Cardinal Burke Recovering from COVID, off Ventilator

Cardinal Burke Recovering from COVID, off Ventilator Cardinal Burke Recovering from COVID, off Ventilator Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke arrives for the presentation of his book Divine Love Made Flesh, in Rome. (Andrew Medichini/AP)

By Sandy Fitzgerald | Saturday, 21 August 2021 01:56 PM

Raymond Leo Burke, a high-ranking Catholic cardinal who was in serious condition with COVID-19 earlier this week, has been taken off a ventilator and released from the intensive care unit.

According to a statement posted on Burke's official Twitter page, the cardinal has "expressed his deep gratitude for the many prayers offered on his behalf."

On Tuesday, Burke, the former archbishop of St. Louis, was listed in "serious but stable condition" after having been put on a ventilator last weekend.

His family and the church have not revealed where he is being treated, but asked for prayers and a "full and speedy recovery." They also said they were "grateful to God for the exceptional medical care the Cardinal has received from the dedicated doctors and nurses who continue to assist him."

Burke, the Cardinal-Priest of Sant'Agata de' Goti in Rome, served as Archbishop of St. Louis from 2003 to 2008 before going to the Vatican to become a member of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the highest judicial authority in the Catholic Church aside from the pope.

The cardinal announced his illness on Aug. 11, also through his Twitter account, after having been a vocal critic of the government imposing vaccine mandates, according to several reports.

Burke lives in Rome but reportedly became ill while visiting Wisconsin, where he was raised, according to The St. Louis Dispatch. He founded the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin, in 2008.

The cardinal is a Catholic conservative and has supported pro-life causes. He has said President Joe Biden should not receive Communion for his support for abortion.