Cardinal 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
Rome Newsroom, Aug 21, 2021 / 10:04 am (CNA).
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.
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 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, a 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.