Since April 16, eight church priests died in India. Out of eight priests, six priests died in Gujarat and one each died in Karnataka and Kolkata. Some of them died due to Coronavirus infection.
Rev Fr John Francis Texiera, aged 72 years, a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Mysuru, passed away on April 18 at a private hospital in the city. On April 16 he tested positive for Coronavirus and developed acute pneumonia. On April 18 evening Fr Texeira suffered cardiac arrest and breathed his last.
Archbishop Emeritus of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kolkata, Lucas Sirkar, died after a cardiac arrest on Sunday afternoon. He was one of the longest-serving bishops of the Catholic Church.
Ahmedabad Diocese priest Fr Cedric Prakash SJ said, we lost six Catholic Priests serving in Gujarat: Three Jesuits (Fr Jerry Sequeira SJ, Fr Jesuraj Arputham SJ and Fr Erwin Lazarado SJ); Fr Rayappan SVD; Fr John Fischer; and Diocese Priest Fr Paulraj Nepoleon of the Baroda Diocese.
Fr. Jerry Sequeira, a Jesuit priest and the Parish Priest of St. Ignatius Loyola Church, Ahmedabad, expired in the early hours of Sunday, 18 April 2021 in Ahmedabad. He was tested positive for Coronavirus and was undergoing treatment.
Fr Jesuraj Arputham, 60 years old, a priest in the Society of Jesus died on April 16 in Dindigul. He died due to a Coronavirus infection.
Fr Erwin Lazarado, 58 years old, a priest in the Society of Jesus, has died on April 17 at 2:15 am in Vadodara. Since 2013 he had suffered from Cancer (Multiple myeloma). A couple of days ago he was diagnosed with Pneumonia and tested positive for Coronavirus.
Fr John Fisher who was in Christ Hospital for Coronavirus treatment died due to a heart attack on April 16.
Fr Rayyappan has expired on April 18 at St Francis hospital. He had served more than 25 years in Dahod parish.
Fr Paulraj Nepoleon the priest of Baroda Diocese passed away on April 17 at 8:00 am. He was 38 years old and 5 years of priestly ministry. He was tested Coronavirus positive and admitted at Kasturba Hospital, Valsad.
Since the rise of the Coronavirus pandemic across the world, several church priests died. Many of them died due to a lack of precautions and not following the guidelines provided by the respective governments.
According to the Reuters report which was published on April 15, 2020, Christian and Muslim religious events elsewhere in the world have been triggers for the spread of the Coronavirus that has infected nearly 2 million people and killed nearly 130,000 worldwide.
According to L'Avvenire, the newspaper of the Italian bishops' conference, 167 priests have lost their lives due to Coronavirus since the start of the pandemic.