Controversial Irish-American Cardinal and COVID-19 vaccine skeptic Raymond Burke has revealed that he has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Burke, who has expressed skepticism about social distancing measures and opposed mandatory vaccination, revealed that he had contracted the virus in a post on Twitter on 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," Burke wrote on Twitter.
The 73-year-old Cardinal posted the tweet to address rumors about his health, with some commentators speculating that he was "severely ill" after contracting the virus.
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
Last December, Burke echoed former US President Donald Trump by describing COVID-19 as the "mysterious Wuhan virus" and said that certain forces were using the virus 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," Burke said in December last year.
Born in Wisconsin to parents from Cork and Tipperary, Burke regularly visits Ireland and said that his family's Irish heritage was important during his upbringing.
"I was raised in an Irish Catholic family which had a keen sense of the moral law. I go back to Ireland regularly and there are many wonderful people in Ireland hungering for leadership."
Burke served as Archbishop of St. Louis from 2004 until 2008 before his appointment at the Vatican’s Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. He was later removed from this post by Pope Francis in 2014.
Burke has been a vocal critic of Pope Francis, vigorously opposing the Pope's stance on abortion and same-sex marriage in the past.
He previously caused controversy by blaming falling church attendances on women who have "feminized" the Catholic church since the 1960s, discouraging "manly men" from joining the clergy.
"The radical feminism which has assaulted the Church and society since the 1960s has left men very marginalized,” Burke said in 2016.
"Apart from the priest, the sanctuary has become full of women. The activities in the parish and even the liturgy have been influenced by women and have become so feminine in many places that men do not want to get involved."
The Cardinal also appeared to suggest that the feminization of the Catholic Church was responsible for the dozens of abuse scandals that have plagued the institution in recent decades.
"There was a period of time when men who were 'feminized' and confused about their own sexual identity had entered the priesthood; sadly some of these disordered men sexually abused minors; a terrible tragedy for which the Church mourns."