COVID-19 as a Cause of Death for Catholic Priests in Italy
An Ethical and Occupational Health Crisis
Keywords:pandemic, COVID-19, chaplain, pastoral care, occupational health
While the number of deaths of doctors and dentists from COVID-19 in Italy is soaring, there is another vital population of healthcare team members who are also dying here: priests. This work explores the deaths of Italy’s Catholic priests due to COVID-19 during a three-month period in early 2020. Patients, families, and healthcare workers experience COVID-19 in various stressful ways, and priests and other pastoral care providers provide a well-being service that needs protection. The article explores the context of the recent mortality surge for priests in Italy and the role of pastoral care during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the broader issue of ethics and occupational health for these care providers.
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