Jansing and Co | February 12, 2013
>>> welcome back to rome, where we are looking ahead to two big stories. of course, the future of the catholic church after the resignation of pope benedict , but also, back at home, tonight's big state of the union speech . president obama expecting to focus on the economy. and coming up in just a few minutes, we'll be talking with new york congresswoman, nita lowey . but back here in rome the surprise, shocking abdication by pope benedict is sparking a lot of conversations about the direction of the catholic church . the next pope will have to deal with the fallout of the priest sex abuse scandal, among other things, and always the question of, what happens when you have a situation that we haven't been in since the middle ages . joining me is vatican spokesman, greg fur. good to see you.
>> thank you.
>> first of all, what's going on back at the vatican? who's meeting? how are these decisions being made, for example, about when the conclave will be?
>> that's all going to be decided in the coming days, not so fast. for right now, live goes on as normal, but not really normal. that's an exaggeration, to say normal. yesterday was a holiday. i thought i would have the day off, didn't turn out to be much of a day off. but in the coming days, i think we'll get some more of the details about when the conclave will start. it's very similar to when a pope dies. i mean, the difference in terms of what will happen in terms of the process is just, you won't have the days of mourning. you'll still have a start with the general congregations, which are the meetings of all the cardinals, even those over the age of 80. so it will start with that, before the conclave proper begins.
>> so let's do a little chronological order. first of all, will we see the pope tomorrow? is he going to do a wednesday audience?
>> you'll see the pope twice tomorrow. you'll see the pope with a wednesday audience, which i don't think will be outside. we'll see wlahat happens.
>> it's a little rainy today.
>> the last one will be on the 27th, and that one we do hope to have outside, as long as weather permits, so a lot of people can come. it will probably be indoors, so we'll still see the pope. but we've seen the pope five, ten times in the last week. of course, there's a lot more interest right now. so i don't think we should expect anything special. he may say something, obviously, special, and i think the crowd will be a little more interested, obviously, and you'll see the pope tomorrow evening, because tomorrow lent begins.
>> ash wednesday.
>> right, ash wednesday. and normally that was done on a small church across town. but because of the special circumstances , it will be in st. peter's tomorrow and you'll see that. you'll see a very beautiful ceremony, by the way.
>> i can't sit here and not think of the almost five weeks i've spent here in 2005 , for the illness of pope john paul , the funeral, there were people lined up, wanting to pay their respects, for 24 hours they waited in live. and of course we had the conclave, and then we had the ceremony for benedict. obviously, there's not a funeral this time, but will there be some sort of formal good-bye?
>> i'm not expecting, i can't say no for sure, but knowing the pope, i can't expect a big bash. when the pope went to the u.s., it was his birthday, he didn't want a birthday party , they didn't want a state dinner . they had a cake at the white house and everything, but he did not want a state dinner . he's not that kind of person.
>> and yet, people will want an opportunity, don't you think --
>> they will want to and they'll have their chance when -- the other thing the pope does on sundays, the greeting from his window. you'll see an extra big crowd, i think, from that. and the audience, that audience will be overflow, obviously.
>> he has not made any secret of the fact, in his statement, that his health has been failing. his brother has talked about that in the last 24 hours . and we're also learning about a pacemaker, a minor surgery he had to replace the batteries, a fall that he took maybe in cuba and mexico. what can you tell us about his overall state of health and what this retirement will be like for him?
>> i don't have anything on the fall in mexico or cuba, the pacemaker and the battery replaced, you don't resign because you have a pacemaker, you don't resign because you have your battery in your pacemaker replaced, obviously. that's pretty clear. what i can say is, i've watched him closely over the last seven to eight years, and it's been a steady decline. you know, he's not in terrible shape. i watched him three days ago, speak off the cuff for a half hour to a group of seminarians and he was great. his mind is obviously there. very much engaged. very, very sharp. however, i have to admit that, you know, part of my new job means going to all the christmas ceremonies and all the new year's ceremonies and i got nervous every time he had to negotiate steps, you know, because i was like, guys, come on, be close to him.
>> we've seen people helping him move around.
>> yeah, yeah, and that's part of being 85, almost 86.
>> well, greg , it is great to have you. by the end of the week, though, we may know something about the schedule?
>> by the end of the week, we'll know more or less when things will get underway.
>> greg burke, who did not get a holiday and will not be getting one for at least the next month