• Don Romeo endorsed the conservative beliefs of followers of a French Catholic archbishop 
  • Romeo tested positive for COVID-19 last month
  • He spent a month in a hospital as his condition did not improve

An anti-vaxxer priest, who claimed COVID-19 vaccines contained the cells of aborted embryos, died from complications caused by the virus.

Don Romeo, 51, was a parish priest at Santo Stefano Abbey in Genoa, northern Italy. According to local media reports, Romeo had been admitted to the hospital after testing positive for the virus last month. He spent nearly a month in the hospital as his health condition did not improve. He died Tuesday of complications from COVID-19.

Before his death, he endorsed the conservative beliefs of followers of French Catholic archbishop Marcel François Marie Joseph Lefebvre. He believed some COVID-19 vaccines were made from cells taken from aborted embryos, ANSA reported.

"Today our beloved Don Paolo has risen to Heaven surrounded by the affection of his relative and the prayer of all his faithful," Santo Stefano Abbey wrote a tribute to him on Facebook [Google Translate showed]. "May the Lord reward him for all the good he has done here on this earth and may he forgive his shortcomings even if there were any."

"Let us remember Don Paolo with these words of Saint Paolo the apostle, whom he loved: 'I fought the good battle, I finished my race, I kept my faith. Now I only have the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous judge, will deliver me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all those who eagerly wait for his manifestation'."

On Wednesday, Italy reported 118,994 COVID-19 related cases, which was fewer than the previous day's 133,142 cases. The number of deaths fell to 395 from 427, and the total number of intensive care patients reduced to 1,524 from a previous 1,549.

Italy has registered 147,320 deaths linked to COVID-19 since its outbreak emerged in February 2020, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain, and the ninth highest in the world.

Italy's Prime Minister Mario Draghi said Wednesday they will soon announce a timetable to roll back its COVID-19 curbs as the number cases that had increased due to the Omicron variant have started to decrease.

"In the coming weeks, we will continue on this path of reopening. Based on scientific evidence ... we will announce a timetable for lifting the current restrictions," Draghi was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Representation. A rapid antigen test. Pixabay