The Pope has called for society to reflect on the consequences of the Italian earthquake as investigations continue into whether poor construction was a factor.
Pope Benedict was making his first visit to the region since the quake struck killing close to 300 people. In the city of L’Aquila, which took the brunt of the tremor, he visited the destroyed basilica and prayed at the ruins of the university dormitory where eight students died. The Pope said: “This tragic event of the earthquake invites society and the Church to a deep reflection. As Christians we must ask ourselves: “What does Our Lord want to tell us with such a sad event?….But also as a civil society, we must also examine our consciences and make sure our level of responsibility doesn’t diminish.” He said L’Aquila, which means “eagle” in Italian, would be able to “fly again”. Magistrates are investigating whether some buildings adhered to strict anti-quake regulations. More than 60,000 people remain homeless after the disaster.