TYLER, Texas, January 14, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – A Texas bishop famed for his orthodoxy has seconded a Vatican whistleblower’s plea to a disgraced prelate to repent.
Bishop Joseph E. Strickland of Tyler, Texas posted today’s news concerning Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò on Twitter, adding his own message. This morning Viganò begged ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, an American prelate notorious for sexual misconduct, to publicly repent of his crimes. Strickland added his own message.
“Once again as a bishop of the Church I add my voice to the plea of Archbishop Vigano,” the Texas bishop tweeted. “He speaks of ETERNAL SALVATION, language seldom heard throughout this nightmare.”
Viganò had written to McCarrick, “No matter what decision the supreme authority of the Church takes in your case, what really matters and what has saddened those who love you and pray for you is the fact that throughout these months you haven’t given any sign of repentance. I am among those who are praying for your conversion, that you may repent and ask pardon of your victims and the Church.”
“Time is running out,” the former Vatican diplomat added, “but you can confess and repent of your sins, crimes and sacrileges, and do so publicly, since they have themselves become public. Your eternal salvation is at stake.”
Viganò also told the disgraced McCarrick that his public repentance would help the Church heal.
“A public repentance on your part would bring a significant measure of healing to a gravely wounded and suffering Church,” he wrote. “Are you willing to offer her that gift?”
Strickland was one of the first and few prelates to publicly support Viganò when the latter electrified the Church with his testimony that Pope Francis had returned McCarrick to an influential role in the Church despite knowing he was a sexual predator. Viganò alleged that other leading prelates, including Cardinal Donald Wuerl, also knew of McCarrick’s reputation. Strickland took this seriously enough to send the whistleblower’s testimony to all the priests of his diocese.
“Let us be clear that they are still allegations but as your shepherd I find them to be credible,” Bishop Strickland wrote. “Using this standard the response must be a thorough investigation similar to those conducted any time allegations are deemed to be credible.”
“I do not have the authority to launch such an investigation but I will lend my voice in whatever way necessary to call for this investigation and urge that its findings demand accountability of all found to be culpable even at the highest levels of the Church,” he added.
With Cardinal Raymond Burke, Strickland has stood out among American prelates by his willingness to accept criticism of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for its inadequate response to the McCarrick scandal. In November 2018, he was the one bishop who left the USCCB annual meeting to speak and pray with Catholic demonstrators.