(Vatican Radio) Italy held a state funeral in pouring rain on Tuesday for some of the victims of an earthquake which levelled mountain communities last week, killing at least 292 people.
Hundreds of mourners sheltered in a marquee or under umbrellas at the service for 28 victims, including two children, in the outskirts of the town of Amatrice.
“The earthquake doesn't kill; what kills is the works of men,” Bishop Domenico Pompili of Rieti said during his homily, referring to inadequate construction techniques that may have been to blame for deadly building collapses during the quake. “To desert these places would be to kill them a second time,” the Bishop added.
After the funeral, Italian premier Matteo Renzi said the town would be rebuilt “piece by piece”.
On hand to concelebrate the Mass was Archbishop Konrad Krajewski, the Papal Almoner who frequently stands in for the Pope when the Holy Father wants to show his personal closeness to people in need. Pope Francis has promised to visit the quake zone soon.