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Prayers intensify for Cardinal Burke, who is fighting Covid

Cardeal Raymond Burke

Abraxham03 / Wikipedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 08/17/21 - updated on 08/18/21

The 73-year-old cardinal remains sedated and on a ventilator in "serious, but stable condition"

Cardinal Raymond Burke, patron of the Order of Malta, was hospitalized on August 14 with Covid, after confirming on Twitter three days earlier that he had tested positive.

Cardinal Burke was sedated and put on a ventilator and remained in a “serious, but stable condition,” according to an August 17 statement from the Wisconsin-based Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

The cardinal is a great devotee of Our Lady, and faithful around the world are praying the Rosary for his recovery.

Media vaccine controversy

It is not clear if Cardinal Burke is vaccinated. While certain reports refer to him as opposed to vaccines or a vaccine skeptic, in fact, he has spoken out against vaccine mandates. And, as the Vatican has made clear, he has said that it is immoral to manufacture vaccines that use the cell lines of aborted babies.

This has always been the position of the Vatican, well established in regard to other vaccines that have used the same cell lines, prior to the Covid vaccines. The Vatican urges Catholics to advocate for the development of moral vaccines, but recognizes that a person who receives such a vaccine in the interest of protecting their own or their children’s health is morally justified, given that the vaccinated person(s) only have a remote cooperation in the evil of the abortions.

See the full explanation, from the Church’s highest doctrinal office, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, here:

A life in service

Cardinal Burke is a native of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, where he was ordained a priest at age 26, and later served as bishop from 1994 to 2003. In that year, he was made archbishop of St. Louis, Missouri, and served there until in 2008, he was called to Rome as the prefect of the Apostolic Signatura.

In 2014, his term there expired and Pope Francis did not renew it, instead naming him Patron of the Order of Malta.

The Apostolic Signatura is the Church’s highest court. The Order of Malta is a lay order that provides humanitarian assistance and medical and social services.

Other prelates with Covid

Cardinal Burke is one of a handful of prelates who have battled Covid. One of the highest profile cardinals is Cardinal Luis Tagle, 64, former archbishop of Manila and now the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Cardinal Tagle recovered from the illness, and said that his reflection from his experience was that we shouldn’t procrastinate in doing good.

In a single day in January of this year, a cardinal and two bishops died of Covid: bishops from Scotland and Zambia, and a cardinal from Brazil.

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