Tuesday, March 31, 2020

2 Catholic Cardinals Test Positive for Coronavirus - Pope Francis' Vicar of Rome Card. De Donatis is Hospitalized and Card. Ouédraogo of Africa


Two Catholic Cardinals have tested positive with the Coronavirus in one day. According to Vatican News the Vicar of Rome tests positive for coronavirus, Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, the Pope’s Vicar for Rome, says he is praying “for those who suffer”, after being diagnosed with Covid-19.
Cardinal Philippe Ouédraogo, Archbishop of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) is also positive.
On the same day, the diocese of Ouagadougou (in Burkina Faso, Africa) announced that its bishop, Cardinal Philippe Ouédraogo, 75, had also tested positive. They are the first two cardinals affected by the disease.
Pope Francis’ Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome, Cardinal Angelo De Donatis, was admitted to Rome’s Gemelli Hospital on Monday after testing positive for Covid-19.

Vatican News said the Cardinal is running a fever, but his general condition is currently good, and he has begun antiviral therapy. Cardinal De Donatis, following procedures in place to halt the spread of the coronavirus, has had fewer meetings with his staff at the Lateran Palace recently. As a precaution, his closest collaborators are in isolation. The Cardinal noted that he has not been to the Vatican in recent days, and has been in contact with the Pope only by phone.

“I am also experiencing this trial, I am at peace and confident”, Cardinal De Donatis said. “I entrust myself to the Lord, and to the prayers of all you, dear faithful of Rome!”

He added, “I live this moment as an opportunity that Providence has given me to share in the sufferings of so many brothers and sisters. I am offering my prayer for them, for the whole diocesan community, and for the people of the City of Rome”.

Since 11 March, Cardinal De Donatis has been celebrating a Mass every evening at the Sanctuary of Divine Love in Rome. The Mass is broadcast on the Bishops’ Conference television channel, TV2000, and is live-streamed on the Diocese of Rome’s Facebook page.

During the first Mass from the Sanctuary, on the occasion of the Pope’s act of entrustment to Mary, the Cardinal said that “the antidote, the therapy for the suffering of the present moment, is to entrust oneself to the hands of God. We are in His hands, and no one can tear us away from Him”.

 Last week, Salesian Bishop Angelo Moreschi, the Apostolic Vicar of Ethiopia’s Gambella Vicariate, became the first Bishop in the world to die of the disease.

The Holy See, in solidarity with Italy, will be flying flags at half-mast on Tuesday, as a sign of mourning. The gesture is an expression of the Church's closeness to the victims of Covid-19 in Italy and around the world, as well as to their families and to those who are generously fighting to end the pandemic.

Edited from Vatican News and La Croix Intl.

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