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Catholic bishop in Myanmar’s Diocese of Pathein succumbs to COVID-19

Bishop John Hsane Hgyi of Pathein in Myanmar

The Catholic bishop of the Diocese of Pathein in Myanmar succumbed to COVID-19 on Thursday, July 22. He was 68.

Bishop John Hsane Hgyi of Pathein was reportedly suffering from diabetes when he contracted the coronavirus disease early this week.

“We all are saddened and shocked by the news of our father-like-bishop’s return to the eternal home," said Father Florence Aung Kyaw Oo, chancellor of Pathein diocese in a message to Radio Veritas Asia.

Bishop Hsane Hgyi was one of the 247 fatalities of the pandemic in Myanmar on Thursday based on data from the military-controlled health ministry.

As of Wednesday, Myanmar reported 6,093 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total confirmed cases to 246,663. The confirmed death toll was at 5,814. 

Doctors and volunteer groups, however, said those numbers are under-reported. 

Bishop Hsane Hgyi will be buried later in the day at two o’clock in the afternoon in Mayanchaung, Pathein.

The prelate was born on Dec. 15, 1953. He was ordained deacon on Dec. 3, 1981, at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Yangon, and became priest on March 7, 1982 at Zaung Dan parish of Pathein Diocese.

He was name bishop on March 22, 2003, and was installed as Bishop of Pathein on Aug. 24, 2003.

He was rector of the Institute of Philosophy in Pyin Oo Lwin, Mandalay Region, and a rector of the Institute of Theology in Yangon, Myanmar.

The Diocese of Pathein was established as a suffragan diocese of the Metropolitan Yangon in 1956. - Raymond Kyaw Aung / Radio Veritas Asia

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