updated 4/13/2005 12:50:50 PM ET 2005-04-13T16:50:50

Guest: Daniel Lapin, Jim Martin, Ray Flynn, Carl Sferrazza

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Tonight, as the world watches St. Peter’s Square in Rome, over one billion Catholics worldwide remember the epic life of Pope John Paul II. 

Meanwhile, millions of pilgrims are streaming into the Eternal City from all corners of the world to say goodbye to God’s vicar here on Earth.  They come from Europe to remember, to remember the man who first reached out to God under the cruel clouds of Nazi occupation.  They come from Russia to praise the pope who stood toe to toe with the Soviet empire and lived to watch that evil regime be relegated to the ash heap of history.  They come from Africa to say goodbye to a man who demanded more from his followers, teaching that the centerpiece of Jesus Christ’s memory was giving food to the hungry, clothes to the poor, and hope to the hopeless. 

It’s a message that has moved princes and paupers, and it’s a message that will bring presidents and prime ministers to remember this pope, and it’s a message that will even have communist leaders, once the church’s sworn enemy, lifting up his almost sainted name. 

Tonight, the world continues saying goodbye to a remarkable man, to a man that all the world will soon call pope John Paul the Great. 

With a funeral a little over 24 hours away, President George W. Bush and the U.S. delegation pay their respects to Pope John Paul II.  President Bush is the first sitting president to attend a papal funeral. 

Chris Jansing has been in Vatican City all through this week.  And she is there right now. 

Chris, what is the very latest from the Vatican? 

CHRIS JANSING, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  I have spent a good bit of the night out on the line with the people and talking to many who were very close to this pope, cardinals, archbishops, the papal biographer, all of them flabbergasted.

Even they did not expect this outpouring of love and emotion for Pope John Paul II.  I think that the police chief of Rome said it very well.  He said, this outpouring is staggering.  The line went from a four-hour wait to 10-hour wait to 24-hour wait, until, early today, they had to send out text messages on Italian cell phone lines saying, no one else come to the city center. 

At that point, they were estimating 1.2 million people were standing on line.  And, of course, 10:00 tonight, Rome time, they had to cut off the line altogether, because they knew they couldn’t accommodate all of pilgrims who wanted to pay their respects to the pope before they have to close the Basilica tomorrow in order to get ready for the funeral.  And you have to wonder what draws these people here, people who tell you they were watching on TV and simply felt they had to go to the airport, get on a plane and come. 

Well, here are three stories out of millions of pilgrims. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANSING (voice-over):  Standing in these lines was never a choice for many of these people, who said they just had to come. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think—I believe that all the people of the world are weeping. 

JANSING:  And so they have traveled as pilgrims to spend just a few seconds here for at least 21 hours each day, 15,000 to 18,000 people per hour, paying their respects. 

Carol Negrett (ph) from California. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  We have lost a grandfather.  I mean, he is our Peter the rock of our generation.  I don’t think the Catholic Church will ever be the same. 

JANSING:  Pablo (ph) and Jenny (ph) from Croatia, a three-day pilgrimage, by car, by ferry, and car again. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  For me personally, like I have always said, to me, the pope was my pope, because he was somebody that really touched my life very deeply.  And I wanted to be here. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  It was a very special moment just to say goodbye, to say, goodbye and to say thanks, and a great relief to be able to be here saying thank you very much for the last years. 

JANSING:  And then there was this 10-year-old boy from the Philippines. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think that he is a holy man, like my mom, and I hope he will find a happy place in heaven. 

JANSING:  His mother’s affection for this pope, so great, she gave her son the name John Paul. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  So he is really special to us.  And I guess we are also special to him.  And so we are making this special trip also to see him.  He is a saint.  For us, he’s already a saint. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  Chris, it’s a remarkable story.  We have heard that, of course, a lot of Roman officials, like you said, absolutely stunned by what they have seen.  Are they going to be able to handle the crushing crowds that are going to be coming in for this funeral on Friday? 

JANSING:  Well, they are hoping to be able to control it by keeping people away, first from the city center.

But when they were asked today, how many people are in the city, there’s not even any way for them to know.  So, they really are encouraging people to stay on the outskirts.  They have been setting up tent cities.  The old Olympic Stadium is a tent city.  They are also making provisions in a lot of different parts of Rome to set up these big screen televisions.

And people are sort of planning get-togethers with groups.  They know they won’t be able to get near the Vatican, near St. Peter’s Basilica.  Of course, the funeral is a ticketed event.  They are encouraging people to go in these groups, and, obviously, they have brought in security officials from all over the country. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And yet, Chris, still they come.  And you see these long lines.  And the most remarkable thing about these lines, people will wait in line for 24 hours.  And the second they get up to the pope, they immediately have the police pushing them along.  They are waiting in line on their feet for 24 hours to get maybe a two- or three-second glance at the pope.  That is just truly a remarkable story, isn’t it? 

JANSING:  And some people say, you know, even with glancing back over their shoulder, it might be 20 or 30 seconds.  But I will tell you, from my perspective, two things really stand out to me. 

I have walked this line so many times over the last couple of days.  Who wants to wait in line for that period of time?  There’s a lot of jokes about how Italians are not patient.  But we have seen almost no problems.  People are so incredibly nice, and I have to say that they have really been trying to help each other out, especially if people are not feeling well, if they are getting really tired.

And it’s so respectful.  Like, tonight, I was out when they had the president on the big screen television, and everyone was just looking up and watching.  And then they come out, and you say to them, you waited 18 hours to see this man lying there for a few seconds.  And, to a person, they say it was worth it; they would do it again. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Chris Jansing, it is a remarkable story.  And we thank you.  All of us thank you for bringing it to us.  We really appreciate it. 

(CROSSTALK)  

SCARBOROUGH:  With me now to talk about the remarkable events that are going on over in Vatican City right now are MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan.  And also, we have Carl Anthony—I’m sorry, help me with the last name. 

CARL SFERRAZZA, AUTHOR, “NELLIE TAFT”:  Carl Sferrazza. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, OK.

SFERRAZZA:  Just call me Carl. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCARBOROUGH:  OK, Carl.  And you can call me Joe. 

Author of “Nellie Taft: The Unconventional First Lady of the Ragtime Era.” 

Pat, I will start with you. 

A remarkable, remarkable story, people standing in line for 24 hours.  The line is going, we understand, two miles long, person to person to person, and yet they still come.  Why? 

PAT BUCHANAN, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Well, this is astonishing, Joe. 

I was just trying to think, as I heard Chris talking.  I remember two famous funerals in America, of course, John F. Kennedy, who, in his prime, was cut down in Dallas.  And I grew up in D.C., and I remember the lines to go up there and go through there, and the lines for Ronald Reagan, who, of course, had been out of office. 

I can’t think of anyone on Earth who would get this kind of attention.  And I have to think it has to do with the perception that this was a great and good and holy man, maybe the greatest of our time, who is passing from among us, and everyone wants to be there, Catholics, and even I am sure many non-Catholics. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Wow.  It’s amazing. 

Now, Carl, we’re talking—we were talking last night about Ronald Reagan’s funeral.  And a lot of people said this past summer that it looked like a coronation, that it was remarkable event.  But I was in Washington, and it looks—looked nothing like what we are seeing in Rome right now.  Why is that?  Is that because this guy is not just a religious figure, but also a historical figure? 

SFERRAZZA:  He was very much so a political figure, but I think there’s another factor that we have to keep in mind here. 

And I think certainly there are increasingly fewer people around who remember the funeral of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  But, of course, he had been president for 12 long years, longer than anyone knew.  He died just before the war ended.  He had led the nation through the Great Depression and the Second World War.  And for many people alive at the time, certainly many of the soldiers who had come of age, you know, in their early teens, that FDR was the only president that they ever really knew or remembered, and I think some of that may also be going on here. 

This pope presided over some of the most tumultuous events, political events, of the late 20th century.  And so there are all different levels, all different kinds of levels, I think, of connections to him, beyond just the spiritual, and even beyond the political. 

BUCHANAN:  Joe, I think...

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Pat, let me just ask you this question. 

BUCHANAN:  Sure. 

SCARBOROUGH:  We’ve heard—you and I have heard especially criticism from supposed majorities in the Catholic Church, which now are looking smaller and smaller and smaller, people complaining about this pope being too conservative.  It looks like the millions of people that are coming to Rome to say goodbye to this man are voting with their feet.  He clearly looks to be in the majority. 

BUCHANAN:  Well, clearly.  What he did—I think this is what the point I was trying to get at, which is, but why was he great? 

I think they are attracted to the fact that here was a man and a priest and a parish priest who stuck by his principles and articulated his belief in an age when they are increasingly unpopular, when he was denounced by some and admonished and told, you have to change and he refused.

And the second point that Carl made, I think, is really important, the FDR analogy.  This Holy Father, to Catholics under 35, Joe, he was really the Holy Father.  He was the only pope they ever knew.  They grew up with him in grammar school and in high school, and they probably got married and they are having kids, and now he is gone from the scene. 

I remember, under Pius the 12th, I can remember where I was the day he died.  He had been the only pope I had ever known from the time I was born, and I think that is one of the things.  The father of the church has died. 

SCARBOROUGH:  I think you are right, Pat.  I remember my mother telling me that, when FDR died in 1945, she said it was like a king was gone.  He was the only president that she had known and a lot of other people had ever really known.  I think it may be the same with this great pope. 

Gentlemen, stay with me.  We have got a lot more straight ahead.  Our special coverage of Pope John Paul II continues coming up. 

And tonight, we know when the cardinals are going to be meeting to start the process of selecting the next pope.  But who will they choose, and what will it mean to the faithful and to the world? 

And they won’t let anyone else get in line, but, tonight, people still wait.  They wait to pay their final respects to their Holy Father. 

Stay with us.  We’ll be back with more of this special SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY coverage of Pope John Paul II.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, we got the news early this morning that the cardinals have decided when they will meet to choose the next pope.  Who could be the next leader of the Catholic Church?  We’re going to be taking a look at that as our special coverage continues coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You are looking at a live picture of Vatican City right now, as, again, tens of thousands of people across the world stand in line, some lines going two miles, and waiting up to 24 hours for a quick glimpse of Pope John Paul II lying in state.  It is a remarkable scene in Vatican City.

And this morning, in that same place, the College of Cardinals announced that, April 18, a week from Monday, they would be setting up their first conclave.  It will be the first meting where they decided who the next pope would be.  A lot of Americans especially don’t know how this process works, but Keith Miller takes us through it. 

Here’s his package. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KEITH MILLER, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  In a tradition dating to the 13th century, the cardinals will go into conclave, the process of electing a new pope. 

(on camera):  Conclave is a Latin word meaning locked up.  And that’s exactly what will happen here in the Vatican.  The cardinals will be locked up, no television, no newspapers, no contact with the outside world that could influence their decision.  It’s a lot like a major American trial, where the jury is sequestered or locked up until it can reach a decision. 

(voice-over):  The original idea was not to keep the public out, but to force the cardinals to make a decision. 

MICHAEL WALSH, PAPAL HISTORIAN:  The notion of conclave came about actually because they were taking too long about it.  And somebody eventually locked them in the palace and told them to get on with it and They wouldn’t let them out until they had done it. 

MILLER:  Today, it’s not a palace, but an apartment complex where the cardinals will be sequestered.  Each day, they have a short drive to the Sistine Chapel to cast their ballots for the next pope. 

It’s a magnificent setting for an occasion of high drama.  The walls display the history of mankind, a project that took the masters of Italian Renaissance painting 50 years to complete.  The cardinals cast their ballots beneath Michelangelo’s creation, and the backdrop to electing a new pope, the majestic fresco of the Last Judgment.  Each day, there’ll be a security sweep, the chapel checked for electronic bugs.  The cardinals are sworn to secrecy. 

GERALD O’COLLINS, THEOLOGY PROFESSOR, GREGORIAN UNIVERSITY:  I think secrecy helps people to be freer, that—of course, the cardinals talk with one another.  I mean, they are talking with one another constantly.  So, there’s—there’s a lot of confidence and to-ing and fro-ing between the cardinals. 

MILLER:  One hundred twenty cardinals can take part in the conclave, but cardinals over the age of 80 aren’t allowed to vote.  A two-thirds majority is needed to elect a pope, but, in the unlikely case of a deadlock, the cardinals can agree to elect by an absolute majority, plus one. 

The world learns that a new pope has been elected by a smoke signal from the Sistine Chapel.  All inconclusive ballots are burned with a chemical to produce black smoke. 

MONSIGNOR CHARLES BURNS, PAPAL HISTORIAN:  It’s when the white smoke comes out that the crowds then realize, aha, the election has taken place.  Any minute now, 15 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, they’ll give the announcement.  And that’s very, very exciting.

MILLER:  Each conclave signals a new beginning for the church.  In its 2,000-year history, there have been 264 successors to Saint Peter.  Today, the throne of the Holy See is vacant, awaiting the 265th supreme pontiff. 

Keith Miller, NBC News, the Vatican. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  It’s a remarkable process. 

And, of course, what so many people right now are talking about is who the next pope will be.  Will it be a European pope?  Will it be a pope from a Third World country? 

Well, that is the big question.  And now that he has explained how they are going to do it, he is now going to explain who they may choose. 

Once again, here’s Keith Miller with a look at the top contenders. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MILLER (voice-over):  The next pope is already at the Vatican.  He is one of the cardinals gathering in Rome for the funeral of Pope John Paul, but who he is remains a mystery.  What is known is that the cardinals reflect John Paul’s way of thinking.  He appointed all but three of them. 

MICHAEL WALSH, PAPAL HISTORIAN:  We are not going to see someone who is radically different in terms of policy.  We are not going to see someone who rejects his legacy, but we will see someone with a different personality. 

MILLER:  What is certain is that the next pope won’t be from the United States. 

CARDINAL ROGER MAHONY, LOS ANGELES ARCHDIOCESE:  The reason is, the United States is the last really superpower there is.  And the public would be constantly judging between, well, is this the pope’s idea or the president’s idea? 

MILLER:  So, the speculation has turned to the cardinals representing the Third World, the fastest growing area of the church, with two-thirds of the world’s Catholic population now living in Latin America and Africa. 

The African contender is Francis Arinze from Nigeria.  The Vatican point man on Islam, he is a convert to Catholicism.  Latin America’s front-runner is Cardinal Claudio Hummes of Brazil, an outspoken critic of human rights abuses. 

There’s always the chance the next pope will be an Italian.  They hold the largest bloc of votes and want to reclaim the papal throne.  Milan’s cardinal, Dionigi Tettamanzi, is a theological conservative and intellectual.  The European favorite is Joseph Ratzinger from Germany.  Conventional wisdom says he could be the next pope.  He is head of the College of Cardinals and was one of John Paul’s favorites.

But papal biographer George Weigel says John Paul’s papacy has forever changed the job description. 

(on camera):  He’s got to be bilingual, got to be charismatic.  Does he have to be TV savvy in this age? 

GEORGE WEIGEL, PAPAL BIOGRAPHER:  I think it certainly helps.  This pope has shown how modern communications can amplify the message of the world’s oldest institutional office. 

MILLER:  Despite the talk of front-runners and long shots, there’s an old Roman proverb.  Anyone entering the election thinking he will be pope will walk out a cardinal. 

Keith Miller, NBC News, the Vatican. 

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  And with us now from the Vatican is Ray Flynn.  He, of course, is a former ambassador to the Vatican. 

Thank you so much for being with us, Mr. Ambassador.

RAY FLYNN, FORMER MAYOR OF BOSTON:  Hi, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Before we talk about the future, tell me right now about what you are feeling.  You knew this pope.  You have been there.  He is a man not just for the Catholic Church, but for all the ages.  Explain to us your feelings and also the feelings of the people in the Eternal City right now. 

FLYNN:  Congressman, I spent a lot of time here, and I remember being up at the Apostolic Palace up in the Holy Father’s window as he used to frequently look out over St. Peter’s Square.  This was a habit of his.  When you would be talking to him, he would always be looking out at St.  Peter’s Square.  You see that famous picture with George Bush, President Bush. 

President Bush and he are talking.  And he is looking out over at Castel Gandolfo.  This was one of his favorite things, just to look out.  Now, I am just thinking here now, Joe, that he is not looking out of the Apostolic Palace tonight, but he is probably looking down from heaven at all of us here, as this crowd, this huge crowd of, what, four million people that are waiting 24, 48 hours, filing into St. Peter’s Basilica from all over the world. 

I think he is still looking at the crowds and the admirers and the people carrying the Polish flags and the Italian flags and the United States flags.  Joe, both you and I love politics, but I will tell you, we have met our share of great politicians in our day, Democrats and Republicans.  We are never going to meet anybody like this man, Joe.  This guy has had such an impact on all of us.

Throughout the world, whether we be Catholic or non-Catholic, whether we be liberal or conservative, this man represents one fundamental tenant of society.  And it’s not about a political philosophy.  It’s rooted in values and truth.  And, my God, we need a little bit of that in this day and age. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Oh, we certainly do.

And you look at these pictures again, and it just shows you, again, he is a man for the ages, not only a religious leader for the ages, but a political leader for the ages. 

You know, I am reminded of a quote from Chuck Colson, who, of course, was ensnarled in Watergate, then gave his life to Christ, started a prison ministry.  And somebody was talking about...

FLYNN:  A good man. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes, a good man.  Somebody was talking about Pope John Paul II, talking about our pope, our pope.  Chuck Colson cut him off and said, wait a second.  This man is not your pope.  He is our pope, too. 

What was it about John Paul II that reached out to Catholics, but also to evangelicals?  I have spoken with rabbis, too, touched by this man’s compassion and love.  What was it about him?  You were there.  You stood by him.  You spoke with him.  What was in his heart that helped him reach out to the entire world? 

FLYNN:  Joe, I trace this back to his early days in Wadowice in Poland and his personal experiences.  Joe, he lost his mother.  He lost his father.  He lost his brother. 

He was literally left alone.  The next thing you know, he was living in Nazi-occupied Poland, then Joseph Stalin, then communism.  This man was -- really had to make it on his own.  And he turned to Jesus Christ.  He turned to the blessed mother.  This was his family.  And he devoted and he gave his life to helping his church, his Christ and the people of society.  This is what this man is dedicated to.  We all have different agendas in life, Joe.  This was his only agenda.  And I believe that this is what he represented, total, absolute devotion to Christ and to his church. 

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Ambassador Flynn, you are talking about agendas.  There are some people with agendas in the United States and also in Europe that are trying to tear down this pope. 

FLYNN:  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And they are actually talking about Cardinal Law from Boston, saying that this pope engaged in a cover-up, along with Cardinal Law.  And yet, you look at the people that are there.  Obviously, those critiques are being ignored by millions of Catholics. 

But what do you say to the pope’s critics in Boston, in New York and across Western Europe? 

FLYNN:  Joe, I have been following the politics and the publicity of the Catholic Church for 20, 25 years now.  I think there is a decidedly anti-Catholic sentiment in America. 

I think there’s an anti-religious feeling in America.  There are those secularists that all they want to do is to keep Christ, keep God, keep religion, keep faith out of society.  And John Paul II was no politician.  He wasn’t a Democrat.  He wasn’t a Republican, or liberal or conservative.  But many of the issues that you had to vote on, Joe, as a congressman, as I had a vote on, I had to deal with as the mayor of Boston, they may be political issues, but there is also a moral component on them, issues of justice, issues of peace, issues of hope for young people, whether or not elderly people are going to get the necessary health care that they need. 

These are all political issues, Joe.  But they are all issues with a moral component.  And you have to make a judgment based on your values.  And that’s what John Paul tried to teach us all.  And I think that’s why his legacy, Joe, is a little bit—a lot better than some of these critics are talking about now.  But the people out here are evidence, Joe.  Those are the judge.  They are the people.  There are four million people here at St. Peter’s. 

Let those critics come to the Vatican.  Let them see what’s going on here in the Vatican and then go back and write their story. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Exactly. 

And you know what, Mr. Ambassador?  I was just—while you were talking about his political agenda, I was just writing down very quickly how it doesn’t fit any ideology.  He was pro-life.  He was against the death penalty.  Of course, we all know, he challenged the Soviet Union, but he also challenged us when he went into Iraq in ‘91, also when we went into Iraq in 2003.  He truly was consistent in his—in his embrace of life. 

FLYNN:  And pro...

SCARBOROUGH:  Ray Flynn, thanks so much for being with us.  I’m sorry. 

Go ahead. 

FLYNN:  Good to be with you, Joe. 

And not only pro-life, pro-poor, pro-social and economic justice, and pro-peace. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Exactly. 

Hey, thank you so much, Mr. Ambassador.  A great honor. 

FLYNN:  Good to be with you, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  To have you here tonight. 

FLYNN:  Thank you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And we certainly look forward to talking to you in the coming days. 

And we would like to ask all of you to stay tuned to our continuing coverage of Pope John Paul II.

We’ll be right back in a minute with a lot more.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  More of our special coverage showing remarkable pictures from Rome and also celebrating the incredible life of Pope John Paul II.  That’s coming up in a minute.

But, first, here’s the latest news that you and your family need to know. 

(NEWS BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You are looking at a live shot of Vatican City, where tens of thousands of people continue to file past the body of Pope John Paul II, millions flooding in to Rome to say goodbye to this remarkable man.  In fact, some people, we are getting reports, standing in lines that are as long as two miles for up to 24 hours just to get a quick glimpse of this man. 

And look at that shot.  That is a remarkable shot of Vatican City.  And the lines just—just continue winding their way through the Eternal City. 

Let’s go ahead and bring in Father Jim Martin right now.  He’s a Jesuit priest, the associate editor of “America: The National Weekly Catholic” magazine.  He also wrote “In Good Company: The Fast Track From the Corporate World to Poverty, Chastity and Obedience.”  And we are also joined by Rabbi Daniel Lapin.  He’s the president of Toward Tradition. 

Thank you all both for being with us tonight. 

Let’s begin with you, Father Jim Murphy (sic). 

I know that you believe this man was remarkable, but did you ever expect—yes, did I—what did I say?  OK. 

Yes, Father Jim Martin, I know that you thought this was a remarkable man, but did you ever expect to see these type of crowds? 

FATHER JIM MARTIN, AUTHOR, “IN GOOD COMPANY”:  Well, no, it’s really quite extraordinary.

And, you know, one of your earlier guests talked about Franklin Roosevelt.  And I was reminded of that quip from Joseph Stalin at the height of the Cold War, when he was informed about the Vatican’s opposition to the war.  And he famously said, how many divisions does the pope have?  And I see those pictures today and I say to myself, there’s the answer. 

That’s how many divisions the pope has. 

And when you think of this pope, who has fought fascism and communism, being able to leave that at his legacy, you realize which kind of values there are that remain in the world.  And it’s a very touching answer to that question, I think.

SCARBOROUGH:  It certainly is.  And it may help explain why this pope was able to effect such great change, not only across Eastern Europe, but also across the rest of the world.  What do you think his greatest legacy is?  What is it about this man that is so special to bring millions of people from all corners of the globe? 

MARTIN:  Well, you know, it might surprise you, but I think it’s less his political accomplishments and his ecclesial accomplishments and his moral accomplishments, as spectacular as they are.

I mean, people talking about this man as the one who helped to bring down communism.  But I would say, at a more fundamental level, it’s the man’s personal holiness.  I think what you’re seeing is, in addition to respect for his great earthly accomplishments, his holiness.  This was a very holy man.  And I think people respond to that. 

And I think, when people look back 100 years from now, they will think about all of his accomplishments, but they will think about the person himself, the devotion that he had, and his just faithfulness.  And that’s really what makes a saint, I think.  It’s his personal witness, as it were. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Rabbi, let me ask you about the relations between the Catholic Church and Jewish leaders.  You know, we have heard and read historical accounts that, over the past several centuries, that Catholics have either persecuted Jews or stood idly by.  Of course, the climax of that, according to some historians, came in the Holocaust, when six million Jews were killed.

RABBI DANIEL LAPIN, TOWARD TRADITION:  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  And yet, many say the Catholic Church didn’t do enough.  Do you believe this pope helped erase or at least soothe over some of those scars between Catholics and Jews? 

LAPIN:  Well, very much so. 

I think that—I really do believe that, with his passing, that entire era can now be put to bed.  And the truth is that the Catholic Church, particularly under Pope John Paul II, could hardly have done more to bring about rapprochement.  I mean, for heaven’s sake, do you realize what it means that this pope actually crossed the Tiber River and walked into Rome’s synagogue?  That’s extraordinary. 

SCARBOROUGH:  It is extraordinary.  And, of course, you have that picture of him at the Wailing Wall delivering the letter, apologizing that the Catholic Church didn’t do enough. 

What did that mean to Jews worldwide that you had the most powerful man in Christianity humbling himself to say, I’m sorry? 

LAPIN:  Well, what I hope it will have done is finally put this to an end. 

I do believe that we in the Jewish community need to stop being so prickly about it.  The fact is that the church could hardly have done more, under the circumstances, to apologize and to put it behind.  We have to move forward now, because the truth is that we have a common foe.  Right now, serious Catholicism and serious Judaism faces secularism, rampant secular fundamentalism.  And so, it’s enough looking backwards.  It’s enough already with the apologies and the Holocaust and the past.

We now have to face the very real perils that threaten religious life in the future.  And, in this, the Catholic structure built by Pope John Paul II and serious and traditional Judaism are natural allies. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Rabbi.  I couldn’t agree more.  Thank you for being with us. 

Thank you also, Father Jim Murphy (sic).

And we will be back in a minute talking to Pat Buchanan and some other guests about, again, the remarkable scenes that are unfolding in Rome tonight.  And, remember, it’s the middle of the night right now over there, and yet the people still come around the clock to say goodbye to Pope John Paul the Great.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(NEWS BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You are looking at images from inside the Vatican, obviously, Vatican City in Rome.  It’s the middle of the night over there, and yet people just keep streaming through to say goodbye to Pope John Paul II. 

We are showing you shots from inside the Vatican.  But we could take our cameras outside and wind for two hours.  Here, you are looking obviously at Vatican guards.  But we could take the shots outside and follow those lines for up to two miles.  Middle of the night, the world saying goodbye to this remarkable man. 

Somebody else who is going to say goodbye in person is President Bush.  For the first time in history, a sitting U.S. president will attend the pope’s funeral. 

Here’s Norah O’Donnell.  She has a look at the U.S. delegation to the Vatican. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NORAH O’DONNELL, NBC CORRESPONDENT:  The White House insists they reached out to President Carter and invited him, but Carter says he withdrew his request to attend the funeral when he was—quote—

“subsequently informed that space was limited.”

(voice-over):  Today, President Bush and his wife, Laura, lead the U.S. delegation to Rome. 

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  What a great man.  It will be my honor to represent our country at a ceremony marking a remarkable life, a person who stood for freedom and human dignity. 

O’DONNELL:  The White House says the Vatican limited the official delegation to just five people.  Joining the president and first lady, former President Bush and Clinton and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, but not President Carter, who was the first and only president to welcome the pope to the White House in 1979. 

Carter’s spokesman said in a statement; “President Carter expressed to the White House a desire to attend the pope’s funeral.  He was quite willing to withdraw his request when he was subsequently informed that the official delegation would be limited to just five people.”

DOUGLAS BRINKLEY, NBC ANALYST:  I don’t think there’s any warm feeling about having Jimmy Carter around.  On the other hand, sometimes, you have to do the right thing, and the right thing is to have Jimmy Carter there for the pope’s funeral. 

O’DONNELL (on camera):  It’s no secret that there has been some tension between Carter and Bush.  Carter called the Iraq war a quagmire and predicted that Iraqi elections would fail. 

Now, sources say that Carter was reached out to, but was told that the other former presidents would not be attending, and that’s what led to this final decision for Carter not to attend the funeral.  The White House insists that they extended an invitation to Carter, saying—quote—“It was his decision to make.”  Quote—“We would have been more than happy to have him be part of the delegation.”

Norah O’Donnell, NBC News, the White House.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, thanks a lot, Norah. 

And back with me now to discuss the funeral are MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan.  We also have historian, Carl Anthony. 

So many precedents being broken, Pat Buchanan, again, saying goodbye to this pope.  A lot of people, though, once the funeral is over on Friday, are going to be asking the next big question.  What is coming next?  Who is the next pope?  Will he be conservative, moderate or liberal?  What is the answer to that? 

BUCHANAN:  I think there’s no question that the next pope will be, on matters of faith and morals, Joe, very much in tune with the Holy Father.  Not only is that consistent with Catholic teaching and doctrine and tradition.  The Holy Father was a tremendous success by standing by those beliefs. 

Here’s what my understanding from reporting some is going to happen in the conclave.  The Italian bloc of some 19 cardinals will have a candidate who will emerge.  It will probably be Scola of Venice, Tettamanzi.  Or maybe Bertone of Genoa you hear is a dark horse.  There will be a Third World candidate.  And Cardinal Arinze of Nigeria is clearly the favorite for that.  He has been campaigning, if you will, in the Iowa caucuses, which are North America, for pope, just like Pope John Paul II came under the tutelage of Cardinal Krol to the United States before he was elected pope.

Cardinal Arinze has visited the United States almost more than any other foreign cardinal.  And Cardinal Ratzinger, I think, is going to have a number of votes on the first ballot.  There are some who think they don’t think that a German will get it.  But if you wanted an interim pope for a short term, I think he is almost 78 or something.  He might be a choice.

But what I hear is, very briefly, is that the Italians may have a number of votes, enough for a majority.  And if they hold out for, I guess these are the first 30 or 50, a simple majority could then elect the next pope. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Carl Anthony, we saw in Norah O’Donnell’s package a little bit of scuffling about who is on the U.S. delegation, who is not on the U.S. delegation.

But let’s talk about the president of the United States attending this funeral, the first sitting president in American history to do so.  Why would a president do this now?  Has the pope become more important to America’s interests overseas? 

SFERRAZZA:  Oh, absolutely. 

And it really is, Joe, to me astounding, and it’s also evidence that there’s hope that human beings do make progress, I mean, over the long haul of a century.  And I have got my—this book coming out next week.  It’s not out actually in the bookstores, but during the course of my research on it, I found out a tremendous amount.  About 100 years ago, there was this enormous and very powerful political bloc of anti-Catholicism in this country. 

And the book, it’s about Mrs. Taft.  “Nellie Taft” is the title.  But her husband was sent as the first governor general of the Philippines.  Part of the reason the U.S. went into the Philippines was to—quote—

“Christianize” the native people, ignoring the fact that they were Catholics. 

When Taft then negotiated with the pope himself, Pope Leo, a series of very detailed meetings, because there were a lot of papal lands in the Vatican, American Catholics were up in arms, because they were afraid that Taft was trying to make the Philippines a Protestant country.  And Protestants were angry because they thought Taft was using tax dollars to pay the Vatican.

And, you know, there was a real strong feeling about the pope having too much influence on the American political system.  And certainly, when Taft was president, 1909, waves and waves of immigrants coming from Southern and Eastern Europe, a lot of them being of Catholic background, that matching the Irish Americans who had come in the mid-19th century, there was, you know, perceived among the fundamentalists the fact that Taft was too pro-Catholic.  There were even rumors that he was a Catholic. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Yes. 

SFERRAZZA:  And it’s amazing how much we’ve progressed.  It’s amazing.

SCARBOROUGH:  Boy, I will tell you what, things have changed so much, Carl.  No doubt about it, Carl.

Hey, we will be right back in one minute. 

We are looking at some incredible shots inside the Vatican, also shots of President Bush and his family saying goodbye. 

We’ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You are looking at pictures of the president of the United States and his wife and father bowing and praying for Pope John Paul II.  We’ll talk about what that means with Pat Buchanan when we return in a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat Buchanan, we have pictures here of the president of the United States kneeling and praying and bowing in front of a religious leader.

I am sure some members of the ACLU would be concerned and say a president should not be attending funerals for pope’s.  What do you say? 

BUCHANAN:  I would say this. 

The president is over there, and rightly so.  And he is now praying before the body of a culture warrior, Joe, the greatest culture warrior of our time, who stood up for life as no one else did in a world where the culture of death is advancing. 

And, as a culture warrior, he reminds me of that couplet from Coleridge, I believe it was, that this is the happy warrior.  This is he whom ever man in arms should hope to be.  And I think that is the way an awful lot of Catholics are feeling now, that their—the great knight of life and the great holy saint and the father that fought for so long has laid down his arms now and passed on.  And I think the president of the United States going there is magnificent. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Remarkable images, Pat Buchanan.

Good night.  We’ll see you tomorrow. 

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