By JOHN L. ALLEN JR.
On the papal plane en route to the Czech Republic yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI took five questions from reporters. The following is an NCR translation of a transcript from that exchange provided by the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.
Among other things, Benedict XVI discusses the experience of eastern European nations under Communism, the role of ethics in the global economy, his wrist fracture during his summer vacation, and the upcoming second volume of his book on Jesus and the gospels.
Your Holiness, as you said last Sunday during the Angelus address, the Czech Republic is not only geographically but also historically at the heart of Europe. Can you explain what you meant, and tell us how and why you believe this visit can be important for the entire continent, in terms of its cultural and spiritual journey, and also the political task of constructing the European Union?