Pope Francis Arrives for Historic US Visit

The 78-year-old pontiff was greeted by President Obama at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.
31:58 | 09/22/15

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Transcript for Pope Francis Arrives for Historic US Visit
This is an ABC news special report. Hope Francis in America. Now reporting from Washington DC and George Stephanopoulos. Good afternoon we are coming on the air right now for a piece of history. There you see the plane carrying Pope Francis it's being called shepherd one has just landed at Andrews Air Force Base just outside Washington DC. From a four day visit to Cuba. It's the post first trip ever to the United States and in the two years since Francis was chosen to lead the world's one point two billion Catholics. The jazz that from Argentina has jolted the church and spying so many in this humble. Human example. Here in America must excited for a papal visit in decades we're gonna cover all the big moments at the White House congress. Or France to become the first Pope to address a joint meeting. And those events the Pope lives reaching out not to the powerful but the war immigrants' children. In Washington new York and Soledad is that plane comes in we will be met. By president and mrs. Obama does take ABC's Terry ranges from childhood with the Pope on that morning visiting Cuban Terry better than many press conference on the flight end. It was George the vote came back and a half an hour into the flight he took the microphone and ask ask answered several questions. And made a little bit of news seat that he will not will not. Mentioned they US embargo against Cuba. In that joint. They got fashion and that the address to the joint session of congress he also. Truck aren't directly and they're conservative critique of it all that is that is very sharp and sharpening by the Dave big in the United States. You get about a cover of Newsweek magazine. That Adam mr. Obama and the question is the hope still got blown. And is endorsing him a lot of people think I molested. But that is an error and headed that there is nothing that I had bet that that would then. This social doctrine of the church he loved the bags of at all but he's clearly aware that he would stepping in. Not just do. A half. Whole event happened with his prediction of where they could occur as well where back and ready to meet it head on. Taylor ran on the plane with the Pope enjoyed considerable by the James Martin and her life americanized this for the Pope on his words penned their on the what is his basic message. Here in the United States like you know it will political ramifications of the space passages the gospel. People but I think that things will hear our income disparities for something about the environment and then also something about hikers. Lot of debate about this certainly a reformer is it going to part of on the revolution now I don't think so. Think that he's trying to get us back to the roots you know the word radical. On the work room basically and he's going back. To the roots of christianity and I think there's a reason why people are responding to this message because and so one piece of clear and solicited. Proclaiming the gospel as clearly as he can and that in the sense revolution. And appears we see this plane taxiing right now would be American and the papal flag. On its nose. President Obama mrs. Obama the vice president mrs. Biden families all joined the book quite unusual present I should go out to Andrews has the needs some of the white. Absence of bad popes and other cities because there's no place to receive them. But normally it president receives it and stay at the White House seeing that picture in May in time are under the portico as First Lady steps. But George Bush broke tradition to go meet Pope Benedict audiences. And he asked me to write a line in the car with him which was very interesting. And he didn't he tell me because he wanted to emphasize but he city the great moral authority of the Pope. As well as his position as head of state. And they try not to be very interesting Jewish because some of the same dishes. By the Martin was just talking that came up and that side because we started talking about the church and that broadest immigration. And that President Bush said you know I tried really hard via I did the right thing on that might. And that President Obama met with the Pope in Rome city feel some affinity for the message of Pope Francis. But the Pope is this as by the Jim mentioned coming to something of a polarized political environment in the United States alleys. Very intent on what care instead about what he heard back in the back of the plane this is a Pope. He's a pastor but this is a politician as you could tell he understands the environment that he's coming in the United States where we are polarized politics polarized eight. Polarized than a number of issues even Catholics are all right. Walking into debt payment. And I think he understands the power of his words. In the midst of that environment Catholics polarized by the gym but also more excited as I said about his visit for the first time in twenty years according to our. ABC news poll a majority of American Catholics feel the church is in touch with the. That's right you know. One of the reasons is that says that before he's speaking very bluntly clearly he said it didn't in US are me and humorous humorously sound like a good pastor. And in an interview an American magazine he said he thought that we spoke too much about issues like of course and thinks that there are only once to refocus with a little bit. On some of the more traditional teachings of the church not that those that the teachings are important but. He wants is the focus on the war and mercy and evidence that it's a changing of prairies and has a lot of his defenders make this point again and again he's not changing church doctrine these changing the emphasis correct he's changing he's not changed church doctrine at all he's changing I think that the tone and the -- that's the emphasis in terms that. What issues he's bringing out but also the tone of welcome and mercy and compassion and inclusion which is what people are responding. We are watching the red carpet unfurled right now. There's an invited crowd out there at Andrews from the diocese of Washington also from Andrews Air Force Base is that the president will be greeting. The Pope along with mrs. Obama Malia and Sasha both Obama girls will be there as well today along with this is Marian Robinson. The first lady's mother's going to be there as well the Pope will be greeted. By four young children selected from four different Catholic schools in Washington DC area first. Third fifth and seventh grade and by the morning also see. A gathering of cardinals out there in the. Yes cardinals and bishops you know they're going obviously as Catholics but we have to remember those are going to visit their Boston and I saw something of a man. They're going to visit their boss and he will be meeting the Pope will be meeting with the bishops at saint Matthews a tomorrow he's been quite stern at times. This priests and bishops. He has his Christmas message to the Vatican fury he talked about the different ills that affected the bishops and cardinals there. And for example clerical and political spiritual alzheimer's though. A lot of people are expecting the US congress message to be strong but I would imagine that actually benefits of the bishops may be the most line as. Watching the honor guard our wanted to quickly ABC's Pierre Thomas in Washington bureau you see the crowds coming out to greet the Pope also extraordinary security precautions being taken. Yes Stewart's security will be unprecedented thank inauguration skills security playing out of more days in three cities fifty different agencies thousands of police and federal agencies the biggest challenge this pope's unpredictability. That he's prone to stop it is located wading into crowds. What to Wear the spirit leads if you will but for a few days his security rival the president of the United States father mark make on the full of surprises. If that's true and you know he is not afraid to shake things that he's not afraid to break ranks and of somebody or a little a look at them up and hugged him and teachers just as much by his gestures as by his words. He's also. Address this but. This isms. Six if you eat this it. Was said. Frankly it my age I don't have a lot to lose. There are now opening the door. A shepherd one. Protocols. The Vatican and the State Department will be greeting the plane as well. What will be staying at the papal residence. Here in Washington DC also in New York as well as always gonna say in Vatican residence. Right that's Lebanon's future with the Nuncio or the investor that that it will stay and that's in the sense that all. This was always right across the street. Vice president says. Vice president by its we mean now this the only Catholic vice president we've ever had. And we'll. Have another visit opinions Anthony and. First this is his first trip to America Telus father Martin quickly here adjustment he is also against what would have been meaning of that for a. Well it's Catholic religious or like the Franciscans dominicans and that it victims that we take vows of poverty chastity and obedience so one of the things that's unusual that you have someone who has lived about property. For most of his life which is different votes. And there we see you right there is little rain begins to fall and has been no umbrellas yet for the first family there they are present Obama. Sasha next to him the First Lady and Malia followed by the Biden's as well big smile. I'm the president's face. Who got this is the kind of thing presence. At some of this is a great moment for him and it's actually agree it was a great would that serve in his first meeting at the Vatican a year ago which as you know led to. To what happened in Cuba over the course of the last few. Think with those little children from this news asking him how exciting news that. Once in a life and experience I think I see the Pope waiting there at the top of the stage and the unmistakable white roads when I guess we're way. You're saying father Martin he wears the same thing almost every. Yes he does and you know even the accident that sleeve of his passing is great Everett at the the expense of riches and he's trying to live as simply as he did when he was that judgment you know as much as you can when your. Oh yeah and some may think nominations is gonna have a United States are much more elaborate than when he's living in Enron collapse absolutely lives in the hospital in Rome with 300 other people and he was shown the Apostolic Palace where he was supposed to live. And he said supposedly 300 people that live here. And here he comes now Pope Francis. Taking no chances and that's happened. Yeah I'm confuse. And the sooners on television news whole life and right there. This woman steps and listen. It. There's been practicing using. Not native to him and yet right next advances translator. Right next. Showtime and Malia. His mother. It's a good moment. Get points for that's it. I didn't go to Smollins has for the bottom. This also the the vice president's granddaughters Mazie infinity and. The Pope will go from here. In the Washington DC two months. Who also. Tomorrow meet with the president at the White House news bishops as we said at saint Matthew's cathedral. And then. Do you celebrate a mass tomorrow evening for the skill basilica of the national shrine of the immaculate conception Catholic university Cecilia Vega. Is there right now so many preparations for this. Jorge the excitement out here is overwhelming and act the bells have been ringing we're not sure it's because the Pope is touchdown but they started when he got here. Note how the Pope will see this excitement when he comes at Catholic university and it is pass they're bear caves all over this area because of the asked what they expect that here. 25000. Ticket hit the tears I need that there is clearly a feat of spears out here. You've made to the apostolic nine future at the Pope is headed to after he had to data and it everything he did he. Thank you ride it eat it date there are people lined up already outside that house singing a little nugget of what happens when he gets their you know. These are a lot is secret but hope Trenton actually. With the Vatican who aren't we know that he had sheets with the people press dot net and I have a special actress reflected. Memory foam urgent need a really good night's sleep after you at the anchor. I it's the president greets them talk. I talk to folks at the White House and their theory since. Staying out of harm's way another. Currency how many messages they don't want way of what the folks doing and they don't feel like. They're using the hoping someone or they don't want to feel like they're throwing. I think it's that she did all. Herman and then there's something to love them something to hate. Some sports books and he's gonna see some. Senator probably going to be directed. And that unknown why don't fight game they're there is the Pope meeting as schoolchildren and Catholic schools. The game Washington DC one from the first one from the third one from the fifth. One from the seven day. It seems most comfortable with the kids. Image green White House. Is going to have them one of them that the public can come. As he does say he's parade around me I'll watch my news. Hispanic pass through. City Hall. To show how important it is to his food community. Okay that who. Thousands of immigrants and in some ways is to schoolchildren. Typical car wash and in New York. As well he'll plus rejected what is home. Gone to the margins as it speeds but he was saying that he doesn't like to be kind of and then. He doesn't like these that last hope and they'll see their and he was once quoted as saying in the Philippines the mother doesn't isn't her children in a glass box. So call me decide dean game. He's also going to prisoners. To visit prisoners in Philadelphia that's gonna be part of this lose it. And and actually the good the business the focus here for a father mark is that church conference and it. It is it's. It's the world media families in Philadelphia that's actually something that hope that it was invited to do so believe there is no phone Benedict had done but he. He figured while he was here you know he really didn't. New York and Washington. Bone the United Nations Jamison. Of two million people expected in Philadelphia. As well for that conference the Pope has a packed schedule this is longest. A trip ten days overall including a time. In Cuba. I don't know Terry Moran Terry is still what is your on the plane with the Pope as we see him walking Andrews Air Force Base privately speaking with the president. What else re able to learn. I should cherries and is making his way to live camera right now in the final more from him about that trip into the United States. Right now it course by the mourn the people coming out of. That this it in Cuba where he met the leaders there as well and ended his. That's not to shake things up there. He did he was trying to provide a kind gentle message and gentle encouragement ones that yesterday I believe was a very different kind of revolution revolution. Tenderness I think one of the most. Incredible sites for me though is that huge picture. Oh Jesus Christ with the words come to me in Spanish main enemy. Right in revolution square an exit picture chaebol are so. Now that's a revolution of its own thing. If any went to our lady of charity today and thank in his sermon the grandmothers. Who had kept the church alive. And that's a way of of not doing him to rent eating at the Castro's but they did killed the church for decades including Christmas was. Not allowed to be celebrated until John Paul went. And so this was a way of saying I don't know how the troops lived in Cuba through those generations it was through the grandmothers it's now. To the children. He will have many moments here in the United States to send messages to Americans American Catholics. And the world as I say we are going to be covering it every step of the way I want to go back out ABC's Terry Moran who was on the plane. Lived with the Pope coming in at Terry more insights from that press conference. Well it a couple of a couple of things one I'm that's question. Are you still a Catholic essentially putting in a very pointed way the conservative concerns about as well the first thing that was you know. I talked to a cardinal. Who was talking to a woman and she came to this cardinal and said is there such a thing as an anti Pope is there such a thing as the anti Christ. And the pope's car culprits are what are you talking about she says I think this Pope. What might be the antichrist because it doesn't Wear the red shoes. And that was a wave him dismissing the question but also. Emphasizing he doesn't go into the big formalities the her mind line clubs the red shoes. This is a man who everyone around the world knows and likes to live simply. He genuinely just now he likes to live simply well. One of the things that strikes yet when you're right up close to the teeth of he's a big guy he's he's put on some weight during the course of newspapers there were some concerns about that. You'll see sometimes when he's sitting for a long time. The F Lombard pain and and he'll shift around quite a bit because of that so it's not entirely simply but certainly doesn't go into the red shoes. They hate that he's the man who is trying to communicate very directly. That their that there is a wave. To walk the walk of the Christian right and he's trying to do it himself. He is doing himself an of course by the Martin. If all goes back I think probably the most memorable phrase. Of his papers and who am I did she lives those words ringing out all around. That's absolutely right I think those must fight mode five most famous words he has said and will say. And that communicated not only gays lesbians but really to everyone who spoke to some chanted we're separated from the church you're welcome. Right and this is no longer. A person from whom you're going to hear and a nation's or judgment. So that mercy compassion great in this agency cars so I agree. I think theme is mercy one of the big questions. Coke is what is the lingering effect. Going to be so many disaffected Catholics here in the united ceased operation disaffected Catholics almost as large as the population church. Well we don't see. At the moment have a measurable. Francis affect all those Jesuits says that teachers. Actually done it's it. But. He can't hurt. And people getting. Issues beside he's. And especially mercy. It is so important he's said the woman who's had an abortion. Can go to confession to her local priest and being forgiven instead of going to the bishop been having some impossible thing. For her and kiss his compassionate wounds about that which so smoothly. We he says for these movements often existential. Question. I'm Aaron terrible pain as they make this decision so does not just saying it was not saying abortions are right but the country's and you get to confess. But he was also can be forgiven you can be forgiven and I understand that you might be an offense. Well he's trying to move the church that was a church about the judge Richard mercy and understanding I find it fascinating. Leads a hierarchical institution that every step he takes. He's breaking it down hierarchical institution if he's trying to push our outward. He's trying to get more power to local he's trying to let them develop where they are and that's. In a per person heads an institution he's actually transforming that institution in Lancaster question for you father mark how much do you think the cardinals who. And has anything they've chosen because the holy spirit who couldn't should shock and chooses. The Pope but did you think they got what they expected it. I don't think he's what to expect I think they expected someone they knew art cart Albert polio from Gwinnett Cyrus. As someone who is an apostle or someone you get things done the cleanup the Vatican. But they didn't expect this revolution didn't expect the outreach they didn't expect this transformation. As you were saying and I would say. They forgot they elected a jesuit. That's a transformation of the church when he did speak for a moment also about the transformation. In the Pope and himself you know by reputation for all of his years in Argentina something of dour man. Not known for this man of exceptional warmth and reaching out. He and now we seem all the time a huge smile on the State's well and they say that friends of mine who know him say that in fact when he was cardinal in Buenos Aires you know who's always devoted to work hard worker and very eyes. But this warm and sort of Fuzzy moments physicals that he's happy grazing people is new. And the Pope has said to friends. That down you know he felt something come over when he was elected and you know we called the great thing lost some Catholic Church in. He's transformed and I would say that in the night he was elected when you bow your head and ask one billion people to pray you something's gonna happen something that. Arnold world here that cardinal archbishop of Washington. As said yes today he was one of the electors. And he was asked that question were you surprised me said. Well the first surprise was since taking the name France's and that's what we got an understanding that we were him for something of Iraq. Terry Moran even traveling above even covering the Pope is a chief foreign correspondent. As well I mention this bill with father Martin earlier but. We know the Pope doesn't do too many ABC did that press conference of the all brief one. On the plane in part we know also as he comes united say he's not really comfortable. With English at all but he's been practicing it quite hard especially on the senate speeches that he's gonna get at the congress. And at the White House tomorrow. He is going to speak in English here but from our written tax George he was asked today in his. Question and answer session with us in the back of the blame people they serve the dinner are the large budget that lost track of time would you take a question in English. And and the pope's is none on and prices English is not my strong stomach strong but he wins he will. You will read. He will read texts in English because after all he's trying to connect with Americans and he's got this tightrope that you all are talking about that he asked to walk. Between pushing this progressives sounding social event. It has been keeping a traditional Catholics on board who fear as he was directly asked that that he may not still the 100% a cap. And by the mining has. Face some resistance he's he the president leaving Andrews now. Where that would that would the Pope from and his air force base he has based on resistance from the hiring came church and from some of the faithful. He has I think more from summit that they need Jesus faced resistance and you know the boat that says things the hard truth particularly income inequality the way we treat. The environment that we retreat migrants and you know I think whenever you talk about. Income in the courts a threat to some of the powerful people and I think he understands that echoes the terrorist. Christos it is sexual abuse scandal here in the United States also such a star. And had disaffected so many Catholics a lot of people were watching to see what the process of. Right whether he meets with victims of sex acts. It was not only as a moral star huge morals but an economic. And and here is a Pope is saying it. The bush should be taking care. And millions and millions of dollars that could have been spent for the board have been spent on legal since witches is appalling case. A lot of a lot of archbishops and bishops as well father Martin almost shame I think their access. Well. You know I think when you see the Pope driving as little crummy car and living in his tiny little. Apartment because all of us to try to look since I'm not feel the same way we were talking like you get about. How he is encouraged everybody to live were simple lifestyle which is appropriate. That's part of this. World oil and that's a face resistance to have made an impact Jim Pugh a recent study. More than 60%. Of Catholics said. That they thought. Who kidnapped weren't taking here. As an essential component of the policies. And I'm not sure that the nation and I think it. The lasting impacts of this case the city. Is considered to be very hurt another poll but the red shoes back but once you take the red shoes off it's very hard to go back. Extravagance. And they see in sort of was proves your point. Father Martin the president and indicate the Pope getting to pretty simple Fiat car. Right there I'm sure we'll have all the necessary protections. He does try to live at least squeezing in their. I heard he has his crew as. Terry saying he has been a lot of Italian popes that's right when Hamas hostile. You know Frontline thome works the attic and but was late for meetings once because he's that I had held the red lightning would strike is a little from our. And so this is someone who is used to that he was he's taking the subway and when desires is a jesuit. He took about fiery he owned nothing and this is who is and I think it's a great integrated its. You know. Silent night. It's one of the reasons so interest in for intentionally to be Pope of course they time it takes in outlawed it's. Saint Ignatius founders say that that jesuit shouldn't even be bishops. Yeah weeks we make a promise that our final vows never to strive for or envisioned. Bombs that hope. Also promised that we see the other two striving for that here to turn him in Suffolk Suffolk writing in the that would yeah who didn't yet. Grade. And it's rolling out. License yet that is not something you're used to seeing right there must be very bright. Once again he is teaching by gestures and he knows what he's doing it. It not only flows out of unnaturally but it'll succeed. Tennessee where he can ask us to strive for higher office in that it. He suggested. Well you know what happens this certainly the Pope calls on their interest to become bishops and we are supposed except on the underpants then that is the Pope as a orders to become bishops. That's how he became a bishop art issue when Cyrus and then. They elected him and one of the big jumps the Jesuits was what was the security that the judgments of Peter the hope that. The judgments appeared Rome said. Yes it is here. But it face that air conditioned. John canal was occasionally and he had to give up his judgment stages to become obvious to free speech since. The Pope with a final wave the crowd there as he rolls out of Andrews Air Force Base heading in Washington DC. Tax schedule ahead over the next several days Hume United States tomorrow morning at the White House who didn't formally at the White House. By the president they will both speak. Tomorrow morning. After that a parade ground who looks through the streets of Washington is cooking said millions will be coming out for that as well. I'm hopeful speeches bishops at saint Matthew's cathedral tomorrow. In Washington DC and the mass celebrating mass at the basilica of the national shrine. At a Catholic university Cecilia Vega is out there for us right now. They've absorbed in Baghdad at the Pope is here. George they'll wait gag you've been making here you guys talk and thinking about this group of friars that I met with this morning at a monastery here. In Washington they are having a viewing party and like a Super Bowl party watching this Pope. Lay ends today that in the excitement out here you know yes there is this rock star. Hope air about statements. People here are very excited as it did to feel its hunt for the very first time in this country but Catholics in this. With the colossus yeah. Right they're talking about the excitement so many here facing as they wait for the Pope for them and got massive programs and yes I think only four of his events are going to be in English and I think it makes sense not only because something like thirty or 40% of the Catholic Church United States is Hispanic Spanish speaking. But that's what he's most comfortable and I think when he reached for attacks I think he gets a little doubt our will be interesting in congress. If he's reading something that's very dramatic or some pointed it might sound very cash all. Of the first English man has ever said. And saves America. He was on Latin that in lieu English speaking American sentiment silent. It was a jesuit priests in sixteen. 34. Who said that crews Manson there will be a cross from that very madness that is that's news. Will be of course but in some ways that it can Hispanic. Part of teachers the most Byron part of the church right now in the south and the West End and this isn't some with good third of the Washington DC diocese is spent and brother Martin the Pope looked to speed boat that growing vibrant part of the church. And most from parts of the church here in the northeast the Irish Italian. German. Eastern European minister parts of the church that are actually diminish. That's right it's an interesting balancing act but yeah he does that a lot of times and in other countries as well you know whether minority populations that are exploding in at again and some more traditional populations diminishing but. He has a good sense of what's going on in the United States finally from the non sealed but from a lot of its close advisors like Arnold Sean O'Malley and carnal world here in Washington so. Before he goes he gets a sort of overview what are the issues and to. And you will see the fruits of that over these next several days tomorrow morning beginning in Washington at the White House thank you all. Very much is going to be exciting trip looking for to covering it. For all you know we get the latest. On world news tonight when David Muir in just a little bit will be back tomorrow on good morning American of course coverage of the post trip to the White House see that. This has been a special report. From BBC news.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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