VATICAN CITY (RNS) – An elderly Italian priest who contracted the coronavirus allegedly offered his respirator to a younger patient and died due to the illness late on Sunday (March 23).

It’s a story that’s made headlines around the world and been shared on social media as an example of living out the teaching of Jesus.

But so far, no one can confirm that the story is true.  

Neither the hospital or a colleague from the priest’s parish could confirm the news account. 

Father Giuseppe Berardelli, 72, was a priest at the Parish of San Giovanni Battista in Northern Italy since 2006. He died this week, one of a growing number of Italians who’ve succumbed to COVID-19.

His town, Bergamo, is among the epicenters of

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