Pope Benedict XVI expressed his condolences this week to the Orthodox Church of Romania and to the Gypsy community of Romania for the deaths of four Gypsy children who died in a fire that broke out under a bridge in Livorno, Italy.
Msgr. Paolo Razzauti, diocesan administrator of Livorno, said Thursday the Holy Father called to convey his "closeness to the city of Livorno," and to express his hopes that the community "will react to the tragedy with a culture of acceptance and solidarity."
City officials are investigating the cause of the fire, in which four Gypsy children between the ages of 4 and 11 were killed. It appeared the fire may have been intentionally set as the region has seen an increase in animosity towards Gypsies.
The parents of the children -- two couples -- have been arrested on charges of neglect and abandonment.