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New Pope, New Direction?

Aired April 18, 2005 - 20:00   ET


PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Good evening, everyone. Thanks for starting the week off with us here.
The world watches and waits. Cardinals from six continents go behind closed doors to elect the next leader of the Catholic Church.


ZAHN (voice-over): One thousand years of ritual all leading to these days of decision. Will the next pope lead the church in a new direction?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a legendary time to be visiting Rome, at a time when such important decisions are being made.

ZAHN: Cardinals pray for guidance and for the future of the Catholic Church. Tonight, a special edition of PAULA ZAHN NOW, a new pope. The world waits.


ZAHN: Of course, there are no campaign speeches, no advertising, no voting booths, no general election, no hanging chads, just 115 cardinals, the princes of the church, cut off from the outside world. They, with the help of divine intervention, will choose the next leader of the 1.1 billion Catholics.


ZAHN (voice-over): Black smoke from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel and a sparkle of flashbulbs from the crowd in St. Peter's Square, a contrast of the old and the new, a metaphor for the entire day.

It began with a mass. Clad in their formal vestments, the cardinals listened to a sermon by 78-year-old Cardinal Ratzinger. He's a conservative, a favorite of Pope John Paul II, and considered a top candidate to succeed him. He defended the church's dogma that there are unchanging truths and bluntly criticized what he called the relativism of today's modern times.

"We are moving toward a dictatorship of relativism," Ratzinger complained, "which recognizes nothing as definitive and certain, and has as its highest goal one's own ego and one's own desires."

More contrast of the old and new. For the first time ever, the Vatican allowed TV cameras to show live the cardinals' procession into the Sistine Chapel. One by one, surrounded by the magnificent frescoes of Michelangelo, they placed their hands on a book of Gospels, swearing an oath of secrecy to never reveal what happens in the conclave.

Another first. We heard the Latin words meaning "Everyone out," and then the doors closed. The cardinals were shut in, the world shut out. All we know is what the black smoke tells us. Their first ballot was indecisive. There will be more voting tomorrow.


ZAHN: And, as one cardinal put it before the conclave began: "God has already chosen the pope. Now we must listen to him."

The actual ritual of choosing a pope has a very long tradition, but it's always changing, as my colleague Aaron Brown discovered.


AARON BROWN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It is written that Peter, the first pope, chose his own successor. In the two millennia since, popes have been selected by bribery, by mob riot, even pitched battles. To prevent all that, the church decided in the 10th century that only cardinals should be allowed to vote. And even so, it has not always gone smoothly.

The very word conclave is from the Latin meaning with a key. It comes from a papal election in the 13th century that took almost three years. Finally the citizens outside locked the cardinals in a palace, cut down their food rations and tore off part of the roof, gentle encouragement it seemed, to move things along.

PROFESSOR THOMAS GROOME, BOSTON COLLEGE: We'll pray for these cardinals and for their discernment and that indeed they will choose wisely, but of course, they could make a mistake.

BROWN: Today some of the rules are new, a result of decisions made by pope John Paul II himself in 1996. But as always the cardinals will seclude themselves in the Sistine Chapel to avoid the influences from the outside world. This time, though, they'll have plenty of creature comforts.

JOHN ALLEN, CNN VATICAN ANALYST: They're going to be living in this new $30 million sort of hotel that John Paul II had built on Vatican grounds called the Doma Santa Marta in which the cardinals will have basically two-room suites.

BROWN: At the start, the cardinals will vote up to four times a day. There are no electronic voting machines, the handwritten ballots haven't changed since pope John Paul VI designed them in the '60s.

ALLEN: In order to ensure that these guys are voting in conscience for the man that they think is best for the job and not for any other reason, whether its career reasons, political reasons or anything else, they are instructed to disguise their handwriting so it will remain forever a mystery for whom they voted. BROWN: One by one each cardinal will walk to the altar beneath Michelangelo's Last Judgment and place his twice folded ballot on a golden plate. He will then tip it into an urn to show he is casting but one ballot.

At the altar, each cardinal then kneels in prayer, rises and declares in prayer that he has made his choice. 115 cardinals will be casting votes, 114 will leave as cardinals. One will leave as pope.

GROOME: It's a procedure that has worked pretty well in the past and we've learned from it. And hopefully it will work well again.

BROWN: Once the vote has been cast, three cardinals randomly chosen act as the scrutineers. One shakes the ballots in the urn to mix them, another counts the ballots to make sure they match the number of cardinals voting. The third reads the name on each ballot out loud. Then once all the ballots have been read, they are bound together with needle and thread, each ballot pierced through the word eligo meaning I elect.

ALLEN: Essentially it's a way of collecting the ballots to make sure they have them all, so that there aren't any stray ballots floating around.

BROWN: After every voting session, twice a day, the ballots are burned in a furnace near the Sistine Chapel. The smoke visible from St. Peter's Square. Chemicals are added to make the smoke black if a pope has not been selected and white if one has.

GROOME: Hopefully, the best choice will have been made when we see the white smoke, but of course only time will tell.

BROWN: As with any election, this one does include campaigning. But it is very quiet, very delicate.

ALLEN: There are hard politics in this process. Take place around the edges. When they break for lunch, when they get up in the morning before they say mass, when they're walking the Vatican gardens.

BROWN: All this continues until a two-thirds majority is reached. In the past, that's taken two to four days, but that's when the cardinals were sleeping on hard cots and not allowed outside until a pope was selected.

ALLEN: It will be interesting to see what impact that has. Part of the reason for making the cardinals physically uncomfortable was to give them a sense of urgency.

BROWN: If after three days a winner has not emerged, the cardinals will take a day off for prayer and reflection. Then they'll begin to vote. If 30 votes take place without anyone gaining a two- thirds majority, the cardinals can choose to elect a pope by simple majority.

And when they finally come to a selection, the dean of the college of cardinals asked if he will serve and the candidate responds, accepto, I accept.


ZAHN: Aaron Brown reporting.

After the cardinal accepts, he chooses a name. And if it is a traditional papal name, that might tell us something about the new pope's vision for the church. Then the white smoke and the bells and the new pope's appearance on the balcony of St. Peter's.

Joining me now from Rome, our CNN Vatican analyst. John Allen is the Rome correspondent with "The National Catholic Reporter," the author of several books on the politics of the Vatican and church. And Delia Gallagher is contributing editor for the monthly magazine "Inside the Vatican." Delia, of course, lives in Rome, spends most of her work days at the Vatican.

Good to see both of you again.

Delia, I don't think many people were surprised to see the puff of black smoke, symbolizing no decision having been made. Why did no one expect a decision to be made today?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN ANALYST: Well, because really, Paula, the first vote is a chance for the cardinals to see how the lines are being drawn and who are the real candidates, because, up until they get into the Sistine Chapel, they may have discussed amongst each other privately a few names, but they really don't know how the whole college is going to vote.

So, it was very interesting today for them to be able to see who exactly are on the list of names, as it were, not that one of those is necessarily going to be the next pope, because they can have a few more days of voting and somebody else might come out. But when they go up make those -- put their vote into the urn, it's pulled out and the names are called out. So, they are able to keep their own tally of who these front-runners are and who are the other candidates a little bit further on down the list that might, in the next few days, come up to the top.

ZAHN: And, John, you were making an interesting point earlier on in Aaron's piece about the fact that the politics isn't overt and yet it goes on around the edges of the process. How does a potential papal candidate let it known to his peers that that is what he wants?

ALLEN: Oh, I think the best strategy is to say nothing at all.

I mean, there's an old saying that anybody who is campaigning for this job is radically unlikely to get it. And, truthfully, Paula, I think the reality is that most cardinals honestly do not want the job of being pope. I mean, part of that is for the spiritual reason that they take seriously, the idea that the pope is the successor of Peter. And knowing their own frailties, they have a hard time seeing themselves in that role.

It's also -- because being pope is a job, you carry a burden you carry from the moment you are elected to the moment you die. It's not like you put in a six- or eight-year term and then go off and write your memoirs and play golf in the afternoons. It is a bone-crushing burden. And you never get to lay it down.

And so, I think it is a rare man who is actually campaigning for it. But I think what happens is, as Delia was quite rightly describing, what begins to happen is, cardinals look around at their brother cardinals and they begin to see one or two or three men whom they really could see stepping into the shoes of the fisherman and becoming the next pope and then consensus begins to emerge.

Often, to tell you the truth, the candidate is the last man to pick that up, until it begins to gather steam. And, truthfully, I think many of them shrink from the idea and, often, have to be convinced that what they ought to do is accept, if they are, in fact, elected.

ZAHN: Boy, that might be refreshing, if we could interject some of that into the presidential process here in the United States.

Delia Gallagher, John Allen, we're going to see you both a little bit later on in this hour. Thank you.

And it's time now to vote for the person of the day. Tonight, we'd like to find out your choice between three front-runners, Nigeria's Cardinal Francis Arinze, who might be the best hope from the Third World, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, a conservative and one of the most powerful men in the Vatican, and the most likely Italian choice, Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, who is considered by many a progressive vote.

Cast your vote at The results later on in this hour.

But, in a moment or two, some cardinals who actually admit they don't have a prayer.


CARDINAL THEODORE MCCARRICK, ARCHBISHOP OF WASHINGTON, D.C.: Could we have an American pope? I don't think so.


ZAHN: Coming up next, the U.S. cardinals in the spotlight, but playing second fiddle for sure.

And a little bit later on, a possible compromise candidate whose election could change everything.


ZAHN: Beautiful shot out of Rome tonight.

So, why are cardinals called cardinals in the first place? I'm not telling you now. A hint: It isn't because they wear the same color as the bird of the same name. More on that later.

And millions of Catholics think Pope John Paul II should be declared a saint. Could it happen sooner than later? All of that in just a minute.

But, first, just about quarter minutes past the hour. Time to check in with Erica Hill at Headline News to update the top stories.

And I'm not giving you any clues either, Erica. You've got to hang around.

ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I was going to say, Paula, you got me. I am. I am going to stick around to find out.

ZAHN: It is a really, really obvious answer. Sorry to give it away to you, but...

HILL: All right. Well, you give me a clue in the break and I'll give you the headlines right now. How's that?

ZAHN: Maybe. Maybe.


HILL: We'll start off with some concern, actually, White House officials worried about the apparent shutdown of a nuclear reactor in North Korea. They're wondering if that country has completed the task of producing spent fuel rods laced with weapons-grade plutonium.

Now, a U.S. official familiar with the situation says there could be two other possibilities. Number one, the reactor could have run into mechanical material or, two, North Korea is just bluffing in order to raise concern.

Target stores are moving most cold, allergy and cough medicines from regular shelves to pharmacies in an effort to crack down on the manufacturing of methamphetamine. The move applies to over-the- counter drugs that contain pseudoephedrine. It's an active ingredient used to make meth. Now the products won't be sold in any stores that don't have pharmacies.

If you are ready for some football on Monday nights, beginning with the 2006 season, you are going to have to have cable or satellite to watch it. The NFL is switching its Monday night game to ESPN after 35 years on ABC. And, under a new deal, the NFL's Sunday night game moves to NBC. Now, that move leaves ABC, which originated "Monday Night Football" in 1970, as the only major network without the NFL.

And a group of nuns in Chicago are trying to buck the centuries- old tradition of the cardinals' conclave to choose the next pope. They took to the streets today with a message. Let women be part of the process. Many of the demonstrators say they hope Pope John Paul II's successor is listening. It will be interesting to see -- Paula, back to you.

ZAHN: And, Erica, we're going to be interviewing a woman who's played a key part in creating those protests. And you know what kind of smoke they're blowing? Pink smoke.

HILL: Good for the ladies.

ZAHN: To call attention, they think, to the slighting of women within the Catholic Church, a very American perspective, I might add.

Erica, the cardinal clue coming for you.

The largest group of cardinals ever to attend a conclave is now in Rome. But who are these men who have the power to choose a new pope?


ZAHN (voice-over): It's kind of like being an Oscar nominee. The cameras follow every step. Reporters hang on every word. Analysts parse every gesture, every vocal inflection.

For the cardinals of the Catholic Church, it's showtime. Many are used to the attention. All of them wield tremendous authority. The name cardinal doesn't come from their bright red robes, but from the Latin word for hinge, cardo. As a door needs hinges, the church needs cardinals to function smoothly. These men are the pope's closest advisers.

Some are the administrators in charge of the Vatican bureaucracy. Others are diplomats, teachers and pastors. All cardinals are ordained as bishops, although they're more like super bishops. The Catholic cardinals have had the exclusive right to elect popes since the year 1059. Who will the cardinals elect this time? Even before the preconclave secrecy descended, no one was saying.

CARDINAL EDWARD EGAN, NEW YORK ARCHDIOCESE: I do feel that, certainly, what we want to have is someone of great, deep spirituality, who is serious in his study of theology, as I'm sure they all are, and who is more than willing to listen to others and especially to serve our parishes and our diocese.

ZAHN: For the 11 cardinals from the United States, this is as good as it gets. It is not an exaggeration to say it would take an act of God for any of them to be elected pope.

MCCARRICK: Could we have an American pope? I don't think so. And I think America is the great superpower of the world. And to combine a man who represents this country with someone who is going to be the guide and the leader of the church, both of these things are hard enough. And to put them together, I think, would be -- it would be difficult.

ZAHN: That's Washington, D.C., Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, whose smiling face seems to be everywhere these days.

Even though the Americans probably won't become pope, they're from important cities, are important people in the Catholic establishment, and they can speak English. For the American media, that makes them almost rock stars. EGAN: I was over at NBC. I was at your other CNN unit. And I'm going over to the Pontifical North American College, where I'm going to speak to the print media and to radio and television. So, I should get an A for today.

ZAHN: New York's Cardinal Egan needs to work hard. He had the misfortune of succeeding the late Cardinal John O'Connor, who was much more flamboyant.

Chicago's Cardinal Francis George has much the same problem. He followed the late, much-admired Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles is best known for building his city's new cathedral. As critics have pointed out, it isn't St. Peter's. He also got into a very public spat with cable television's Mother Angelica a few years back. He won. Cardinals do.

Remember him? That's Cardinal Bernard Law, formerly of Boston, a TV regular during the height of his city's child abuse scandal. He now works at the Vatican and, yes, he is still a cardinal. By the end of the month, give or take a few days, all but one of the men involved in the conclave will still be cardinals. But the one they pick will be Pope John Paul III or Pius XIII. Or maybe he'll choose a name that will surprise us.

The rest can say they got their chance to elect a pope. That's what cardinals do.


ZAHN: A footnote: Of the 115 cardinals, only two have previously taken part in electing a pope.

So, if an American cardinal has no chance, how about a cardinal from, let's say, Canada or Brazil? How about someone from Nigeria? Well, Cardinal Francis Arinze, raised in a hut without running water, could be a candidate for the next pope. His inspiring story is next.

And a little bit later on, we'll be checking in with the bookies and see what the smart money says.


ZAHN (voice-over): For the church, growth in Africa and the developing world has been nothing short of explosive. And many see one African cardinal as the man of the future.

Here's tonight's "PEOPLE IN THE NEWS."


ZAHN (voice-over): He is among the most powerful cardinals in the Vatican, an influential, charismatic leader who has emerged as one of the top candidates to lead the Catholic Church. If elected, Cardinal Francis Arinze would become the first African pope in 1,500 years. ALLEN: There's a certain fascination around the world with the idea that a black African could hold such a prominent position in what has traditionally been a white European institution.

CARDINAL FRANCIS ARINZE, NIGERIA: I don't feel any disability because I come from another culture. If anything, sometimes, I feel I get more attention than I want.

ZAHN: Followers describe Arinze as a kind and compassionate man, known for his quick sense of humor and love of sports, an avid tennis player and soccer fan.

GERARD O'CONNELL, "THE UNIVERSE": Cardinal Arinze is a very joyful man, very friendly, very open, very humorous. He has got a great sense of humor.


ARINZE: This is interesting.

ZAHN: But it has been an unlikely journey for the 72-year-old cardinal. Far from the pageantry of Rome, Anizoba (ph) Arinze was born in a remote Nigerian village on November 1, 1932, All Saints Day. Growing up in the small farming village of Onicha, he was the third of seven children, raised in a red earth hut without running water.

His parents, members of the Nigerian Ibo tribe, were animists, followers of African traditional religion. Arinze's parents sent him to a local missionary school in hopes of a better education. It was there he discovered Catholicism. The young convert was baptized when he was 9, taking the name Francis. Arinze continued his spiritual journey, leaving home to enter a junior seminary at a nearby town at 15.

ARINZE: I wanted to be a priest. Our parish priest inspired us. And many of us wanted to be priests.

ZAHN: But his father wasn't happy with his vocation.

ARINZE: My father didn't exactly like my becoming a priest. He loved me more than his other children. And he thought I would be the one to be nearest to him. But when it was explained to him, then he said, all right.

ZAHN: Arinze's studies would take him further away from his familiar and Africa.

ARINZE: The archbishop decided to send me to Rome to do theology. And I asked my father if he wouldn't become a Christian. And he said, I will become a Christian. When you become a priest, I become a Christian.

ZAHN: The young seminary student entered the Pontifical Urban University in Rome. At age 26, he was ordained and his father made good on his promise. ARINZE: When I came home, I said, now I am a priest. So he said, yes, because, in the next world, all of us will be together. So, I will also come.

ZAHN: He would eventually return to Africa to teach. At 32, he was named one of the youngest bishops in history. In 1967, he became archbishop, the first native African to head his diocese. But it would be short-lived.

That same year, civil war broke out in Nigeria, forcing Arinze and many of his followers to flee Onicha, living as refugees. The war in his country had uncovered the fragile nature of peace between those of different cultures and faiths. For three turbulent years, Arinze worked tirelessly, preaching unity.

ARINZE: To be willing to listen, to try to understand what they believe, how they worship, how they live. Hopefully, they will also try to understand us.

ZAHN: Arinze rose quickly through the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, becoming cardinal in 1985.

ALLEN: In the 20th century, Africa went from having three million Catholics to 120 million Catholics. And so, as the African contribution to the universal church has risen, leaders such as Arinze have also risen, because there has been a recognition that that growing presence in Africa ought to be reflected at the senior levels in the church.

ZAHN: At 72, Arinze is No. 4 in the Vatican hierarchy and one of the top candidates to lead the Catholic Church.

ALLEN: He projects a kind of youthful vitality that belies his age. I mean, he is still excited about his church, he's still excited about doing his job.

ARINZE: God bless you all.

ZAHN: A job that has brought an African cardinal's message to the world.

ARINZE: It is possible that some of the people are listening because they want to know what this African will say, to see what I do will be exactly the same as what the Italians said to them. Could be. That's OK. As long as they listen.


ZAHN: Well, I think they're listening. He may not be able to campaign for the papacy but Cardinal Arinze got something of an endorsement today from Nobel-prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa. He called on the College of Cardinals to elect Arinze as pope because he would be a powerful advocate for the developing world. CNN Vatican analyst and national Catholic reporter correspondent John Allen joins us again from Rome. So, the guessing game continues. What kind of reservations, though, are out there about Cardinal Arinze?

ALLEN: Well, Paula, to the extent there are reservations, I think they would be of two sorts. One, is that Arinze is an African to the outside world, but to the College of Cardinals he is also a Roman. He's been in Rome for 20 years working, as your piece noted, at the peak of the power structure in the Roman curate. There are probably some cardinals who think that, all things being equal, it would be better to bring somebody in from the outside who brings direct pastoral experience, recent pastoral experience, to the job of the papacy.

Probably the other is that, while Arinze is an endlessly charming figure, a very loyal son of the church and very solid on doctrinal issues, her is not perhaps the same intellectual caliber as somebody like a Ratzinger or Martini. In other words, he is not an original theological thinker. Some might question whether he really has the vision of that a pope, who needs to act on the world stage, ought to have.

ZAHN: But I do hear that people think he has some sort of vision for building greater bridges between Catholics and Muslims. That is an accepted fact, right?

ALLEN: Well, no question -- that is an established fact. Cardinal Arinze was, of course, for many years, the head of the Vatican's Council on Interreligious Dialogue, and in that capacity, reached out, not just to Muslims, obviously, but to all the other religions of humanity. But, because he comes from Nigeria, obviously has a special understanding for the Christian-Muslim relationship.

ZAHN: John Allen, thanks so much. Always good to have your perspective, a man who spends a lot of time studying and understanding these things.

One issue the next pope can't avoid is the Catholic Church's treatment of women.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I am very angry about the role of women and how we are discriminated against. I feel like I'm banging my head against the wall sometimes.


ZAHN: Coming up next -- an American woman who is trying to break down the walls and break through the barriers.

And a little bit later on -- the case for declaring him St. John Paul II. And, don't forget, go to and vote for your choice for person of the day. Should it be Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze, Conservative German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger or Italian Cardinal Tettamanzi, a liberal, at least by Vatican standards.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ZAHN: Under Pope John Paul II, abortion, birth control, and women as priests, were not an option. It would take a revolution of the church for that change. And here in the United States, many Catholic women are praying that the white smoke from the Sistine Chapel chimney will signal just that.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I need a taker. I need a taker.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The exclusion of women is the greatest scandal in the church today.

ZAHN: These may be the sounds of change.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Continue your work of enlightening us, your church, and the men presently serving the church in the role of cardinal.

ZAHN: At least that's what Catholic women are praying for as they take to the streets of Chicago and other U.S. cities to deliver an urgent message to the Vatican.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Open the doors to the conclave, brothers.

ZAHN: They're members of the Women's Ordination Conference, and this is their counter conclave, complete with pink smoke, to symbolize what they see is a critical absence of women in the papal election process.

A 33-year-old working mother, Laura Singer is like many Catholic women in the United States, devout but discouraged.

LAURA SINGER, WOMEN'S ORDINATION CONFERENCE: I have a lot of conflicting feelings about the church. I'm very angry about the role of women and how we are discriminated against, and I'm constantly in struggle with, what am I doing here.

For the purple protest, I think the outstanding issue is just tightening up the liturgy part of it.

ZAHN: Unlike her childhood friends who have left the church, Laura's pushing for change from within.

SINGER: I have the responsibility to try to change the Catholic Church because it does influence women in so many other areas of life -- birth control, health issues, education and just around how women are treated in other areas in the world.

ZAHN: This isn't their first public rally. Five years ago, when the Chicago archdiocese spent a million dollars to recruit new priests, Laura and her colleagues responded with a provocative billboard of their own.

Chicago Cardinal Francis George, a member of the conclave, wasn't swayed. CARDINAL FRANCIS GEORGE, ARCHBISHOP OF CHICAGO: There is no one on the face of the earth that can respond to that request. The church is not free to do it, and so it is not going to happen.

ZAHN: Despite the church's refusal to even discuss the issue, Laura and her friends continue to wage what they call a "ministry of irritation."

SINGER: The analogy is like a piece of sand irritates an oyster and turns into a pearl, making the sand more valuable and the oyster more valuable. We want to be that piece of sand in the oyster, irritating the church to make a positive change.

ZAHN: And, although change may be slow, don't tell that to altar girls like Ali Lanti a 12-year-old parishioner at Laura's church.

ALI LANTI, CATHOLIC ALTAR SERVER: I would ask the cardinal if they would let the girls be priests or participate more in the church, because, like, girls should get the same opportunities as boys.

ZAHN: It's a message that Laura and millions of women like her hope will somehow make its way past the sealed doors of the Sistine Chapel.


ZAHN (on camera): Joining me again from Rome, CNN Vatican analyst Delia Gallagher.

I was fascinated by something Cardinal George just had to say in response to this opposition growing in the United States among these women where he said, look, we just can't change it. Is that true?

DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN VATICAN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Paula, there's a distinction to be made. One is with regard to women becoming priests, and I think that that is what Cardinal George was referring to. This is a reflection of the church's understanding of priesthood, instituted by Jesus as a male, a celibate institution, and, therefore, I think he was referring to that idea. However, there is another discussion going on, which is the question of authority or a woman's voice being heard at the Vatican or in the hierarchy of the church in general. So, that, could certainly take place. That would be something that some of the cardinals here have said they are at least open to discussing, this question of, you know, women having a greater role in the church, in all aspects.

So you have to clarify the issue slightly between women becoming priests, which I do not think is an issue that any of the cardinals can approach at this moment, and women having a greater role in the church, which is a possibility.

ZAHN: Well, it's all fascinating, particularly when you hear that the mind-set of American women is strikingly different than women in other parts of world. Delia Gallagher, we'll keep an eye on all of this. Thanks for your perspective tonight. You still have a chance to pretend you're in the conclave. Go to and vote for the person of the day. Your choices: Nigerian Cardinal Francis Arinze, conservative Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger from Germany, or cardinal, the Italian, Dionigi Tettamanzi, considered a moderate.

And we're going to go to a place where people bet on just about everything to find out which cardinal right now is the odds-on favorite.


ZAHN: Want to bet on who will be the next pope? Well, a lot of people are right now. We're going to be checking the latest odds.

And then a little bit later on, the case for canonizing Pope John Paul II. First, though, 33 minutes past the hour, time again to check in with Erica Hill of HEADLINE NEWS. Hi, Erica.

HILL: Hi again, Paula.

Police in Pennsylvania at this hour still looking for a missing prosecutor, and now getting some help from the FBI in the case. Ray Gricar hasn't been heard from since Friday. There were no signs of foul play when his car was found the next day. Police also say there has been no activity on his cell phone or credit cards. And they don't think Gricar's disappearance is related to any of his cases.

The mother of Michael Jackson's accuser says the pop star has, quote, "managed to fool the world." On the stand today, the woman testified that Jackson, quoting again, "didn't care about children," in her words, "only what he was doing with children."

Jackson's attorney asked her repeatedly about whether she was involved in efforts to solicit money for the family after the accuser was diagnosed with cancer in 2000.

Move over, Howard Stern, and make some room for Martha. Martha Stewart joining forces with Sirius Satellite Radio to create a 24-hour radio channel aimed at women. It will feature Stewart's trademark cooking, gardening and entertaining programming. Now, since being released from prison six weeks ago, Stewart has also landed deals to create a version of "The Apprentice" and a daily cooking show. Not too shabby.

You might call it the mother of all airfare deals. U.S. Airways mistakenly offered round-trip air fares online last weekend for as low as $1.86. A thousand people were able to buy those tickets for less than a gallon of gas before the airline corrected the mistake. But U.S. Airways does say it's going to honor all of those tickets. Not a bad deal, Paula.

ZAHN: Around the world for $1.86. Love it.

HILL: Maybe not all the way around the world, but you know, at least a few places up and down the Eastern Seaboard. ZAHN: (INAUDIBLE), yeah, exactly. Thanks, Erica.

"LARRY KING LIVE" is just ahead at 9:00. Larry, who is with you tonight?

LARRY KING, HOST, "LARRY KING LIVE": Dr. Phil will be with us. And the subject is not he tonight, but his sister-in-law, his wife's sister, who was driving in a car when, from an overpass, acid was poured into the car, certainly playing havoc with her body and her face. She's written an inspirational book called "A Random Act: Recovering From It and Forgiving the Culprit." That's all tonight, Dr. Phil, his wife and sister-in-law all ahead at the top of the hour.

ZAHN: I've read a little about her. She is an amazingly strong woman. Nice of her to share her story with you tonight. See you in a couple of minutes, Larry. Thanks.

KING: Thanks.

ZAHN: Coming up, who is the person of the day? Your choices were Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria, the best hope in the third world; Germany's Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, one of the most powerful men in the Vatican; and Milan's Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, the most likely Italian choice.

You get to choose. And here is the man of the hour. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.


ZAHN (voice-over): Since 1981, German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has headed one of the most important apartments in the Vatican. It's called the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It's the office that three-and-a-half centuries ago was in charge of the inquisition.

Ratzinger guards the absolutes of the church, whether you're talking about theology or morality. As he argued in his sermon today, there are some truths that do not change, that can't be compromised.

Over the years, he's butted heads with theologians and teachers, silencing dissent, shutting down debate over issues such as homosexuality and the ordination of women.

The cardinal's critics accuse him of helping Pope John Paul II put brakes on some of the reforms undertaken at the Second Vatican Council, to which Ratzinger was an adviser. He was considered a liberal back then, but his thinking changed in the turmoil of the student revolts of the late 1960s. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is now described by church watchers as a conservative's conservative, and, by you, as our person of the day.


ZAHN: We'll be right back.


And we're back now with our special coverage of the selection of the next pope with the Conclave under way, the Catholic Church doesn't ban gambling, which is probably a pretty good thing there. Because Ireland's biggest book maker has taken in 9,000 bets since April 2nd on who will succeed Pope John Paul II.

Here's Matthew Chance.


MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): They're both steeped in tradition and practiced by millions. But religion and gambling rarely mixed, until now.

He's an Irish bookie with odds on the next pope, risking Vatican scorn, and perhaps a bolt from the heavens.

PADDY POWER, BOOKMAKER: I don't believe it's in bad taste, to be honest with you. I think -- we took it down for 24 hours when the pope actually did die, as a mark of respect. But overall, it wasn't in bad taste six months ago; I don't think it's in bad taste now. I think it's OK.

Then we have Oscar Rodriguez. He's a 9-2, so a lot of people are tipping him off, because he's a real language buff. He speaks about six or seven languages. They say that will bring the Catholic Church to a wider community.

CHANCE: And it's not the holy spirits deciding the odds. Bookies seriously researched the papabile, cardinals that are likely to become pope. The chances of an Italian, a conservative, even a black pontiff carefully weighed.

POWER: We got about seven reasonable names, and said these guys have a chance. We put odds on them. And then, after that, the market has grown to about 40 names now. So -- and every single one of those, apart from the original seven, are from people calling us or e-mailing us, saying put odds on this guy, what odds on our guy from Australia, what odds on our guy from Honduras or whatever.

CHANCE: And with the papal conclave in Rome sworn to secrecy, there are few insider tips on the best bet.

(on camera): Well, these are the latest odds. Francis Arinze of Nigeria, a joint favorite with Dionigi Tettamanzi, the archbishop of Milan. They're both at 11-4. Followed closely by Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras, at 9-2. Then comes Joseph Ratzinger of Germany. He's been placed at 7-1, followed by Claudio Hummes of Brazil. After that, the people with a more outside chance of becoming pope, at 14-1 and bigger.

(voice-over): But it is a gamble not everyone's prepared to take.

Well, I had a lot of respect for the pope. And I just won't bet on religion. Anything else, yeah.

CHANCE (on camera): Are you likely to have a flutter on the pope?


CHANCE: Why is that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just too many other things to bet on, really. I think it would be hard to pick a winner.

CHANCE (voice-over): A winner the church's cardinals believe they'll have divine guidance in picking, whatever the odds.


ZAHN: That was an honest answer from that last gentleman. Matthew Chance reporting for us tonight. If you like a long shot, Patty Power list 14 cardinals at 125 to 1.

John Paul II canonized more saints than any pope in history. Next, will it soon be his turn for sainthood?


ZAHN: And welcome back to our special tonight. While church leaders decide on a new pope, other forces are already at work to make John Paul II one of 10,000 Roman Catholic saints.

Here's CNN Vatican analyst Delia Gallagher.


DELIA GALLAGHER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): A cold and steady rain did not dampen the faith of thousands of pilgrims on this day. They lined up for hours to see the tomb of Pope John Paul II. On hearing of his death, Franko and Palmero Dequana (ph) rushed home to Italy from a evangelical mission in Peru. Their long trip led to the tomb where they knelt and prayed.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): It was a moment of great serenity. It was as if something that had been broke in me was fixed.

GALLAGHER: This family came from Wales to pray at the pope's tomb.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just was hoping that he'd go straight to Heaven and become a saint.

GALLAGHER: His global travels and modern communications ensured that John Paul became the best known pope in history. His face was the face of the Catholic Church for a generation. Small wonder so many people think of his as saintly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many hearts has he changed, I mean, that we haven't seen.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He had worked miracles in the heart of each one.

GALLAGHER: He changed the way the world views the papacy. But is that enough for sainthood?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I personally wonder about canonizing popes. I mean, you know, a saint is someone who is supposed to be a model for us, and, you know, I think we need more laymen and women canonized a saint.

GALLAGHER: That seems to be a minority view. Even a normally somber event, the pope's own funeral, a stunning chant of saint, saint. Just ask the people perched on the Vatican's doorstep like these Sicilian students.

Should the pope be made a saint?


GALLAGHER: At the Vatican where saints keep watch over popes and pilgrims alike, the rules are very clear. You don't achieve sainthood through democratic elections. The process can't begin until five years after a candidate's death. John Paul II did accelerate the sainthood process for a well-known missionary.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: John Paul II broke the rules himself by setting a precedent by allowing the beatification procedure for Mother Teresa of Calcutta to begin two years after her death instead of five years.

GALLAGHER: Mother Teresa is one certified miracle short of becoming a saint. But back to the people. In the old days of the church, saints were created by public acclimation. Some say that has happened for Pope John Paul II.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): He has been perceive as a saint by the people. When we went to the tomb, we didn't know whether to pray for the pope or to the pope.

GALLAGHER: A distinction being pondered by the faithful in the churches of Rome and around the world.


ZAHN: Once again, Delia Gallagher reporting for us tonight.

John Paul II would be the 73rd pope declared a saint, and the first in nearly 500 years. That's it for us tonight.

Tomorrow night, on the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, an exclusive interview with the ex-wife of Terry Nichols. Thanks for joining us.


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