May 9, 2011

In an unprecedented TV appearance, Pope Benedict answered questions posed by Christians and non-Christians about global conflicts, interreligious relations and human suffering.

One of the most moving questions came from a seven-year-old Japanese girl who lost friends in the recent earthquake and tsunami and who asked: “Why do I have to be so afraid? Why do children have to be so sad? I’m asking the pope, who speaks with God, to explain it to me.”

In his response, pre-recorded and broadcast on Italian state television Good Friday, April 22, the pope assured the girl that one day she would understand better that “this suffering was not empty, it wasn’t in vain, but behind it was a good plan, a plan of love.

It is not chance.”

He said he had the same questions about why some people 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,” he said.