The Rachel Maddow Show | March 13, 2013
>> translator: i announce to you, news of great joy, we have a new pope.
>> we have a new pope. joining us now from rome is jason horwitz, a staff writer, thank you for staying up to be with us. i appreciate it.
>> thanks for having me.
>> here is the first very, i guess practical question that i have. the church went through something unprecedented, something that hasn't happened in 600 years. pope benedict stepping down for reasons of age. he was chosen at age 78. pope francis was chosen at age 76. was his age not a factor or does it tell us of the contours of the choice by the church?
>> the short ansz is we have no idea what the factors are. it's a conclave and we have no idea what the political things were. they were looking for somebody they want to be pope for 25 or 30 years. with benedict , there was the idea that it was somebody who people would call home, a place to call their pope. this wasn't going to be the big shift in the church. there are parts of bergoglio or francis i that makes you think it's a shift.
>> he's spoken out about the issues of poverty, globalization, not to be hypercritical, serve the poor and not afraid of dealing with those on the lowest socioeconomic end of the spectrum. he's been outspoken about gay rights , contraception. do we know what he's likely to prioritize among those issues?
>> i think that -- he does walk the walk when it comes to the vow of poverty, right? that's probably why he took the name francis . francis of assisi . he walks the walk when it comes to orthodoxy. he's stylistically different. when it comes to ideology, he's an echo of benedict . you are not going to see much change there. i think his priorities are kind of going to be more about rome , is my guess and that he's away from rome . he's an outsider. when we think in american politics , we think of reformers or left to right. it almost doesn't relate here. the way they are looking at things as an outsider versus an insider. it's about the beaurocracy and management and who can change things. maybe you need somebody from the outside and attract people from the outside. that's why i think, they went with him.
>> do we know about his relationship with benedict ? in this one usual situation, benedict will be around and we don't know how the pope emeritus will be. do we know how they have worked together in the past?
>> when he was bergoglio, reports were he was second in the running in 2005 in the conclave and was the choice of the more progressive. i use that word very loosely in the conclave for, you know, the alternative to ratsinger. he had a decent amount of support, but it clearly wasn't enough and he steam rolled him. it's the most interesting part of their relationship. we know right after he was elected, he gave the former benedict or emeritus benedict a call and he's going to meet him tomorrow. you are right. the amazing thing is going to be you have two popes in the same vatican.
>> incredible. 600 years. longer than any of us have been talking about this. it's unprecedented isn't the word, even. jason, thanks for helping us understand this. i appreciate your time tonight.
>>> all right. on the topic of gun violence, there are reports in the news today or a potential important shift by the unlikeliest power player possible. we have that story just ahead. stay with us.