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Cardinal Burke tweets that his condition is improving

August 28, 2021 Catholic News Agency 3
Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke during the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, June 29, 2019. Daniel Ibáñez/CNA

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Aug 28, 2021 / 21:38 pm (CNA).

Raymond Cardinal Burke issued a personal statement via Twitter Saturday night, thanking his doctors, all those who have offered prayers on his behalf, and especially God “who has brought me to this point of healing and recovery.”

Coming a week after the last public update on his health, Cardinal Burke’s tweet provided another positive sign that his condition has improved since being placed on ventilator Aug. 14 due to complications from COVID-19. He said he now faces an “intensive rehabilitation.”

“I have been transferred out of the Medical Intensive Care Unit and settled in a hospital room where the doctors, nurses, and numerous hospital staff have provided vigilant, superb, and steadfast medical care,” the 73-year-old American cardinal tweeted.

“For these dedicated professionals, too, I offer heartfelt thanks, as well as to the priests who have ministered to me sacramentally. To those who have offered innumerable Rosaries and prayers, lighted candles, and requested the offering of the Holy Mass, I extend my sincere gratitude, and I ask the Lord and His Mother to bless you all. I also thank my brother bishops and priests who have offered Mass for me or prayed for me at the altar. 

“This generous outpouring of grace unites me to you in a special way, as I am also particularly united to all victims suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 virus,” the tweet continued.

A leading prelate in the U.S. Catholic Church known for his outspoken defense of traditional Catholicism, Cardinal Burke is the former leader of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the Diocese of La Crosse in his home state of Wisconsin.

Now based in Rome, Cardinal Burke fell ill while visiting Wisconsin and was transferred to a hospital as his condition worsened.

In a prior update on Aug. 21, the Shrine of Our Lady of Gaudalupe in La Crosse revealed that he had spoken to his sister by phone able to speak by phone with his sister on Saturday morning and “expressed his deep gratitude for the many prayers offered on his behalf.” 

In his tweet Saturday, Cardinal Burke reflected on the significance of the motto he took when he was selected for the episcopacy: “Secundum Cor Tuum” (“According to Your Heart.”)

“All things ordered in and through the Divine Will have as their origin the Sacred Heart of Our Savior, whose fundamental motivation is His Eternal Love for His Father and for His children,” he stated.

“Since Divine Providence has governed that I remain hospitalized for the present, I now reaffirm that same episcopal conviction: suffering, united with the suffering of Jesus Christ, is truly efficacious in His Divine Plan for our salvation when accepted willingly and wholeheartedly. Saint Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, teaches us the meaning of our suffering: ‘Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the Church’ (Col 1:24.)”

Cardinal Burke said in his tweet that he regrets he is unable to respond personally to the many letters, phone calls, and other expressions of support he has received during his illness. He said the Shrine of Our Lady of Gaudalupe will continue to handle communications on his behalf during his recovery.