Another vaccine skeptic finds there's a price to be paid for his beliefs. Whether that's the ultimate price or not remains to be seen, but ending one's life on a ventilator is not where anyone wants to be.
Source: Washington Post
Most days during the coronavirus pandemic, Cardinal Raymond L. Burke could be found strolling down the streets of Rome maskless and carrying rosary beads. The 73-year-old conservative cardinal was an early critic of social distancing and, later, an unabashed skeptic of the vaccine.
On Tuesday, Burke announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus. Now, the cardinal is in a hospital bed in his native Wisconsin, breathing with the help of a ventilator.
“Doctors are encouraged by his progress,” Burke’s press team tweeted Saturday night. "[His Eminence] faithfully prayed the Rosary for those suffering from the virus. … Let us now pray the Rosary for him.”
Burke has been highly critical of vaccines and even promoted (though it's unclear if he believes such ideas himself) some conspiracy theories about the vaccine.
During the global pandemic, Burke spoke out against vaccine mandates, claiming the practice “violates the integrity of its citizens.”
“While the State can provide reasonable regulations for the safeguarding of health, it is not the ultimate provider of health. God is,” he said during a May 2020 address.
Burke also repeated false information about vaccines, claiming that some believe there should be a “microchip … 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.”
The cardinal further condemned the use of abortion-derived cells in vaccine development as “rightly abhorrent,” saying it is “never morally justified to develop a vaccine through the use of the cell lines of aborted fetuses.”
Burke's opinion was rejected by the Vatican. It's not known if he was vaccinated but that seems highly doubtful.
Cardinal Burke is no stranger to controversy either, and doesn't hide his political leanings. In 2009, "he excoriated the University of Notre Dame for giving former president Barack Obama an honorary degree. In an interview, Burke said that Catholics who voted for Obama “collaborated with evil.” Recently, he called pro-choice politicians who “publicly and obstinately” support abortion are “apostates” who cannot receive Communion. A clear dig at Joe Biden.
Or as he said himself in a homily last December at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin (see video above):
“Then there is the mysterious Wuhan virus about whose nature and prevention the mass media daily give us conflicting information. What is clear, however, is that it has been used by certain forces, inimical to families and to the freedom of nations, to advance their evil agenda. These forces tell us that we are now the subjects of the so-called ‘Great Reset,’ the ‘new normal,’ which is dictated to us by their manipulation of citizens and nations through ignorance and fear.”
Such is the perversion of conservative thought about the pandemic. It's all a plot for control instead of a public health crisis.
Outspoken anti-vaccine Cardinal Raymond Burke is in a Wisconsin hospital tonight in a ventilator days after testing positive for covid. https://t.co/NYcMElhKNq
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) August 15, 2021
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.
— Cardinal Burke (@cardinalrlburke) August 10, 2021
Cardinal Burke has been admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 and is being assisted by a ventilator. Doctors are encouraged by his progress. 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.
— Cardinal Burke (@cardinalrlburke) August 15, 2021