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How the coronavirus affected Catholic priests in Brazil

. Aug 03, 2020
How the coronavirus affected Brazilian priests

The coronavirus has already infected 395 Catholic clergymen — adding up to 21 deaths among priests and two among bishops. The numbers come from the latest report by Brazil’s National Confederation of Bishops (CNBB). 

The Amazonian states of Pará and Amapá recorded 64 infections and six deaths — the highest in the country. The Northeastern region as a whole comes in second, with 57 cases among priests — as well as nine infected bishops — and three deaths. Dom Henrique Soares da Costa, the bishop of Palmares in Recife, and Dom Aldo Pagotto, the bishop emeritus of Paraíba, were among the victims of Covid-19.

Most Catholic churches are currently closed, and many priests are performing online masses. However, President Jair Bolsonaro has fought tooth and nail to keep temples open, labeling religious activities “essential,” meaning that they could bypass state-level quarantine rules.

Back in May, The Brazilian Report showed how Evangelical churches helped to aggravate Brazil’s Covid-19 crisis. Many preachers have dismissed the coronavirus as “harmless” and said the fear surrounding the pandemic is nothing more than “a tactic of Satan.”

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Renato Alves

Renato Alves is a Brazilian journalist who has worked for Correio Braziliense and Crusoé.

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