Cardinal Raymond Burke: Vaccine-sceptic Irish-American Catholic Cardinal in 'serious condition' in hospital with Covid-19

Cardinal Raymond Burke: Vaccine-sceptic Irish-American Catholic Cardinal in 'serious condition' in hospital with Covid-19

AN OUTSPOKEN US Cardinal has been placed on a ventilator and is in a "serious condition" after contracting Covid-19.

Cardinal Raymond Burke, whose parents hail from Cork and Tipperary, tested positive for Covid-19 last week, and his health rapidly deteriorated to the point where he was intubated and placed on a ventilator in hospital.

The 73-year-old had spoken out against restrictions imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, opposing vaccinations, condemning the "Wuhan virus" and telling followers the only protection they needed against the virus was a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Former Archbishop of St. Louis cardinal Raymond Leo Burke attends Palm Sunday Mass celebrated by Pope Francis at St. Peter's Square on April 13, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

The outspoken Irish-American had criticised church leaders for not rebelling against social distancing measures, claiming the church should be allowed to carry out masses and sacraments as usual, and said the pandemic was being used "by certain forces ... to advance their evil agenda .... dictated to us by their manipulation of citizens and nations through ignorance and fear", The Irish Times reports.

Last week, the Catholic leader announced on Twitter that he had contracted Covid-19, writing:

"Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

"Thanks be to God, I am resting comfortably and receiving excellent medical care. Please pray for me as I begin my recovery. Let us trust in Divine Providence. God bless you."

Four days later, on 15 August, a staff member on Cardinal Burke's team announced that the cardinal had been "admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 and is being assisted by a ventilator".

"Doctors are encouraged by his progress. H.E. faithfully prayed the Rosary for those suffering from the virus. On this Vigil of the Assumption, let us now pray the Rosary for him."

This morning, Cardinal Burke's team issued a further update on his health, confirming he was in a "serious" condition in hospital but that he is "stable".

They thanked the public for their " outpouring of love, prayers and support during His Eminence’s hospitalization".

US Cardinal Raymond Burke attends the of funeral mass for late Cardinal William Joseph Levada on September 27, 2019 at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP/ Getty Images) 

The Cardinal is "sedated and on a medical ventilator" and has received the Sacraments, and he and his family have "great confidence in the care he is receiving".

Rev. Paul N Check, Executive Director of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, wrote in a statement that his family were asking for privacy, and said that "were [Cardinal Burke] able to speak with us now, he would tell what he has always taught us:  that Our Father in Heaven is good, merciful, just, provident and sovereign; that we are His beloved children and that He will never leave us orphans; that we should not be afraid of the Cross as the way to eternal life; that the Sacraments are the most direct channels of grace and that we do the soul the greatest good by receiving Holy Communion often and by going to Confession regularly; that we should say our daily prayers; and that we should love one another as Jesus Christ has loved us:  generously, even to the point of heroic sacrifice.

"And one more thing so important and so dear to His Eminence:  that we should pray the Rosary frequently and fervently, and so place ourselves under the mantle of Our Lady, confident in her maternal love and intercession.

"Please continue your prayers for Cardinal Burke and for his family, particularly at the Holy Mass and in the praying of the Rosary.  We are filled with gratitude for the abundance of prayers and love for this faithful son and servant of the Church."