A high-ranking Roman Catholic cardinal and vaccine skeptic hospitalized after contracting Covid-19 was out of a ventilator and released from intensive care on Saturday, according to officials at a Wisconsin sanctuary he founded.
Raymond Burke was to return to an ordinary hospital room in an undisclosed location, the Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine in La Crosse has said.
Burke, 73, one of the most vocal Catholic conservatives, had been sedated and on a ventilator after announcing on August 10 that he had contracted the coronavirus.
“His sister spoke to him on the phone this morning, and His Eminence expressed his deep gratitude for the many prayers offered on his behalf,” Rev. Paul N Check, executive director of the shrine, said on Saturday.
“His family ask that we continue these prayers for his full and speedy recovery, and they are grateful to God for the exceptional medical care the Cardinal has received from the dedicated doctors and nurses who continue to help him. “
An earlier statement from the shrine stated that Burke had received sacraments from priests and that several relics had been placed in his room.
Burke was bishop in the diocese of La Crosse before becoming archbishop of St Louis. He left St. Louis in 2008 to oversee the Supreme Court of the Vatican, the first American to hold this post.
He built a reputation as an outspoken Tory, gaining attention in 2004 when he said he would not give Holy Communion to Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry because Kerry supported the right to freedom. ‘abortion. In 2009, he berated the University of Notre Dame for its intention to give President Barack Obama an honorary degree because Obama also supported the right to abortion.
Pope Francis brought Burke out of the Vatican courtyard in 2014 after Burke declared the church to be like a ship without a rudder.
In 2016, Burke joined with three other Conservative cardinals in formally asking the Pope to explain why he decided to let remarried Catholics receive Holy Communion.
Burke also warned that governments were using fear of the pandemic to manipulate people. He spoke out against mandatory vaccinations in May 2020 and said some in society wanted to implant people with microchips. The best weapon to fight the virus, he said, was Jesus Christ.