Jansing and Co | February 13, 2013
>>> welcome back to rome where the pope is about to celebrate his final mass as pope. it will start as early as march 15th to pick his successor. the pope received a standing ovation at his first public appearance since the announcement he will step down. he told thousands gathered he was resigning for the good of the church and asked them to pray for him, the church and for the future pope. i'm joined by analyst george wigel and elizabeth led from dew cane university here in rome. it's great to have you here. i was in the audience. people were crying. it was a very charged atmosphere. but there's a lot of questioning going on about this decision. and the pope said, and i'm going to read it off of my blackberry i did this after praying for a long time and examining my conscio conscious. i wonder what you thought today?
>> this is one of these beginning moments when he's going to start to say good-bye to the the people he's led for eight years. in remembering a little bit about the kind of decision that he had to make, it's not an, i think, maybe, this was a man when he was 7 years old wrote a letter to jesus asking for a medal of the sacred heart .
>> that's what he wanted for christmas.
>> he's been pen pals with jesus for 80 years. he made this decision prayerfully. he's been holding god's hand and we have to respect that. that's what all those people in the audience is there to respect his decision.
>> i got into quite a heated discussion earlier in the day. the cardinal made this comment. he said, john paul led the church to the end because he was convinced that one doesn't come down from the cross. a lot of people interpreted that as essentially the pope taking the easy way out. he's elderly, he's tired and so he's going to retire.
>> i think that would be a bad way to look at this. these are two decisions in conscious made by two men of conscious. john paul ii 's decision to live his dying publically was his last great teaching moment and the world responded to that in a remarkable way. benedict xvi thought it wouldn't play out that way and he was not going to hold the stage simply to hold the stage. he was going to make a humble act of acceptance of what he believes is god's will.
>> is he making the decision about when the conclave will start? there are a lot of people who will wait the 15 days. normally it would be a period of mourning, but the pope has not died.
>> i find this frankly ratherer puzzling myself. i'm told the decision was made by the dean of the college of cardinals and the guy who runs the church, if you will. it does seem to me to be rather a long time to wait to enclose the conclave. we have already had the three-week period before the pope officially steps down.
>> it does seem like there a lot of decisions yet to be made. we were talking about the fact we know the pope is going to go for a short time. then literally straight down the street at the vatican, there's what is essentially a monetary and we're just learning that they have been doing some fix-it-up construction work since this summer.
>> i was in the vatican this morning. we were wondering why they were doing that work this summer in august when nobody is around. they are doing all this work. they have been preparing this obviously for awhile. and it will be separate in the heart of the garden, but at the same time, it's in that space of the gardens where he has gone to pray every evening. so he will be nearby and secluded and in his period of prayer.
>> we saw the workman going in today. we're not sure what's going on there today. i'd love you to come back if we have time. thanks to both of you.