Vatican cardinal in row over claim that virus hurts religion

ROME (AP) — A petition signed by some conservative Catholics claiming that the coronavirus is an overhyped pretext to deprive the faithful of Mass and impose a new world order has run into a hitch. The highest ranking signatory, Cardinal Robert Sarah, head of the Vatican’s liturgy office, claims he never signed the petition. But the archbishop who spearheaded the initiative said Friday that Sarah was fully on board with it, and has the recorded phone conversations to prove it. Sarah, the Guinean-born hero to the Catholic right-wing, used the same tactic earlier this year over a book he penned with retired Pope Benedict XVI on priestly celibacy.