Reports of dying priest giving up his respirator are false

Reports of a dying priest giving the respirator donated by his parish to a younger patient are not true, the secretary general of his diocese, Fr. Giulio Dellavite, says.

While Fr. Giuseppe Berardelli (pictured) is remembered fondly by those who knew him as a man of kindness and self-sacrifice, he did not do this.

“There was not a donated respirator. There have not been any respirators coming from outside of the hospital,” Dellavite says.

Dellavite says he thinks nonetheless that Berardelli would have given up a potential spot in the intensive care unit up for another younger patient, if he could have.

“It is not like the way that some journalist wrote: that it was a respirator bought for him and then given by him to someone else,” he explained.

Earlier this week the Italian website Araberara claimed Berardelli sacrificed a respirator donated by his parish for another younger patient.

The website quoted an anonymous employee at the San Giuseppe Rest Home in Casnigo as the source of its information.

However, an employee at the San Giuseppe Rest Home say’s it’s unlikely her colleagues could have known how things ended for Berardelli, because he died at the Lovere Hospital, not at San Giuseppe.

The employee who is a parishioner of Berardelli’s parish, said she had never heard of a parish fundraiser for a respirator.

Berardelli is one of 23 priests reported to have died from COVID-19 in the Diocese of Bergamo. The region has one of the highest rates of coronavirus infection in Italy.

In his televised Mass on Tuesday, Pope Francis praised the heroism of doctors and priests who have died after treating or visiting the sick.

“I have heard that some doctors, priests have passed away in recent days, I don’t know if [there are] any nurses [who have died],” he said.

“We pray for them, for their families, and I thank God for the example of heroism they give us in treating the sick,” Pope Francis said.


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