updated 4/13/2005 12:52:33 PM ET 2005-04-13T16:52:33

Guest: Ray Flynn, Jim Martin, Carl Bernstein, Chester Gillis, Doris Donnelly

JOE SCARBOROUGH, MSNBC HOST:  You are looking at a live picture of St. Peter‘s Basilica in Vatican City, designed nearly 500 years ago by Michelangelo, and inside of which, in just five hours from now,  there will be the scene for what many are calling the largest funeral in the history of the world.

Welcome to the special edition of SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY, the funeral of Pope John Paul II.  With me now, we have Thomas McSweeney, MSNBC political analyst, Pat Buchanan, and Carl Bernstein, MSNBC contributor and author of “His Holiness,” and also Ray Flynn, former ambassador to the vatican, and also with me, Father Jim Martin, he‘s the editor of “America Magazine,” and Chester Gillis, he‘s the chairman of the department of theology, at Georgetown University.

Ambassador Flynn, let me start with you.  You know, I have talked before to John Meacham when he studied - in fact, he wrote a book—Do I hear bells behind you?

RAY FLYNN, FORMER AMBASSADOR TO THE VATICAN:  Yes.  What is it, 5:00 right now in Rome?

SCARBOROUGH:  Yeah.  I figured that wasn‘t in New Jersey.  But anyway, John Meacham wrote a book on Franklin Roosevelt and on Winston Churchill, and he said in the book that everybody that ever met FDR was less impressed when they were close to him.  Everybody that met Winston Churchill was more impressed and he became larger.

You know, we have got four million people flooding into the city to see Pope John Paul II‘s burial.  You saw this man up close.  Did he become larger the closer you got to him, or is it what you saw on TV is what you got?

FLYNN:  I first met him in 1969 at a Polish church hall in Boston.  And we had a conversation about rarum novarum (ph).  I was a great student, or great fan of Pope Leo XIII, we were talking about social and economic justice.  I was first introduced to him, Karol Wojtyla, he wasn‘t the Holy Father then, he was Archbishop of Krakow, it was rafe (ph) when this great athlete here in Boston and so we started talking about sports and so we started talking about jobs.  My father was a dockworker.

You know, Joe, what is really interesting—The panel you have is interesting because they talk about religion, history, spirituality.  And religious unity.  And bringing all these points home, but what he is like, he is a healer in many respects.  He is a uniter.  If we are talking in political terms, he would be somebody who would transcend political lines.  He wouldn‘t be conservative, he wouldn‘t be liberal, he wouldn‘t be a Democrat, he wouldn‘t be a Republican.  He would be somebody who would be uniting people.

Now, sometimes when you try to unite people around what you believe, what is the truth, and the teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, sometimes you can‘t unite people.  Sometimes people have fundamental, cultural differences of opinion, but I think what he is doing here, Joe and I want to make this point, because I think we miss something if we don‘t get this one in here.  He—The big impact, this legacy that your panelists are talking about is great points, but I think the one legacy aspect, Joe, is his ability to communicate, to articulate, to inspire young people.  Most of these people here today, these five million people here in Rome, come from all over Europe, the United States, the world.  Many of them are young people, like we saw at World Youth Day, like I saw at World Youth Day in Denver, Colorado, in the Philippines, in Paris and Rome.

And quickly, what he appeals—what his appeal is, not that they necessarily agree with everything that he says, because we certainly know that even our own kids don‘t agree with everything we say, and not every young person agrees with everything the Catholic Church says.  What the attraction is, Joe, and I find this kind of amazing.  I am sorry it took me so long to figure this one out.  It is about truth.  It‘s about his ability to speak to them what is best for them.

And I think I mentioned this before, but his legacy, as far as I am concerned, and I love what Pat Buchanan says, I love what Carl Bernstein says, I like what Father Martin says, Mr. Gillis, all of those points of view are very, very valid, but the future of the church, as the Holy Father told me on my way back—on our way back from Denver, Colorado, he says, Ray—Raymond, he is says, I have seen the future of the United States of America.  The future of the United States of America is very bright and promising.  I swear, those are his exact words.  He said, I saw it in the eyes of the young people of America.  America‘s best days are yet to come.  I didn‘t realize that.  I was mayor of Boston.  I was just like everybody, and old timer with all these cynicisms, I saw that optimism in him because he saw it in the young people.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Father Jim Martin, is the charisma of this man what united Catholics around him?

FR. JIM MARTIN, “AMERICA MAGAZINE”:  Yeah, I think so.  I think, as Ambassador Flynn was saying, it‘s more than the political and ecclesial and moral accomplishments, as spectacular as they were.  I mean, the man who asked for forgiveness from the Jewish people; who helped to bring down communism; who had an incredible role just in world politics over 26 years.  I think beyond that is this sort of personal holiness, and I think actually that‘s what the young people are responding to.

You know, when you think of people like Mother Teresa, when you think of people like Francis of Assisi or Therese of Lisia (ph), all these great accomplishments that they have done over their lives, the great saints of the Catholic Church, it really in the final analysis is not so much what they did as much as who they were and what they stood for, and I think people recognize that.  I think holiness is naturally attractive to people, and I think that‘s what you are seeing in the great crowds today.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Carl Bernstein, we heard from the ambassador that Pope John Paul II said America‘s best days lie ahead, but his relationship with America was very complex.  He believed we were a great force for good, but he also thought were hedonistic, shallow and materialistic.  How did he square those two different visions of this country?

CARL BERNSTEIN, AUTHOR, “HIS HOLINESS”:  Through his consistency.  He is a very consistent man, despite contradictions, even though what I said is a little contradictory.

SCARBOROUGH:  That it is.

BERNSTEIN:  But he is very consistent in terms of his values, and those values have to do with spirituality, a spiritual approach to mankind.  And hedonism, as he saw it, materialism, in the West particularly, not just the United States, was one of his great concerns.  In Europe, he had hoped that the fall of communism would mean a rebirth of spiritual values in the countries of the former Soviet Empire, and he was deeply disappointed in what happened in his own country, in Poland, that it began to emulate the materialism, and hedonism, as he saw it, of this country.

And getting to this next conclave, there is a schism in the church.  Pat Buchanan is right about that.  It‘s not just the United States.  It‘s the Western church.  It‘s Europe.  Where the pews are empty on Sunday, even four blocks from St. Peter‘s, you are not going to see many on an ordinary Sunday many people in church.

The next pope, I think, if he is a great leader, and great leaders, particularly those who occupy lifetime jobs, the Supreme Court and the pope of the Catholic Church, usually don‘t do what is expected of them.  And in this instance, I think that we might really see a pope, if he is a great pope, who tries to heal this schism, and that means that somehow without changing the perennial theology that this pope has stressed so much and has alienated so many people in the Western church, particularly on questions of women and sex; somehow the next pope, if he is a great pope, I suspect will try to find a way to make this seemingly impossible bridge on these issues having to do with gender, with sex, with somehow bringing American Catholics back into the fold of the church itself, of the mother church, the same with Western Europe.

It is going to be a remarkably difficult thing to do, but I think the cardinals are going to look for that, perhaps as well, but also, you know, we are always surprised.  Pope John Paul II was not what we expected.  The other great pope of the 20th century, it‘s been the great fortune of this church to have two great popes in forty years, John 23rd, convened the Second Vatican Council, brought the church into the 20th century, into the modern world.  This pope has been something of a break on what he saw as the excesses of the Council, to allow the kind of license he thought in terms of Catholic belief, but two great popes, I think they are going to look for another great pope.

PATRICK BUCHANAN, MSNBC ANALYST:  Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  Yeah.

BUCHANAN:  Well, I think we had a great pope in Pius XII, quite frankly if you go back to Pius XII, the period from 1938 to 1958.

BERNSTEIN:  This is where Archbishop Buchanan and I always disagree.

SCARBOROUGH:  You are.  You‘re church historians, and your losing Protestants very quickly.  So let‘s keep it so the Southern Baptists can figure it out Pat.

BUCHANAN:  John Paul II ...

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on, Pat.  Pat, if you can, respond to Varl‘s comment regarding the schism in the church.

BUCHANAN:  Sure.

SCARBOROUGH:  Did John Paul II leave the church split?

BUCHANAN:  Joe, this is what my point is.  The Catholic Church, the Catholic people are split and divided, as Ray Flynn says, irreconcilably divided.  One part believes that contraception is fine, that abortion, you can have one and remain a good Catholic, that the Holy Eucharist, something like 50 percent of young people say the Holy Eucharist is simply symbolic.  That is heretical.  There is no way you can bridge that gap.

What the holy father did was what Ray Flynn was talking about.  He spoke the truth clearly, coldly.  At the same time what made it more palatable to a great many people who disagreed with it was his remarkable holiness, his remarkable goodness, his remarkable charisma.  This split, what we call in America “the culture war,” is rooted in a religious conflict, a deep, profound difference in beliefs, about how lives should be lived, what is right and wrong, what is moral and immoral.  We saw it for two weeks in the Terri Schiavo case.  It is unbridgeable.

The purpose of the Holy Father, his goal has got to be to enunciate the truth.  If he can do it as well as John Paul II and as charismatically, great, but he has to do it.

SCARBOROUGH:  Chester Gillis, how does the next pope do that, though.  How does the next pope bring these two sides together?  Is it possible, or could the Catholic Church end up like the American Episcopal Church?

CHESTER GILLIS, THEOLOGIAN, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY:  Well, there are deep divisions, clearly.  Everyone knows this, all of the sociological data indicates that.  I think first of all, there needs to be a dialogue between the papacy, the hierarchy, and American laity, in the American case, also in Western Europe.  A dialogue in which the laity are listened to.  I am not saying they need to be pandered to, but certainly they need to be listened to.

What are the deep-felt concerns of the laity, what do they need to surface that are problematic in the way that the church operates, vis-…-vis them?  I think there‘s less of that dialogue, or has been recently, and I think there needs to be more of it.  I think—I would hope that the next pope would welcome that kind of a dialogue with the laity.  And also, even with some of the bishops, many of whom feel they have been shut out too, to some degree, under the later part of this papacy, as great as it was.

SCARBOROUGH:  Did this pope shut them out?  Chester?

GILLIS:  Well—Oh, I think in the later part of his papacy, I think to a large degree, he did.  He was, in many ways, larger than life, and it was sufficient for him to be the leader of the church, but in the early part of his papacy, when bishops went in congregations in sentence (ph) to Rome, there was a dialogue between the pope and bishops, and he listened and said, what is going on in your region?  The church is universal and it has universal norms, I understand that.  But it is embedded in particular cultures, and it‘s very important to understand those particular cultures and the kind of expression of Catholicism which is manifest there.

Towards the end of his papacy, everyone knows, when the bishops went to the meetings, he basically lectured to them, and they didn‘t have a chance to express what was happening as fully as I think they might have.  That may have been style.  It may have been age.  Who knows what it was?  But clearly, I think that that needs to be opened up again.  The buzzword for it is “collegiality,” but there are other words for it.  “Dialogue” is one, I think.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Thank you so much, Chester Gillis.  We thank you for being with us tonight.

And coming up, more of our panel, Pope John Paul II left the world a better place than he found it.  That‘s what most people think, certainly the four million that are packing into Rome.  We‘re going to be talking about that legacy when this special SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY on Pope John Paul II returns.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BILL FITZGERALD, MSNBC ANCHOR:  MSNBC keeps you up to the minute every 15 minutes.  I‘m Bill Fitzgerald.  Here‘s the latest.

Egyptian officials say at least two people were killed when a bomb exploded at a tourist bazaar in Cairo.  Officials say about 20 people were injured, including four Americans.

The FBI has been searching for a gun at Red Lake High School in Minnesota.  That‘s where 16-year-old Jeff Weise recently killed 17 people, then himself.  The FBI says it received uncorroborated intelligence about the possibility of a gun left at the school.

And first it was Vioxx, now the pain killer Bextra is being pulled from the market at the FDA‘s request.  In addition to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes, the FDA cited a risk of serious skin reactions to Bextra.

You are up to date.  Let‘s head back now to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY with Joe Scarborough.

SCARBOROUGH:  You are looking at live shots of Vatican City.  Again, the funeral of Pope John Paul II is going to be taking place right there in St. Peter‘s square in just a few hours.  It‘s a remarkable scene.  They are setting it up right now.  You have got pilgrims sleeping all around St. Peter‘s Square, again, ready to come in and take part in the largest funeral in the history of the world.

Welcome back to this special edition of SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.  The funeral of Pope John Paul II.  Still with me is MSNBC political analyst, Pat Buchanan.  We also have Carl Bernstein, MSNBC contributor, and Ray Flynn former ambassador to the Vatican, and also with me is Father Jim Martin, editor of “America Magazine,” and father, I wanted to ask you to respond to what Pat Buchanan has been saying tonight and throughout the week, which is, sure, there are divisive issues, but they‘re really—in a lot of these issues, that divide the American church, there‘s really no room for compromise.  What is your take on that?

MARTIN:  Well, first of all, I‘d point out that one of the pope‘s traditional titles is Pontifex Maximus, which is “bridge builder,” and so I think one of the essential attributes is to build bridges among Catholics, and, you know, I think that to say that some Catholics are simply on the outs because they disagree with the Vatican on certain topics, I really do think is antithetical to Catholicism, which is universalism in its embrace of people.

Now, there are certainly things, obviously, that everyone needs to agree on, they are contained in the Apostles‘ Creed, or the Nicene Creed, which we say every Sunday, it‘s the Gospel, those kinds of things.  But I think when you start to sort of reject people because they disagree with certain things the Vatican says that don‘t have that level of authority as, say, the Gospel and the Apostles‘ Creed or the Nicene Creed, I think you are really damaging a lot of people‘s faith.

I mean, Pope John XXIII used to say, in the essentials, unity.  In differences, dialogue, and in all things, charity, and I think that‘s the way we need to look at the pope.  I think that the pope is the great bridge builder, who reaches out not to simply to Catholics who agree with the Vatican, but all baptized Catholics who are Catholics by virtue of their baptism.

BUCHANAN:  Can I say something?  Let me respond?

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat you‘re not sounding ...

BERNSTEIN:  And I want a crack after Pat.

SCARBOROUGH:  You are not sounding—You can‘t all talk at the same time.

BERNSTEIN:  No, I said after Pat.

SCARBOROUGH:  You are not sounding charitable to some Catholics.  Respond.

BUCHANAN:  Well, look, the father said, I think in essential things, unity.  This is the very point.  Let‘s take two of the most divisive issues for American Catholics.  Homosexuality and abortion.  There are 42 million unborn children done to death in the United States since Roe v. Wade, that is an abomination.  It is mass murder.  Some Catholics use the term, “a holocaust.”  There is no compromise on that.

That is deliberate killing of the unborn, and the Holy Father testified to that loudly and clearly his entire papacy.  He has condemned the homosexual jamboree they had in Rome in the harshest terms.  It was like Jesus driving the money changers out of the temple.  There is no compromise.  That is morally wrong.  Are there homosexuals whom you want to bring back in the church?  Of course.  Do you treat them with charity?  Of course.  Do you treat them as Christians?  Yes.  But you don‘t say what they are doing is right.

And this is why the Holy Father attracted so many people.  There‘s a magnetism and a light to truth.  He covered it with great charisma and holiness, but there‘s a core of truth there that cannot be contradicted and cannot be denied.

BERNSTEIN:  I want to add something to that, and that is that I think that this is the one area where the Holy Father, as Patrick says, did not bring great admiration among many people, in and out of the church, and I think that one of the reasons we have these great tributes to this great man is that he believed that Christ spoke to the modern world.  And that the Gospels spoke to the modern world.  And the words of Christ that we know about and the Gospels themselves that we know about, and one of the better experts than certainly me and where I come from, could probably add to this on this program tonight, they really don‘t deal with homosexuality.  They have to do—homosexuality might have something to do with the teachings of the latter church.

They don‘t have to do with, specifically, abortion, and I think the reason for this outpouring in the world and in the Vatican this week is because this pope spoke for universal human values, the dignity of mankind, and that he brought the Catholic Church to that unambiguous position from a place of ambiguity among too many of his predecessors, in the view of many non-Catholics and many Catholics as well.

And I go back to what the job of the next pope may be.  Patrick, I think, thinks that the job of the next pope is to continue to stress this rigorous theology that he thinks is unchanging, whereas I suspect that even among those cardinals who have been appointed by this pope, there may be a good number of them, and, again, nobody knows who is going to be the next pope, and nobody knows what he is going to do, either, but there may be an inclination to see if the Gospels and the words of Christ himself can somehow bridge, as the father said a moment ago, this huge schism, and I suspect ...

BUCHANAN:  You know, Carl, with due respect, you cannot bridge immorality and morality.

BERNSTEIN:  But you are saying it‘s immoral.

BUCHANAN:  Of course it is.  The Holy Catholic Church has taught this for centuries on abortion.

BERNSTEIN:  But the Holy Catholic Church has changed its position in so many ways.

BUCHANAN:  It has not ...

BERNSTEIN:  On other questions.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Gentlemen.  Hold on.  Let‘s bring Father Martin back in.  Father?

MARTIN:  Yeah, I am going to jump in for a second.

SCARBOROUGH:  Please.

MARTIN:  The Catholic Church does have development of doctrine.  I mean, just look at something as simple as the Latin mass.  All right, before the Second Vatican Council, you would have priests who would worry about holding their fingers the right way, you would have priests who would stumble over Latin words and have to repeat the mass.

Within a few years, all of that changed, so the most essential part of the Catholic faith, the Eucharist, was changed, almost overnight.  Doctrine developed.  You have the respect for other religions.  You have—look at something like slavery.  I am a member of the Jesuit order.  We used to own slaves.  Obviously the church is not in favor of slavery, so to say doctrine does not develop, I think, is really misreading history.

SCARBOROUGH:  Father, are you suggesting - hold on.  Father, are you suggesting that doctrine could develop on gay marriage, on abortion, on women priests, all these issues?

MARTIN:  Well, there‘s certain issues, I think, that are not theologically based, for example the idea of married priests that a lot of people are talking about.  You already have married priests in the Catholic Church, you have people who are Episcopal priests, who are married, who convert, and they are allowed to stay married, so something like that is more of a juridical thing.  But the idea that ...

BUCHANAN:  That is correct, Joe ...

MARTIN:  Let me just finish.  The idea that the fundamental theology of the Catholic Church will change, you know, is not a reasonable idea.  But you have to say what are the fundamentals and what are the incidentals?

BUCHANAN:  All right, well, let me ask, father, I mean, look, I have mentioned two—I agree with you on women priests.  There have been women priests, they come into the church from the Anglican Church and they are married, they bring their wives with them.  But on the fundamental issue—Are homosexual relations moral, can they be moral, is there a moral reason to have an abortion, which the church has taught immemorially is deliberate killing of the innocent?  I do not believe that can be changed.  I don‘t think the Holy Father believed it could be changed.  Do you believe that can be changed?

MARTIN:  No, I think it‘s very clear what the Catholic Church has stated on both of those positions.  I also (ph) think it‘s very important underline the fact that the catechism of the Catholic Church also says that homosexuals, gays and lesbians should be accepted by the church with respect, dignity, and compassion, which I think is now enshrined in the catechism.  I think the important thing is, there are so many things the Catholic right wants to seize upon, as the sort of sine qua non of the Holy Father.

BUCHANAN:  The Holy Father is a little bit (ph) controversial for these stands.

MARTIN:  Let me finish.  I think there‘s so many things—The Holy Father is also controversial for his stand on the Iraq War, the Holy Father was controversial for his stands on forgiveness of third world debt and taking care of the poor, so I think when we are looking at things sort of essential for the Holy Father, we also have to look at taking care of the poor, we also have to look at his anti-war stand, and so the thing is, you know, there‘s a canard that is leveled against a lot of lefty Catholics and that is that they are cafeteria Catholics, which is that they pick and choose, but I think people on the right pick and choose just as well.  And so ...

SCARBOROUGH:  Ambassador ...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Father.

SCARBOROUGH:  Hold on a second.  Let me bring in Ambassador Flynn.  Ambassador Flynn, get into this if you will.  How does the next pope bridge this gap?

FLYNN:  You are asking an Irish politician to settle this kind of a dispute?

SCARBOROUGH:  Yeah.  In 30 seconds.

FLYNN:  Well, I will tell you, think about it, Joe.  This conversation you just have here today, you have Father Martin, who is devout Catholic priest, you have Pat Buchanan, a devout Catholic, excellent commentator.  They are both part of the Catholic faith.  They are both proud of it.  And there‘s always going to be differences of opinion, but the point of the matter is, they are two faithful men, and you can have these disagreements in the Catholic Church, and they both can serve Christ as well as they both do, so there‘s always going to be a difference of opinion, but in heart, there‘s unity in terms of their loyalty to Jesus Christ.

That‘s what John Paul II taught us, despite our political differences.

SCARBOROUGH:  Gentlemen, stay with us.  Much more straight ahead on this.  A fascinating discussion, and also an amazing photographic journey with Pope John Paul II.  We‘ll be right back in a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  We are just hours away from Pope John Paul II‘s funeral, a funeral that is being called the largest in the history of the world.  And we are going to be talking about his life and legacy when we return, but first, here‘s the latest news that your family needs to know.

FITZGERALD:  MSNBC keeps you up to the minute every 15 minutes.  I‘m Bill Fitzgerald.  Here‘s the latest.

A Texas high school football coach is in critical condition right now.  Police say the father of one of his football players shot the coach with assault rifle and slashed his own wrists.  The father was treated at a local hospital and is now in jail awaiting charges.

Two people are dead, four more wounded after shooting rampage in Maryland and Delaware.  Delaware state police say a suspect is in custody.  They say they have determined the motive for the shootings but are not releasing details.

And a former Neverland Ranch security guard testified at the Michael Jackson child molestation trial.  The ex-guard told the jury he saw Jackson perform oral sex on a boy who later collected a reported $23 million settlement from the singer.  The defense says the guard is just trying to get back at Jackson, after losing $1.4 million lawsuit against the singer.

You are up to date.  Let‘s head back, now, to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

SCARBOROUGH:  You are looking at a live shot of Vatican City.  St. Peter‘s Square, where they are continuing to prepare for the funeral of Pope John Paul II.  It‘s 5:33 a.m. over there right now, and in the next hour or so, the sun will be rising, and the four million pilgrims that have crowded into Rome will start waking up, and prepare for this funeral.

We are back with our panel, and also let me bring in now, Doris Donnelly, and also Monsignor Thomas McSweeney, he is an MSNBC analyst.  And let me begin with you, Ms. Donnelly.  There‘s been a lot of talk over the past 30 minutes about this pope‘s legacy, also about where the church goes in the future.  One issue that remains divisive in America has to do with women in the priesthood.  Do you think that that is a point that can be negotiated when the next pope takes control of the Vatican?

DORIS DONNELLY, JOHN CARROLL UNIVERSITY:  I don‘t think that that‘s going to be the first - the front burner issue for the pope with regard to women.  There are, first of all, we have a crisis in terms of the numbers of priests serving parishes, not only here but in Western Europe as well.  So the question is, what do we do to handle the crisis of this shortage of priests?

And there are probably going to be steps before we can consider the ordination of women to the priesthood.  First step might be to have men who are married legitimized in the priesthood.  We do have married priests already, but there are more men who are married who would like to become priests.  There are former priests who would like to be reinstated in official ministry in the church.

And then when it comes to women themselves, a first step would be to introduce women perhaps as deacons in the church.  That‘s, in fact, what happened with married men before.  So is the issue of women ordination going to be a front burner item for the pope?  No.  Is it a realistic goal to be achieved in the next pontificate?  Probably not.  But there are probably stages leading up to that that involve women in decision-making places in the church, and roles in the church where their opinion is valued and heard.  And possibly the deaconate opening up to women.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, monsignor, we have been seeing over the past week, obviously, millions of people flooding into Rome, to say goodbye to this pope.  We have also been reading columns, though, in “America” saying the pope is too conservative on issues regarding women, regarding priests getting married, regarding homosexuality, regarding abortion, and yet if you look at those pictures in Rome, it appears that the pilgrims are voting with their feet.  Do you think that‘s going to be a message that the College of Cardinals will hear loudly and clearly when they decide who the next pope will be?

MSGR. THOMAS MCSWEENEY, MSNBC ANALYST:  Well, clearly, you look at the plaza, these last four days, golly, and I have been deeply touched myself.  You want to go down there and ask these people, why they are there.  You talk about voting with your feet.  They didn‘t stand in line for 12 hours, 24 hours simply because they were thinking and sorting out these particular issues.  They were obviously touched, right to the core, by a pope who had a moral conscience, that craved, longed, to remind each one of us that we are made in the image of G-d, and he has brought us, as it were, as of the Jubilee of 2000 and now into 2005 to what he affectionately called the “threshold of hope.”

Here‘s the opportunity for a new evangelization.  He called it the “springtime of evangelization.”  That evangelization is going to require, as our panel has been talking here, a dialogue, a true open, full, robust dialogue.  That dialogue did seem to shut down.  Just at the time when we were brought to the threshold of hope where a new openness, and, in fact, have no fear.  Don‘t be afraid.  Let us talk about these things.

And of course, use this as an opportunity to understand more clearly the moral conscience that this pope was presenting to the world, the moral consciousness that made him a global leader, touching the minds and hearts not only of all of those people in the plaza there, but also world leaders.  This is a new time.  This is a springtime for evangelization, and I would like to just, if I could, jump back to what the ambassador was saying as he said, why did it take me to long to discover this, it‘s the youth that we have to go to.  The Holy Father was so successful when he touched the heart and minds of young people to understand that there is good in them.  Build on that good and all the rest will take care of itself.

SCARBOROUGH:  You know, Father Jim Martin, I have sensed, long sensed, the disconnect, whenever I would talk about this pope to just laymen.  I would find that he really was the people‘s pope.  That everybody that I spoke with had great things to say about him, but when I talked to priests, when I talked to other people involved in the church, they said what the monsignor just said.  There‘s a hesitancy, a grudging respect, yes, he was a great man but, and they would always go back to the fact that somehow dialogue had been cut off.  And we heard that from the monsignor.  We heard it from others tonight also, we have been hearing it all week.  What exactly do you mean?  What do church leaders mean when they say, Father Martin, that the pope wasn‘t as good, as far as dialogue goes, in the final years of his life?

MARTIN:  Sure.  That‘s a great question.  I would point to three things.  First of all, the question of women‘s ordination, which Professor Donnelly was talking about, which is a very important topic that may not get settled in the next pontificate, was basically taken off the table.  A document went out that said you could not even discuss it.  That‘s the first thing.

I think the second thing would be the idea that bishops‘ conferences, as one of your guests mentioned, really did not have the opportunity to promulgate documents as freely as they would want to.  There was a lot of Vatican oversight on those kinds of things.

And I just think thirdly, when you think about the theologians that have been writing, I think something like 100 theologians have been silenced in this pontificate, and obviously the Vatican has the right and the obligation to protect the deposit of the faith, as it‘s called, but by the same token, theologians, I think, need to be free to explore the boundaries of theology and be sort of corrected by one another in print, so there has been kind of a chilling effect over the last couple of years in the papacy, but once again, I don‘t think it detracts anything from the man himself.

This was the way he saw fit to carry out the Gospel.  But as monsignor said, I think is really is time for dialogue now in order to help us move forward with whomever the next pope is.

BUCHANAN:  Joe.

SCARBOROUGH:  And Patrick Buchanan.  Hold on, Patrick.  Patrick, I wanted to ask you this, because the very cardinal that many have called the pope‘s enforcer, the cardinal from Germany who is going to be leading this mass tomorrow, is the same cardinal who has been accused by many inside the church of stifling dialogue, of running, in fact, a Star Chamber against theologians who wrote things that the pope disagreed with.

BUCHANAN:  Look, Cardinal Ratzinger is—he speaks from holy office.  Cardinal Ratzinger speaks orthodoxy.  You can have all the dialogue, all the bull sessions you want, all the college dorm discussions but when it comes down to decision, the pope and the Catholic Church have spoken for 2,000 years to the issue of women priests.  Someone said it is off the table.  That is exactly right.  Indeed, if some pope came in and said we are going to initiate this idea, you would have a massive walkout from the Roman Catholic Church by all traditionalists.  The Roman Catholic Church would go the way of the Episcopal Church, which is just collapsing and disintegrating, so, I mean, I don‘t know what all this talk about dialogue is.  The Catholic Church has taught certain truths from time immemorial, and they are not going to change.

BERNSTEIN:  Let me give an example of dialogue, and I agree with everyone else that the question of women priests, we are not going to have women priests in the next pontificate.  But let‘s look at the question of contraception.  This pope‘s predecessor, Paul VI, appointed a commission to study the question of contraception.  His own commission recommended that the church‘s ban on contraception be removed.  Paul VI was deeply disturbed about it, and one of the members of that commission was Karol Wojtyla, then the Archbishop of Krakow, who convinced Pope Paul VI to overrule the commission‘s recommendation, and to maintain the prohibition on contraception.

But what I am trying to say here is that there are some of these questions where there can be a change, and even the predecessor to this pope, who John Paul II revered, considered changing that theological question of contraception.  Moreover, you look at this great—one of the great privileges of my life was to spend three years around this pope, traveling with him, studying him.  He is a holy man.  It is quite remarkable to watch a holy man.  And almost anyone would be touched by that ...

SCARBOROUGH:  He really is, Carl.  We have got to go to break, unfortunately, right now.

BERNSTEIN:  I want to come back and finish this thought, if I may.

SCARBOROUGH:  I am sure you do, and we will let you do it in a minute.  And I have got to tell you something, listening to this debate, it‘s remarkable that this pope—and I am glad we are having this debate, because it shows what pope John Paul II has been able to do during his ministry as the leader of the Catholic Church.

We will let Carl finish his thought, also going to talk to Ray Flynn about how the pope was able to bring together so many different sides, and, again, we are just seeing a microcosm of it here tonight.  Imagine running a church with over a billion participants in that debate.  It‘s a remarkable job.

Coming up, it‘s a mystery to most, we are going to take you behind the scenes and explain how the church is going to pick its next pope that‘s going to have to deal with all of these issues.  Stay with us.  That‘s coming up next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

FITZGERALD:  MSNBC keeps you up to the minute every 15 minutes.  I‘m Bill Fitzgerald.  Here‘s the latest.

An embarrassing breach of security at Windsor Castle.  For the marriage of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles, blessed on Saturday, the “Sun” newspaper says a reporter posing as delivery driver passed the castle security barrier in a van that contained a box with bomb written on it.  British police say they are investigating.

Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani was sworn in as Iraq‘s new interim president, a largely ceremonial post.  He then named Shiite Arab leader Ibrahim al-Jafari to the powerful post of prime minister.

And if you are thinking of buying a home or refinancing, rates on the 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell the first time in two months, dipping to just under 6 percent.  You are up to date.  Let‘s go back now to SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY.

SCARBOROUGH:  Carl Bernstein, you wanted to finish your thought.  Go ahead.

BERNSTEIN:  One of the reasons that Pope Paul VI convened a commission on question of contraception is that he was concerned, as many others in the church were, about questions of overpopulation, about the fact that many Catholics were leaving the church over questions of birth control and contraception, and then today you look at this great pope, John Paul II, who dedicated so much of his papacy to protecting the weak, and you look to Africa, where hundreds of thousands, even millions of Africans are dying from AIDS.  The Catholic Church, single institution in the world with infrastructure in Africa to do something about the spread of AIDS through distribution of condoms.  I would not be surprised if that question is not the kind of thing that the next pope will concern himself with, and if that question could change.

SCARBOROUGH:  All right.  Let me bring in Ambassador Ray Flynn right now.  And Mr. Ambassador, I want to ask you, how does the next pope take all of these issues and bring his church together?

FLYNN:  Well, Joe, if you play this conversation we just had for the last two hours over again, in your own mind, we talked about communications, we talked about unity, we talked about bringing people together.  All these are the attributes, not who but when and how we do that, and that is going to be the next challenge for the next pope.

Joe, there‘s another point here that I think we need to talk about.  Many of us are about the same age here.  So we are inspired by John Kennedy in his 1960 inaugural, when he said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”  Think about that.

Here we have a lot of young people watching MSNBC and other television stations throughout the United States, throughout the world, and they are seeing this remarkable tribute to this remarkable man, probably five months ago, they probably thought becoming a priest would have been the last thing on their mind.  Being a priest now is like the call from Jack Kennedy for public service.  You know, this is a call to the priesthood, this is a call to the spiritual life.  My heavens, if I were a young boy now, a young man, I would think going into the priesthood, serving my values, my faith, my church, my country ...

SCARBOROUGH:  And Mr. Ambassador, that‘s a great point ...

FLYNN:  ... and society would be high on the list.

SCARBOROUHG:  Just like John Kennedy‘s life and death inspired so many to public service, you are saying this pope‘s life and death and remarkable funeral may inspire many to the priesthood?

FLYNN:  Look at them out here, Joe, there‘s five million, there are people riveted to this TV program, and watching probably the largest viewing audience in the history of television.  It‘s amazing the interest that is there, why wouldn‘t a lot of these young people be inspired to go into the priesthood?

SCARBOROUGH:  I think they certainly will.  It‘s just a great point, Mr. Ambassador.  And I think we will see the effects of this week, this funeral, and this pope‘s life in the coming years.

Stay with us.  We will be right back in a minute.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCARBOROUGH:  You‘re looking at a live shot of Vatican City.  We are just about four hours away from the funeral of Pope John Paul II.  A man who unified the Catholic Church.  Four million people there to say goodnight, goodbye to him.

But Father Jim Martin, despite the fact that he has unified so many people, there are some that are concerned that with his death, with his passing, this Catholic Church is going to be divided even more in the future.  What do you say?

MARTIN:  Well, I think, you know, one of the pope‘s favorite messages was from the gospels, of course, “be not afraid.”  And I think Catholics believe and trust that not only will the Holy Spirit help and guide the cardinals in their selection in the conclave in another week or so but that the Holy Spirit is with the church protecting it and guiding it.

And so, to echo the pope, there is nothing for Catholics to be afraid and there is everything for them to trust in.  Not only do we have the Holy Spirit but we now, if you think about it, have John Paul praying for us in heaven.

SCARBOROUGH:  That‘s quite a thought.

I wish we could do this for two more hours.  I‘ve got so many questions that I would like to ask our panel.  A great panel.  But thank you all for being with us.

And I want to ask you at home to stay tuned.  Tucker Carlson is coming up next.  He has more on the legacy of Pope John Paul II.  And at 3:30 a.m., Chris Matthews and Chris Jansing are going to be hosting MSNBC‘s coverage of the pontiff‘s funeral live from Vatican City.  Have a pleasant night.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

Content and programming copyright 2005 MSNBC.  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.  Transcription Copyright 2005 Voxant, Inc. ALL RIGHTS  RESERVED. No license is granted to the user of this material other than for research. User may not reproduce or redistribute the material except for user‘s personal or internal use and, in such case, only one copy may be printed, nor shall user use any material for commercial purposes or in any fashion that may infringe upon MSNBC and Voxant, Inc.‘s copyright or other proprietary rights or interests in the material. This is not a legal transcript for purposes of litigation.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,