Ethics Hero: Don Giuseppe Berardelli

Be sure to tell David Brooks about this..

Don Giuseppe Berardelli, an Italian priest, died from the Wuhan virus after giving up his respirator to a younger patient, a stranger.  The following is from the Google Italian to English translation of this source:

 Don Giuseppe had been archpriest of Casnigo for almost fourteen years and would have concluded his mission in Casnigo. He ended it earlier, in a hospital in Lovere, hit by the coronavirus. Already last year he had had health problems. His perennial smile, his availability, but also his activism in the realization of important and expensive works, that smile hid the worries.

He was a simple, straightforward person, with a great kindness and helpfulness towards everyone, believers and non-believers. His greeting was ‘peace and good’. Always friendly and available to the public administration, associations and not only those of the parish, he participated in all the events without ever being intrusive…. He was loved by everyone: his former parishioners still came from Fiorano after years to find him. But he also had an incredible ability to solve economic problems, to knock on the right doors for help.

This is the testimony of Giuseppe Imberti, long mayor of Casnigo: “Don Giuseppe died as a priest.  And I am deeply moved by the fact that the archpriest of Casnigo, Don Giuseppe Berardelli – to whom the parish community had bought a respirator – announced his will to assign it to someone younger than him.”

The Archpriest of Casnigo don Giuseppe Berardelli was 72 years old. Born on August 21, 1947, he was originally from Fonteno. Ordained priest on June 30, 1973, his first assignment had been coadjutor in the parish of San Giuseppe in the upper town, then in Calolzio from 1976 to 1984. He later became parish priest of Gaverina and from 1993 parish priest of Fiorano al Serio. In 2006 he was appointed archpriest of Casnigo. He had had health problems but he fought with his usual smile and that determination to those who rely on God. He died at the Lovere hospital.

No funeral, but the people of Caserta greeted him in their own way, at noon on Monday 16 March…”His is a goodbye,” [a parissioner says]. “He does not leave us alone, from up there he watches over us and continues to run through the clouds with his motorcycle, who knows how many projects he is doing up there, also for us” …

15 thoughts on “Ethics Hero: Don Giuseppe Berardelli

  1. This priest is truly a hero in all sense of the word.

    I’m seeing lots of heroes out there these days doing big and small things to help others they don’t know even though they could be exposed to the virus and die them self. It’s there in the news, it’s in your cities and towns, it’s in big and small businesses, and it’s in your neighborhoods. These helpful people aren’t waving a flag saying I’m doing helpful things, they’re just stepping up and doing them because they feel it needs to be done. It’s all there, look for it.

    It’s truly inspiring right now to see many people set aside their hateful political vitriol and just help others.

    • And just as discouraging to hear just as many ramp it up, either to say for the umpteenth time that Trump is an idiot and we need to get him out of there in November, or that McConnell is a bastard blocking relief, or the recent screed I criticized, in which the health care workers seek to grab the mantle of hero rather than wait for it to be bestowed. It’s also interesting to watch the masks slip and people shut off their filters on social media.

  2. So many, including John Lennon, see only the downside of religious zealotry only to ignore what religion does for the true believers.

    I can almost guarantee the priest had no difficulty making the decision to assign the respirator to a younger person

    The true believer knows he or she is not giving anything up, they are simply giving something they do not need to the needy among them. Don Guiseppe knows that if god wants him to stay on earth he will make it so. If god deems it to be his time to come home then that will be his will.

    There is great comfort in knowing that the future remains bright while wallowing fear should have no place among the living. We should learn from this example.

      • Complex question. One should not have to collaborate with the Saint’s Excuse to be deemed supportive of religion for those who believe and seek its guidance and support.

        I also think that while the non-religious ought not to ridicule and disparage those who say such things as “everything happens for a reason,” “there are no coincidences” and “The Lord works in mysterious ways,” the religious need to recognize how gullible and fatuous such statements sound when they are used as a reflex substitute for reasoning and accountability.

        My wife literally screams at the TV every time one of those cliches come up. And her father was a minister.

        • I am not remotely religious but my perspective has always been that which I cannot prove false must be treated as true. So many others see it in reverse because it is impossible to prove a negative.

          Unfortunately, all the ways we prove truths require existing measuring tools. Did photons,and xrays exist before we had devices to measure them. Of course they did. Thus, simply because we have no device to measure the existance of a god we cannot merely say it does not exist.

        • The lord does not work in mysterious ways. He gave us free will which means good and bad stuff will happen because people do good and bad things that make them happen

  3. Compare what will likely be near-universal acclaim for this action (if the story gets any play…religion, you know…) to the twitterverse’s idiot reactions to Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s suggestion that many older people might sacrifice their security if it means avoiding a wrecked economy, even to the point of a depression, that could ruin the lives of their children and grandchildren.

    Some seem to think that the “economy” consists only of rich Republicans’ investment porfolios, and has no relation to the health and welfare of the general public. One tweet, is typical in it’s cluelessness; “The people who will be forced to go back into the workplace probably don’t have 401Ks to support.”, and oblivious to the consideration of how much worse things could get if there were no workplaces to which they could return.

    • 4th word, second paragraph…should be “think”, and the apostrophe should be after the s in “Republicans”. Sorry

  4. My mother died at 85 from her second stroke. After her first one, she was offered surgery to install a screen in her vein that would prevent clots from going to her brain. She took a pass on it. (This was all written in her notes we found after her death, or maybe even after my father’s subsequent death.) She’d been super active her entire life doing good deeds (and taking care of her family). When she had to slow down after her stroke, she wasn’t happy. I’m pretty sure she decided it was simply time for her to go.

    What is the cost to our society, economically and otherwise, of prolonging the lives of super elderly and infirm people? Shouldn’t we be looking at that? There were times during the last year of my father’s life (before he succumbed to pneumonia) where I wondered if the main objective was to keep him alive so a bed could remain filled at various facilities at Medicare’s expense.

    This priest is a champ. Good for you, father. Rest in peace. Ciao.

    • OB

      I can relate. However, such choices must be made by the only person that can accurately evaluate the costs and the benefits. My mom made the decision to terminate most medical interventions at 86.

      Leaving such decisions to bureaucrats who have no way of assessing the value to the elder in question is a dangerous precedent. In tort law the courts evaluate the value others would have paid to someone killed accidently. Little thought if any is given to how much the person valued his or her life itself.. No one can tell how much value I place on various things.

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