Cardinal Burke off COVID-19 ventilator and back in a hospital room, family says

CNA 5d1b774370fa2 158256 1Cardinal Raymond L. Burke during the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, June 29, 2019./ Daniel Ibáñez/CNA

By Hannah Brockhaus, Jonah McKeown

Hannah BrockhausJonah McKeown

Rome Newsroom, Aug 21, 2021 / 10:04 am

Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke has been removed from a ventilator and will move from the ICU to a hospital room as he continues to battle COVID-19.

According to an Aug. 21 update on the cardinal’s health, Burke was able to speak by phone with his sister on Saturday morning and “expressed his deep gratitude for the many prayers offered on his behalf,” the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe reported.

Praised be Jesus Christ! Cardinal Burke’s family is pleased to announce that His Eminence has come off the ventilator and will leave the ICU today to return to his hospital room.— Cardinal Burke (@cardinalrlburke) August 21, 2021

The shrine, located in La Crosse, Wisconsin, has been providing information about the 73-year-old cardinal’s health after he was admitted to the hospital and put on a ventilator on Aug. 14 due to complications from COVID-19.

Burke’s “family asks that we continue those 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 assist him,” shrine director Fr. Paul N. Check wrote Aug. 21.

“The Shrine and the Cardinal’s media will provide further updates as directed by his family,” he said.

Burke had previously announced his diagnosis of COVID-19 on Aug. 10. A week later, the Shrine reported that the cardinal was in “serious but stable condition” and that the next few days would be critical. The shrine asked for continued prayers for Cardinal Burke and his family, especially through praying the rosary and attending Mass.

Prayers for the cardinal’s recovery have poured in throughout his illness.

“I’m praying for Cardinal Burke’s healing. And for an increase in humility all around,” wrote National Review’s, Kathryn Jean Lopez. “And also, respect for conscience rights at this time of great fear. Fear does not bring out the best in us, it would seem.”

Lopez was critical of media reports which stressed Cardinal Burke’s orthodox Catholic faith, as well as his opposition to vaccination mandates. It is not known if Cardinal Burke was vaccinated against COVID-19, but he has been a vocal opponent of closing churches, as well as mandatory vaccines.

The Latin Mass Society created a “spiritual bouquet” where people could submit prayers or other devotional acts done with the intention of Cardinal Burke’s recovery.