updated 4/13/2005 12:32:41 PM ET 2005-04-13T16:32:41

Guest: John Strynkowski, Justin Rigali, Rosa DeLauro, Marcy Kaptur, Charles Rangel, Peter King, Mark Foley

CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST:  Tonight, millions of people are here in Rome to say goodbye to Pope John Paul II. 

I‘m Chris Matthews and this is a special edition of HARDBALL. 

Good evening.  I‘m Chris Matthews.  And welcome, as I said, to this special edition of HARDBALL from the Vatican. 

They‘ve come from all over the world.  Millions of pilgrims have gathered in this Eternal City for an event really unrivaled in American or world history, the funeral of Pope John Paul II.  Tonight, the doors of St.  Peter‘s Basilica are closed, as Vatican officials prepare for tomorrow‘s funeral mass, set to begin at 10:00 a.m. here in Rome, 4:00 a.m. Eastern time back home.  And MSNBC will have live coverage throughout this night leading up to the funeral. 

And then Chris Jansing and I will be here beginning at 3:30 a.m.  Eastern time to cover the funeral.  This hour, we‘ll their voices of the faithful, from America‘s political and religious leaders to regular Americans who happened to be here in some cases for this momentous occasion. 

Right now, we begin with this report on the crowds of people here in Rome from NBC‘s Katie Couric. 


KATIE COURIC, CO-HOST, “THE TODAY SHOW”:  There‘s finally an end of the line for the massive tide of mourners, Italian police determined to get everyone through by tonight to prepare the Basilica for the funeral tomorrow. 

Pilgrims filed by the pope‘s body at an average of 18,000 an hour, each person spending an average wait of 12 to 14 hours.  A large part of the crowd is now Polish, thousands arriving by bus in the last day from the pope‘s homeland; 20-year-old Joanna Dorita traveled 26 hours from Krakow and has been in line for eight hours.  The Basilica remains far from are sight. 

JOANNA DORITA, RESIDENT OF POLAND:  We are very happy that we are here and we have a chance to see pope.

COURIC:  Rome officials urge people to stop coming and stay away from downtown areas; 28-year-old Amy Wannamaker traveled alone from Washington, D.C.

AMY WANNAMAKER, WASHINGTON, D.C. RESIDENT:  It‘s very quiet.  When I was sitting there at mass, I thought I was just in a regular church.  You would have no idea that there were thousands and thousands of people only maybe 150 feet away. 

COURIC:  Long line have proved a demanding test of endurance.  Medics have treated over 500 people in this tent alone this week.  This volunteer doctor from Germany treated most patients for exhaustion and dehydration. 

DR. RAINER L‘OB, KNIGHTS OF MALTA:  People just need a bed to rest one or two hours, to close their eyes for (UNINTELLIGIBLE) They need blankets to be warm, some tea, some care. 

COURIC:  President Bush, his wife, Laura, his father, former President Bush, President Clinton and Secretary of State Rice paid their respects late last night, escorted through a door for VIPs. 

Security forces on Friday will swell to 15,000 to protect them and 200 other world leaders expected here.  Metal detectors will be installed in St. Peter‘s Square and sharpshooters will guard from above.  For everyone who came from around the world, the trip was not just about being a part of history, but about paying their respects to a man they greatly admired. 


MATTHEWS:  And that‘s the way it‘s been this week.  Thank you, Katie Couric. 

Among those here in Rome to pay tribute to Pope John Paul II are congressional delegations from both the House and the Senate of the United States.  With me now are five members of the House delegation, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, congresswoman Marcy Kaptur of Ohio, Congressman Mark Foley Florida, and Congressman Charlie Rangel of New York and Congressman Peter King of New York. 

Let‘s start.  I want to make this very nonpolitical, as you all do. 

That‘s why you came.

Marcy, talk about the pope and then everybody else, your feelings about coming here. 

REP. MARCY KAPTUR (D), OHIO:  Well, first of all, we‘re very grateful to be here and very grateful to this great religious leader, who will go down in history as one of the greatest leaders of this era of human kind. 

Two memories in particular for me will live forever, one as a young member of the White House staff during the presidency of Jimmy Carter.  I was there to welcome the first Slavic pope in U.S. history to the White House.  I‘m of Polish American heritage.  I shall never forget that. 

And the president and all the people gathered on the White House lawn.  The weather was as beautiful as it is here today.  And then a more recent memory, in 2001, leading a pilgrimage from my own church back in Ohio, a little flower parish, to Ukraine to help the pope at that moment for the first mass in former Soviet-occupied territory east of Poland or Hungary.  Russia, of course, never let him in. 

But, in 2001, setting foot on that soil and being there for that moment will be with me until I die. 


REP. ROSA DELAURO (D), CONNECTICUT:  Well, I was here at the Vatican in 2000 for the millennium.  And I was at the mass that the pope officiated at. 

And I was struck then, as I am now in watching him, in that what he did was, he was the head of our church, but he didn‘t stay behind the doors.  He reached out.  He said to people all over the world, wherever he went, whether it was United States or Mexico, Poland, that this was the church.  He was, but it wasn‘t bricks and mortar.  It was about a humanity.  It was about social justice, economic justice.  It is about a social gospel that he spread. 

And I was struck.  I was in St. Peter‘s Square on Saturday night when the pope died.  And I was struck by the faces of the young, so many young people here who he attracted.  And he was a man of enormous compassion and dignity and human rights, and they‘re back here to pay their respects to him tonight. 


REP. MARK FOLEY ®, FLORIDA:  Well, like Marcy, I‘m of Polish ancestry.  My grandmother came from Poland.  She came to this country. 

And the proudest moment of her life was when her pope, her John Paul became pope, giving hope to every person of Polish ancestry.  And I remember coming back in 2003 for the 25th anniversary of his papacy.  And I had him bless my grandmother‘s rosaries.  For me personally, it was amazing, because it would have been her 100th birthday that day. 

And I said to him (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE), which is happy birthday, long life.  So, he was so serene.  He was so gentle.  He was so kind.  And he made our church real.  He brought it, as Rosa said, to the people.  He made it touchable, the first pope in history where people felt they could reach out and feel the man of God, St. Peter‘s disciple.  It was just awe-inspiring.

And then seeing him today in rest, and the people that were there, the young, the old, Muslims, Jews, from all walks of life, waiting hours to just say goodbye to a man that they may never have met, but they knew in their heart he was great and he did good things. 

MATTHEWS:  Charlie.

REP. CHARLES RANGEL (D), NEW YORK:  I met with the pope at least a half dozen times.  And each time was more awesome than the first. 

But I remember the first so well, because I was chairing the Select Narcotic Committee.  That‘s with Ben Gilman and  Frank Guarini.  And I had to practice all night the protocol.  And when I saw him, I was explaining that I was a former altar boy.  And I couldn‘t talk to bishops, never cardinals.  And I forgot the protocol. 

And from then on, he called me his altar boy. 


RANGEL:  He had such a compassionate concern about those people that were afflicted with drugs.  He knew that it was the poor of our country and he also knew it was the poor that was growing the drugs.  And he would talk in very sophisticated ways about substitute crops. 

And I guess the most flattering thing is that, when the committee came, because Rome was the center of international crime fighting, is when he sent for us.  Then we thought we were doing something good for the world. 

MATTHEWS:  Peter King.

REP. PETER KING ®, NEW YORK:  First of all, I should say, my wife is Polish and she always claims the pope as being her pope.  So, I can understand what you‘re talking about, Mark.

I met the pope one time in 1995 when he was at Newark Airport.  I was part of the welcoming party when he came into the United States with President Clinton.  And, again, he was a person that carried the aura of history.  He was just magnetic.  He had—certainly stood for principles, had incredibly great leadership. 

And I really find it so rewarding to see this massive outpouring.  So much of our society has dealt with trivialities and self-absorption.  And to have someone who stands for principles and ideals to find people—I guess there is a yearning in everyone.  They really wanted someone who was willing to stand up and be counted and who was willing to be, as Rosa said, a real person, go out and meet with the people. 

Whether you agree with him on every issue or not—some of us do—some of us don‘t—the fact is, he really stood for something.  He stood for something that was lasting and eternal.  And I think that reflects in the tremendous outpouring of love for him. 

MATTHEWS:  Remember Joseph Stalin, who said, how many—asked, how many divisions does the pope have? 


MATTHEWS:  Well, you all grew up probably praying, like I did, for the conversion of Russia every Sunday, right?


MATTHEWS:  Do you have any thoughts about this man‘s role in history and how he was the spiritual sort of trigger to what happened in Eastern Europe? 

KAPTUR:   Absolutely.


KAPTUR:   I think that if we consider all work that he did in building a counterpart to the Polish communist state and helped to bless Solidarity in Poland.

And, in fact, Lech Walesa always wore a Lady of Czestochowa and carried the pen that the pope gave him when he would sign agreements as that movement moved forward, the first real crack in the wall of the Soviet state.  It was that spirit that then carried forward.  The pope was truly an evangelist for peace, for freedom, for inclusivity. 


MATTHEWS:  Did you see those Communist Party posters coming in here today?  They are all over town.  So the pope, the Catholic Church, of course, you all know, is the biggest bulwark against communism.  We were taught that.

Charlie, talk up—well, because the church was always the biggest enemy of communism.  And it got rid of the Communist Party power in this country.  They‘re still out there, though, the commies.


MATTHEWS:  They actually have a very good looking candidate.  I noticed this guy today. 


MATTHEWS:  What do you think of that fight between the Catholic Church and communism all these years, and who won? 

RANGEL:  Well, the fantastic thing, I think Peter King was saying, is that, no matter where you stood on certain issues with him, you dare not challenged his spiritual authority on those things that are important to the entire world. 

If the world leaders could have the compassion for human beings and the concerns, not just for this generation, but generations to come, there would be no war.  And I don‘t think there would be poverty either. 

KING:  Getting back to the Soviet Union, Chris, when he went into the heart of the Iron Curtain countries and said, be not afraid to the people and had millions of people out there, he was defying the Soviet Union without one bullet, without one gun, without one division, in answer to Stalin‘s question.

And yet that was the cracking of the Iron Curtain.  That was the bringing down, ultimately, of the Berlin Wall, and by doing it in Poland, going right, again, to the center of the Iron Curtain countries, the Soviet Bloc.

MATTHEWS:  But, Mark, what is it?  I see these people in line here.  They were standing in line, some people, last night 12 hours without water, really, without anything, without a place to go to the bathroom.  I keep saying it because it is so unusual to put up with that kind of patience. 

Is that the kind of willpower he unleashed, this spiritual—they are all religious people here.  They aren‘t doing it for a photo-op.  These people are all like you guys.  You came over because you wanted to.  And tell me about that, that spiritual power that this guy was involved with. 

FOLEY:  Well, no question. 

I mean, he gave hope to people that were hopeless.  I mean, I can imagine politburo the day he landed in Warsaw.  We‘re freaked out.  They realize the biggest mistake, they allowed him to...


MATTHEWS:  The communists. 

FOLEY:  Yes, no question. 

But he gave people hope and inspiration.  He changed the dynamics of the world.  And these people are reflective of that, even people that may not have known him, joint recently born.  You see parents with their kids expressing and holding them up to the pope.  He just made people‘s lives better.  And that‘s why they‘re waiting in the heat.  They could watch it on TV. 


FOLEY:  Millions came, 12, 13, 14 hours in line. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, Israeli tell you one thing.  They all feel better now.  I‘ve been talking to a lot of them.  It‘s like a sacrament.  It‘s like going to confession.  Everybody feels better than they did a couple days ago. 



MATTHEWS:  We‘ll be right back with Congressman Foley, Rangel, King, Congresswoman Kaptur and DeLauro.

You‘re watching a special edition, a bipartisan edition of HARDBALL, from the Vatican, only on MSNBC. 



MATTHEWS:  We‘re back with five members of the U.S. House of Representatives who are here in Rome for the funeral of Pope John Paul II. 

I want to ask you all.  This is somewhat divisive, but let‘s go for it.  The values of the man who just died, who is being honored tomorrow in this funeral, they were Catholic values.  But were they Republican or Democratic values?  How do you divide them up, the right to life, supporting pro-choice—pro-life candidates, but yet opposition to death penalty, for poor nations of the world, for debt relief. 

How do figure it all?  You start, Mark. 


MATTHEWS:  How do you divide up the spoils here, because... 

FOLEY:  Well, thank God the pope never thought politically.  He thought about the doctrines of the church and he made those pronouncements very clear to the following. 

We can all disagree politically, but the joy of the process is, that is our job as government officials.  His was to lead, lead the church and the flock.  And so I‘m proud of him for not choosing sides or pointing any political direction. 

MATTHEWS:  Marcy, do you think he understood that, in our system of government, that, since we have a pluralistic society and we really believe in personal freedom more than anything, that the church views can‘t influence all the time public policy?

KAPTUR:   I think that the pope very carefully inspired best actions in people. 

And he really walked that political line surely in the part of the world from which he came.  Because he never lived the majority of his life in a free society, I think that some of his positions and the need for dialogue within the church internationally is something he spoke of on occasion, but needs to be broadened now in this new millennium. 

I think he hoped for that.  But, in some ways, he was locked into the job of his era, what did he was profound.  And if I could just say, I was here in 2000.  Rosa mentioned the young people.  I went to one of those world youth days over at the Pope Paul VI center. 

And the young people—what he inspired in the young people around the world is unquantifiable.  It‘s going to come.  And I think many of them will lead the world forward.  So, he—he tried to inspire the best in us and get us to draw on our spirituality in every one of the decisions that we make. 

MATTHEWS:  I mean, Charlie, Jesus didn‘t hang around with the swells, the rich people. 

RANGEL:  Well, he said the rich are going straight to hell. 


MATTHEWS:  Well, he did not. 



MATTHEWS:  He said it is harder to get through a needle‘s...


RANGEL:  No.  But the deal with St. Matthews and all these people are trying to get into heaven.  And he said, hey, when  I was hungry, you didn‘t feed me.  I was thirsty.  I was naked.  I was sick.  You didn‘t do all these—he‘s talking about food stamps, Social Security. 

MATTHEWS:  Right. 

RANGEL:  He‘s talking about taking care of those who haven‘t got.  So, when it comes to moral value, my Republican friends can decide which side the pope was on. 

MATTHEWS:  Peter King.

KING:  Yes, I think we can certainly debate these in another setting. 

To me, I am very confident that my beliefs reflect the pope‘s, but I‘m not saying Charlie‘s don‘t.  I mean, I think, as a Catholic, I try to bring my faith and my religion to views I hold.  I may end up on a different side than Charlie.  I believe that mine are more close than he does, but that‘s really what our country is about. 

But I think, on certain lasting principles, the pope stood out.  And the pope did speak out, and rather than have these debates tonight.  But there are different levels of what is dogma, what is prudential judgment, what‘s informed judgment.  And we can have those debates another time.

I just think what he did tell all of us was that, if you are going to make a decision, make sure it does have a moral basis for it and be secure in your own conscience. 


MATTHEWS:  Mark, you want to get in on this?

FOLEY:  Well, I can‘t believe we‘re talking Social Security in front of the Vatican. 


FOLEY:  But I want to thank Speaker Hastert for making this unique opportunity possible for all of us.  Member Pelosi is here with us, the minority leader. 

This has been an awe-inspiring time.  And I think all of us need to reflect on his greatness.  If we could bring that wonderful love he gave the world to the Chamber of Congress, rather than fighting each other, talking about solving problems, we would be a lot further ahead. 

MATTHEWS:  What don‘t we can about the pope we should know, Laura? 

DELAURO:  Well, you know, I think—let me just say this one thing.  I think your comment about values, they‘re Catholic values.  They‘re not Republican values.  They‘re not Democratic values. 

And each of us has grown up not—and exercises those values, not in the time frame we have served in the United States Congress, but where we have come from.  I‘m from an Italian American Catholic family.  That‘s where my values were learned.  That‘s what motivates me.  The backgrounds of my colleagues, that‘s what motivates them. 

And I think that the pope did have that at his core.  There are differences.  But it is about getting back to not use either religion or values as political weapons, but for what they are in order to bring some light to life, which is what did he for the millions of people in the world. 

KING:  So, we shouldn‘t bring the pope into the Social Security debate. 


MATTHEWS:  OK, thank you, Peter King.  Thank you, Charles Rangel. 

Thank you, Mark Foley.  Thank you, Rosa DeLauro.  Thank you, Marcy Kaptur.

A great group.  We almost got through there without a fight. 


MATTHEWS:  Over a million people have come to the Vatican to pay their respects to the pope, of course.  When we come back, we‘ll hear from some of them about what the pope meant to them personally. 

You‘re watching HARDBALL, only on MSNBC, live from the Vatican. 


MATTHEWS:  More than a million people here in Rome right now are paying their final respects to Pope John Paul II.  I spoke with some of them earlier today.  Let‘s take a listen. 


MATTHEWS:  The old expression is, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. 

That‘s from Shakespeare.

But if you want to meet American in Rome, you come to a place like the Pantheon, where American are always hanging out at the sidewalk cafes.  We met some very interesting people here.

Why do all the American come to the Pantheon, it seems? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It‘s my most favorite history, most favorite history in this city. 

MATTHEWS:  Two thousand years old. 


MATTHEWS:  You walk around the corner, there it is.

Let me ask you all about—you all waited in line to see the late pope. 


MATTHEWS:  Tell me why you waited all those hours. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  He‘s just an incredible man.  And we came.  And he had died before we left home.  And we decided that morning that we were just going to get in line and wait no matter what, because he‘s—he‘ll be a saint some day.

MATTHEWS:  How many hours did you wait in line? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Just five hours.  It wasn‘t bad.  It was the first day. 


MATTHEWS:  Five hours?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We‘re on our honeymoon. 

MATTHEWS:  You‘re on your honeymoon?


MATTHEWS:  Where are you from? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Saint Simons Island, Georgia. 

MATTHEWS:  Georgia.  What‘s your name? 


MATTHEWS:  Did you ever think you were going to be here doing all this? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  No, certainly not. 

MATTHEWS:  Is it interrupting your romance? 


MATTHEWS:  What do you think?  Is this kismet, the fact that you‘re here during this?  There‘s four million joining you this week. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, it‘s incredible.  It seems about like eight million when we were in the line for 11 hours to see the pope yesterday. 

MATTHEWS:  Did you wait? 


MATTHEWS:  Even though you‘re not Catholic.


MATTHEWS:  Why did you do that? 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Just to see it, just because we were here.  I mean, we planned the honeymoon before we knew that the Holy Father would pass away.

MATTHEWS:  How do you feel about that, Nancy, waiting in line all those hours? 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  It was worth it. 

MATTHEWS:  I said it was like a trash compactor.  People were so close together.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Oh, it was, yes.  But it was worth it, though. 

It really was.


MATTHEWS:  When we come back, Pope John Paul II‘s last will and testament was released today.  And we‘ll talk to the archbishop of Philadelphia about the pope‘s last wishes. 

MSNBC will have live coverage throughout the evening, leading up to the funeral of Pope John Paul II.  Join Tucker Carlson at midnight Eastern time.  And then, at 3:30 a.m. Eastern time, I‘ll anchor MSNBC‘s funeral coverage, along with my colleague Chris Jansing here in the Vatican.

You‘re watching HARDBALL from the Vatican on MSNBC. 



MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to this special edition of HARDBALL. 

The Vatican today released John Paul‘s last will and testament.  In it, the pope thanked the world and other religions for their support and asked for his personal notes to be burned. 

Earlier, I spoke with the cardinal, Cardinal Justin Rigali of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  And I asked the cardinal about the pope‘s final wishes. 


CARDINAL JUSTIN RIGALI, ARCHBISHOP OF PHILADELPHIA:  Well, it was profoundly moving to hear him give instructions for when he is dead. 

It was interesting to note that he made reference, first of all, to the will of Paul VI, because he saw himself and his ministry and his life in continuity with the role of his predecessors.  And then it showed also his immense love for the people that he had served, for his family, for all those with whom he had been involved, with people of different religions.  All of this was part of the overall picture.  But then it ends up, he commends himself to God and, in complete and total generosity, he surrenders his life as his mission is complete. 

MATTHEWS:  What struck me is the lack of ego, having all his personal papers burned. 

RIGALI:  Yes.  Actually, his predecessor, Pope Paul VI, did the same thing.  And he is obviously not speaking about official documents, but things that are useless that he considers very personal and are not of major interest to the church, yes. 

MATTHEWS:  Why do you think he shifted from a man who seemed to be open to the idea, in fact, interested in the idea of being buried in his native Poland to being—sort of dropping that idea and saying, no, I‘ll go with the other popes to St. Peter‘s? 

RIGALI:  Well, I don‘t think he ever reached a decision of being buried in Poland.  He may have considered the possibility, but he always left it—he always left it to others to decide.  And, finally, the final disposition was to leave it to the cardinals to see where they—they wanted him. 

MATTHEWS:  That‘s right.  The first entry said whatever the—check with the cardinal of Krakow and what he wants.  And then it was later that was overridden by another entry. 

RIGALI:  That‘s correct, yes.  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  What do you make of the fact that—maybe this is a bit gory, but that he wanted to be buried in the earth, not in a vault?

RIGALI:  Well, you know, that was actually in the will the Pope Paul VI, also.  And there, in the Vatican Basilica, he is buried in the earth, Paul VI. 

It has a rich symbolism.  We have the ceremony on Ash Wednesday, remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return, according to the Genesis account, the significance of God creating man from the dust of the earth.  So it is merely a symbol.  But it also shows his realism, and because—knowing that the body will decay, and it shows his simplicity.

MATTHEWS:  I‘m struck by the—I‘m a pretty skeptical person, obviously, but I‘m struck by the almost miraculous reality that, at the time the communist empire seemed at its strongest, in the ‘70s, when you had Brezhnev and people like that still around, all of a sudden, something strange evolved. 

Cardinal Krol, one of your predecessors in Philadelphia...

RIGALI:  Right. 

MATTHEWS:  ... played some kind a role, very murky, in helping to elevate this cardinal from Krakow, Poland, behind the Iron Curtain, to somehow lead the fight and bring down the Iron Curtain.  Do you have any sense of how that all happened? 

RIGALI:  Well, I know that Cardinal Krol was a friend of Cardinal Wojtyla.  But I think that Cardinal Wojtyla was involved in this quite independently of Cardinal Krol.

Cardinal Wojtyla had spent his youth experiencing the horrors of totalitarianism on the part of the Nazi, on the part of the communists.  And all along the line, he developed this profound conviction, conviction of faith, of the dignity of the human person.  And he saw in communism the antithesis of the Gospel message and the antithesis of the dignity of man, every man, woman and child. 

So, for that reason, he was motivated from the very beginning to combat communism.  And he did.

MATTHEWS:  Do you remember that novel “Shoes of the Fisherman” by Morris West?  And it became a movie with Anthony Quinn and Laurence Olivier and Oskar Werner.

RIGALI:  Yes. 

MATTHEWS:  About a man who had been captured by the communists, in fact, tortured by the communists, that somehow became pope? 

RIGALI:  Yes. 

Well, here was a man that had not been captured by them, but he had certainly been—he had suffered as a result.  And his people had suffered.  And he wanted to make sure that he continued to proclaim the gospel of human dignity and the gospel of life.  And that‘s what he did.  He was so effective in bringing down the system that was so contrary to everything he stood for. 

MATTHEWS:  In terms of social doctrine, it seems like the pope and the Catholic Church stands for so many different things, opposition to the death penalty, opposition to abortion, opposition to abortion rights, and yet very much concerned with the Third World and poverty and the big Third World debt load that those countries have to bear. 

How do you put it all together in American political parlance, the pope, the late pope? 

RIGALI:  Well, you know, one of the keys to his, to the understanding of his teaching is to understand his global view.  He was with humanity wherever, and especially with the poor and those in special need. 

When he came to the United States in 1979, for example, speaking before the president of the United States, he says this in Washington.  This is an hour of solemn gratitude.  He was expressing solemn gratitude to the United States for what the United States had done on behalf of the needy of the world and the poor of the world.  And at the same time as he expressed gratitude, he expressed the challenge to continue, because the needs of every single human person are things that are relevant to us. 

MATTHEWS:  Let me ask you about leading a large archdiocese like Philadelphia.  I mean, I‘m Catholic and I know the turbulence in the church.  What is it like?  What are the challenges facing the next pope in terms of leading the American Catholic Church? 

RIGALI:  Well, see, the pope is going to be leading the Catholics in the United States.  He‘s going to be leading the Catholics throughout the world.  He‘s going to be, in terms of Pope Gregory the Great, the servant of the servants of God.  He‘s going to be in the service of all humanity. 

So, he has to be concerned about all the problems that face people, anything that oppresses people, anything that is to their benefit.  And he‘ll be doing that to the very best of his ability, because his role is to bring everyone together.  And it‘s going to be a role continuing John Paul II, of collaboration with people of different Christian faiths, of different religions completely, with the Jews, with the Muslims, with all different people. 

This is going to be part of the scene in the years to come, just as it was now. 

MATTHEWS:  Try to bring it home, Your Eminence.  We only have a minute or two, but try to bring it home to the things you worry about at home, when this kind of event isn‘t occurring. 

When you think about leading a big diocese like Philadelphia, and the average family, I mean the family that makes an average income, a couple kids, maybe a father that may have or a problem here or there, alcoholism, whatever, what are the issues that you have to confront regularly with people in the Catholic Church? 

RIGALI:  Well, you know, St. Paul says—in his letter to the Galatians, he says help bear one another‘s burdens.  And, in this way, you‘ll fulfill the law of Christ. 

And the burdens are many.  And the need, first of all, for personal involvement with humanity, the personal involvement of understanding, compassion, mercy, understanding the tensions and the needs of people in their daily lives in their homes, in their work.  All of this, John Paul II did so well.  And this is—this belongs to humanity at every stage.  But compassion, mercy is part of the... 


MATTHEWS:  What are the big problems?  Are they kids that parents don‘t understand?  Are they husbands and wives that don‘t get along?  Is it financial?  Is it health matters?  Is it matters of sexuality?  What are the big concerns?  Everything? 

RIGALI:  All of this. 

One thing we know, St. Augustine tells us, our heart are restless until they rest in God.  So, one thing we have to understand—and this explains a great deal of the secret of John Paul II, is that, because he was united with God, because he was in contact with God through prayer, he received the strength.  It didn‘t—doesn‘t resolve the problem, but it gives us the strength to go on. 

And this is very important for our people to have the help of the lord and then all of us working together in the church and in society to see the individual problems of ordinary people in their lives, in their work, in their home, in their school, and to be able to face it together with good will, collaboration, and mutual understanding. 

MATTHEWS:  You have a challenge facing you, Your Eminence.  That‘s to help select the next pope.  I had Father—Archbishop McCarrick on the other day.  And I asked him what it was like to prepare to vote and to receive the Holy Spirit.  How do you do it? 

RIGALI:  Well, these next days, once the funeral of the pope is over, then the cardinals have to take a period of time of—truly of intense prayer and reflection and commend themselves to the lord. 

But we‘re so uplifted and supported by the fact that millions of people—before I left Philadelphia, all kinds of people came up to me and told me, we‘re with you.  We support you.  We‘re praying for you. 

See, we think it makes a difference.  We think that the involvement of the people, and not only Catholics, we think that that makes a tremendous difference and that God will listen to these prayers.  And what is superior to our human wisdom and to our human capabilities, that we can accomplish with God‘s help and the people‘s support. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, my aunts in the convent, we were talking about them a moment ago, Your Eminence.  They‘ve been praying for me for 50 years.  And I think it is working. 


MATTHEWS:  But thank you.

RIGALI:  They do. 

MATTHEWS:  It‘s great.

RIGALI:  Prayers—prayers do work. 

MATTHEWS:  I want to thank you, Cardinal Justin Rigali, for coming on. 

RIGALI:  You‘re welcome, Chris. 

MATTHEWS:  You were very nice to come on today.


MATTHEWS:  Pope John Paul II made over 100 trips throughout the world during his reign. 

MSNBC‘s Tucker Carlson takes a look at what those apostolic voyages meant to the millions of people he met. 

You‘re watching HARDBALL from the Vatican, only on MSNBC. 


MATTHEWS:  Coming up, it‘s the eve of Pope John Paul II‘s funeral here in Rome.  We‘ll be joined by Monsignor John Strynkowski when HARDBALL returns. 



MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to this special edition of HARDBALL from Vatican City.

During his 26-year pontificate, Pope John Paul II traveled the globe over 100 times, spreading his message of love and peace, leaving a permanent impression upon the people of the world. 

Here with more on that part of the pope‘s legacy is my colleague Tucker Carlson. 


TUCKER CARLSON, MSNBC:  Pope John Paul II was the most traveled pope in the history of the papacy.  His frequent flying to the four corners of the Earth allowed him not only to reach out to the one billion Catholics around the world, but also to forge new relationships with other faiths as well.  Here‘s a look at the pope and his travels. 

(voice-over):  They were officially called apostolic voyages.  Pope John Paul II made 104 of them during his pontificate.  He met with presidents, queens and millions of ordinary people whose names he never knew, but whose lives he touched profoundly. 

MSGR. THOMAS MCSWEENEY, MSNBC ANALYST:  The beloved and late Holy Father very deliberately broke out of the bureaucratic shell of the Vatican.  We‘re never going to be able to go back to those days when the pope was just a bureaucrat, in a sense, just representing the Vatican to the world. 

CARLSON:  There are over a billion Catholics and most of them live in countries that are far from Rome, both geographically and culturally.  This pope visited nearly all of them, from Nicaragua to Nigeria, El Salvador to Senegal, Bangladesh to Botswana, the most heavily traveled religious leader in history. 

FATHER WILLIAM STETSON, CATHOLIC INFORMATION LEAGUE:  The Slavic Pope John Paul II had deeply embedded in his mind and in his heart, in his soul the carrying out of this new evangelization, he called it, of fulfilling that command of Jesus Christ to the apostles 2,000 years ago.  Go into the whole world and we must bring the Gospel. 

CARLSON:  He took his first trip to the Dominican Republic and Mexico in January of 1979, just three months after becoming pope.  His final journey was to Lourdes in France last year. 

Some say the pope‘s greatest trip was to his native Poland in 1979.  In a sermon there, he attacked the country‘s Soviet-backed government with the words: “Have courage.  I am with you.  Be not afraid.”  Many historians believe this words toppled the first domino that resulted in the fall of the Berlin Wall just 10 years later. 

John Paul II‘s most lasting legacy may be the way he broadened the leadership within the Catholic Church.  Once dominated entirely by Italians, the College of Cardinals now has more members from Latin America than from Italy.  Among with 31 new cardinals named in 2003 are men from Brazil, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Nigeria, Sudan and Vietnam.  One of them may prove to be John Paul II‘s successor. 

MCSWEENEY:  The mandate for the new pope is going to be to get out of the Vatican, get into those Third World countries, be present to the people.  The Holy Father always said, people have a right to see their pope.  And he has to get out there, put his hands on these issues, touch these people with his heart and his love, and kind of get to do more to address the issues of poverty and the issues of political corruption in these Third World countries. 

CARLSON:  And then there is his final legacy, the impression he left with those who came to see him on his trips.  He gave courage to bear our burdens, said one Kenyan woman when asked to reflect on the life of John Paul II.  The pope‘s burdens have left him now.  He has set off on his final voyage. 

(on camera):  Whether the cardinals make the decision to elect a new pope from Africa or Latin America still remains to be seen.  But, no matter what region of the world he‘s from, one thing is for certain.  The new pope will take his work on the road. 


MATTHEWS:  Thank you, Tucker Carlson.  When we return, we will preview what will happen during the funeral tomorrow for Pope John Paul II.  This is HARDBALL from the Vatican, only on MSNBC.


MATTHEWS:  Welcome back to HARDBALL. 

The funeral for Pope John Paul II will be held tomorrow at 10:00 a.m.  Rome time.  That‘s 4:00 a.m. Eastern time in the U.S.  And with me now for a preview of what to expect is Monsignor John Strynkowski, rector of the St. James Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York. 

Monsignor, thank you. 

I, right now—I‘m honestly going to try to hype people getting up in the morning to watch this incredible event.  Give us a sense.  Is this going to be like a high requiem mass? 


Well, it is a regular mass.  It‘s a mass of a Christian burial, as we would find it in a parish, except this will be surrounded by much more pomp and pageantry, obviously because it is the pope.  So, there will be other aspects to this mass that we would not see ordinarily, for example, the participation of the Greek Catholic churches.

The Gospel will be sung in Greek and in Latin as well.  But, also, there will also be a choir.  So, that will emphasize the universality of the church.  There will be ceremonies preceding, when the pope‘s body is placed in the coffin.  There will be ceremonies afterwards.  Now, I‘m not sure how much of that we‘re going to see.  But I suspect that we will hear about some of it, at any rate. 

MATTHEWS:  So, it is going to have an Eastern aspect, as well as a Western aspect. 

STRYNKOWSKI:  Yes.  That‘s right. 

MATTHEWS:  Who is going to say the mass? 

STRYNKOWSKI:  Cardinals Ratzinger, as dean of the College of Cardinals. 

MATTHEWS:  And he‘s a possible pope.

STRYNKOWSKI:  He‘s spoken of.  Some of the newspapers have mentioned his name.

MATTHEWS:  Well, let me ask you about the burial itself. 

In his last will and testament, which was released today, Pope John Paul II said that he wanted to be buried in the earth, not in a vault. 

STRYNKOWSKI:  Yes.  That‘s right. 

MATTHEWS:  But he‘s going to be buried in a vault. 

STRYNKOWSKI:  Well, he‘s going to be buried in a triple coffin.  But the triple coffin is going to be placed in the earth. 

MATTHEWS:  In the vault. 



No, my understanding is that it goes directly into the earth. 

MATTHEWS:  Into the ground.

STRYNKOWSKI:  Yes, below the pavement in the crypts of St. Peter‘s Basilica.  The same thing was done with Pope Paul VI. 

MATTHEWS:  Right. 

STRYNKOWSKI:  That was what he wished.  So the triple coffin was placed in the earth below and then covered with a slab, a very heavy slab. 

MATTHEWS:  What did you think reading the last will and testament today? 

STRYNKOWSKI:  Well, it is a beautiful document and so much in the spirit of the pope, especially, you might say the simplicity of his lifestyle. 


STRYNKOWSKI:  He says he has no possessions. 

MATTHEWS:  Here‘s the quote. 

STRYNKOWSKI:  Yes.  Yes.  Yes. 

MATTHEWS: “I do not leave behind me any property which necessitates disposal.”  So, there won‘t be any auctions at Sotheby‘s. 


MATTHEWS:  There‘s no effects at all. 


STRYNKOWSKI:  Just some objects of daily use, which he asks that his secretary dispose of. 

MATTHEWS:  What did you make of, my personal notes are to be burned?

STRYNKOWSKI:  Well, I suspect that he wants his record to be the public record, everything that he...

MATTHEWS:  The finished...

STRYNKOWSKI:  Right.  Right. 


STRYNKOWSKI:  And whatever notes he left, that those are personal and that they are not be used or anything and therefore to be destroyed. 

MATTHEWS:  You know, that‘s interesting, because, in another part of our life, Ernest Hemingway strongly believed that writers, any kind of writers, should never be quoted from their drafts, from their personal notes, because what they really should be quoted from is what they said they wanted to say to the public and decided to say. 

STRYNKOWSKI:  And I think that‘s true of the pope as well.  He wants his public record to stand as his monument for the future. 

MATTHEWS:  A strong statement, I think, here of—well, you tell me. 

“Into these hands”—he‘s writing his will and testament, the late pope—

“I leave above all the church and also my nation.”  That‘s Poland. 


MATTHEWS:  “And all humanity.”

“I thank everyone.  To everyone, I ask forgiveness.  I ask—I also ask prayers, so that the mercy of God will loom greater than my weakness and unworthiness.”  And he talks about Mary, the mother of God.  He is commending his soul to her as well. 


MATTHEWS:  This man, he is such a believer. 

STRYNKOWSKI:  A very humble man.  I think that that is what comes through.

MATTHEWS:  No ego. 

STRYNKOWSKI:  No ego, a very humble man, very trusting in God‘s mercy, very trusting in the blessed mother, and very concerned about the church and the world.  I think he died very concerned about the well-being of all people. 

MATTHEWS:  Tell me about this phrase “Totus tuus.”  

STRYNKOWSKI:  That‘s the phrase that he chose for his coat of arms.  And it mean, “I am all yours,” in the sense of entrusting himself to the blessed mother, and that he entrusted himself to her protection, to her prayers, to her intercession.  And so, he was completely, you might say, at her disposal.  He sees her as truly his mother as well. 

MATTHEWS:  The people who get up tomorrow morning and watch MSNBC or one of the other networks, when they‘re watching this, are they participating in the mass? 

STRYNKOWSKI:  Spiritually, they are, yes, definitely.  It‘s not as though they are physically, but, definitely, there is such a thing as spiritual communion, that you can be present to the mass by your faith, by your charity, and, actually, experience a deepening of it through all of the prayers, the hymns, the—all of the ceremonies, the ritual that is attached to this.

The ritual for this, as I remember from the past, is very rich, very significant.  It is not elaborate.  It is to the point, but it is beautiful.  And I think anyone who watches will experience truly...


MATTHEWS:  I think no one who watches will ever forget doing so. 

STRYNKOWSKI:  Absolutely.

MATTHEWS:  And watching it live, anyway, I hope everybody does tomorrow morning.  We‘ll be here. 

I want to thank, as always, Monsignor John Strynkowski, who has been with us every minute of the day this week. 

MSNBC will have live coverage, as I said, throughout the evening tonight, leading to the funeral of Pope John Paul II. 

Join Tucker Carlson at midnight tonight Eastern.  And then, at 3:30 a.m. Eastern time, I‘ll—myself, I‘ll be anchoring MSNBC‘s funeral coverage, along with my colleague Chris Jansing, who has also been here covering the events at the Vatican.

Right now, it‘s time for the “COUNTDOWN” with Keith Olbermann.


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