msnbc | February 12, 2013
>> this is a man of great integrity and looking out for what he believes is the best interest of our church. i admire him for it. i think it's been 713 or so years since done that. i think he sets an incredibly high standard .
>> a dose of humor and respect yesterday from the vice president on the pope's abdication. but he's right, the stakes couldn't be higher. the pope's sudden decision to step down, step aside also begs the question, will the pope's successor be a man of the times? so check out today's cover of the "new york post." pope gives god two weeks notice. now, the job's been around for more than 20 centuries, but what does a modern, 21st century candidate look like? i want to go now to msnbc's chris jansing , who has been hosting her hour, "jansing and co.," over in rome. chris , you started your hour by announcing this prophetic pic of a lightning strike in vatican city yesterday. this news was really like a lightning strike to everyone around the globe. has the vatican talked more about any decisions behind the scenes? we do know that the pope has a pacemaker. they've put that out there. he's had it for years, but have they decided or released what were the real factors behind the scenes? because this is uncharted territory .
>> it is, absolutely, uncharted. and they're still in a state of shock here, i have to tell you. but from a lot of people that i've been talking to since i got on the ground here, and also speaking the to the vatican spokesman, there doesn't seem to be more to it than the fact that the pope is 85 years old, he's gotten increasingly frail in recent months. and frankly, this is somebody who has to run what is a global enterprise, 1.1 billion catholics around the world. and i think he just realized that there was so much on his plate, that with modern medicine and our ability to keep people alive longer, but perhaps not with the energy and vitality that this job requires or, in his opinion, after a prayerful thought, deserves, he decided to step down. so i think it has to do with his aging, and remember, thomas, he was the oldest pope to be elected in something like 300 years, when he was elected eight years ago. so, i think there's a good possibility we will see a younger cardinal elected to pope this time.
>> and papal politics are kind of taboo. people don't really talk about that going into the college of cardinals and the conclave, but what are the main names that are being discussed, publicly, who might be his successor?
>> well, that's very interesting. and i know it's not supposed to be politics, and first of all, the vatican has said that the pope has made it very clear, he doesn't want to influence this, obviously, uncharted territory , to have a living pope, during the election of a new pope, but, you know, there are a lot of names being passed around. if you want to look at the bookmakers, there's cardinal arinze from africa . he's from nigeria. he was considered a front-runner to be the first black pope eight years ago, but now he's 80, so i think that's much less likely, although he's very pastoral. i had dinner with him a couple of times. he's very warm, has sort of those kind of qualities that pope john paul did, however, there are a few other people from growing areas of the world, they'll be looking at africa and latin america . there is also cardinal ouellet from question beck. he's from a huge diocese there. and even some talk, although a long shot, of cardinal dolan at 62. he's been a cardinal for less than a year and that would argue against him, although, a lot of people questioning whether they need someone like him, who's great at dealing with the media, great evangelizer at a time when the church is facing some, frankly, competition from protestant evangelists in parts of the world like latin america and africa , thomas.
>> the one and only, the incredible chris jansing reporting live from rome. you can watch chris on "jansing and co." every day right here on msnbc at 10:00 a.m . eastern. chris , thanks again.