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. Benedict issued the appeal during his Sunday appearance to the public in St. Peter's Square. Among those in the square were the children's parents, who embraced each other for comfort.
The fire Monday night, which erupted as the children slept in a shack, underlined Italy's struggle to deal with the hundreds of Gypsies who live in often illegal trailer settlements on city outskirts. Many of the Gypsies, also known as Roma, are Italian citizens. Benedict asked if society can show more solidarity and if the tragedy could have been avoided.