Ten Catholic bishops with COVID-19 die in a single week

Bishop Vincent Logan – 30th June 1941 – 14 January 2021

In the past week, ten Catholic bishops have died worldwide after testing positive for COVID-19.

Between 8 January and 15 January, bishops across three continents died as a result of the coronavirus. The deceased bishops ranged in age from 53 years old to 91. Six of the bishops died in Europe, where a new strain of COVID-19 has led many countries to implement further restrictions.  Two of the bishops were from Scotland.

Four bishops died on the same day, 13 January: Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow, who was 70 years old; Bishop Moses Hamungole of Monze, Zambia, who died at the age of 53; 87-year-old Bishop Mario Cecchini of Fano, Italy; and Cardinal Eusébio Oscar Scheid, the 88-year-old retired archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Archbishop Tartaglia tested positive for COVID-19 after Christmas and was self-isolating, but Glasgow archdiocese stressed that the cause of his death was currently unclear.  The following day, 14 January Bishop Emeritus Vincent Logan of Dunkeld aged 79 passed away from the lethal effects of Coronavirus.

Bells tolled across the Colombian diocese of Santa Marta on 12 January to honour Bishop Luis Adriano Piedrahita Sandoval, 74, who died on 11 January of complications from COVID-19. Bishop Cástor Oswaldo Azuaje of Trujillo, 69, became the first bishop from Venezuela to die after contracting the virus on 8 January.

Bishop Florentin Crihalmeanu, the 61-year-old bishop of the Greek-Catholic Eparchy of Cluj-Gherla in Romania, died on12 January. He was remembered by his eparchy as “a diligent, meek, and humble soul.”

Polish Bishop Adam Dyczkowski, emeritus of Zielona Góra-Gorzów diocese, died on 10 January at the age of 88 and Italian Archbishop Oscar Rizzato died at the age of 91 on 11 January. Rizzato had served as papal almsgiver under both St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

Pope Francis expressed his condolences following the death of Cardinal Scheid in a telegram on 14 January.

“I offer fervent prayers to welcome him into eternal happiness and console him with hope in the resurrection and to all those who mourn the loss of their beloved pastor,” the pope wrote.

Source: CNA