tIn a papal first, Benedict XVI today went on Italian state TV to respond to seven questions from the general public, chosen from among 3,000 submissions from all around the world. Questioners included a seven-year-old girl from Japan, a Muslim woman from the Ivory Coast, and an Italian mother whose son has been in a vegetative coma since 2009.
The program aired in the afternoon Rome time, so that Benedict ended up at roughly 3:00 pm, the time Christian tradition regards as the hour of Jesus’ death on Good Friday.
tThe pope was given the questions in advance and pre-taped his replies in the Vatican. Benedict was shown on a big-screen TV during the Italian broadcast.
tThe following is the transcript of the Q&A session released by the Vatican.