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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Hope, not optimism, is needed to rebuild, pope tells quake survivors

Along the difficult path of rebuilding their lives, survivors of the earthquake that devastated central Italy must also rebuild their hearts with a strong foundation built on hope, Pope Francis said.

Families need something long lasting when coping with the heartbreaking wounds of losing their homes and loved ones, the pope told survivors during an audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall on 5th January.

“It is not optimism, there is no place for optimism. Yes, for hope but (not for) optimism, which is momentary; it isn’t sustainable. In order to rebuild, you need hope,” the pope said.

The central Italian region, which includes the towns of Amatrice, Rieti, Accumoli, and Pescara del Tronto, were rocked by a 6.2 magnitude quake on 24th August 2016.

Amatrice was the hardest-hit town, accounting for 234 of the estimated 290 deaths, according to the Italian Civil Protection office.

Picture: Pope Francis prays as he visits the earthquake-ravaged town of Amatrice, Italy, in August 2016. Pope Francis said along with rebuilding their lives, survivors of the earthquake also must rebuild their hearts with a strong foundation of hope. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano).