Pope Benedict XVI made a television history with Q&A session. Pope answered to the questions from the public around the world.
The Pope responded to video questions about the tsunami in Japan, the civil war in the Ivory Coast and whether a person in a vegetative state still has a soul.
AdvertisementHe fielded seven questions, out of more than 2,000 that were submitted when the programme was first announced earlier this year.
The initiative was seen as an attempt by the Vatican to repair the pontiff's image after a series of public relations debacles, including rows over the use of condoms to prevent Aids, the rehabilitation of a Holocaust-denying British bishop and the Church's much-criticised response to paedophile priest scandals.
Responding to the first question, he told a seven-year-old Japanese girl left traumatised by the country's earthquake and tsunami that he had no answers for why there is so much suffering and pain in the world.
"I also have the same questions: why is it this way? Why do you have to suffer so much while others live in ease?" the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.
"And we do not have the answers but we know that Jesus suffered as you do, an innocent," he said.
Next, a woman whose 40-year-old son has been in a vegetative state since Easter 2009 as a result of multiple sclerosis, asked him if her son's soul had left his body.
Benedict assured her that his soul was "still present in his body," comparing the situation to a guitar with broken strings.
The 84-year-old pontiff also responded to a question from a Muslim woman affected by the civil war in Ivory Coast, urging "all sides" to stop fighting.
The interview was recorded last week in a Vatican library and aired on Italy's public broadcaster, RAI to conincide with Good Friday and the moment of Christ's death at 3pm.