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Encounter at the Vatican…

Francis to be Quarantined after meeting with COVID-infected French Prelates?

“Surreal” is perhaps the most fitting adjective to describe the current situation in the world concerning Coronavirus Disease, aka COVID-19. Vatican City is no exception.

Today, March 16, the French news site Courrier de l’Ouest reports that the Novus Ordo bishop of Angers, France, Emmanuel Delmas, has tested positive for COVID-19, after spending a few days in Rome, which included a meeting with “Pope” Francis and the heads of various dicasteries at the Vatican on March 9. Delmas and the 29 other French “bishops” who accompanied him on the ad limina visit have all been put under quarantine, according to the report.

The Vatican meeting in question is the one that had everybody sitting a few feet apart, as seen in an official photo here. The Italian edition of Zenit lists the names of all participants as follows:

  • Jean-Paul James
  • Bertrand Lacombe
  • Jean-Marie Le Vert
  • Hubert Herbreteau
  • Nicolas Souchu
  • Marc Aillet
  • Philippe Mousset
  • Pascal Wintzer
  • Hervé Gosselin
  • Georges Colomb
  • Pierre-Antoine Bozo
  • Francis Bestion
  • Pierre d’Ornellas
  • Alexandre Joly
  • Emmanuel Delmas
  • Thierry Scherrer
  • Yves Le Saux
  • François Jacolin
  • François Renaud
  • Laurent Dognin
  • Denis Moutel
  • Dominique Lebrun
  • Jean-Claude Boulanger
  • Laurent Le Boulc’h
  • Christian Nourrichard
  • Jean-Luc Brunin
  • Jacques Habert
  • Jean-Pierre Batut
  • Jérôme Beau
  • Philippe Christory
  • Jacques Blaquart

The news article by Courrier de l’Ouest notes that a diocesan spokesman said that Mr. Delmas, 65, had noticed some symptoms and so asked to be tested right upon his return from Rome on March 12. As a result, he and all “bishops” who accompanied him are now being quarantined in “strict confinement”, according to the report.

The question is whether Francis himself will now be quarantined, and if not, why not.

The news that he had tested negative for COVID-19 predates his encounter with the French prelates. Although everyone sat apart during the two-and-a-half hour meeting, “everyone was able to shake [Francis’] hand”, another French news site reports.

Image source: shutterstock.com
License: paid

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