Pope to be quizzed on faith in TV show
FOR the first time in the history of the Vatican, the Pope will respond to questions about his faith on a TV programme.
The Pope will appear on a religious-affairs programme called 'In His Image', which will be aired on Good Friday. It will be broadcast at 2.10pm in Italy (1.10pm GMT), the time recognised by the Roman Catholic Church as the moment that Christ died on the cross.
A website will be opened on Sunday to which Catholics can send questions. Three of these will be chosen and put to the pontiff.
The show, on Italy's state broadcaster RAI, will be pre-recorded at the Vatican.
Benedict XVI, pictured, has just written the second of two volumes on Christ's life, 'Jesus of Nazareth', which is due to be published on Thursday.
Excerpts of the Pope's new book on Jesus were released last week. In it, he insisted that blame for Christ's death lay not with the Jewish people as a whole but with a handful of Jewish priests and "aristocracy" who demanded his crucifixion.
The Pope's unequivocal exoneration was welcomed by Jewish groups and Israel.
"I commend you for forcefully rejecting a false charge that has been a foundation for the hatred of the Jewish people for many centuries," Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, said in a statement. (© Daily Telegraph, London)