An accumulative total of 67 Italian Catholic priests have died after being infected with the novel coronavirus, the Avvenire newspaper revealed on Wednesday.

The paper added that the youngest of those listed by the Catholic Church-affiliated paper was 53.

“Priests get sick and die like everybody else, maybe even more than the rest,” the Avvenire wrote.

The paper said 22 of the fatalities were in the Bergamo diocese, at the heart of the outbreak not far from the financial centre Milan.

Pope Francis asked priests “to have the courage to go out and see the sick” when the pandemic was gathering strength across the country on March 10.



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