The Church in Italy is asking prayers as Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, archbishop of Perugia and president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI), took a turn for the worse in his battle against Covid. (He is at left in photo above.)
The cardinal has been in ICU since November 3, but in the last few hours, there has been a “general worsening of the clinical picture,” according to the official site of the Italian bishops’ conference today.
The 78-year-old archbishop began to show symptoms of the virus, including fever and difficulty breathing, already on October 28. He was hospitalized October 31.
Bishop Stefano Russo, secretary-general of the episcopal conference, urged Christians to pray for the Italian cardinal at this time of trial. “We are sure that the Lord will not fail to show mercy and consolation towards the cardinal and those who are gravely tried by illness,” added the prelate.
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There have been only a few cardinals who have contracted Covid-19 thus far.
Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, Pope Francis’ vicar for the Diocese of Rome, and Cardinal Luis Tagle, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, both had it earlier in the year and recovered.