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The Journal Gazette

  • Pope Francis greets faithful as he leaves after celebrating mass in Camerino, Italy, Sunday, June 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis celebrates mass in Camerino, Italy, Sunday, June 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis walks in procession in front of the Cathedral of Camerino, Italy, as he arrives to celebrate mass, Sunday, June 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

  • Pope Francis celebrates mass in Camerino, Italy, Sunday, June 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

Sunday, June 16, 2019 9:10 am

Pope dons helmet to enter earthquake-hit cathedral in Italy

Associated Press

 

CAMERINO, Italy – Pope Francis has donned a white firefighter's safety helmet to enter a damaged cathedral during a visit to central Italy, where he is giving encouragement to people still struggling three years after devastating earthquakes struck.

Francis traveled Sunday to the town of Camerino, which was shaken so badly in 2016 that people are still not allowed into the town center as work continues to stabilize buildings.

Before he entered the cathedral, a firefighter's safety helmet was placed over Francis' skullcap. Inside the cathedral, he was surrounded by firefighters and clergymen also wearing helmets. He placed flowers at a statue of the Virgin Mary, which was damaged in the earthquake. The statue's head and arms are missing.