Cremona, Italy, Mar 15, 2020 / 08:58 am America/Denver (CNA).
A Catholic priest has died in Italy from coronavirus, and local Italian media reported Sunday the death of several others. No priests have previously been reported dead from the global pandemic, which has struck Italy more gravely than nearly any other country in the world.
Monsignor Vincenzo Rini was a priest of the Diocese of Cremona, close to Milan, and near Italy’s epicenter of the pandemic. Rini died Saturday.
Msgr. Rini ran Cremona’s diocesan newspaper for 30 years, and was at one time the president of the Italian bishops’ news agency. He was also a novelist, and a noted literary expert, who served as the Church’s liaison to the Cristina di Savoia Cultural Congresses, which aim to promote Christian culture in Italy.
In Avvenire, the newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference, journalistic colleagues of Rini wrote that the priest “represented an open window to hope, the virtue that had always characterized his life.”
He will be buried in the chapel of the diocesan cemetery in Cremona. Bishop Antonio Napolioni of Cremona, himself recovering from coronavirus, expressed his condolences to the family and friends of the priest.