Raymond Burke, one of the Catholic church’s most viciously anti-LGBTQ leaders and a critic of COVID-19 vaccines and masking mandates, has contracted the lethal illness.
The 73-year-old has been hospitalized, placed on a ventilator and is now asking others to pray for his recovery since he did nothing to protect himself.
Burke reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 last Wednesday during a visit to Wisconsin. He has frequently been seen maskless in Rome, The Guardian reported.
He has also opposed vaccine mandates as “totalitarian”, has falsely claimed that the vaccine inserts microchips into people and has falsely claimed that the vaccine was developed “through the use of the cell lines of aborted fetuses.”
“Doctors are encouraged by his progress,” an August 14 tweet on Burke’s official Twitter account said. “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 has been one of the fiercest anti-LGBTQ prelates in the Catholic Church. He has called homosexuality an “ailment”, told parents that they should not allow their children to meet same-sex couples and blamed the church’s child abuse scandal on “hedonistic” gay people rather than the church’s own predatory priests.
He has complained that the church has strayed from “absolute moral law” by not condemning “the plague of the homosexual agenda” forcefully enough. Burke was a leading proponent of bans on same-sex marriage nationwide.
He has also been a leader in decrying the use of condoms to prevent HIV. His opposition to condoms led to his exile from the Vatican by the current Pope Francis.
Burke had intervened to have the head of a church organization fired for approving the distribution of condoms to prostitutes in Myanmar. Francis used the episode to remove Burke from his powerful post and send him to Guam as punishment.