Rome, November 28 - The Italian Bishops Conference (CEI) on Monday said it signed a "widely agreed" memorandum of understanding with the Italian government's special commission for earthquake reconstruction and the Culture Ministry, aimed at prioritising "the methods and terms" for recovery of religious cultural heritage affected by seismic activity in the regions of Lazio, Marche, Umbria and Abruzzo. The goal of the agreement is to restore places of worship to the affected communities in the shortest possible time. Among those present were special commissioner for reconstruction Vasco Errani, civil protection chief Fabrizio Curcio, and CEI head Msgr Nunzio Galantino. CEI took a leading role in reconstruction efforts immediately following the first, August 24 central Italy earthquake. "(Our) commitment is to take concrete steps that support hope for the people affected and help avoid the risk of depopulation of entire areas," CEI said.