Italian priests have been dying at a rate of one every day and a half since the pandemic began.
Italy’s clergy has been hit especially hard by the world pandemic. Reports are coming in that of the nearly 80,000 COVID-related deaths in Italy, more than 200 of them were Catholic priests.
According to an article from Catholic News Agency, 200 priests died from COVID-19 in 2020. This rate has not diminished in 2021, as another 4 priests have succumbed to the illness in January. The report notes that since the beginning of the pandemic, Italian priests have died at a rate of one every day and a half.
The report goes on to note that the majority of these men were in their late 70s and 80s. The youngest priest to have died of COVID-19 in Italy was 58-year-old Fr. Alfredo Nicolardi, of the Diocese of Como.
In June Rome Reports noted that the Italian clergy was the second most affected group next to healthcare workers. They suggested that Italy’s Catholic priests were more at risk because of their age. They have also been at greater risk because they did not cease their priestly duties. Italy’s parishioners are said to be reeling from the cumulative losses.
Italy’s communities of nuns are not faring better. CNA notes that there have been cases where entire convents have been infected. They cited one instance where 104 out of 114 nuns of a convent were found to have been exposed to COVID-19 in late December.
43 priests in Italy die of COVID-19 in one month