help me and germany get rid of hitler. kanaris had access then to explosives. between 1940nd 1944 tre would be three failed attempts to assassinate adolph hitler. information about these plots is still shrouded in conspiracy theory. and documented proof of pius xii's role is almost non-existent. >> for a long time it wasn't known about. because the pope knew if he kept written records it would get people killed. >> to be really clear, the pope was not involved in any of the details. he does help to facilitate the contacts helping to remove adolph hitler. that's important.
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it was risky, something he kept from closest advisers. and it shows us for all of our understanding of him as very cautious and maybe too cautious. he could at times take bold and risky actions. >> despite the uncertainty surrounding any papal involvement in a plan to kill hitler, the church's role in hiding jews during the war is undeniable. >> there is good reliable evidence that church institutions, religious houses, were used to rescue and house jews. >> there is even evidence the jews were hidden on vatican-owned properties. >> there is some fascinating photographs where you people not only sleeping on the floors in churches, not oem in the hallways but even on the staircase up and down the staircases three across. >> close to 6 million european jews perished during world war ii. but nearly 80% of the 12,000
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roman jews survive. >> a large percentage of jews in rome survive in large part because of the actions of many of these religious houses. >> the debate around that is, was there a central order to do this? did pius xii remain silent during the actual roundup but secretly issue an order that as many jews should be hidden as possible? and we have never found an order from pius xii to shelter and hide italian jews. and there were even some cases where he was displeased because it put that particular religious order or house at risk. >> despite more than 70 years of retrospect, the pontificate is still veiled in mystery. who was he? and does he deserve to be called
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to be canonized a saint is to be recognized as one that shares an eternal life with god in heaven. in the last 1,000 years, only seven popes have been made saints. raining for nearly two decades,
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many catholic as a prolific religious leader responsible for shaping the modern church. but as the world debates cann canonizations for the war-time pope, we are forced to consider the holliness of his actions during one of the most turbulent times in world history. >> the heart of the controversy is whether his diplomatic caution saves lives. those who advance his cause see that as an argument to make him a saint. >> pius the 12th is excused for not having condemned the ex termination because he himself said, had he done so, it wouldn't have done any good and may have made things worse but it's hard to avoid the feeling there was some kind of moral
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failure. >> the crux of the debate lies on pope pius the 12th. who was he? and why did he make the decisions he did? >> there are those who see in his reluctance to identify the suffering of jews in particular. >> the time in germany as a people diplomat is critical to his formation, his thinking about germans and germany and would could argue thinking about jus. he describes meeting with jewish officials who he describes as dirty come pmunists with slante eyes. we can see his negative stereo types about jus ews in his writs and i'm not convinced it ever exited his thinking. >> the whole of pius the 12th
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pope is dominated in questions. it seems a bit simple to say that there were evil people, good people because most of us aren't actually one or the other. we're a mixture. it's much more complex. >> but the complexities of pope pius the 12th are yet to be unravelled. questions about what he did and did not do during the holocaust remain unanswered. >> we don't yet have access to all of the wartime archive so we don't really have a full historical record for pius the 12th. >> once they are available and scholars can make a determination of exactly what he did or didn't do, then we can say definitively what the record of pius the 12th was and before we can do that, it would be premature to move forward with sainthood.
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♪ ♪ >> until the records are released, the world can only speculate polarized opinions color the debate over the canonizations over a controversial historical figure. >> if in fact he wanted to protect his church and cow religionests in the face of the holocaust, that decision had consequences. >> i think pie rus the 12th mad decisions and maybe that's a lesson for the church, sometimes we don't make the right decision and we need to atone and correct ourselves and we need to do better in the future.
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>> in 2016 as pope francis walked through the shadows, he must face the legacy of his predecessors. he prays for the mistakes he made and lessons that will carry the church forward. >>ically different pope than the church has seen in a long time. he has the rule of love. love your neighbor and if you're doing that, you're a good catholic. >> modern popes engage in politics at the highest level. regularly meeting with world leaders and taking stance against atrocity and justice. john paul ii works tirelessly to help the african continue innocent heal in colon l list m
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and apartheid. a champion for human rights, unafraid to fight for the freedoms of the oppressed. >> francis, john paul, ii have moved us significantly. they have opened the door now in the vatican. he's actually a player particularly in humanitarian aspects and that's been an aspect of the ministry. during the second world war, there was this sense that the church was different from the world and the pope was isolated. >> i'm a lifelong practicing catholic who has worked for 17 years at the holocaust museum and i'm a historian. and so it's difficult to just look clinically at a document where a ukrainian catholic shooter is take ging a jewish cd
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by the neck and shooting them while their mother watches and then going to church the following sunday to see that catholics have the capacity to set their faith to one side and be part of the coal cost that destroyed 6 million families and to this day the families come to the museum and it goes generations deep. it makes one question what is the point of my faith at all? is the point of a pope leading a church where love and mercy is not paramount and it makes you wonder. >> in times of tragedy, humanity continues to wrestle with faith. the world looks to the pope for
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guidance and comfort and in the darkest of times, lessons of the past must light his way. the american people have entrusted the power of the white house to john f. kennedy. since then, there has been one political disaster after another. and jfk's troubles are far from over. scandal threatens his marriage. the struggle for civil rights engulfs the south and the world faces nuclear annihilation. >> aggressive conduct ultimately leads to war.

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