President of Italian Episcopal Conference Has COVID-19

COVID: Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti ‘Has a Mild Cold’

President of Italian Episcopal Conference
(C) Vatican Media

Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, President of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), has tested positive for COVID-19. The news was reported on CEI’s Website on Christmas day. Now, as the daily Avvenire makes known, the Archbishop of Perugia-Città della Pieve “has a mild cold.” Hence, he is, in fact, asymptomatic and is spending the period in isolation in the Archbishopric’s Palace of Perugia. Cardinal Bassetti, who is vaccinated, contracted the virus for a second time in the span of slightly less than a year.

 The Cardinal’s public commitments have been canceled for about two weeks, coinciding with Christmastide, reports the Italian Bishops’ daily. Among the events on his agenda that he will be unable to attend is the Episcopal Ordination of Francesco Soddu, new Bishop of Terni-Narni-Amelia, whom the Cardinal had among his in CEI as Director of Italian Caritas. The Rite of Consecration is scheduled for January 5 in the Cathedral of Terni.  Cardinal Bassetti contracted COVID just over a year ago, in November of 2020, recovering after some weeks of hospitalization.

The Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI) is the permanent union of the Bishops of the Churches in Italy, who to promote the life of the Church, support its evangelizing mission and develop its service for the good of the Church jointly exercise pastoral functions and, according to the law, assume legislative decisions.

The Italian Bishops’ Conference, established as a permanent body with its own statutes and regulations, is a public legal entity in accordance with the canonical ordinance.

With a view to promoting the good of the Church and its service in Italy, the Conference encourages collegial affection, fraternal communion, and the permanent formation of the Bishops. In addition, it stimulates unanimous action and collaboration between the individual Churches, so that they may better carry out their mission.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester