Rev. Jerry Falwell (

Rev. Jerry Falwell, founder of the Moral Majority and Liberty University, is in critical condition after being hospitalized for viral pneumonia.

Falwell, 71, suffered from “respiratory arrest” and was admitted just before midnight last night, according to a statement from Lynchburg General Hospital in the Virginia city where the pastor’s ministry is based.

The hospital said he was put on a ventilator and stabilized but remained in critical condition.

“He’s resting comfortably and in stable condition,” Ron Godwin, Falwell’s executive assistant, told the Associated Press. “It’s a recurrence of the viral pneumonia.”

The previous bout with pneumonia put Falwell in the hospital 13 days. Last week, he told the AP he was feeling much better though still recovering after his March 4 release.

Falwell, a WND columnist, preached Easter Sunday at Thomas Road Baptist Church.

Rev. Dave Randlett, a senior associate pastor, told the wire service Falwell appeared in good health.

“He always looks ‘up’ so you wouldn’t know if he wasn’t” feeling well, Randlett said. “He was very optimistic.”

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