Covid-19: More priests than doctors are dying in Italy

Covid-19: More priests than doctors are dying in Italy March 20, 2020

IN WHAT now is looking like a not-too-smart a call, Pope Francis earlier this month prayed that priests would find the courage to visit those who are sick and offer accompaniment to health care professionals and volunteers working during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Today it was reported that at least 18 priests have from the disease in Italy, compared to 13 medics.

The diocese of Bergamo northeast of Milan appears to have been ravaged the most by Coronavirus. At least ten of its priests have died.

Like doctors, Italy’s priests come in contact with the disease’s most serious cases. And like doctors, priests are known to congregate among themselves in close quarters, creating the perfect conditions for contagion.

One priest, Father Claudio del Monte, said:

Dressed in a mask, a cap, gloves, a robe and protective glasses, we priests walk around the halls like zombies.

Enrico Salmi, bishop of Parma, said:

It is painful to see the priests fall sick. Sometimes it happens (to them) out of pastoral zeal. They enter the intensive care unit where, naturally, no one is supposed to go.

A later report puts the number of dead priests at 30, with at least 28 due to COVID-19. In addition, two convents, one in Rome and one in Grottaferrata, a town near the capital city, have been isolated as the majority of religious sisters in the communities have tested positive for the virus. In total, 59 nuns have been affected.

Meanwhile it’s reported from New Jersey that:

Catholic priests are doing their part to heroically battle against the Coronavirus, finding creative means to not only deliver the sacraments to the faithful but also to beg God for mercy and deliverance.

PressofAtlanticCity screenshot

With the help of a pilot parishioner, Fr Anthony Manuppella, pastor of St Gianna Beretta Molla Parish in Northfield, New Jersey, took an armory of holy weapons, including a Virgin Mary figurine, into the skies above the Diocese of Camden to do battle with the virus by praying for God’s protection, for the sick to be healed, and for the end of this “modern day plague.”

He said:

While we’re up in the plane, with Jesus in the Holy Eucharist, the Blessed Sacrament, and a statue of our Blessed Mother, I’ll be chanting the litany of the saints because traditionally that is the prayer that we’ve said in the past when countries, especially in Europe, have been hit by the various plagues.

After the litany of the saints, there are many, many intercessory prayers to combat the virus, to combat a pandemic, or plague if you will. And so I’ll be praying those and other prayers as well as we go over the whole diocese of Camden.

And I’ll bless them with Jesus and pray for their protection, pray for those that are sick to be healed, and pray also for the end, the cessation, of this modern day plague, the Coronavirus, because this is an invisible enemy, and so only the powers of heaven will be able to combat it, and with of course the help of doctors etc., but God is always Number One. We always turn to Him.

I would hope that this virus would compel people to speak and think more about returning back to God, returning back to church, Seeing how fragile we are, and how much we need God, we could die any minute … we could be afflicted with this.

Hat tip: Robert Stovold (Italy report)


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  • andrewm

    And I suppose we’ll never know how many these priests needlessly infected before they died. And for what? Bravery in this case looks little different to being pointlessly reckless.

  • Michael Neville

    More priests than doctors are dying in Italy

    He says that like it’s a bad thing.

  • HematitePersuasion

    Although I appreciate the spirit and courage — these priests could have found better ways to support the ill and fearful than to engage in activities that spread, rather than contained, this disease. I will not cheer for any semi-anonymous person’s death. I will condemn them for behavior that exacerbates, rather than improves, the situation.

  • Jim Jones

    There’s work to be done in the care centers, cleaning and fetching and carrying.

    That’s why god gave them hands – and brains.

  • barriejohn

    Everyone’s forgiven anyway. No need for confessions any more.

    https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2020/03/20/pope-francis-authorizes-plenary-indulgences-and-general-absolution-coronavirus

    If you ever wondered whether they really do make it up as they go along!

  • Freethinker

    Sighh…….If we could only engineer this virus to selectively and exclusively wipe out the priests of all religions…

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/97fde0d8fb7612ca5fb3c8aa97bc175ca91a2de776293638b73d53159aabccc0.jpg

  • Cozmo the Magician

    Anybody what the % pop of italy is Priests vs. Docs? It not too surprising that more priest are croaking if they outnumber dr.s by an order of magnitude or more… This is ITALY we are talk about.

  • Jennny

    Friend happened to say recently that priests visiting the sick was what the lawd wanted to give comfort…and as priests are unmarried, it was fine…they’d go straight to their heavenly reward and so would those they infected cos they’d received ‘the blessed sacrament’……I replied, if that’s the case, the ‘paradise forever more’ bit, why is he taking 9 medications a day for his heart, his diabetes, kidneys and more…..? Stop them and you’d be there soonish too.

  • Broga

    “Catholic priests are doing their part to heroically battle against the Ccoronavirus,”

    Are they not spreading the virus which can be spread before the symptoms become apparent..

    Well done, Frankie. Another balls up. Is the Pope doing any visiting?

  • Lets hope that he goes to see Benny the Rat–or, better yet, sends a infected but very comely young priest to minister to Benny’s needs.

  • crackerMF

    from that page:

    Pope Francis prays in Rome churches asking God to rid the world of the coronavirus

    i was told my whole time as a catlicker that everything that happens is part of god’s plan.
    covid19 is happening.
    therefore covid19 is part of god’s plan.

    yet, according to the pope, god’s plan is imperfect and needs to be changed.

    how could a perfect god make an imperfect plan?

    let’s hear frankie jesuit babble his way out of that obvious conclusion.

  • Ignorant Amos

    And this years Darwin Award goes to…

  • barriejohn

    According to Wikipedia, there are about 45,000 priests in Italy. The following article states that in 2002 “there are 336,000 medical doctors in Italy, as compared to 86,000 in 1964. The present-day ratio is 583 physicians per 100,000 population. Italy has probably the highest level of medical staffing in the world.” However, I doubt that the mortality figures have any statistical significance, especially at this stage of the epidemic!

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12050938

  • barriejohn

    It makes you think, doesn’t it? (Or not think, if you’re a religiot.)

  • Pofarmer

    Brainwashed stupidity all round

  • Cozmo the Magician

    Thar you go wiff ur hi falutin ‘faks’ and ‘figers’. O_o

    my sarcasm is more important than any statistics (:

  • barriejohn

    “Lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

  • Jeff Sawade

    Why would anyone “return back to God” given that He hasn’t protected anyone from the virus?

  • DanV

    Boo F…ing Hoo.

  • DanV

    Are priests distancing themselves fro choir boys, or are they praying with them to thank god for BJ’s?

  • DeadBabyJoke

    The latter.

  • DeadBabyJoke

    ‮kcuF‬ ’em!

  • vmelkon

    I would prefer a virus that inserts some logic into this world, removes the rosy tainted colored glasses of “Jesus” from their eyes or Joseph Smith, Mohamed and other prophets of nonsense.