Pope: Where Is the Soul of a Comatose Person?
Addresses Japanese Child, Iraqi Christian, Ivorian Muslim
VATICAN CITY, APRIL 22, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI employed television to address people with a variety of crosses: a Japanese child traumatized by the earthquake, a persecuted Iraqi Christian, and a mother of a comatose man.
The Pope was featured today on a television program "A Sua Immagine" [In His Image] of the Italian channel RAI to answer seven questions from these people and others, including a Muslim woman from the Ivory Coast and Christians from Italy seeking deeper understanding of Christ's resurrection and Mary's role in our lives.
An Italian mother named Maria Teresa explained that her son, Francesco, "has been in a vegetative coma since Easter Sunday 2009." She asked the Holy Father, if her son's soul has "left his body, seeing that he is no longer conscious, or is it still near him?"
Benedict XVI assured the mother, "Certainly his soul is still present in his body."
He explained: "The situation, perhaps, is like that of a guitar whose strings have been broken and therefore can no longer play. The instrument of the body is fragile like that; it is vulnerable, and the soul cannot play, so to speak, but remains present."
The Pope assured the mother that "this hidden soul feels your love deep down, even if unable to understand the details."
He continued: "Your presence, therefore, dear parents, dear mother, next to him for hours and hours every day, is the true act of a love of great value because this presence enters into the depth of that hidden soul.
"Your act is thus also a witness of faith in God, of faith in man, of faith, let us say, of commitment, to life, of respect for human life, even in the saddest of situations."
The Pontiff encouraged Maria Teresa to "carry on, to know that you are giving a great service to humanity with this sign of faith, with this sign of respect for life, with this love for a wounded body and a suffering soul."