Covid in the Vatican: Pope’s right-hand man tests positive

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of State, has tested positive for Covid-19

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Pope’s No2 man in the Vatican, has reportedly tested positive for Covid-19. Italian prelate Parolin serves as Secretary of State, and according to Vatican officials from the Holy See press office, only has ‘light symptoms’.
Archbishop Edgar Pena Parra, Parolin’s Venezuelan deputy, has also tested positive and is said to be asymptomatic. They are the Pope’s most senior advisors, and are both believed to have been at least double-vaccinated. It is not known when their last contact with the pontiff was, and the Vatican has yet to comment on this.
These are the first cases of the virus to be ever be confirmed in the higher echelons of the Vatican, and it is not clear whether Pope Francis has received his booster shot or not. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, his predecessor, is known to have had all three jabs.
Despite opposition from certain parts of the Catholic Church, 85-year-old Pope Francis has been a huge advocate of the Covid-19 vaccines since they became available. Only last week he denounced people who refuse to get jabbed.
Previously, he had claimed it was ‘suicidal’ not to get vaccinated, while being people’s ‘moral obligation’. “This translates into respect for the health of those around us. Health care is a moral obligation”, he said recently.
Adding, Vaccines are not a magical means of healing, yet surely they represent, in addition to other treatments that need to be developed, the most reasonable solution for the prevention of the disease”.
Due to the belief among sections of conservative U.S. bishops and cardinals that research into developing the vaccines involved using cells from aborted fetuses, many Catholics have refused to get inoculated, claiming it was immoral. However, the doctrine office of the Vatican reportedly said that Catholics getting jabbed was ‘morally acceptable’, as reported by


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at