24 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (11)

What is the Angelus?

Full Question What is the Angelus? Answer It's a three-part prayer said thrice daily, usually at six in the morning, noon, and six in the eve…

Read more

04 Nov 2014 Q&A No comments

Should Christmas trees be considered a religious symbol?

Full Question Non-Christians claim that Christmas trees are a religious symbol of Christmas. Is a Christmas tree really a religious symbol of Christmas equ…

Read more

22 Oct 2015 Europe News No comments

Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia Basilica begins work on towers

Work on Barcelona’s breathtaking La Sagrada Familia Basilica, designed by visionary architect Antoni Gaudi, has entered its final phase of raising six immense t…

Read more

01 Aug 2016 News No comments

Full text: Pope Francis’s homily at World Youth Day closing Mass

The Pope celebrated Mass in a meadow outside Kraków Dear young people, you have come to Kraków to meet Jesus. Today’s Gospel speaks to us of jus …

Read more

28 Aug 2016 Articles No comments


It is certain that without the divine assistance we can do nothing good for our souls. God also has declared that graces are granted to those only who ask for t…

Read more

08 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (3)

What is the "analogy of faith"?

Full Question In Catholic literature I sometimes run across references to the "analogy of faith." Can you explain what this term means? Answer …

Read more

20 Oct 2015 News Vatican Comments (1)

Strengthen marriage with truth and mercy, Venezuela's Cardinal Urosa tells synod

Both truth and mercy can be found in consistent Catholic teaching on marriage, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas told the Synod of Bishops on Thursday. …

Read more

02 May 2016 Americas Asia-Pacific Australia Europe Middle East Middle East - Africa News United Kingdom USA Vatican Comments (1)

Pope Francis' prayer intentions for the month of May

The Vatican has released the prayer intentions of Pope Francis for May 2016. The Pope's universal intention is: “That in every country in the world, women ma…

Read more

11 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (37)

Why can't I be re-baptized as a Catholic?

Full Question I was baptized in a Lutheran church as a baby and would now like to enter the Catholic Church. Because I have not been living a Christian lif…

Read more
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Pray For Italy: Earthquake in central Italy leaves at least 37 dead

A strong earthquake hit central Italy early on Wednesday, leaving at least 37 people dead, according to Italy’s civil protection agency.

The magnitude six earthquake struck at 3.36am (1.36am GMT) and was felt across a broad swathe of central Italy, including in Rome and from the Lazio region into Umbria and Le Marche on the Adriatic coast.

The hardest-hit towns were Amatrice and Accumoli near Rieti, some 80 miles north-east of Rome, where the air was thick with dust and smelled strongly of gas.

The centre of Amatrice was devastated, with entire palazzos razed. Rocks and metal tumbled onto the streets and dazed residents huddled in piazzas as almost 39 aftershocks continued into the morning, some as strong as 5.1.

Rescue crews in Amatrice and Accumoli raced to dig out survivors from the rubble, but the death toll was expected to rise as crews reached homes in harder-to-reach hamlets.

Fr Savino D’Amelio, an Amatrice parish priest, described the earthquake as an “immense tragedy."

“We are only hoping there will be the least number of victims possible and that we all have the courage to move on," he said.

“The town isn’t here anymore," Amatrice mayor Sergio Pirozzi added.

A woman, sitting in front of her destroyed home in Amatrice with a blanket over her shoulders, said she didn’t know what had happened to her loved ones.

“It was one of the most beautiful towns of Italy and now there’s nothing left," she said, too distraught to give her name. “I don’t know what we’ll do."

As daylight dawned, residents, civil protection workers and even priests began digging out with shovels, bulldozers and their bare hands, trying to reach survivors. There was relief as a woman was pulled out alive from one building, followed by a dog.

“We need chain saws, shears to cut iron bars, and jacks to remove beams: everything, we need everything," civil protection worker Andrea Gentili told The Associated Press. Italy’s national blood drive association appealed for donations to Rieti’s hospital.

The devastation harked back to the 2009 earthquake that killed more than 300 people in and around L’Aquila, which sent emergency teams on Wednesday to help with the rescue.

A 1997 earthquake killed a dozen people in the area and severely damaged one of the jewels of Umbria, the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi, filled with Giotto frescoes. The Franciscan friars who are the custodians of the basilica reported no immediate damage from Wednesday’s earthquake.

The Italian geological service put the magnitude at 6.0; the US Geological Survey reported 6.2 with the epicentre at Norcia, about 105 miles north-east of Rome, and with a relatively shallow depth of six miles.

The mayor of the earthquake-hit town of Accumoli, Stefano Petrucci, said at least six people had died there, including a family of four, and two others.

In Amatrice, the ANSA news agency reported two bodies had been pulled from one building.

A priest, Fr Fabio Gammarota told ANSA another three were killed in a separate collapse.

Amatrice Mayor Pirozzi told state-run RAI radio and Sky TG24 that residents were buried under collapsed buildings, that the lights had gone out and that heavy equipment was needed to clear streets clogged with debris.

The office of Premier Matteo Renzi tweeted that heavy equipment was on its way.


Leave a Reply

  1. most read post
  2. Most Commented
  3. Choose Categories