Hardball | March 14, 2013
>> translator: it appears that my brothers, the cardinals, went to get it all over to the end of the world .
>> welcome back to "hardball." his first words to the world pope francis made reference to the selection of a pope from latin america , joking his brothers the cardinals went to the end of the world . if you look at a map, that's where it is to find him. a "new york times" full-page headline, the significance is summed up in one line, the selection of a pope from latin america , "choice of francis shifts church center of gravity ." just as latinos shape the american political election last time, helping obama by voting 71% for him, now latinos are poised to exert their influence in the church and the power of being a first of a particular group to rise to power has enormous galvanizing influence, of course. just like president obama was the first african- american president , francis is the first pope from latin america . pride in the elevation of this guy, and i'm not latino , must be a big, big source of tremendous pride. look at the front pages of the newspapers. san antonio , " l.a. times ." look at the power of this. joining us, charles senate, co-founder of "global post" which has a special series about the new pope called "a global church." raul reyes is a columnist. i want you to talk about this as a latino .
>> in our community, this is huge. you know, in the united states , when we look at the religious affiliations, it's something like 2/3 of hispanics are catholic, but yesterday if you're hispanic, if you're latino , everybody was catholic. this is something because he was the first, because it's historic, we all share in it. and there was a little gesture that our new pope, pope francis made when he was up on the balcony. he mentioned he was going to play to the blessed virgin mother . for latinos , that carries such resonance. the virgin of guadeloupe, the virgin mother is most powerful, most venerated symbols throughout latin america . go to any latino home anywhere, there's a statue of the virgin mary . in my volunteer work , i've seen hardcore gangsters and they have the tattoo o the virgin mary . even in the culture we live in, her symbol, her power continues. so for him to make that gesture, it's not just that he's one of us, say, in terms of the heritage. that's his gesture that says he gets us.
>> the way i look at it, if he just in terms of politics, might be specialty, he shows up in l.a., how many people show up there that day?
>> 2 million.
>> 2 million people show up. he could have that power if he comes to this country?
>> yes. in new york , miami, chicago, san antonio . all over the southwest. absolutely. because also this is as we're learning more of the details in his biography, he is the son of immigrants. at the local level, the catholic church main this country has been supportive of comprehensive reform. he has a global forum. he can bring attention to an issue that is so personal to us. this is our family, these are our relatives.
>> just looking at your face now, i know what's going on now, which is pride. i do think the more latinos in this country say they belong here, they're here, they're going to make their voices heard. they're going to make their politics hearded. they're going to get registered. they're going to run for office. we see it with the mayor and congressman from san antonio . what's the great word? i get thrilled thinking about this. confidence in public life . we're not the minority. we're one of the peoples of america. let me ask you, charles , about the economics. you speak up on the economics part here. you now have a pope. i was talking about this last night. i hope i can make my point clear. most sophisticates who read "the new york times," for example, live in the suburbs. they'll always say to you, well, actually, i'm a fiscal conservative , but i'm very good on social issues. well, this pope is the flip side of that.
>> that's right.
>> he is conservative on social issues like abortion, things like that. he's darn good on looking out for poor people . and economic injustice that you find in capitalist countries.
>> there's a reason he chose the name francis . st. francis , for the poor, as did jesus. look at the cue gospels, look at where they all agree, all the different writers of the gospels agree on one thing that jesus' message for the poor is clear. this cardinal, now pope, has lived that message. he has been the guy who rides the bus. as it's been said. he's the guy who is with the poor. he washed the feet --
>> did he skip the popemobile today?
>> chris, he washed the feet of aids patients at a hospital in buenos aires . in the last go-around in the last papal transition in 2005 , we were the runner up.
>> how did we find that out in off the record voting? i want to know how we didn't know that until yesterday. we're all thinking scola. oh, but we always knew he was number two last time. how come we didn't know -- nobody's confirmed that, by the way. let's take a look at tim dolan, what the cardinal from this city did. the archbishop from new york . he spoke about the new focus on the poor that's ushered in by the selection of this new pope, francis . let's listen to him, local cardinal here.
>> you can't sit in the sistine chapel underneath michelangelo's judgment. all who are good to the poor, come to heaven, all of you who turn your back on the poor, literally go to hell, okay? to elect a man who just radiated that sense of loving embrace of the poor, that was very important.
>> sell it.
>> he has something --
>> tim dolan --
>> there's a word in spanish. it translates as love. what it means, it means affection, it means warmth. it's something you would feel toward your grandfather or very trusted friend or something like that. he has that. and, you know, it's a connection, the little that we know about him, the way he strikes so many, morely amoparticularly among hispanics, he has that. as pope, with that connection, that's going to make him a superstar. pope john xxiii , he had it.
>> john paul connected with people. he connected --
>> i'm talking about john xxiii is our liberal --
>> he had it. even john paul connected with people deeply. this pope i think will do that. this pope, let's flip it now. we've done a lot of praising of this pope for social justice . he's the first jesuit. he really has that mission of social justice but has an extraordinary task ahead of him. this is a church with scandal. it has stress cracks in the foundation that are moral. a global organization that is global is going to be hard and it needs a lot of work.
>> bernard law living in the house.
>> and the other thing is, if you think about it, this pope, he wants to do a penchant for the poor. that's a way to coalesce a lot of catholics who are straying around his papacy.
>> i think this means a lot to us. i wanted to something again tonight about it because i think it's a big thing to talk about. we don't do it very often here. it's spiritual but also about social justice . both of you got it right tonight. okay. thank you, charles senate, and thank you, raul reyes .
>>> coming up, perhaps another historic first. we're going to be joined by christine quinn , sitting there, who's hoping to become the first female mayor of new york . new york, new york , the town so nice they named it twice. this is "hardball," the place for