BY Ian Dunn | February 14 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

18-POPE-ANGELUS

Pope calls for solidarity towards Roma people

Parents of four gypsy children killed in blaze at Vatican yesterday

The parents of four gypsy children killed in a blaze as they slept in an illegal settlement in Rome have heard Pope Benedict XVI call for more solidarity toward Roma people.

The Holy Father issued the appeal during his Sunday appearance to the public in St Peter’s Square. (above) Among those in the square were the children’s parents, who embraced each other for comfort.

The Pope said the death of the four children ‘makes us to ask ourselves if a more supportive and fraternal society, more coherent in love, that is more Christian, may not have been able to avoid this tragic fact.’

The fire last Monday night, which erupted as the children slept in a shack, provided a graphic example of Italy’s struggle to deal with the hundreds of gypsies who live in often illegal settlements on city outskirts. Many of the gypsies, also known as Roma, are Italian citizens.

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