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Pope Holds Mass in Madison Square Garden. Aired 18-19:00p ET

Aired September 25, 2015 - 18:00   ET



ANNOUNCER: This is CNN breaking news.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: We want to welcome our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Wolf Blitzer in New York.

Take a look at this. We're watching live pictures coming in. This is live from Madison Square Garden here in New York City, the breaking news we're covering, Pope Francis about to celebrate mass at Madison Square Garden tonight with about 20,000 people who are inside, a very historic moment, a powerful moment, indeed.

Our chief national security correspondent, Jim Sciutto, is with me here in New York. This is really an amazing moment, a remarkable day, a very busy day for the pope. He is not a young guy, 78 years old, but he's gone from the U.N. to the 9/11 Memorial up to East Harlem, through Central Park and he's now there at Madison Square Garden.

JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: All very important stops, all full of meaning.

You started the day with a world platform, speaking to the largest congregation of world leaders ever the at the U.N. on the 70th anniversary of its founding, but then moving to places that have enormous meaning, particularly here in New York, the 9/11 Memorial, Central Park, the procession we just saw a short time ago, and now Madison Square Garden, a mass of a size unlike we have seen here in New York.

I know he does this in St. Peter's Basilica but to do it in New York, and in you can say cathedral of sorts for New Yorkers, a sports cathedral, a lot of things have happened there in the arts and in sports -- he will play it, though, like no other. And that's what is different about this pope.

I covered all three popes, nothing like John Allen here, but I covered all three popes, and he has a particular connection with the people that we have seen really at every stop he's made today.

BLITZER: They are not there at Madison Square Garden, John Allen, for a rock concert. They are not there for a New York Knicks NBA basketball game. They're there to celebrate mass with Pope Francis and you can see how enormously set the scene has become for this mass. JOHN ALLEN, CNN SENIOR VATICAN ANALYST: Yes, and I think one of

the things you will see tonight, I'm always amazed when the pope does these large-scale masses. And, of course, he's celebrated mass in front of larger crowds than this, five million people, John Paul in Manila, in 1995, and so on.

What I'm always amazed by is how when the pope first comes out, you will get the feel of kind of a college pep rally. People will cheer and they will show their love, but then when the mass starts and these holy moments come, you can hear a pin drop all throughout the place. It's amazing sort of the good sense of people who come out and know when the moment to be exuberant is and know when the moment to be reverent is.

And, as you say, Wolf, Pope Francis brings a special element to that because he just sort of exudes this palpable love for the people who are going to be in this space tonight. And they respond in kind.

BLITZER: Delia Gallagher, once inside, Pope Francis will sit in the papal chair right at the center of the stage. The throne is made of birch and oak plywood build by four men, laborers from nonprofit groups that aid immigrant workers, and that's symbolic and powerful. Walk us through a little bit what is about to unfold.

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Wolf, I want to tell you what you're going to hear in particular, it used to be that the Catholic mass was always said in Latin.

Of course, now, since Vatican II in the 1960s, anyone can say it in any language they choose, and it's always the same in all languages. At this mass at Madison Square Garden, we are going to hear lots of languages.

The mass in itself is going to be in Latin, English and Spanish. Then we're going to hear Greek. The Kyrie, the Kyrie is when they say lord have mercy, and normally that is done either in Latin or in English. And this time, it's going to be done in Greek. Then you should listen out for prayers of the faithful, which are in Gaelic, in Polish, in German, in Ethiopian and in Italian, so, obviously, the pope bringing the kind of universality of the Catholic Church to Madison Square Garden tonight -- Wolf.

BLITZER: Only moments away from the start of the mass. It is going to be a moving moment. I want all of our viewers to stand by for this.

Reverend John Jenkins is joining us. He's the president of Notre Dame University, who is watching together with all of us right now.

We're talking about some of the symbols that will be seen during the course of this mass. And part of it is designed to underscore this is the people's pope, if you will, Reverend. Talk a little bit about that.


the mass, in a way, is simply the mass that's celebrated every day by priests around the world, but obviously, as was pointed out, the multiple languages, this is the pope of the whole world, draws people together.

And certainly the beauty of the music and the power of Pope Francis will add a certain weight, a certain gravitas to the mass.

And I would also say, it's interesting that he spoke to the U.N. about peace and justice this morning. This evening, he's praying for peace and justice, knowing that it's only with God's help that we can achieve peace and justice in our world.

BLITZER: All right, let's listen in as this mass is about to begin.



POPE FRANCIS, LEADER OF CATHOLIC CHURCH: In name of the father, the son and the Holy Spirit.


POPE FRANCIS: Peace be with you.

AUDIENCE: Peace be with you.

POPE FRANCIS: May the brothers and sisters, please with confidence in the power of Christ to unveil our hearts and make us instrument of his peace, let us knowledge our sins and hope to power ourselves to celebrate this day.

I confess. May almighty God have mercy on us. Forgive us our sins and bring us to everlasting life.



POPE FRANCIS: Let us pray.

Oh, God, show our father's care for all, in your arms, in your mercy, let the members of the human race, to whom you have given a single origin, may form in peace a single family, and always be unitary by a fraternal spirit.

Through our lord Jesus Christ, your son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.


[18:16:30] MO ROCCA, TELEVISION PERSONALITY (through translator): From the

Book of Isaiah, the people who walked in darkness -- to those are living in the dark lands, there came a light.

You made great to your people and his happiness became grand to enjoy with your presence, like they enjoy harvesting, like they happen at a time of distributing their loot, because you break the difficult yolk, the barb that was oppressing on his shoulders and the scepter on the tyrant, just like the day of (INAUDIBLE) because a child -- you gave us -- a child was given to us.

He has a sign of the imperium. His name will be admirable advice, powerful God, eternal father, prince of peace, to extend the prince -- on the peace without limits on his throne of David, and on his kingdom, to establish and consolidate with justice and law from now on and forever. From the lord, you will realize this, words of God.

BLITZER: That was TV personality Mo Rocca.

And with that reading, we're going to take a quick break, resume our special coverage from Madison Square Garden right after this.



BLITZER: We're following the breaking news, Pope Francis inside Madison Square Garden right now. This very, very powerful and moving mass continues.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jesus said to his disciples, you have heard that it was said an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but I say to you, often no resistance to one. Receive all.

When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other to him as well. If anyone wants to go war over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow.

You have heard that it was said, you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.


For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly father is perfect.

The Gospel of the lord.

AUDIENCE: Praise to you, lord Jesus Christ.

POPE FRANCIS (through translator): We are in Madison Square Garden, a quiet, emblematic place in the city.

This is the site of important athletic, artistic and musical events, which attract people not only from this city, but from the whole world. In this place, which represents both the different aspects of the life of citizens, who get together for common interests, we have listened the words. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.

The people who walked, the people caught up in their activities and their routines, that walked carrying their successes and mistakes, their fears and their opportunities, that people has seen a great light.

The people who have it -- happiness and hopes, with disappointments and bitterness, that people has seen a great light.

The people of God are called in every age in history to contemplate this light, a light which wants to illuminate the nations. Full of joy was it expressed by the elderly Simeon, a light meant to shine on every corner of this city, on our fellow citizens, on every part of our lives.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. One of the special qualities of God's people is the ability to see, to contemplate, even in moments of darkness, the light which Christ brings.

God's faithful people can see, distinguish, contemplate his living presence in the midst of life, in the midst of the city. Together with the prophets, we can now today say the people who walk, breathe and live in the middle of smog have seen a great light, have experienced a breath of fresh air.

[18:30:56] Living in a big city is very complex. A multicultural context presents many complex challenges. Big cities are a reminder of the hidden richness present in our world, with the diversity of cultures, traditions and historical experiences, the variety of languages, costumes, food. Big cities bring together all the different ways which the human beings have discovered to express to the meaning of life whatever the circumstances may be.

Big cities also conceal the face of all those who don't seem to belong to this citizenship or are second-class citizens. In big cities beneath the noise of traffic, beneath the rapid pace of change, so many faces go unnoticed, because they have no right to be there, no right to be part of this city. Foreigners, their children who do not get to go to school; those deprived of medical coverage; the homeless; the forgotten elderly being at the edges of our streets in a deafening anonymity.

They become part of an urban landscape, slowly taken for granted in our eyes and, more specifically, in our hearts.

Knowing that Jesus still walks on our streets, that he is part of the lives of his people, that he is involved with us and involves people in one only history of salvation, fills us with hope, a hope which liberates us from the forces pushing us into isolation and lack of interest for the lives of others, for the life of our city.

The hope which frees us from the connections, from abstract analysis, from sensationalist, from routine, the hope which is not afraid of being involved, acting as a lever wherever we happen to lift the hope, which makes us see, even in the midst of smog, the presence of God as he continues to walk the streets of our city, because God is inside the city, too.

What is that like? What is this like, traveling through our streets? How do we encounter God, who lives with us in the middle of the smog we have in our cities? How do we find Jesus alive and at work in the daily life of our multicultural cities?

[18:35:16] The prophet Isaiah can guide us in this learning to see. He talked about the light that is Jesus, and now he presents Jesus to us as a fantastic counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, prince of peace. In that way he introduces us into the life of the Son, so that his can also be our life.

Wonderful counselor, the gospels tell us how many people will come up to Jesus and ask, "Master, what must we do?" The first thing that Jesus does in his response is to propose, encourage, motivate. He always proposes to his disciples to go out. He asks them to go out and meet others where they really are and not where we would like them to be. Got out, over and over again, go without fear, without hesitation. Go out and proclaim this joy, which is for all the people.

A strong God. In Jesus, God became Emanuel, God with us, the God who walks with us, who is mixed in our lives, in our houses, in our pots and pans, as Jesus would say. The everlasting Father, no one or anything can separate us from his love. Go and proclaim, go and live and say that God is a merciful Father who himself does go out and every evening to see if his Son has come home. And as soon as he sees him coming, he runs to embrace him.

This is marvelous. It is an embrace which wants to take up, to purify and elevate the dignity of his children. A Father who, in his embrace, is good news for the poor, healing for the afflicted, liberty for the captives, comfort for those who mourn.

Prince of peace, go to others to share the good news that God, our Father. is at our side, frees us from anonymity, from a life without faces, a life empty, and brings us into the school of the encounter. He frees us from the fray of competition, of self- absorption, and opens us the path to peace. That peace which is born of the acceptance of the others, that peace which fills our heart when we look upon those who are in need as brothers and sisters.

[18:40:06] God lives in our cities. The church is living in our cities. And God and the church, who live in our cities, want to be listened, though, to everyone, to be with everyone, to proclaim the marvels of the wonderful advisor, the mighty God, the eternal Father, the prince of peace. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light, and we Christians are witnesses of that.


BLITZER: A beautiful homily by Pope Francis inside Madison Square Garden. We're going to resume our special coverage in a moment.


[18:46:02] BLITZER: The prayers of the fateful at this historic mass at Madison Square Garden with Pope Francis continues. Let's listen in.


[18:53:10] BLITZER: We're continuing our special coverage of this historic mass at Madison Square Garden with Pope Francis. We'll be right back.


[18:57:44] BLITZER: The historic mass at Madison Square Garden with Pope Francis continues.