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Reports: Vatican-ordered investigation targets Bishop Strickland of Tyler, Texas

Joseph E. Strickland of Tyler, Texas, speaks from the floor during the fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore Nov. 11, 2019. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

CNA Newsroom, Jun 25, 2023 / 11:11 am (CNA).

The Vatican’s Dicastery of Bishops has completed a formal investigation of Bishop Joseph E. Strickland and the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, according to multiple media reports.

What prompted the inquiry, known as an apostolic visitation, remains unclear, but it marks a rare though not unprecedented intervention by Rome into a U.S. diocese and points to possible disciplinary action against Strickland, a widely popular though polarizing Texas firebrand viewed as a culture war champion by many U.S. conservatives for his staunch defense of the unborn, marriage, the traditional Latin liturgy, and Catholic orthodoxy.

The leader of the eastern Texas diocese since 2012, Strickland, 64, has faced criticism for what some see as intemperate social media posts unbecoming of a prominent U.S. prelate, including a May 12 tweet that suggested Pope Francis was “undermining the Deposit of Faith.”

Not one to sit on the sidelines, he recently played a prominent role in a eucharistic procession and prayer rally in Los Angeles on June 16 organized to protest Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers for honoring an anti-Catholic drag group at the team’s annual Pride Night game.

Though he was hailed for his leadership in some circles for joining the Dodgers protest, others saw the involvement of a bishop from another diocese as a breach of ecclesiastical protocol. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which condemned the Dodgers’ actions, emphasized in a statement that it had not given “backing or approval” for the rally.

More recently, on June 21, Strickland criticized a newly released Vatican document that suggests topics for discussion at an October assembly tied to the ongoing Synod on Synodality — including questions related to women deacons, married priests and calls for greater inclusion for LGBT people.

“It is a travesty that these things are even proposed for discussion. I pray that all who truly know Jesus Christ will not be deceived by this path,” he tweeted. “The Gospel welcomes all to repentance & sanctity, if there is no repentance the barriers to sanctity remain.”

News of the Vatican investigation began to circulate among Catholic outlets on Saturday, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

Bishop Gerald Kicanas, emeritus of Tucson, and Bishop Dennis Sullivan of Camden, New Jersey, reportedly led the visitation, according to media reports.

The Pillar quoted an unnamed priest of the Tyler Diocese who said the interviewers’ questions focused on Strickland’s administrative leadership in the diocese, rather than on his social media activities.

While one source described as someone close to Strickland told the Pillar that the Tyler bishop “doesn’t want to make too big of a deal” of the visitation, a priest related that interviewers “were already asking questions about who might be a good fit to replace [Strickland].”

The Tyler Diocese did not respond to requests for comment.

Other apostolic visitations

According to the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith (DDF), an apostolic visitation is an “exceptional initiative of the Holy See” that involves a delegated visitor or visitors being sent to evaluate an ecclesial institute, such as a seminary, diocese, or religious order, on behalf of the pope.

“Apostolic visitations are intended to assist the institute in question to improve the way in which it carries out its function in the life of the Church,” according to a glossary of terms provided by the DDF.

An apostolic visitation is a specific form of canonical visitation, which is any instance of an ecclesial superior visiting or sending a delegate to persons or institutions under their authority to maintain sound doctrine and morals or correct abuses. The pope can initiate apostolic visitations throughout the universal Church in his capacity as the supreme pontiff.

Apostolic visitors differ from other papal delegates, such as nuncios assigned to a specific country, in that their mission is more specific and transient, usually focused on a particular episode or emergency that has emerged. The scope and abilities of a specific apostolic visitation are determined by their associated mandate given by the pope, and conclude when the responsible delegate submits a formal written report to the Holy See.

The practice has been employed frequently by Pope Francis during his 10 years as pontiff.

Bishop Daniel Fernandez Torres of the Diocese of Arecibo in Puerto Rico was reportedly the subject of an apostolic visitation made by Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich before his removal from office on March 9, 2022.

Although the Vatican never provided any official reason for his removal, the metropolitan archbishop of Puerto Rico said it was due to “insubordination to the Pope,” likely related to Bishop Fernandez Torres breaking from his fellow Puerto Rican bishops by not sending his diocese’s seminarians to a newly established national seminary and also refusing to sign a joint statement on the duty to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.

Several other bishops have also been removed from their dioceses or requested “early retirement” following apostolic visitations in recent years.

Bishop Martin D. Holley was removed from the Diocese of Memphis on Oct. 24, 2018, following a three-day apostolic visitation in June 2018 by Archbishops Gregory Wilton (then archbishop of Atlanta) and Bernard Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis that reportedly looked into allegations of mismanagement of diocesan personnel and finance.

In Paraguay, Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano was removed from governance of the Diocese of Ciudad del Este on Sept. 25, 2014, following accusations of a lack of collegiality following an apostolic visitation that took place in July of that year.

And in Buffalo, Pope Francis accepted the “early retirement” request of Bishop Richard Malone in December 2019, after the bishop had faced significant criticism for his handling of clerical sex abuse in the diocese and was the recipient of an apostolic visitation in October 2019.

The Vatican also reportedly sent an apostolic visitation to the Diocese of Knoxville in November 2022, where Bishop Richard Stika has recently been embroiled in allegations of sex abuse coverup. The Vatican has reportedly asked Bishop Stika to resign, but he remains in office.

Earlier this year, the Dicastery of Bishops launched an apostolic visitation of the Diocese of Toulon-Fréjus, a leading source of vocations in France. Another high-profile visitation took place in Ireland in 2010-11.

Apostolic visitations to dioceses with embattled bishops do not always result in discipline or removal of the local ordinary. Cologne’s Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki was the subject of an apostolic visitation in May 2021 amid fierce criticism over the way the German prelate had handled abuse cases in his archdiocese, but Pope Francis did not accept Woelki’s offer of resignation after the visitation found that he had not broken canon law.

Previously, apostolic visitations were conducted to U.S. seminaries (1983-1987), women’s religious institutions in the U.S. (2009-2012), and the Legionaries of Christ (2009) after their founder was discovered to have committed numerous acts of sexual and psychological abuse.

Notably, there has never been an apostolic visitation related to former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, formerly the archbishop of Washington and head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops who was found guilty of serial sexual abuse, despite recent requests from U.S. Church leadership.

In some cases, such as the apostolic visitation to Institutions of Women Religious in the United States that concluded in 2012, a full report of the findings was published by the Vatican. More often, however, the details of apostolic visitations are not made public.

The lack of full transparency has frequently created scenarios in which bishops removed from office accuse the Vatican or others of foul play. Bishop Holley, for instance, said he wasn’t removed over “mismanagement,” but as an act of “revenge” by Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, who influenced the papal nuncio to call for an investigation. Bishop Fernández Torres of Puerto Rico said his removal from office was “totally unjust” and violated due process.

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  1. The popesplainers will trot out their usual lines: Strickland is guilty of insubordination by criticizing Francis, violated collegiality in showing up Gomez by going to Los Angeles and leading the protests against the Dodgers, etc. In its article, The Pillar quotes an anonymous priest who claims that Strickland’s administrative governance has caused concern among the sober-minded. By golly, he has fired two finance officers in five years. Presumably, it is better to give incompetents or embezzlers more time to bankrupt the diocese before taking any action. These grave and responsible commentators will tell us how different Strickland’s case is from that of German bishops, for example, and how those differences justify removing the former while keeping the latter in place.
    The truth is he is being punished for being orthodox and speaking truth to people in powerful positions, especially in the Church. He is one of the few bishops who is actually fulfilling his mandate as a shepherd. There is nothing merciful and inclusive about the Francis regime and dialogue is that last thing they want to have with us.

    • Strickland is guilty of loving Strickland and demanding that there be no opposition to HIS views. We are not homogeneous in America and Strickland needs to realize there are other views and values. Francis should defrock him and I bet that within weeks Strickland will be an Evangelical Southern Baptist.

        • Thank you, Dr.Olson. An excellent and precise statement; many writers on this page should be listening to you.

      • What is important are not your views or my views or Bishop Strickland’s views or Pope Francis’s views. What matters is: what in fact has Our Lord Jesus Christ revealed? Faith is an ASSENT of our intellect to revealed truth. If Bishop Strickland has contradicted the deposit of faith, then by all means call him out for it and show that he has in fact done so. But WHO CARES that there are “other views” in the United States? What a bizarre thing for a Catholic to say. The faith is not a plaything to be adapted according to changing whims. Maybe your version of the Gospel has our Lord polling the crowds rather than “teaching as one having authority”?

      • Echoing Flannery O’Connor “A good Bishop is hard to find but there is one in Tyler Texas “who is now being investigated..Very Sad…However Romano Guardini said that one of the virtues is truth & it must be declared when untruth is becoming fashionablle. Bishop Strickland is a truth bearing Bishop.
        Harry D. Carrozza,MD. Past President of Philadelphia & Tucson PhysiciansGuild

      • Wrong. Bishop Strickland is loyal to the Catholic religion for which his critics (including Bergoglio) are not. By definition his loyalties are correctly prioritized as according to the same Catholic religion. Perhaps you should ask Soros to pay you more so that you can employ a separate researcher to help you get the facts straight.

      • This is not mercy. Strickland may have made errors but he is still a bishop. Show some respect. Your attitude is not becoming of a Christian.

      • Mr. Self, what other “views & values”? What exactly is up for debate – the 2000 year old teaching of the church? No, I think not. Bishop Strickland speaks truth. On the other hand, homo-heretics like James Martin & Helen Grammick, who are supposed to uphold the Catholic faith, are actually encouraged in their heretical ways by this pachamama pope. Do you see the problem here? Faithful shepherd gets an “apostolic visitation”, led by a do-nothing bishop (Sullivan) & a questionable bishop (Kicanas), while homo-heretic Martin is actually encouraged in his anti-Catholic ministry. You, sir, are delusional.

    • Has Arch Bishop Rozanski been subjected to old reports of failing to report priest child abuse cases? We feel he is culpable.

  2. His critics have claimed that Bishop Strickland has asked for this moment by his provocative statements and actions. His Excellency should further outrage them by refusing to resign. Force the Vatican to show Francis’ tyranny in all its brutality. Someone in a position of authority must precipitate a showdown with the pontiff who just within the last week has embraced Lula da Silva and Andres Serrano.

  3. If I am reading this correctly, he’s basically being investigated because he’s rejecting the hierarchy’s corrupt progressive narrative. This type of response coming from Francis isn’t surprising, but it is still deeply shameful. I’ll be interested to see how it all unfolds.

  4. As a cradle to grave Catholic in Alabama, I applaud Bishop Strickland.
    God expects nothing but the truth from us all.

    The silence of Catholic Clergy is affirming the insanity in our culture.
    Rally and support Bishop Strickland. Please be Fearless in calling out Blasphemy!

    This is ridiculous and makes the Catholic Church look we are in on the scam to tear down Christianity. I am proud of Bishop Strickland and will be very disheartened if he is sanctioned in any way.

    He should be given an Award of Bravery for speaking the Truth.

  5. Perhaps helpful in this case–and more largely in our point in turbulent post-Christian history–is a possible perspective supplied by backwater Montanist movement in the 2nd-century A.D. and the anti-Christian Roman Empire…

    The tension within the Church was between the episcopal structure of the Church and its efforts to retain a legal footing in a secular world, versus a more spiritualist principle which: “rejected all these compromises with the State [and which] gradually took the form of Montanism [….] It maintained the order of prophets in its old dignity: it did not admit the growing dignity of bishops. It claimed that it preserved the character and the views of the early Church [….]”

    Of the so-called episcopal compromises:

    “The object of using legal forms and fictions was not concealment, as that was impossible and unnecessary, when they were as powerful as the Church was in Asia Minor during the second century. It was to give themselves a legal footing, and allow all who had no active animosity to keep up the fiction about them. This even while Christianity was held a capital offense, communities obtained a legal position as Benefit Societies” (citations from the Scottish archeologist at the University of Aberdeen, W.M. Ramsay, “The Church in the Roman Empire,” 1892/93; awarded the Gold Medal of Pope Leo XIII in 1893).

    And what of today?

    In our somewhat different era of cultural (!) imperialism (worse than the legal imperialism under Pax Romana), do the gray 2nd-century Benefit Societies find a parallel in a proposed “pluralism” of religions, and even in “walking together” synodality, another Holy Spirit creation thistime bracketed apart (only temporarily?) from a moral or doctrinal component (according to Cardinal Hollerich; and, institutionally, with bishops “primarily as facilitators”).

    The only alternative to the Benedict Option? Is the mortal threat of radical Secularism, and even Islamic dhimitude, so immediate that some form of “concealment,” this time, is the best or only path forward for survival until better times? Is even the universal Natural Law, itself, and about which “The Church is no way [!] the author or the arbiter” (Veritatis Splendor, n.95) so incomprehensible to current sloganeering that it can no longer be openly defended within the Church, even by a bishops as Successors of the Apostles?

    In response to the broad crisis of our time (more than a Texas tempest in a teapot!), are there more artful and courageous options? How exactly should Rome and members of the “hierarchical communion” (Lumen Gentium), together, frame the backwater “visitation?”

    Something, also better than the “aggregated, compiled and synthesized” Instrumental Laboris, as a real starting point for the Synod on Synodality?

  6. I am not an American but like anyone else I have admiration for bishops priests and nuns who have zeal for the Lord. In a time and a world where there is so much persecution for standing up for your faith in Christ, in a soceity where you are sidelined and mocked and so on, it is disheartening to see repeated actions where good are sidelined or condemned by the church herself. Lord Jesus please put an end to all the madness in the world.

  7. Being orthodox, pro-life and exhorting the flock through words and deeds to use their political liberty (while they still possess it) to openly and unashamedly resist blatant evil is not tolerated by Bergoglio’s Vatican.

  8. So, there is to be an investigation but they will not say what the problem is? I see. Attack by accusation. Favorite ploy of the left. That this Bishop is conservative and takes a stand for church morality, tells us all we need to know about what is REALLY happening. No need to disturb the Vatican gang by asking for the truth. It might disturb their 3 martini lunches with secular power brokers. These are the same bunch that leaped to help force our churches closed during covid. Yeah, we get whats happening here.

  9. I’m reading this and the nino rota’s theme is playing in my head! This is equal to the horses head in the bed and it’s easy to see the scenario like this being played out: hey Joey! The boss is not happy get with the program capeesh? Yes not a nice comparison but what we see is very much like this being played out! But what we have seen since 2013,is a feeling like this! Not healthy not Christian in my personal view! One thinks of the halcyon days of the late panzer cardinal! Ah, happy days!, happy days!!!!!

  10. It is so telling that statements of Catholic belief are now somehow provocative. Controversial.

    We need to start referring to Bergoglio’s bureaucracy as “the dark Vatican.”

  11. Here’s my guess who the villains are in this sordid inquisition: McElroy, Tobin, Cupich, Wester, and Gregory. They’re the ones who sigged the Vatican on a righteous bishop in order to silence him. They envy his popularity among the People of God and care only to advance their sinful progressive agenda in the Church. This is simply an opinion. The other bishops who remain silent in the face of the persecution of a good and holy brother bishop are simply feckless wimps who lack testicular courage. What’s happening in our Catholic Church is simply sinfully disgusting.

    • One question is whethr Bishop Strickland is targeted as a pre-emptive move against many more bishops in this country and elsewhere who intend to be heard (as in a “listening” synod?) at the self-validating Synod on Synodality in October.

      If this is the case (rather than tedium over administrative trivia), the minefield action against Strickland possibly signals fear that an effective push-back is finally in the offing. Let us pray, then, that well-grounded bishops (that is, bishops who do not decapitate morals from the faith, and who do not undermine the very nature of the Church) take heart with the knowledge that they merit such attention. All the chips are on the table, and are the dealers now bluffing and drawing to an inside straight?

      In the long run, might we yet look back on October 2023 as the moment when all deceptions were mingled sorta providentially with the good, AND, providentially again, when the Church acted in a definitive way both affirmative of the perennial truth, and exclusive (!) of the walk-on contaminants–as at Nicaea against the question of Arianism?

      Damn the torpedoes [mines], full speed ahead!” A theological allusion!

      So said Admiral Farragut while placing his flagship in the lead and giving that order, in Mobile Harbor in 1864. By his resolve against a harbor mine he led his flotilla to victory. Depending on the actual details, one interpretation of the possible hit against Strickland is its part in the bigger engagement—and its role as the harbinger of a balanced, doctrinally steadfast, and un-manipulated outcome this fall.

      Synodal momentum ain’t the Holy Spirit.

  12. This is the key to the kingdom: “The Gospel welcomes all to repentance & sanctity, if there is no repentance the barriers to sanctity remain.” That is the best quote I’ve read or heard to understand inclusion in the Church. God love those, especially Bishop Strickland, who understand the Gospel message, “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.”

  13. What a repugnant, obvious attempt to not only silence one of the few Catholic bishops American’s have, but send a message to the rabbit-like others, don’t dare be a faithful, Catholic bishop and speak the truth, don’t have zeal for Christ and his church and flock, or we’ll punish you in some way. Rome is a damnable lot, they have made themselves resented and rejected by faithful Catholics, who are completely fed up with the anti-Catholic nature of so many words and actions. Now an attack on the one bishop who puts love of Christ ahead of fear of Rome, and here they come to silence him or remove him. How dare they.
    If they do this, they will harden the hearts of many Catholics. Rome has broken with us. We did not break with Rome. The schism is self-inflicted. All Catholics wanted to be was Catholic. Now that is not even possible. When faithful clergy are removed, it’s time to look elsewhere, like the SSPX. Being Catholic shouldn’t feel like a hostage situation, it’s not healthy, it’s dysfunctional and sick.

    • Evangeline,
      I’ve been a great admirer of Bishop Strickland, but we need to be very careful not to be manipulated into division. A splintered, weakened Church is exactly what secularist interests are hoping for.

      • It’s the liberal clergy that are doing the manipulating, not secularism. The Faith is being attacked from within. Division is already here.

        • Yes there’s division but we shouldn’t be making it easier. The Church and the family are the last two things standing in the way of an all powerful secular state.

      • Mrscracker we have already been manipulated, silence is generally taken as consent and that is how we are being played. Few people have any time for the vatican now, the views and opinions coming from it differ little from those expressed from the bloke in the pub. I would say pay little heed to what the secularists think, they will continue to play the same hand, but at least we can say we fought the good fight if we are vocal and proactive in our attempt to hold the line.

      • What has happened to the Catholic Church. Besides getting involved in politics. When Church and State are to be separate but they are no longer separated. Where does the Church get the money for all the attorneys fees they are paying. At one time the Church would tell us that we are all children of God and we are all the same. The Church today only talk about money and how it’s needs money for not people in USA for people in other countries.

      • When a Pope unambiguously calls the Deposit of Faith museum pieces for mentally ill ideologues, the Church is in as deep a crisis as if Hans Kung were still alive and sitting in the Chair of Peter. We live during the worst pope in history. Jesus said the gates of Hell would not prevail. He did not say how close they would come. We are in a full scale war. Those innocent lives being slaughtered by the deconstruction of the Church’s moral witness are more important than the precious ego of a man who does not deserve to be called “Holy Father,” and we should be honest to God in witnessing to the world why we refuse to make such a reference.

          • I didn’t call him any name. It is a lie to say I did. I did infer his theology is as corrupt as the theologian I did identify, perhaps worse. Francis has emphatically identified with the process theology Walter Kasper expressed in his famous essay from, I believe, 1969 where he insisted that God is still learning from the history of His creation and therefore incomplete. Kasper, as well as other theologians of the time, were so insistent on this view of God, they contended that anyone who believes in a perfect God holds to such a false view of God that they are effectively atheists.

          • Dear Ed,
            My writing is way too nuanced and totally unclear, by design. My intention was to say: We should apply the name or title of ‘Holy Father’ only to one who— in truth and in justice— deserves that appellation. Of course you did not call him that. You and I agree in substance. I’m sorry for the misunderstanding.

    • Never, ever resort to schism, it can turn to heresy. Read the Drs of the Church in the early centuries who fought heresy some with their lives by their writing and preaching. By their courage we have a church that while dark and divisive is still the Church of Jesus not the church of Francis. Pray for bishop Strickland and all of us to remain faithful till death.

      • Amen.
        There are good faithful Christians amongst our separated brethren but you also can end up splintering away to a Jim Jones cult.
        Our Lord wants us to be one.

        • We’re to be One, yes, but not by compromising the truth and certainly not by remaining silent in the face of lies, calumny and injustice. If you’re advocating unity no matter what, you might explore our faith a bit more deeply.

          • I think we need to examine who and what all this division benefits. And how we each can be manipulated by outrage to damage the Church and its structures.
            Only two things remain obstacles before an all powerful secular state: the Church and the family.

        • Our Lord asks that we be one with, in, and through HIM. We are in principle in union with the pope as he acts IN PRINCIPLE with the teaching of the Church’s tradition and scripture. Our Lord calls us to be perfect as Our Father in heaven is perfect. It is impossible to be perfect if we follow false prophets. By definition, false prophets speak and do deeds less than true. When words and deeds do not support the faith and the good of the Church, we do injustice to God, to ourselves, and to our Church community if we do not prudentially speak the truths of our faith and of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

          Some speak, pray and sacrifice wholeheartedly in support of Bishop Strickland and the injustices which he, Cardinal Pell, Cardinal Burke, and other contemporary Churchmen have endured for the sake of Christ and His Truth.

          Prudentially, how is it possible that we stand for a Church when it seeks to incorporate unrepentant sin into its pastoral fold? How can we support a Church when it supports liberal democratic marxism? Simeon claimed Christ would be a sign of contradiction. If we are not for Him, we are against Him, and this is the source and cause of division.

          How can a devout Christian disavow the precious blood Christ offers in his Holy and Apostolic (those martyred for the faith) Church? The Church is One ONLY when it is in, with, and through HIM.

          Would Jesus have spoken and done as Francis and his administration have?

          We should have no fear. Those persecuted because of Christ are blessed. Praise be the Holy Spirit as He supports Bishop Strickland. God bless Bishop Strickland now and forever.

  14. Nice to see the “open, listening, talking church” in action. Oh yeahi forgot that only applies to certain people or groups. Im loosi g what little confidence I had in leadership….wow

  15. Thinking Bishop Strickland vs the still a priest, Fr. Rupnik Rape Case Rome refuses to act upon:
    “You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

    A pope very publicly asks for criticism and when he gets it, he viciously attacks those who do so. Wow!

  16. They got him.

    Jimmy Martin and Bergoglio are tight. When Strickland gave Martin a piece of his mind, his fate was sealed. This is the Lavender Mafia in action, folks. This is how they roll.

  17. The first Church bishops had direct access to Peter, there was no Vatican to control the doors on them and Peter submitted himself to them.

    Peter had many things he had to leave behind him, among them, circumcision ideology, partiality to Jews so personalized he could not moderate it in timely fashion, confusions with his own inspirations and being easily induced. How many things does Pope Francis have to abandon and throw off where he lets it be known that they are to be left behind by all?

    Will he be sorry for trying to foist them others.

  18. And here we see the old leftist chestnut again In “some say”.Never who,or what was the crime.Ony the progressive pablum of “some say”.

    • “Some say John the Baptist. Others say Elijah, and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

      If Jesus asks you what generalized “others” say, you can use the “some say” approach. Otherwise, best to have firm examples at hand. And we better have a good answer if He asks what WE say.

      I offer this in full support of your comment, not in criticism or opposition of any kind.

  19. Let me venture this: 25 years ago if an ‘Apostolic Visitation’ were held most of us, including me, would simply acknowledge it and move on, and the reason for that would be simple – we TRUSTED those who were conducting the event, or whatever it was called.

    Today it is fair to say that that trust is GONE, and those who conduct such affairs are looked on with suspicion, which in this case, as in many recent other ‘events’, is sadly – warranted.

  20. So, is good Bishop Strickland guilty of crimes AGAINST the moral and doctrinal teachings of the Church or, rather, in this case is he guilty of NOT betraying them? Sadly, me thinks the latter. When do we conclude that the words of Our Lady of Lasalette have come true in the case of Rome – that “Rome would lose the faith”?

  21. Bishop Strickland has in the past made many outlandish claims aligned with radical traditionalist views or conspiracy theories but he was never given an apostolic visitation. It’s definitely not even his recent star casting in the LA anti-Dodgers prayer rally which the LA Archbishop did not endorse. It’s not this breach of episcopal protocols last week that cost him this visitation. The real reason is Strickland’s unbecoming of a bishop by disloyally and disrespectfully slandering the Pope in suggesting in a recent series of tweets that Francis is heretical by intentionally and programmatically undermining the deposit of faith. This was a big and serious charge. Uncritically accepting what radtrads feed and indoctrinate him, he crossed this red line about two months ago. Many supporting Strickland can quickly reason out that in this case the called for loyalty is to Christ. This type of thinking is indicative of a Protestant mindset: direct to Christ alone, bypassing human authority. We are not Protestants. We are Catholics and we show our respect and loyalty to the Pope as our earthly leader. As Catholics an article of our faith also assures us that the ministry of the Pope has the so-called “charism of divine assistance” that Jesus himself provides (Luke 22:32). Vatican II calls for Catholics to respond to the Pope’s ordinary magisterium with religious submission of mind and will (Lumen Gentium 25).

    • Deacon Dom, then you would be critical of St. Paul’s very public, even to this day and time, correction of Pope St. Peter? The only thing Bishop Strickland could not do as Paul did, tell Peter to his face, because the pope’s now have gate keepers. Church history is great teacher. The bishops have a moral obligation before God to speak the Truth even to the pope and even in a very public manner. If I’m in error, please correct me. I think Sacred Scripture trumps anything written currently and those things that are written can only be interpreted by the lens of the Sacred Scripture and Tradition. They are not stand alone documents.

      • Tad: Strickland, or any papal basher for that matter, does not have the stature, gravitas or even theological acumen in this case of a Paul to compare themselves rebuking Peter today. I invite you here to correct this commonly held justification for the attacks on the Pope. Take your Bible and read Galatians 2 and especially also what comes before and after this episode to get the context behind this text about Paul reproachimg Peter. Upon closer study, you would notice that Paul was not reprimanding Peter for his teachings or the disciplines he promoted, but over his hypocrisy. Strickland, like most of papal bashers, batter Pope Francis for his doctrinal orthodoxy, whereas Paul criticized Peter at a personal and prudential level. Papal critics need to take up, study, and apply more and more Luke 22 rather than Galatians 2.

    • Make all the excuses you want but the truth is hiding in plain sight. This Pope speaks through both sides of his mouth. He presided over the biggest scandal in church history accepting the closure of churches urging an unethical vaccination on his flock. When the truth about this scam comes to light the abuse crisis of the church will look like a picnic in comparison. Thousands of faithful catholics died without family or priest in attendance, thousands perhaps millions have been damaged by the vaccine. We were urged by him to put faith in dodgy science rather than God. Bishops who remained silent or urged restraint with the so called Dodgers debacle have lost all credibility.

      • Alice, are you saying the church encouraging people to take a vaccine is a worse scandal then the sexual abuse of untold numbers of children, and the subsequent cover-ups that allowed the abuses to go on for decades?
        I agree that Bishops could have handled the messaging of covid a lot better but they are not medical specialists.

  22. The Church of decorum and silence has after decades become almost incapable of defending the Faith and its moral teachings in public or even perhaps in private. So, we have what are essentially hook up parishes. And three words you should never want to hear a priest say at Holy Mass, “I don’t care.”

  23. What caught my attention in this story was this sentence “The Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which condemned the Dodgers’ actions, emphasized in a statement that it had not given “backing or approval” for the rally.” If the parishioners want to engage this issue as they did they don’t need the Diocese to give them permission. If they felt led by the Holy Spirit to rally on this then that’s enough.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Sobre la investigación del Vaticano al obispo de Texas: pese a cuestionar decisiones de Francisco, Joseph Strickland confía en la visita apostólica – Oraciones y Pruebas de Dios
  2. Mainstream Media Reports: Francis Is Going To Fire And Replace Bishop Strickland – RETURN TO TRADITION

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