“In these hours of great concern for the health of our dear Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, I invite all of the faithful to pray for him, entrusting His Eminence to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.” —A note from Archbishop Viganò which he sent to me a few moments ago

    Letter #87, Tuesday, August 17: Prayers needed for Cardinal Burke

    Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke (link) needs our prayers.

    The cardinal has been in a hospital in Wisconsin for three days, since August 14, the Vigil of the Feast of the Assumption, struggling to breathe as he suffers from a very severe case of pneumonia, attributed by doctors to the COVID-19 virus.

    The cardinal has been placed on a ventilator, according to an update on his condition published on the cardinal’s Twitter account Saturday evening.

    A report Saturday in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said the cardinal, who lives in Rome, became ill while visiting Wisconsin, where he was born and raised. (link)

    A text which I received from a friend this morning said doctors judge his situation to be very, very serious.

    Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, a close friend of Cardinal Burke, has just written a note to me which he asked me to distribute in this letter:

    In these hours of great concern for the health of our dear Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, I invite all of the faithful to pray for him, entrusting His Eminence to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

    I also exhort the doctors who are caring for His Eminence to not hesitate to seriously consider using the existing treatments whose effectiveness have been demonstrated.  

    + Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop

    Tuesday, August 17, 2021

    Cardinal Burke at a pro-life march in Rome seven years ago, in 2014 (link).

    Cardinal Burke: A cardinal who has been a sign of contradiction in our time — and profoundly misunderstood…

    Cardinal Burke has often been characterized as a “rigid conservative” by the secular and liberal press, but those who know him separate the two words, saying one is true, but the other is false.

    Yes, they say, Cardinal Burke is indeed a “conservative”… in that (of course) he seeks to “conserve,” to “preserve,” to “protect” and to “defend” and to “propose” as a great blessing, and to “teach” as a great “Good News” of redemption and eternal life, the Catholic faith in all its mysterious, austere and redeeming splendor.

    But no, Cardinal Burke is not “rigid,” “cold,” “judgmental.”

    Not at all.


    I know Cardinal Burke personally. I had many lunches and dinners with him in Rome, especially in the 1990s, when he was a young monsignor, before he was made a bishop.

    Cardinal Burke is a Wisconsin farm boy, who come from the rural, working-class people of Wisconsin, and cares for ordinary people with ordinary problems in life.

    And though Pope Benedict chose to raise him to the College of Cardinals, making him what is called “a Prince of the Church,” he has never forgotten his roots, where he came from.

    And it is precisely for this reason that he has tried with all his strength to defend and conserve the faith — because he believes that it is the greatest gift and the greatest good that he can give to those very simple, ordinary people from whose community he emerged to be a global leader of the Church.

    A comment from someone who knows the cardinal    

    “I know Cardinal Burke personally, from my wife’s participation in the Marian Catechists, and having spoken with him several times at The Church Teaches Forums in Louisville, Kentucky,” wrote a commenter named Borghesius at the link cited in the photo caption above.

    Cardinal Burke is “very soft spoken, kind, and concerned for actual people in actual difficult moral situations,” the commenter writes.

    “As part of this concern, he sincerely believes that ripping apart clear consistent moral teaching, instituted by God and held by the Church for the sake and salvation of mankind, is the opposite of compassionate: all that does is cause more suffering in the long run and makes people have a sense of false comfort in their separation from Christ,” Borghesius continues.

    “He would rather slit his own throat with a rusty butterknife than ever dissent from any authentic Church teaching,” the commenter added.

    And “if you are trying to undermine Church teaching, Cardinal Burke is exactly the man who would be standing in your way, and must be belittled and talked down,” he added.

    “What they don’t realize, is that the more they spitefully strike out, the higher Burke’s profile becomes,” he concluded.

    Let us pray for Cardinal Burke, in this his hour of greatest need.

    —Robert Moynihan

    Cardinal Burke in 1975, age 27, just before his ordination to the priesthood in the Catholic Church (link)    


    Note: In addition to praying for Cardinal Burke in this difficult hour, please consider providing even a small amount of support to our Friends of Lebanon project. Your help is needed now more than ever before. Even small donations are very helpful. We realize you have many other concerns and obligations, but Lebanon and her suffering people are right now is clearly an important cause.—RM


The people of Beirut and all of Lebanon are in need of our assistance.

We have spoken with our friends, the Maronite Monks, about how we can help.

You can make a tax deductible donation here.

    These donations are restricted to our “Friends of Lebanon” project. These funds are used to develop a precise and effective way to carry out to 2 goals:

    1) Short Term Help: to assist those who need immediate assistance – daily needs like food and water, electricity and other essential household items.

    2) Long Term Hope: to support projects which will help those most in need to become stable, to become self reliant, to receive education and to stay in Lebanon.

As a donor, you will have an opportunity to join the conversation on a monthly virtual video calls with those who are on the ground in Lebanon, helping those in need.  

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