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A painful time in Pozzuoli

· Pope Francis expresses his condolences to the victims of the bus accident ·

Today is a national day of mourning in Italy on the occasion of the funeral for the victims of the bus accident which occurred Sunday evening, 28 July, on Highway A16. The funeral was held in Pozzuoli's sports hall with 4,000 people present. Among those present was Prime Minister Enrico Letta, representing the Government.

Pope Francis expressed his condolences and solidarity to the victims' families in a telegram, signed by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, which was sent to Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, Archbishop of Naples and President of the Episcopal Conference for the region of Campania. In his message, the Pope expressed deep sympathy for the pain of the Campania region, ensuring his fervent prayers for the many victims and for the speedy recovery of those wounded.

“In the face of a tragedy, in which so many lives were taken”, said Bishop Gennaro Pascarella of Pozzuoli during his homily, “the shock is intense, it is difficult to talk about. Every word spoken may sound trivial, out of place or just formal”. The bishop asked that the survivors never be left alone, especially those who have been deprived of their means of livelihood.

The bishop said that the “Magistrates will have to clarify the causes of the accident and others must ensure this never happens again. Solidarity is the first compliance with the law”.

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