ROME — The Vatican said Tuesday that two of Pope Francis’ top aides — Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, and his deputy, Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra — had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Cardinal Parolin, 67, had light symptoms, while Archbishop Peña Parra, 61, had no symptoms, according to a spokesman for the Vatican, Matteo Bruni. According to Mr. Bruni, they have self-isolated in Vatican apartments.
When asked by email whether the Pope had been retested, Mr. Bruni didn’t immediately respond.
The two infected clergymen meet regularly with Francis, 85, but it was unclear on Tuesday when their last meeting with the pope. Francis has been an outspoken advocate of vaccination, which he called an ethical obligation. However he frequently appears in public with no mask.
Last month, Cardinal Parolin introduced new coronavirus restrictions that affected Vatican employees, “in view of the continuation and worsening of the current health emergency and the need to take appropriate measures to counter it and to ensure the safe carrying-out of activities,” the cardinal said in the decree.
The Vatican has increased these restrictions further this month by requiring visitors and employees to wear an N95 mask indoors. Employees will need to have a health card showing proof of vaccination that includes a booster or recovery form the virus. Non-possessing such proof will result in employees being placed on unpaid sick leave. Visitors to the Vatican museums and Gardens and the papal Summer Palace at Castel Gandolfo must have a health pass.
Source: NY Times