Polish Bishop Dies From the Coronavirus

Bishop Wojtuś, a retired auxiliary bishop of Gniezno archdiocese, was admitted to hospital on Saturday after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Bishop Bogdan Wojtuś (1937-2020). Credit: prymasowska.
Bishop Bogdan Wojtuś (1937-2020). Credit: prymasowska. (photo: Courtesy photo / prymasowska)

WARSAW, Poland — A Polish bishop died from COVID-19 Tuesday at the age of 83.

Bishop Bogdan Wojtuś died at noon local time Oct. 20, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Gniezno.

Bishop Wojtuś, a retired auxiliary bishop of Gniezno archdiocese, was admitted to hospital on Saturday after testing positive for the coronavirus. 

His funeral will take place in Gniezno cathedral Oct. 24. Afterwards, he will be laid to rest in a crypt alongside other auxiliary bishops in the church at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Gniezno, central-western Poland.

Bishop Wojtuś was named an auxiliary bishop by Pope John Paul II in 1993, serving until 2012, when he reached the retirement age of 75. 

A number of Polish bishops have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent weeks amid a surge in cases in Poland. They include Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, president of the Polish bishops’ conference.

Archbishop Gądecki paid tribute to Bishop Wojtuś Oct. 21, describing him as “a man of great spirit, unwavering faith and deep love for the Church.” 

A spokesman for the Polish bishops’ conference has denied claims that bishops contracted COVID-19 as a result of their plenary meeting in Łódź on Oct. 5-6. He pointed out that not all the infected bishops attended the meeting.

At least 13 other Catholic bishops have died from the coronavirus worldwide. They include Archbishop Oscar Cruz, former president of the Philippines bishops’ conference, Brazilian Bishop Henrique Soares da Costa, and English Bishop Vincent Malone.

Italian Bishop Giovanni D’Alise of Caserta, in southern Italy, died Oct. 4, a few days after being admitted to hospital after contracting the coronavirus.