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VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Benedict XVI told a mother that her comatose son can feel her “presence” and “love,” even if he is “unable to understand the details” or her “words.”
Benedict answered questions in a rare Good Friday (April 22) appearance on the Italian State TV program “A Sua Immagine” (In His Image).

The pope answered seven questions from viewers from around the world, touching upon subjects ranging from the persecution of Christians in the Middle East to the Japanese tsunami, from conflict resolution in Ivory Coast to the sense of human suffering.

Answering a 7-year-old Japanese girl who asked about the pain and death shewitnessed during the March earthquake, the pope answered: “I also have the same questions. Why is it this way? Why do you have to suffer so much while others live in ease?”

“We do not have the answers,” he conceded, adding that Christians nevertheless know that Jesus, too, suffered and that “one day” they will “understand that this suffering was not empty, it wasn’t in vain, but behind it was a good plan, a plan of love.”

Responding to a Muslim woman from the Ivory Coast who asked about the civil war that has shattered her country, the pope said “violence never comes from God, never helps bring anything good.”

Benedict also rebuffed a proposal to renew the world’s consecration to the Virgin Mary, saying such an act has already been performed and it’s now time to “live it, to make it real.”

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