An Open Letter to the Faithful from Bishop Joseph E. Strickland:
As I am sure you have heard by now, I have been removed as Bishop of the Diocese of Tyler. I was asked to meet with the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, and in that meeting I was read a list of the reasons I was being removed. I would make these reasons available to you if possible; however, I was not given a copy of this list at that time, and I have not been able as of yet to obtain a copy despite my requests.
In the reasons that were read to me, no mention was made of administrative problems or mismanagement of the diocese as the reasons for my removal. The reasons given seemed to be related, for the most part, to my speaking the Truth of our Catholic faith, and to my warnings against anything that threatened that Truth (including things that were being brought up at the Synod on Synodality). Also, mention was made of my not walking alongside my brother bishops as I defended the Church and her unchangeable teachings, and of my not implementing the motu propoio Traditionis custodes, which were I to have implemented, would have required me to leave part of my flock unfed and untended. As a shepherd and protector of my Diocese, I could not take actions which I knew with certainty would injure part of my flock and deprive them of the spiritual goods which Christ entrusted to His Church. I stand by my actions as they were necessary to protect my flock and to defend the Sacred Deposit of Faith.
This is the time for everything now covered to be uncovered, and everything now hidden to be made clear. In fact, it was in a time when things were being hidden regarding disgraced now-former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and the Church sex abuse scandal that it seems I first entered the Vatican’s radar. My main crime, then as now, seems to always have been about bringing to light that which others wanted to remain hidden. Sadly, it now seems that it is Truth Himself, Our Lord Jesus Christ, that many desire to be hidden.
Although I am now without a diocese, I am still a bishop of the Church and therefore a successor of the apostles, and I must continue to speak Truth even if it requires my very life. I want to say this to all of you today – DO NOT ever, ever leave the Church! She is the Bride of Christ! She is now undergoing her Passion, and you must resolve to stand resolutely at the cross! It is important to attend Mass every Sunday and as often as possible, to spend time in adoration, to pray the Rosary daily, to go to confession regularly, and to call always upon the saints for assistance! I urge you to persevere that you might say in the end, “I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith.”
May Almighty God bless you, and may our Holy and Blessed Mother intercede for you and point you always to her Divine Son Jesus as we enter this Advent season.
I remain your humble father and servant,
Bishop Joseph E. Strickland