Eugenio Scarpellini, bishop in Bolivia, killed by Covid at 66 years old
He is the first Italian shepherd to have died from the virus. Originally from the province of Bergamo, he was appointed bishop of El Alto by Pope Francis in 2013
The first Italian bishop to die for Covid is from Bergamo. However, he did not die in his hometown but in Bolivia, where he carried out his ministry. Monsignor Eugenio Scarpellini, 66 years old, originally from Verdellino and pastor of El Alto, a populous center close to La Paz, passed away yesterday due to the complications of the virus. He is the first titular Italian bishop who has died from the virus.
"He distinguished himself for his dedication to the poorest and his tireless struggle for justice", is the memory of the Bolivian Episcopal Conference, of which Scarpellini had been assistant secretary general. Ordained a priest in 1978, Scarpellini had also been parish vicar of Nembro, between 1982 and 1987; the following year he left for Bolivia, as fidei donum, holding several positions.
In 2013 the appointment of Pope Francis as bishop of El Alto. At the end of 2019, he had mediated in the crisis that exploded after the resignation of former President Evo Morales. Just in recent months, the media of the South American country had spoken extensively about the advance of the pandemic in its Bergamo: "I am in contact with friends and relatives to understand what the measures are to prevent infections, it is a very worrying situation".
Edited from Avvenire.it - Image Source: Screenshot from ecodibergamo