ST. LOUIS (NEXSTAR) — Cardinal Raymond Burke, Archbishop Emeritus of St. Louis, is now on a ventilator after testing positive for COVID-19, according to a tweet posted to his account.
Burke had announced to his Twitter followers on Aug. 10 that he had tested positive for the virus.
The 73-year-old was named Archbishop of St. Louis in Dec. 2003 and installed to the post in January 2004. He led the archdiocese until June 2008 when he was transferred to the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, the highest judicial authority in the Catholic Church, aside from the pope.
Pope Francis later removed Burke from the Apostolic Signatura in Nov. 2014 and named him Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
In March 2020, just as the pandemic was unfolding in the United States, Cardinal Burke released a statement calling for churches and places of worship to remain open and seemed to imply COVID as a punishment of sorts.
Later in the year, the cardinal delivered a homily at a Wisconsin church promulgating a conspiracy theory that the virus was part of a plot “by certain forces, inimical to families and to the freedom of nations, to advance their evil agenda.”
In December 2020, he referred to COVID-19 as “the mysterious Wuhan virus,” a derogatory term used by former President Donald Trump, and also said that people were using the pandemic to “advance their evil agenda,” according to The Independent.
The cardinal had also quoted groups that suggested that COVID-19 vaccines inject “a kind of microchip” that allow citizens to “be controlled by the state regarding health and about other matters which we can only imagine,” according to the National Catholic Reporter.