World Slovak bishop who met Pope Francis last week tests positive for COVID
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PRAGUE (Reuters) - A Slovak bishop of the Greek-Catholic Church, who met Pope Francis when the pontiff visited the central European country last week, tested positive for COVID-19 and is in self-quarantine, the church said.
Pope Francis visited Hungary and Slovakia between Sept. 12-15, which was his first trip since having surgery in July.
He presided at a Divine Liturgy, a Byzantine rite used by Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Churches, held outside in Presov in eastern Slovakia on Sept. 14, which the bishop attended.
"The Greek-Catholic bishop of Presov, Jan Babjak, tested positive for coronavirus on Sept. 18. He went into self-quarantine immediately. He is vaccinated, and he shows only mild symptoms of the illness," the church said on Monday.
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The Bishops Conference of Slovakia has informed the Vatican, a spokesman said. Pope Francis is fully vaccinated.
Slovakia, like other countries in Europe, is bracing for a new wave of COVID-19 cases after the pandemic hit hard at the end of 2020 and early in 2021 in the nation of 5.5 million.
About half of the adult population is fully vaccinated against COVID, which is the fifth lowest rate in Europe, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
On Monday, Slovakia registered 880 new cases of COVID-19, its second highest daily tally since April but still below levels that reached into the thousands on many days at the height of the pandemic.
(Reporting by Robert Muller; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)
'Some wanted me dead:' Pope acknowledges right-wing critics .
ROME (AP) — Pope Francis has acknowledged his increasingly vocal conservative critics, saying their “nasty comments” were the work of the devil and adding that “some wanted me dead” after his recent intestinal surgery. Francis made the comments during a Sept. 12 private meeting with Slovakian Jesuits soon after he arrived in the Slovak capital of Bratislava during his just-finished visit. A transcript of the encounter was published Tuesday by the Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica, which often provides after-the-fact accounts of Francis’ closed-door meetings with his fellow Jesuits when he's on the road.