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Pope Benedict Answers Questions In First Televised Interview

David McAlpine |
April 22, 2011 | 6:11 p.m. PDT

Executive Producer
Pope Benedict XVI (Photo via Creative Commons).
Pope Benedict XVI (Photo via Creative Commons).
In his first televised question-and-answer session, Pope Benedict XVI spoke his thoughts and answered questions on Iraq and the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
The Pope's session was recorded last week in the Vatican and broadcast on Friday, on one of the holiest days of the Catholic calendar. The pope was seated behind the papal desk and addressed his audience by answering seven pre-selected questions among thousands submitted to the Vatican. 
Italy's state television service, RAI, selected the questions. One question, from a 7-year-old tsunami survivor, was hard for even the Pope to answer.
The Guardian reported:
"I am very frightened because the house where I felt safe really shook a lot and many children my age have died. I cannot go to play in the park. I want to know: why do I have to be so afraid? Why do children have to be so sad?" said seven-year-old Elena.
Benedict admitted: "I also have the same questions: why is it this way? Why do you have to suffer so much while others live in ease?
"And we do not have the answers, but we know that Jesus suffered as you do, an innocent, and that the true God who is revealed in Jesus is by your side."
Whether Elena was satisfied with that answer was unclear. But the studio audience gave the pope a hearty round of applause.
The interview was part of a show broadcast on RAI where panelists discussed the crucifixion of Jesus. In between the Pope's answers, panelists further discussed the issues brought up by the various questions. One question centered around faith in the Church.
The Irish Times reported:
Perhaps even more poignant was the second question from Italian woman Maria, mother of Francesco, a multiple sclerosis sufferer who has been in a coma for two years. Sitting beside her stricken adult son, she asked if his soul had left his body, given that he was no longer conscious.
“Certainly his soul is still present in his body. The situation, perhaps, is like that of a guitar whose strings have been broken and therefore can no longer play . . . He feels the presence of your love. Your presence, therefore, dear parents, dear mother, next to him for hours and hours every day, is the true act of a love of great value because this presence enters into the depth of that hidden soul.”
The Pope also addressed international issues and those living in war-torn countries. The Pope urged Christians in violent areas “to resist the temptation to emigrate, which is very understandable in the conditions they are living in.”



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