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Bishop accountability website highlights staunchly pro-life Texas bishop

LifeSiteNews staff

August 23, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — Bishop Joseph Strickland is this week’s Bishop of the Week for Faithful Shepherds, a website launched by LifeSiteNews to encourage bishops to remain faithful to Christ by enabling laity to email, send personalized postcards, or call their bishops to urge them to uphold the Church’s perennial teachings.

Bishop Strickland was elevated to the office of Bishop for the Diocese of Tyler in 2012. While he may oversee a relatively small diocese, Strickland has done anything but keep a low profile. Strickland has been a vocal defender of the Deposit of Faith and a defender of orthodoxy on many issues.

Learn more about Bishop Strickland’s views and send him a postcard by visiting FaithfulShepherds.com. Click here.

Strickland was one of the first bishops to support Archbishop Viganò’s testimony about now disgraced ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and the Pope Francis' role in the affair. In a statement regarding the testimony, Strickland called for a “thorough investigation” that would hold accountable “all found to be culpable even at the highest levels of the Church.” 

In addition to his strong initial support for Archbishop Viganò, Strickland has continued to demand justice long after other bishops have quieted down about McCarrick’s vile actions. Strickland posted a tweet in 2019 calling on McCarrick to “publicly repent.”

Bishop Strickland has also been an ardent defender of Canon 915, which requires Catholic politicians to be refused Communion for deviating from Church teaching. Strickland has stated it is a bishop’s “obligation” to “lovingly challenge people who are wandering from the fold and bring them back.” Part of this “medicinal process,” Strickland said, is to deny Holy Communion to Catholic politicians who continue to support abortion. Strickland has also expressed belief that the issue of abortion should have a “priority” over all other issues in political sphere since “the right to life is fundamental.”

Learn more about Bishop Strickland’s views and send him a postcard by visiting FaithfulShepherds.com. Click here.

Another area in which Bishop Strickland is unapologetically orthodox is his views on contraception. During a 2018 homily, Strickland praised Pope Paul VI’s Humanae Vitae. Strickland denounced contraception as “intrinsically evil” and “gravely sinful,” going so far as saying that Catholic couples who use artificial methods of contraception “should not receive Holy Communion without going to Confession and until they discontinue the use of artificial contraception.”

Despite his defense of Humanae Vitae, Strickland has said Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia has been “distorted by the media” and contains “beautiful truth.”

Bishop Strickland currently serves on the episcopal advisory board for the Theology of the Body Evangelization Team, an organization which promotes marriage preparation, seminars, and curriculum rooted in the Theology of the Body. Strickland’s 2017 pastoral letter, Constitution on Teaching, expresses his belief that marriage preparation is perhaps “the most important project” his diocese will undertake. 

In matters concerning homosexuality, Bishop Strickland has shown consistency with long-held Church teaching. Strickland wrote in 2015 that “solemnizing” homosexual relationships is intrinsically immoral. He continued by stating that there are “absolutely no grounds for considering unions between two persons of the same sex to be in any way similar to God's plan for marriage and the family.” More recently, Bishop Strickland spoke out against his brother bishops who are soft on homosexuality. At a 2018 meeting of the USCCB, he stated, “it’s part of our deposit of faith that we believe homosexual activity is immoral.” While those who are tempted by homosexual tendencies are in need of “great care,” Strickland argued that “real care comes from acknowledging the sin.”

In his almost seven years as Bishop of Tyler, Bishop Strickland has guided his flock and encouraged his brother bishops to hold true to the teachings of the faith. If you would like to send Bishop Strickland a postcard urging him to uphold long-held Church teaching on refusing communion to divorced and remarried Catholics or if you would like to thank him for defending other Church doctrines, please visit Faithful Shepherds.

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