This is a partial transcript of "Special Report With Brit Hume," April 8, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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JOSEPH CARDINAL RATZINGER, DEAN, COL LEGE OF CARDINALS (through translator): Our pope, and we all know this, never wanted to make his own life secure, to keep it for himself. He wanted to give us himself unreservedly to the very last moment.


JIM ANGLE, GUEST HOST: Part of the homily today from the pope's funeral Mass.

Pope John Paul II was no ordinary man. But as it turns out, he was no ordinary pope either. He steered the church back to fundamental beliefs, reached out to more people in more places than any other leader, and finessed the world of politics with a firm hand but a light touch.

In all, a truly remarkable legacy, one captured in "Pope John Paul II." Written by John Moody, papal biographer and senior vice president of news editorial for the FOX News Channel. He joins me now from New York.

Welcome, John.


ANGLE: Let me ask you first. People are always saddened when they lose someone beloved. But in this case, this was also a celebration of a remarkable life. What was it about this man that made him so loved, not only by people of his faith, but people of other faiths and even people of -- some people of no faith?

MOODY: I think it was his sincerity. Whether you liked him or not, whether believed in the church's teachings on moral and religious issues, you know where Pope John Paul II stood. He could be a remarkably canny politician. But at the same time, he had strong stands. He very seldom wavered in those stands. And by the way, when he was wrong, he said I was wrong. He apologized more than any pope ever apologized for misdeeds of the church in the past.

He was honest, sincere, the kind of person I think people of all faiths, and as you say no faith, knew they could do business with.

ANGLE: Well, you know, many people disagreed with him on a number of issues, as you suggested. But still, there was a great affection and admiration for him. What was it about him? He took very firm stands on moral issues, and yet people who differed with him very deeply, still admired him and admire him to this day.

MOODY: He had one of those personalities that transcended politics. He never got along with the communists, but he managed a way of working with them. And at the same time, subtly undermining them. He could come to an agreement with the communists in Poland when he was an archbishop there. And at the same time, he'd give a homily to the regular people and say, don't be afraid of these people. We're going to be here after they're gone.

So he had a way of not being offensive, not being ugly. But at the same time, very effective and promoting his own points of views.

ANGLE: Yes. One of the interesting things about him was that he was not only a missionary in the religious sense, but also went to many different places in the world and met with political leaders, seemed to see that as an important thing to do. And I gather from talking with you, he had a political dexterity that would have been the envy of any politician.

MOODY: Probably best shown in the year 2000, when he went to the Middle East. This was a life-long dream of his to go to Jerusalem. He managed to traverse the political minefields there. And nobody needs a lesson in how dangerous it is there. He prayed at the Western Wall. He visited Yasser Arafat. He went to Jordan and talked to the king there.

He gave offense to no one. He recognized the rights of Israel to exist as a state. He said that the Palestinians were getting a raw deal and needed to be treated better. And he talked to Jordan -- Jordan's king and said you're doing the best you can, please keep it up. It was a remarkable performance that really set new ground for the Holy See and did it without offense.

ANGLE: And he was always willing to take a firm hand with politicians the world over, whether it was President Bush or Fidel Castro.

MOODY: He made very few bones about how he felt about the war in Iraq. When President Bush visited him, he essentially gave him a talking to and said I don't like this. I certainly don't like the abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison.

The president listened respectfully, as was wise to do. He talked to Fidel Castro. While he never complained ant leaders' personal behavior, he left no doubt with Castro that he expected things to go a little bit easier for that country's overwhelmingly Catholic population. And they did.

ANGLE: John, the church now turns to selecting a new leader. What are the issues before the next pope? And what does that suggest about the kind of leader the cardinals may be looking for?

MOODY: I think the Catholic Church knows that its area of growth is in the developing word: Latin America, Africa, Asia. These are places where they see a future in terms of garnering more souls. While at the same time, they have to keep some sort of relationship with the industrialized world, where Catholic membership is not as secure, because that's where a lot of the money comes from.

So I think the next pope, whether that man is from the developed world, or simply has a good relationship with the developing world, has to straddle those two worlds and know how to get the message across. Both to bring more souls into the church from the Third World, where they're out there, and to keep relations with the countries that have the money.

ANGLE: Now, Pope John Paul II selected all but three of the cardinals who will be voting on the next pope. Does that suggest that there will be some continuity between his papacy and the next one?

MOODY: He packed that College of Cardinals to his own set of specifications.


MOODY: FDR would have loved to have seen this guy at work. Yes, I think that's exactly what he was doing. And that's part of his political brilliance, by the way. He did this. Everyone knew what was going on. Everyone knew that the next College of Cardinals, that would elect the next pope, was going to be largely appointed by John Paul II. And because they were appointed by him, probably would not have fund mental disagreements with his points of view.

So whatever it is most likely going to be someone who feels he owes a debt of gratitude to the pope, and is likely to carry out similar, if not identical policies.

ANGLE: Now, do any of the old controversies in the church get reopened? Or are the positions of the church now pretty solid because of what you were just talking about?

MOODY: Well, on the moral issues that seem to obsess Americans, the socio-sexual issues: women priests, homosexuality, abortion, there's going to be no movement at all. This pope -- this previous pope made that clear. He laid out his beliefs in a way that will make it very difficult for any future pope to make a large change in church theological teachings on these matters. So in those terms, I think there will be very little movement.

ANGLE: OK. John Moody, vice president of FOX News for Editorial, thank you very much. And author of a biography called "Pope John Paul II."

John, thanks for joining us.

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