The Pope on Suffering and the Soul
- Pope Benedict admits there isn't a full answer
to suffering in rare TV interview
The Pope has spoken about the tsunami in Japan,
conflict in Iraq, the civil war in Ivory Coast
and victims of multiple sclerosis in an unprecedented
television appearance due to be broadcast in
Italy on Good Friday.
More than 3,000 questions were submitted after
the initiative was announced a month ago Photo: REUTERS
By Nick Squires, in Rome 12:01PM BST 22 Apr 2011
For the first time in the history of the papacy,
Benedict XVI agreed to take part in a programme
in which he took questions from ordinary Catholics.
More than 3,000 questions were submitted after the
initiative was announced a month ago, of which seven
were chosen and put to the 84-year-old pontiff.
One of the most moving was put by the parents of a
40 year old man who has suffered from multiple
sclerosis since 1993 and has been in a vegetative
state for the last two years.
Francesco and Maria Teresa Grillo asked Benedict
whether the soul of their son Francesco remained
within his body or was elsewhere given his degenerating
The Pope, speaking from his office in the Apostolic
Palace in the Vatican, told them: "Certainly his soul
is still present in his body.
"The situation is a little like a guitar which has
had its strings broken and can no longer be played....
the soul cannot be heard but it remains within.
"I'm also sure that this hidden soul can feel
your love, even if it cannot understand the details,
the words. But it feels the presence of love."
The parents' round-the-clock care for their son
was "a testimony to faith in God, to respect for
human life," the Pope said.
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