Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, 73, has been put on a ventilator amid a battle with COVID-19, his official Twitter account posted Saturday night.
"Cardinal Burke has been admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 and is being assisted by a ventilator. Doctors are encouraged by his progress," the tweet read, just days after a tweet announced he had contracted COVID-19. "H.E. faithfully prayed the Rosary for those suffering from the virus. On this Vigil of the Assumption, let us now pray the Rosary for him."
Burke, Cardinal Priest of Sant'Agata de' Goti in Rome, was Archbishop of St. Louis from 2003 to 2008 before heading to the Vatican to become a member of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. It is the highest judicial authority in the Catholic Church aside from the pope.
Burke's Twitter announced the infection Wednesday:
"Praised be Jesus Christ! I wish to inform you that I have recently tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Thanks be to God, I am resting comfortably and receiving excellent medical care. Please pray for me as I begin my recovery. Let us trust in Divine Providence. God bless you."
A report from the St. Louis Dispatch noted Burke fell ill in Wisconsin, despite holding Rome as his home. He was raised in Wisconsin and founded the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin, in 2008, according to the Dispatch.
"He certainly is a good and faithful son of the church," friend and his former press secretary Elizabeth Westhoff told the Dispatch. "He has been a wonderful spiritual father to me and to many, many other people around the world who look to him for orthodox teachings when it comes to issues concerning the church.
"Knowing him, I'm sure that he is offering this up, as we say in the church, for those who are suffering from COVID right now along with him."
Burke has been a stout Catholic conservative, standing for pro life causes in saying then-candidate Joe Biden should not receive communion for his support for abortion.
Burke has also been a vocal critic of government imposing vaccine mandates, according to Life Site, warning about "a kind of microchip needs to be placed under the skin of every person, so that at any moment he or she can be controlled by the state regarding health and about other matters which we can only imagine."
At the start of the pandemic in March 2020, Burke wrote on his blog the importance of faith and worship amid the outbreak.
"In combating the evil of the coronavirus, our most effective weapon is, therefore, our relationship with Christ through prayer and penance, and devotions and sacred worship," Burke wrote. "We turn to Christ to deliver us from pestilence and from all harm, and He never fails to respond with pure and selfless love."
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