Hardball with Chris Matthews, Transcript 09/24/15
(POPE FRANCIS`S ADDRESS)
CHRIS MATTHEWS, HOST: And we want to take this opportunity to talk
about what the Holy Father was addressing there.
Monsignor John Enzler joins us right now.
And, Monsignor, you handle – you run Catholic Charities in
When he talks about the work of the church and the work of the nuns,
which has been overlooked a bit the last few days, tell us about that work,
because it`s great.
MONSIGNOR JOHN ENZLER, PRESIDENT, CATHOLIC CHARITIES: Right.
Wasn`t it beautiful to see how the sisters were applauded so loudly?
MATTHEWS: Back row.
ENZLER: Yes, they were sitting in the back of the church, but they
were really applauded for what they do. And it was spontaneous.
The priests – he challenged the priests. It was a sermon to the
priests, saying, you know, leisure, we need some time for that, but don`t
be caught up in that, looking at material things, and don`t be caught up in
the things that I think knock us off-track.
He did say the real ministry is taking care of the orphan, and taking
care of the immigrant, and take care of the poor and take care of those in
need, the homeless. And that is what we do at Catholic Charities every
single day. So, when you hear him say that, it preaches to me about what
we are trying to accomplish.
MATTHEWS: Well, you don`t need it, because I know the work you do,
Talk about what you do with addicts and stuff, because that was
mentioned today. And I know the work of Catholic Charities, people who
become alcoholics, they`re drug-addicted, and how you – I went down there
one day years ago and saw how you put them back on their feet, these
ENZLER: With a special program. It`s a program at one of our floors
over at 801 East, which is at Saint Elizabeth`s campus. There are about 50
men right there right now who are in recovery.
They can`t stay if they start drinking or doing drugs again. But they
really want to make a difference. And we`re making progress. One by one,
two by two, three by three, we make progress with them individually. And
the key is to get them off the drugs and get them a job. And that`s what
happens to many, many, many men and women every single year. It`s really -
- it`s meet them where they are and then…
MATTHEWS: Meet them where they are.
MICHAEL STEELE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: And that`s one of the things
that is not very much appreciated by a lot of folks, particularly those in
The role that a Catholic Charities plays in a city, in a county, in a
state is enormously important, because, if the day ever came, God forbid,
where Father hung it up and said, you know, we are not doing this anymore,
guess what would happen? A lot of good people who need services would fall
off the grid.
So, Catholic Charities plays this important role of solidifying the
community and bringing us all into awareness that we still have the least
among us, and here is how we can help them. And that speaks exactly to
what the pope was saying here and said for the last few days here in
MATTHEWS: I just know you feed a lot of people.
ENZLER: Actually, we fed last year 4.2 million people.
MATTHEWS: In D.C.?
STEELE: That`s D.C., but that`s not nationally.
ENZLER: D.C. and surrounding area. That would be our homeless
shelters. That would be our programs in a couple different wards. That
would be our food banks.
MATTHEWS: And you don`t discriminate.
ENZLER: Oh, never a question about what their faith is. Only
question is, one, how can we help you? That`s the question.
MATTHEWS: George Weigel, help us here about how it all fits together,
the pro-life view of the church and the way it treats people throughout
their lives who have needs.
GEORGE WEIGEL, NBC NEWS VATICAN ANALYST: Oh, it is exactly the point
that the Holy Father made in Congress today, Chris, as you remember. And
if I`m right, if my memory is right, it got the biggest applause line.
The church teaches the dignity of human life at every stage of
existence and every condition of existence. But I think the pope was also
stressing tonight that all of us need to reexamine the freneticness of 21st
What he said to the priests about the need to take some rest in the
Lord, that really applies to all of us.
I think this is an insight he has into our cultural situation that we
should pay some attention to, 21st century life is getting pretty
fragmented, pretty isolated and he is calling us to a deeper sense of
solidarity, a deeper sense of calm in our lives, and that`s a good thing it
seems to me.
MATTHEWS: I think we will remember those religious women in the last
row there expressing themselves. They wanted some attention, some
recognition, and the pope gave them that. Let`s get back to the vespers.
CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN, ARCHBISHOP OF NEW YORK: Welcome.
Once you entered those famous doors on fifth avenue, you became an
official New Yorker.
But you already had a home in our hearts and souls. This great
cathedral is in the middle of midtown Manhattan. Geographically and
spiritually, we are here in the heart of New York City.
New Yorkers and people from all over the world come to St. Patrick`s
cathedral to pray, to cry, to rejoice, to sense God`s love and grace and
mercy and the mass and the sacraments, and this evening our bishops, our
priests and deacons and seminarians, religious sisters and brothers, our
wonderful lay leaders, our civic officials, our friends and neighbors have
come to pray with you and for you.
(SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
Now, for the past three years we have all worked very hard to repair
and renew and restore our beloved St. Patrick`s Cathedral. Thanks to the
workers whom you saw outside and to the extraordinary generosity and
leadership of so many people here. We have seen this repair and
restoration as an invitation from Jesus to the spiritual renewal of
ourselves and his church as you have asked. Your presence this happy
evening renews all of us and provides a special blessing to all our work
for this cathedral we so love.
And now we ask you Holy Father at the end of this vespers to bless our
repaired cathedral. Thank you for stopping by. Come back soon.
POPE FRANCIS: Lord, bless this church which we have been privileged
to build with your hand. May all who are here in faith to listen to your
word and celebrate your sacraments, experience the presence of Christ who
promised to be with those gathered in his name, for he lives and reigns
forever and ever.
MATTHEWS: We`re back with Monsignor John Enzler, who heads Catholic
Charities in Washington, D.C., and also Michael Steele, former chair of the
RNC, and our associate here.
So, tell us how this pageantry, this once-in-a-lifetime event fits
into the daily work of the Catholic Church. To you first, Monsignor.
ENZLER: The church is pretty gat ritual. It`s even better at doing
service. We do it once a week or twice a week at big churches.
But the real work of the church is as the pope said, go out in the
streets and make the difference. Your work I think takes place in
shelters, on the streets, in homes for people who need a place to live. It
takes place in front of people who are most in need.
The ritual`s great, and I love the ritual but that`s not the church.
That`s just a celebration.
MATTHEWS: It seems like we`re trying to get back in the Catholic
Church to a bit of a reformation in the sense of – start with the
archbishop from Boston, getting rid of the big fancy stuff.
MICHAEL STEELE, FORMER RNC CHAIR: Yes. I think it really is a call
to its simplicity. The simplicity of living of the gospel.
MATTHEWS: The Fiat.
STEELE: Right. The Fiat.
What a perfect contrast, these big bulky SUVs and then the fiat. And
it is a contrast that this pope is setting up for the world to see and
experience because it`s a reminder of who we are ultimately in the eyes of
God. We are simple. We are measured by what we do for each other, and
that calling is a special gift that the church reminds us of through
ritual. But also through what Father Enzler and Catholic Charities does
every day, reaching out to people, helping, healing, providing hope.
MATTHEWS: It`s interesting. It`s a different cultural. Even within
this country, the difference between this city, which thinks it`s a big
shot. New York it really acts like it.
MATTHEWS: Monsignor, this is big New York talking here. You saw
Senator Schumer there, De Blasio, the mayor, the governor, Governor Cuomo,
all right out there in front of that church being very political.
ENZLER: It`s a little different. It`s not the same here in
Washington. We`re much more interested in – we saw the ritual of course
but really how could we be a church, a community of believers? Our
parishes are important to us, real important. We don`t have quite the same
MATTHEWS: In New York it`s got this sort of – you see mostly
Catholics today but the events I`ve been to up there, a lot of Jewish guys,
big business guys, a lot of political guys. And Michael, it seems to be
part of the New York tradition to have a big Catholic event at St.
Patrick`s that everybody`s part of.
STEELE: Yes, that everybody`s a part of. And it is that drawing
center where people come and they experience the teachings, the faith, the
ritual of the church.
And what I love about, particularly this pope, is he imparts a little
of that to us. He gives it back to us in a way that says all these things
are fun but at the end of the day it`s what you`re going to do to help
MATTHEWS: I should say that when you visit New York, I`ve been saying
this about our town, monsignor, and our town, Michael, but when you go to
New York whatever your religion is, if you`re a lapsed Catholic especially,
you ought to go to St. Patrick`s.
STEELE: No question.
MATTHEWS: Give yourself 15, 20 minutes or a half hour and just save
one part of the day of getting away from the commerce and the money and the
racing around, I`m going to go to this beautiful place.
MATTHEWS: Feel the spirituality of this big wonderful building.
MATTHEWS: I salute the nuns who stood up in the back row. They were
there. Finally, we heard from them. I`m sure – I think he heard them. I
think the pope heard them.
Anyway, Michael Steele, sir. Thank you.
Monsignor John Enzler, you do so much great work for this city. Great
work all the time.
And, George Weigel (ph), who has been our intellectual leader and
spiritual leader all these days and will continue over the next two days to
Anyway, we continue now with “ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES”.
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