updated 4/13/2005 12:53:20 PM ET 2005-04-13T16:53:20

Guest: M. Johanna Paruch, Frank McNulty, Jim Martin

JOE SCARBOROUGH, HOST:  Millions gather, as billions watch, as Catholics and Muslims, presidents and prime ministers, princes and paupers, say goodbye to Pope John Paul II. 

For a moment early this morning, the world was united as one, as the global village watched leaders from countries as diverse as America and Iran sit down together to say goodbye to the pope of peace.  And while millions of citizens jammed the streets and the rooftops of Rome and the piazzas and parks across all of Italy and Europe, it‘s estimated that more than two billion people sat in their homes watching their televisions this morning to see events unfold at St. Peter‘s Square. 

Almost one million Poles watched in a vast field outside of Krakow, knowing that would be the last time they could say goodbye to the spiritual giant who liberated their country and freed their souls. 

Tonight, we report on the largest funeral in the history of mankind, and we remember a hope who is one of a kind.  It‘s all in tonight‘s special SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY. 

It was the biggest religious gathering in history.  And you didn‘t have to be a Catholic to be moved watching the beautiful service. 

Chris Matthews was in Vatican City for the historic event. 

And I asked Chris earlier, what was it like? 


CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST, “HARDBALL”:  Well, the thing that struck me, Joe, was listening to the crowd.  We knew that the ceremony was going to go on and it was going to be dramatic. 

But to hear the crowd start celling magna, magna, the great, and then calling for his instant—the late pope‘s instant canonization, you know, what struck me was the Polish people who came down here from that country.  It‘s not a rich country.  They are not rich people.  They got down here by bus or whatever.  They had no place to stay.

And there they were out in that St. Peter‘s Square just calling for their man, the guy who saved their country from the communists.  It wasn‘t just religious.  It was—it was religious and political and everything.  It was philosophical.  It was a testament to courage. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Chris, I know what had to be remarkable for you is, from your vantage point overlooking St. Peter‘s Square, to see people, world leaders sit side by side.  Of course, a lot of people are talking about George Bush and Chirac, but what about the leader of Iran being—sitting peacefully by the leader of the United States?  That hasn‘t happened since 1979. 

MATTHEWS:  Well, that‘s true. 

And, also, in that same circle of chairs, I believe, you had the prime minister of Israel.  You had the king of Jordan, the moderate government of Jordan. You had people in that circle in all kinds of stripes.  And you had some strange outlaw guys, like Mugabe of Zimbabwe.  It was an amazing group of people, Joe. 

SCARBOROUGH:  What was the—what was the high point of this week for you?  What was the moment where you sensed, hey, I am really a part of history here; I am seeing something that we may not see again for generations? 

MATTHEWS:  Joe, I think it was two nights ago.  We went out after we had done the show.  And it was dark.  It was late at night.  And we went out about midnight. 

We went out into the crowds.  And we saw the people down who were down near the Tiber River.  They were way back in the crowd.  And we saw people like you couldn‘t believe packed together, facing another five or six hours, at least, if the line began to move again.  And they had been there for half a day.  And these people had come from everywhere, mostly Italy and mostly from Poland.  But they were so patient and so quiet.

Nobody complained.  Nobody shoved.  They just waited in line, so that they could meet the pope one last time.  It was the most powerful, personal demonstration I have seen. 


SCARBOROUGH:  All right, thanks a lot, Chris Matthews, live in Vatican City. 

Now, people were demonstrating today, but they were actually demonstrating for the pope, holding up banners demanding instant sainthood.  Polish flags flew proudly and the service was interrupted several times by spontaneous applause. 

Here is NBC‘s Keith Miller. 


KEITH MILLER, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  As Pope John Paul II emerged from St. Peter‘s Basilica for the last time in a plain cypress wood coffin, 300,000 people in St. Peter‘s Square fell silent. 

And for the last time, the world came together in an historic gathering to honor a man who touched them all, five kings, four queens and 70 presidents and prime ministers, the poor and the privileged.  In the audience, the Polish nuns who looked after John Paul in his final days, President George W. Bush and first lady Laura, 164 cardinals, the princes of the church. 

For three moving hours, the mourners joined as one family to say goodbye, under a canopy of red and white flags from the pope‘s native Poland.  Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger celebrated the mass, choking back tears. 

In his homily, he described John Paul as a priest who devoted his life to the entire human family, the New Testament stirred upon the pulpit.  For the first time, the Eastern right church took part in the ceremony, an example of John Paul‘s lifelong quest to unite Christianity. 

Applause like thunder interrupted the ceremony 10 times.  The litany of the saints stirred the faithful into a chant, demanding John Paul be made a saint now.  Then the crowd spontaneously started shouting, great, great, John Paul the Great.  It could be heard as far as the eye could see. 

It takes only one face to see the depth of the loss felt by all, the raw emotions of the newly orphaned.  To the hymn “May a Choir of Angels Receive You,” finally, John Paul made the shortest journey of his pontificate, less than 200 yards to his final resting place, in the ground below the basilica.  The casket carrying the pope made one last turn to face the crowds in St. Peter‘s Square. 

The private burial was accompanied by the sound of the public outside clapping and crying.  They refused to leave.  They just didn‘t want to stop saying goodbye, John Paul‘s power to inspire devotion, as great in death as it was during his life. 

Keith Miller, NBC News, the Vatican. 


SCARBOROUGH:  What incredible images, what incredible words, just an incredible story.  You know, we may never see anything like this again in our lifetime. 

Let‘s turn now to MSNBC political analyst Pat Buchanan. 

Pat, we‘ve been talking about the buildup to this event all week, but you look at the service and all of a sudden, the funerals of JFK, of Churchill, even of FDR historically, seem to pale in comparison.  Why? 

PAT BUCHANAN, NBC POLITICAL ANALYST:  Well, I think one thing is, television has tied the whole world together.  This man was known worldwide.  He traveled to well over 100 countries. 

But this is extraordinary.  Even the way that was described, Joe, it is just—literally, the only word for it is awesome, to have those hundreds of thousands and millions of people there yelling magna, magna, John Paul the Great.  I agree with you.  I don‘t think we are never going to see this again in our lifetimes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Mike Barnicle, we talk about how shallow we are as Westerners, Americans, also Europeans, but you look this and it seems that millions of people have reached out today to try to touch an article of clothing of the real thing.  This guy, there was something about him that reached out to people in a very secular society and just made them want to bring that person closer to them, to their beings.  What was that? 

MIKE BARNICLE, NBC ANALYST:  Joe, I don‘t know. 

It was a breathtaking day.  I mean, we are all part of this global village.  We know that.  It was a humbling day for everyone, the sustained applause that began toward the end of the funeral mass that ricocheted throughout St. Peter‘s Basilica that was contagious, that grew and grew, millions of people applauding this man, as the casket disappeared into the basilica. 

It might be, Joe, that, inherently, intrinsically, all of us, heathens, Christians, Muslims, whoever we are, wherever we live, know instinctively that this man had the kind of deep faith and belief that all of us wish we had to sustain us in times of trouble or hope.  This man had it.  And it might be that we just wish that we had what he had and was taking with him. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Just—just a little bit of it.  You know, and maybe that is why millions and millions of people were out there today. 

You know, Italian authorities say about four million mourners actually poured into Rome this week.  And there wasn‘t enough room for everybody inside St. Peter‘s Square. 

Here is NBC‘s Anne Thompson with a view from the streets of the Eternal City. 


ANNE THOMPSON, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  In the shadow of the Vatican, they slept anywhere and everywhere, preparing to make one last act of faith for the Holy Father. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  I think this is an opportunity to come and give thanks to the man for all that he has given to us. 

THOMPSON:  At the coliseum, where Christians were martyred, the ancient race track Circus Maximus, the Piazza Del Popolo, all the world became a church, a congregation connected by giant TVs and devotion to John Paul II. 

Carlo Carlozi (ph) never got to see the pope, but the Connecticut man did get to see his funeral. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Who would have thought that I would be here in this, such an historical time? 

THOMPSON:  Driving all the way from Krakow, Piotr (ph) got to St. John Lateran, The pope‘s church in Rome, at 3:00 this morning. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And he showed that, in this materialistic, cruel world, you have got to look inside of you to your spirit, to your soul. 

THOMPSON:  One of millions who came to say goodbye. 

(on camera):  To handle the crush, Rome shut down, closing schools, public offices, even its museums. 

(voice-over):  The city famous for its traffic jams banned cars to make way for pilgrims, his final journey too much for some Poles.  Yet, Laurie Olson (ph), who waited 13 hours in line to see the pope‘s body, felt compelled to witness his funeral. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  Most of the time, I was just in awe and I couldn‘t believe I was standing there. 

THOMPSON:  A moment for eternity in the Eternal City. 

Anne Thompson, NBC News, Rome. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Boy, a moment for eternity, indeed.  The people that were there, obviously, will never, ever forget it. 

Gentlemen, stay with us.  We have a lot more straight ahead.  We are going to take to you to Poland for a very special goodbye from John Paul‘s homeland. 

And, later, a photographic journey that spans the pope‘s long, full, historic life, as this special edition of SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY continues in just a minute.


SCARBOROUGH:  Continuing coverage of the largest religious event in world history.  We‘ll also go to John Paul II‘s homeland when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.



SCARBOROUGH:  As millions gathered in St. Peter‘s Square to say goodbye, billions more, actually, two billion people gathered together to watch on TV in Mexico City, a deeply religious city, and also in Jerusalem, where the pope famously reached out to Jews, and even in Iraq, where the people of Kirkuk gathered to say goodbye. 

But, you know, the send-off was especially sweet and poignant for the people of Poland.  And, in Krakow, hundreds of thousands, some estimate up to 800,000 people, gathered. 

Kelly O‘Donnell was there. 


KELLY O‘DONNELL, NBC CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  Today, Rome did not feel so far away.  Amid hundreds of thousands watching the regal Vatican farewell, one simple legacy seen in the face of 16-year-old Marta Migdow (ph). 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  The pope is with us. 

O‘DONNELL:  Those four words tell her family story.  Her grandparents were friends of the pope.  They worked together at a quarry during World War II.  Her parents now pass on the time, telling her brother and sisters how John Paul once visited their home. 

(on camera):  Good memory for you? 


O‘DONNELL (voice-over):  Marta has even felt his touch.  So, today, she is one of the generation just old enough now to know how much this pope really means to Poland. 

“He said, we are the future.  That‘s why I‘m here,” she explains, a generation of Poles young enough still to carry John Paul‘s legacy forward. 

Kelly O‘Donnell, NBC News, Krakow. 


SCARBOROUGH:  These are remarkable images.  I will tell you what, friends, they are just remarkable stories. 

Let me bring in Father Jim Martin from “America” magazine, “The National Catholic Weekly.”

Father Martin, you know, the Catholic Church has been hit by scandal.  It‘s not just the child abuse scandal, but it seems that there have been so many scandals that the press loves to dig up and throw on the front pages of papers across America and Europe.  And it‘s been that way for 20, 30 years. 

How big of a day has this day been for the Catholic Church?  How big of a week has it been?  Hoe important has it been to the well-being and the continued strength of the worldwide Catholic Church? 

FATHER JIM MARTIN, AUTHOR, “IN GOOD COMPANY”:  Oh, I think hugely important. 

I think, you know, you are right that there‘s been so much bad news about the Catholic Church in terms of the sex abuse scandals and declining vocations.  And, yes, sometimes, it takes something like this to enable us to look back and see what we have in our midst.  You know, the Gospel reading for this Sunday talks about that.  It‘s the supper at Emmaus, where the risen Christ comes to the apostles and they don‘t recognize him until they look back and say, gee, look who we have had with us. 

And I think that‘s been the real emotion that I‘ve heard from so many people.  They‘re realizing what we have had with us over the past 26 years.  And so I think it‘s a real shot in the arm for Catholics in the United States and Catholics worldwide. 

SCARBOROUGH:  We have heard a generation of politicians over the past 20, 30 years, whether they‘re Republicans or Democrats, talk about one of the reasons they got into politics was because of John F. Kennedy. 

Republicans will talk about Ronald Reagan inspiring them.  How many—do you think that we have a lot of young men out there that have—may decide to go into the priesthood because of what they have been seeing unfolding on their television sets over the past week? 

MARTIN:  Well, I certainly hope so.  We always pray for vocations in the church.

And I think that one of the most interesting things is, you know, even President Bush talked about the pope as a priest first and foremost.  You had Cardinal Ratzinger in the funeral homily talking about him as a priest.  And, so this wonderful notion of the priest being a person for all people, a priest being at the service of God and people I think is very attractive to people.

And I would hope that people look at him as an example of a good priest.  And I would hope that it does help vocations. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Let me bring in Father Frank McNulty.  He‘s a former parish priest from St. Teresa‘s Church in Summit, New Jersey.  Frank McNulty was lucky enough to actually to meet the pope back in 1987 and talk about the challenges facing American priests. 

Father, tell me about that meeting and what were your impressions of the Holy Father? 

REV. FRANK MCNULTY, ST. TERESA OF AVILA, NEW JERSEY:  Joe, as I hear all this coverage, I am even more privileged to know that—that I had the chance to meet him and spend some time with him. 

And I am not a former parish priest.  I am still a priest.  I am a retired pastor. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right. 

And so, tell me about John Paul II.  What was so special about him?  What‘s brought all these people together to come out and say goodbye to him? 

MCNULTY:  Well, he was—of course, everybody talks about his charisms. 

I had a little encounter with him or a little discussion with him about his poetry.  I said I was encouraged that we now have a pope who is a poet.  And he very spontaneously shouted out to me, “Was.”  And I think that is part of his charm, that he was a poet.  He was an actor.  He was warm.  He was loving.  He was willing to travel the world.  He reached out to people.  And everybody‘s been overwhelmed by the coverage, because I think we were all so impressed by his life. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Mike Barnicle, how important is it that you have somebody that is in this position that has a varied background, that didn‘t just—wasn‘t born into religious training? 


SCARBOROUGH:  But has been several things and can reach out to so many different people, especially this age that we live in? 

BARNICLE:  Well, I think this particular—well, it‘s hugely important, Joe, the short answer to your question. 

But this pope had—he did something for the Catholic Church and I think Catholics around the world, but especially in America, that no other pope had ever done prior to his papacy.  Growing up, the pope was a framed photograph on the wall of a parochial school.  He put a human face on the Catholic Church in America and throughout the world. 

When people saw him, they felt that they knew him, that they could touch him, that they could learn from him, that he could teach them, in not a condescending way, not a lecturing way.  He was a human being.  And he brought that kind of vitality to the Catholic Church.  And this funeral mass today, the symbolism of it, the great theater of the funeral today, as Father Martin alluded to, I think is a tremendous boost for Catholicism, not only in the United States, but globally. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat Buchanan, Mike Barnicle mentioned a word.  He said vitality.  And what is so interesting is, you see all the young people that are out there, that came out today, that have been out over this past week.  And they were attacked to the pope, despite the fact that the pope that they saw, the pope they grew up with wasn‘t vital.

You look at pictures of the pope from 1987, 1977, 1978, when he first became pope, he is a strong, energetic, great-looking guy.  But the pope, again, that a lot of these young people saw was frail in body.  But, gosh, there had to be something there in spirit that really reached out to them. 

BUCHANAN:  Joe, I think—I think you are right.  And I think—I think it was the holiness of the man and the goodness of the man. 

And you had all those people there today.  He had something, moral authority, that was legitimate because it came out of the character and not just the charism of the man.  And I think they were all—all of us know today—I don‘t care whether we are Catholic or not—that here is a man probably a lot closer to God than any of us, probably a lot better man. 

And I think everybody in the world has a sense that a great and good man has passed among us.  And I think there‘s something—there‘s got to be something.  As you say, he was old and stooped and slurred his words at the end of his life.  But there was something still that was magnetic about him. 

And I have to think it is the inner man and the holiness and the sanctity of the man that gave him his moral authority. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Pat, who is next?  Who will be the next pope?  Make a prediction for us.

BUCHANAN:  I believe that the—the Italian community—I believe it will be one of the northern Italian cardinals from Venice or Milan.

Or, if not one of them, it may well be Cardinal Arinze of Nigeria, because I think for the—for the church in the Third World, he tends to be the legal candidate from there.  And so, I would say Tettamanzi or Scola or Bertone from northern Italy or Cardinal Arinze. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Father Jim, final thoughts? 

MARTIN:  Well, I think the wonderful thing about today is, you really see the effect that holiness has on people.  I think holiness and a well-lived life is naturally attractive to people. 

And I think that, if we could all live such holy lives and be attractive to one another and draw together in community and be the kind of community that people were together, the world would be a much better place.  And I think that would be just exactly what John Paul would hope for us. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Mike Barnicle? 

BARNICLE:  Well, Joe, I would just say that people of faith shouldn‘t shutter at what editorial writers and newspaper columnists are saying, some of them, are saying about the pope this particular week, because more of them go to health clubs than go to mass. 


SCARBOROUGH:  OK.  We‘ll leave it there. 

Father Frank McNulty, thank you for your story. 

I also want to thank the rest of my panel, but also ask them to stick around.  I mean, with insights like that from Mike Barnicle, how could you go anywhere else? 

Coming up, we‘ve got a lot more.  We are going to be talking about the future of the Catholic Church, also talking about the conclave that starts in a week.  And who will be the next pope?  And will we ever be able to fill Pope John Paul‘s void? 


SCARBOROUGH:  Coming up, we‘re going to take you on a remarkable photographic journey of Pope John Paul II‘s life.  That‘s coming up in a minute.

But, first, here‘s the latest news that your family needs to know. 


SCARBOROUGH:  April 18, a week from Monday, the College of Cardinals, who, of course, are the leaders of the church, are going to be locked up in the Sistine Chapel to begin the process of picking the next pope. 

Katie Couric of “The Today Show” got an inside look at the conclave. 


KATIE COURIC, CO-HOST (voice-over):  It a tradition dating almost as far back as the Catholic Church itself.  And the veil of secrecy around the conclave is as impenetrable as the massive walls that surround Vatican City. 

(on camera):  So, 116, let‘s say, cardinals will be in seclusion.  Why is seclusion so critical to the process? 


What you want is to have the church united behind the person who has been chosen.  So, that‘s why there is secrecy, so that the cardinals can vote in confidentiality and so that there is no external pressure on them. 

COURIC (voice-over):  A brand-new $20 million hotel was built by John Paul near the Sistine Chapel to house the cardinals during this conclave. 

(on camera):  Will they be able to walk back and forth rather freely? 

FOLEY:  I don‘t know.  I suspect they will be picked up in buses.  I have heard that talked about before.  But whether they will be free to walk outside, I don‘t know.  That, of course, would undermine the possibility of the confidentiality, because they are forbidden to talk to anybody else. 

COURIC (on camera):  The conclaves in recent history lasted an average of four days.  Any communication with the outside world can mean excommunication from the Catholic Church.

Cleaning help, security personnel and aides to ill cardinals all take a vow of silence as well.  But modern times present challenges St. Peter could never have dreamed of. 

(on camera):  The Internet is banned, as are cellular phones. 

FOLEY:  And radios, television. 

COURIC:  And I understand that it is, the Sistine Chapel is swept periodically for any bugging devices. 

FOLEY:  Yes.


COURIC:  So, this is serious business. 

FOLEY:  Oh, it‘s very serious business.

COURIC (voice-over):  The next pope must win a two-thirds majority of the conclave vote.  When he is named, he will enter a special room to select a papal robe available in small, medium or large, the Room of Tears. 

FOLEY:  The tears indicate you have lost your private life, foreseeing the burdens that are coming up.  That‘s it, not sadness that the individual has been elected, but fears, in a sense.  And that‘s why Pope John Paul began his entire pontificate by saying, be not afraid. 

COURIC:  All eyes will be on the Sistine Chapel chimney for the telltale white smoke indicating a new pope has been elected.  And for the first time, under Pope John Paul II‘s order, the church bells will ring in St. Peter‘s Square. 


SCARBOROUGH:  Our panel is still here.  And they‘re joined now by Sister Johanna Paruch.  She‘s an assistant professor of theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville.

Thank you all for being with us again.

Pat Buchanan, as you know, the long knives are already out.  There have been a lot of attacks on this pope, even since he got buried, right after he got buried, people saying he took the church too far to the right.  Is this that something the cardinals, the College of Cardinals, are going to be paying attention to, as the debate goes back and forth over the next week or two?  Are they going to be looking at the big crowds and saying, well, gee, this guy did something right; maybe we should follow in that direction? 

How isolated will they be from the pressures of the outside world? 

BUCHANAN:  Well, first, the Holy Father did not take the church too far right.  The Holy Father kept the church on course.  And the whole world, at least the Western world, has clearly moved away from the principles and beliefs and the dogmas and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.  He kept it on course.

SCARBOROUGH:  Well, Pat, Pat, why are we having these attacks against the pope, though, today, right after he got—after he got buried? 


BUCHANAN:  Well, what you‘ve got is a lot of people who wanted to ride their hobbyhorses and their old causes from the 1960s.  And, as soon as he is buried, they are starting it out again, Joe. 

But the cardinals will look at the extraordinary charisma of this pope, his tremendous popularity, and they are going to say to—they were all picked by him virtually.  And they are going to say, this pope did it right.  And what we have to do is find someone who can continue this and do it as well as he did.  And all these people who want the church to move this way and that way are going to find themselves as disappointed as they were for the last 27 years. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Father Jim Martin, do the next 27 years bode as poorly for those that want the church to be a bit more progressive on sexual issues and on social issues, as Pat Buchanan suggests?  Or do you think these College of Cardinals are going to say, maybe we need to modernize; maybe we need to move this church into the 21st century? 

MARTIN:  Well, you have the College of Cardinals, 117 men who have had a lot of experience on the ground with their dioceses and archdioceses. 

And I think they go into the conclave knowing, as Mr. Buchanan said, the wonderful record of the pope, but also knowing that there are some things that need to be tackled and need to addressed, for example, the shortage of priests, those kinds of things.  And so, you know, as they used to say in Catholic grade school, there needs to be room for the Holy Spirit. 

And so, while I think they would want to build on Pope John Paul‘s legacy, I think they are also looking ahead to the future and they are also trying to figure out who would be the best man for these new times. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Father, we have heard that this pope, as great as he was, near the end of his life, did not communicate as much as a lot of cardinals would have liked him to communicate with them, with bishops, with other people, with priests, to ask, what is going on in your backyard, that he lectured a little too much.  Are they going to be looking for a new pope that is going to be more open to change, a bit more open to communication? 

MARTIN:  Well, it is hard to say.  I would never want to sort of guess what is going on in the cardinals‘ minds.  I‘m not a cardinal.  I don‘t hang around with cardinals. 

But I would also say that there has been a certain lack of openness on the part of the Vatican in terms of the bishops‘ conferences.  And, conservative or liberal or middle of the road, I don‘t think any bishop likes to be told that his bishops‘ conference is not being listened to.  So, I think that, you know, one thing that they might be thinking is that there might need to be a little more collegiality, to use a Catholic buzz word, in the next Vatican and from the next pope. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Mike Barnicle, where do we go from here?  Where does the Catholic Church go from here, as the College of Cardinals get together?

BARNICLE:  Well, I think Father Martin mentioned perhaps the highest priority for the Catholic Church, especially in America.  And that is the shortage of priests. 

It‘s really interesting to listen to Pat and others talk about the, if you want to call them attacks on the pope over the last few days, because the Catholic Church in the United States of America looks a lot different when viewed from Rome, when viewed from Europe.  And I think this particular pope had something that was, in large part, responsible for more than three million people going to Rome.

Unlike the people we see on our TV screens most of the time, politicians, celebrities, movie stars, people totally dependent on polls and polling data for whatever view they are going to adopt that day, this particular pope had rock-solid beliefs. 

And people were drawn to him, I think, because we live in an age where everyone knows, no matter whether you‘re liberal or conservative, we are slowly sliding the wrong way in terms of morality and immorality.  We are changing definitions of things like family.  We no longer can say for certain what is right and wrong.  We are surrounded by an ocean of sex in ads, in TV shows, movies that young children see and question their parents about. 

This pope was certain.  This pope was a man who you would follow.  You wouldn‘t necessarily buy into all of the things that this pope was talking about, but you knew for certain that he wasn‘t looking at polling data before he spoke to you. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Sister, will the cardinals be looking at the amazing events of these past few weeks, trying to duplicate what John Paul II did?  Or will they look at some of challenges in the United States, the shortage of priests, the fact that the church in Europe, even in the shadow of St.  Peter‘s, is not as strong as it was even 25 years ago? 


UNIVERSITY OF STEUBENVILLE:  I think they have to look at the whole world situation.

But I think, because of the way the Holy Father shaped the church in the past 26 years, in some ways, they look at all the events through his eyes and his legacy.  But they are also very much open to what the Holy Spirit has to tell them.  And they are all wise men.  We have to assume that.  That is why they‘re cardinals. 

And I don‘t think that they would ignore the difficulties in the United States that we have or the situation in Europe, which has become almost godless.  And so, they can‘t ignore those things.  They are going to be open to them and to see, who does God want?  I think, when we come to the bottom line of it, the cardinals will say, who does God want to lead the church into the fullness of the new millennium?

SCARBOROUGH:  And, Pat, I mean, Europe is spiritually challenged.  It is about as close to godless as it‘s been in 2,000 years.  This pope, though he was from Poland, though he traveled around Europe, wasn‘t able to reach the Europeans with his approach, with his theology. 

BUCHANAN:  You know, Joe...

SCARBOROUGH:  Where does the Catholic Church go, again, to revitalize the church in Europe and in America?

BUCHANAN:  You know, the—the Catholic Church cannot accommodate itself to the spirit of the age, because the spirit of the age, I believe, in the West and in the United States is against the fundamental beliefs and practices and teachings of the Catholic Church. 

I think what Mike‘s word that he was touching on, certitude.  John Paul II had certitude.  Of course, he had saintliness, holiness and charisma.  But, in the United States, Joe, this is why you have to put a hold on that phrase, on that term the great.  The Catholic Church in the United States since Vatican II has seen the religious orders almost disappear. 

We ordain one-fourth the number of priests today as we did in 1965.  Half the Catholic children have left the Catholic schools.  Many are closing.  Two-thirds of the seminaries have closed since Vatican II.  So, this is—was a tremendous crisis under Paul VI and under John Paul II that has not been turned around.  There‘s no question about it. 

And some will argue, gee, we got to accommodate the spirit of the age.  But, as you and I have talked, all the mainstream Protestant churches that did this, including the Episcopal Church, are in horrendous condition, far worse than the Catholic Church.  I think the churches that are drawing people to them are things that say, this is how you should order your life, according to these principles, and we are not going to order our principles according to how you want to live. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, Pat Buchanan.

When we return, we are going to be talking about the future of the Catholic Church in America and how troubled it is right now. 

And, later, one man who had incredible access to the pope throughout his 26 years in the Vatican, he will bring us amazing images when SCARBOROUGH COUNTRY returns.



SCARBOROUGH:  We continue our conversation about a remarkable man and the future of his church. 

Still with us, Pat Buchanan, Mike Barnicle, Father Jim Martin, and Sister Johanna Paruch.

Father, Pat Buchanan seems to suggest that, if the Catholic Church wants to gain more members in America and get stronger in Europe, they need to become even more conservative.  What happens if the College of Cardinals picks somebody even more conservative on a lot of these issues we have discussed than Pope John Paul II? 

MARTIN:  You mean what happens in the United States and in Western Europe? 


MARTIN:  Well, I mean, I think what would probably happen is, the Catholic Church would, unfortunately, lose more people. 

I think there are a number of people that have been disappointed with some of the policies of John Paul, especially women, divorced and remarried Catholics, gays and lesbians.  And so, you know, I think it is a pretty fair prediction to say that if the pope, the next pope, is even more conservative and more strict, you would see probably more people leaving the church, unfortunately. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Sister Johanna, what is your take on that?  What if the College of Cardinals picks somebody, like the man that delivered the homily today, that is even more conservative than Pope John Paul II? 

PARUCH:  Well, I just don‘t like to use the word conservative when we talk about the Catholic Church, because, in effect, it is really a political term. 

I think what we look at in John Paul and even in Cardinal Ratzinger is, we look at orthodoxy, this right belief.  And I think that the Holy Father stood very strongly behind that.  But what also was behind everything that he tried to do, even things that are not attractive to people in mainline America or in Europe, is that he wanted people to become holy. 

And he wanted people to love Jesus Christ.  And that is the core of every message that he had.  And unless we see Jesus first, unless we see Jesus at the heart of the church and that the Holy Father really is indeed his vicar, I—I don‘t think that anything is going to progress.  I don‘t think that any of the problems will be solved.  I don‘t think people will be any happier, people that are now dissatisfied with some decisions that the Holy Father made, especially in all those hot issues that we talk about.

I think we have to ask ourselves, how can we become holier?  And that was the big theme of Vatican II.  When we talk about the whole quasi-spirit of Vatican II, we forget that the big theme in Vatican II was the universal call to holiness.  And we have to see how we can really be true to that first and then see what we can do with the social situations that, in every continent, not just Europe or here—every continent has its own problems.  And so...


PARUCH:  Yes. 

SCARBOROUGH:  Certainly—certainly causing a lot of problems.  You are exactly right. 

And, Mike Barnicle, you come from an area in Boston, very progressive politically and socially, but also very Catholic.  What happens if the College of Cardinals picks somebody that is even more orthodox than John Paul II? 

BARNICLE:  Well, Joe, I will tell you, personally speaking, my wife and I have seven children. 

And with each child, as we go down the scale to the youngest, it becomes progressively harder over the years to infuse them with the Catholic tradition, to make sure that they go to mass each and every Sunday, for multiple reasons.  The culture is our enemy, Joe, around us, if you want to, you know, really do the job raising children in terms of what is moral, what is immoral. 

The church itself has also added to its own problems with the sexual abuse scandal that originated here in this Boston Archdiocese.  The church that we began going to years ago is now a third full compared to what it was 15 years ago.  The crops of hair are all white or gray.  So, we take our younger children to St. Ignatius on the campus of Boston College.  It is the only mass that they can attend around here where they see people approximately their own age, teenagers and 19 to 20 years of age. 

If—if the next pope is the same rigid, rigidly orthodox individual as was John Paul II, it‘s going to be—it‘s going to be difficult.  But, you know, if you‘re Catholic, you‘re Catholic.  It‘s not like being a Republican or Democrat, where you look at one candidate and say, gee, I like his view on that. 


BARNICLE:  If you are Catholic, you are Catholic. 

SCARBOROUGH:  All right, we are going to have to leave it there. 

Thank you so much.

A special thanks to our entire panel tonight. 

And still to come, an amazing—and I mean amazing—photographic journey with Pope John Paul.  You‘re not going to want to miss it.


SCARBOROUGH:  You know, it seems that Pope John Paul II touched the lives of everybody that he came in contact with, even those he met just for a minute. 

Photographer Jim Stanfield traveled the world with the pope and he documented those meetings.  As we finish out the week, take a look at his story in his own words. 


JIM STANFIELD, PHOTOJOURNALIST:  When he is in the room, you can not help but—but keep your eyes on him.  There is a certain majesty.  And it‘s not because of who he is.  There is a certain majesty.  There is a certain aura. 

And I have photographed a lot of heads of state and important people.  But I‘ve never seen an air or this aura about a person as I—as I saw with Pope John Paul II.  He was a handsome man.  He had an incredible amount of charisma.  You just felt as though you were in the same room with -- with absolute genius or greatness. 

We were making photographs of the Holy Father in places rarely shown.  The Vatican has everything.  It‘s a great story.  It has pageantry.  It has mystery.  It has privacy, secrecy, architecture.  It‘s not enormous.  You can walk all the way around the walls of the Vatican in 40, 45 minutes.  It‘s not big, but it‘s very complex inside.  And there are so many buildings and so many gardens and so many nooks and crannies. 

There is a photograph on Christmas morning of the Holy Father coming out of his private elevator.  And no one had ever photographed that elevator before.  And he came towards me.  I came down on the shutter and he blinked.  And I knew he blinked. 

The Room of Tears, that is where the new pope will come to try on his vestments.  If that room could talk or if that room could murmur the prayers that these new hopes and what they are feeling in their heart. 

The Holy Father can draw a crowd like no one I had ever seen in life.  And it was so uplifting because of the cheers and the sheer numbers of people.  Gdansk was probably one of the most impressive and one of the largest masses that we had—had covered.  It had the pageantry.  It had the crowds and the popularity.  It had the color, and yet, the Holy Father, during a very devout moment of the service, about to celebrate the communion, and the thing that was utmost in his mind was to bring all of the people of the world together. 

I don‘t think any individual has had that kind of impact, not only religiously, but socially and morally in this modern world.  No other person has moved me to react as the Holy Father has.  I came away with the feeling that, here is a person that we can all trust.  And it‘s true.  It‘s true. 



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.


Discussion comments