An English bishop died on Monday after contracting the coronavirus.
The Archdiocese of Liverpool said that Bishop Vincent Malone, 88, died on the morning of May 18 at the Royal Liverpool Hospital after testing positive for COVID-19 last week. He is at least the fourth bishop to die of the coronavirus
Joe Anderson, the mayor of Liverpool, paid tribute to the bishop on Twitter, describing him as “a true gentleman, a humble and dedicated man whose mission was to serve God, the archdiocese and the people of Liverpool. He did it very well.”
Bishop Malone was an auxiliary bishop of Liverpool archdiocese from 1989 to 2006, when he reached the retirement age of 75. But he continued to serve as a vicar general and trustee of the archdiocese until last year. He remained a canon of the Metropolitan Cathedral Chapter until his death.
In 1982, he served as the northern regional coordinator of John Paul II’s trip to the UK, overseeing the pope’s landmark visit to Liverpool’s Catholic and Anglican cathedrals.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster recalled that as a young priest he had lived at Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral’s clergy house when the then Msgr. Malone was in charge.
“Above all I remember his endless patience to get right every aspect of the work of the cathedral; his unfailing courtesy with every person he met, even those who were occasionally very difficult; his kindness to those in need who came to the door,” he said.
Archbishop Malcolm McMahon of Liverpool said: “His mild and polite manner found its fulfillment in his ministry as a priest and bishop which was characterized by unfailing kindness and respect to all those he met and served. Bishop Vincent told me that he enjoyed being an auxiliary bishop because it kept him close to people.”
Bishop Malone is the latest Catholic bishop to die amid a pandemic that had claimed the lives of 315,800 people worldwide as of May 18, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
The first reported death of a bishop from the infectious disease was on March 25, when Bishop Angelo Moreschi died in Brescia, Italy. A member of the Salesians, the 67-year-old had served as apostolic vicar of Ethiopia’s Gambella Vicariate.
The second reported death was on April 15, when Bishop Gérard Mulumba Kalemba died in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The 82-year-old was the emeritus bishop of Mweka in Kasai Province. His nephew, Congolese President Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi, attended his funeral the following day.
Boston auxiliary Bishop Emilio Allue died April 26 at the age of 85 of complications from COVID-19.
Chinese Bishop Joseph Zhu Baoyu died May 7, months after recovering from the coronavirus. The 98-year-old bishop of Nanyang diocese in Henan province was thought to be the oldest person to survive the disease when he left hospital Feb. 14, according to UCAN News.
Cardinal Angelo De Donatis became the first cardinal to test positive for the coronavirus in March. On April 8, the vicar general of Rome diocese announced he was recovering in a letter written from Rome’s Gemelli Hospital.
The daily newspaper Avvenire reported May 4 that 119 priests have died of coronavirus in Italy.