American Cardinal Raymond Burke used his position as a purported representative of the Christian god to convince people the world over to avoid their social obligation to get vaccinated.
Apparently, his god has spoken.
He also used that platform to push the conspiracy theory that the vaccines provide a potential vector for "a kind of microchip needs to be 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 American prelate had recently scoffed at continuing COVID-19 precautions and scorned vaccine mandates in both the U.S. and Europe. It is not known if he was vaccinated before contracting the virus, which would have helped him comply with Italy's increasingly harsh regulations that require vaccination proof to anyone who wants to dine in a restaurant or go to a movie. Pope Francis has also required Vatican employees to be inoculated and called getting the vaccine an "ethical obligation."
Burke's press team tweeted last Wednesday that the cardinal had been admitted to a hospital after several conservative Catholic websites started prayer circles for him. "Cardinal Burke has been admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 and is being assisted by a ventilator," according the tweet. "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."
Bucking the Pope, who I thought had the actual direct line to their god, also seems like a bad idea.