67 priests in Italy dead from coronavirus: report

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 26 2020 01:00 AM

67 priests in Italy dead from coronavirus: report 1
A man prays in front of an empty St. Peter's Square as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Rome, Italy March 25, 2020. Guglielmo Mangiapane, Reuters

ROME - A total of 67 Italian priests infected with the novel coronavirus have died since the pandemic reached the Mediterranean country last month, the Avvenire newspaper said Wednesday.

The youngest of those listed by the Catholic Church-affiliated paper was 53.

"Priests get sick and die like everybody else, maybe even more than the rest," the Avvenire wrote.

The paper said 22 of the fatalities were in the Bergamo diocese, at the heart of the outbreak not far from the financial centre Milan.

Pope Francis asked priests "to have the courage to go out and see the sick" when the pandemic was gathering strength across the country on March 10.