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(LifeSiteNews) — On this week’s two-part episode of The Bishop Strickland Show, Bishop Joseph Strickland discusses female deacons, Jordan Peterson’s comments on the Church and climate change, the Alabama Supreme Court’s decision on the children of in vitro fertilization (IVF), and more.

Strickland begins Part 1 with a commentary on part of Matthew 23 and the meaning of obedience. To Strickland, when Christ tells the disciples to listen to the scribes and Pharisees but not to imitate them, He is teaching them about obedience. True obedience is obedience to God, says Strickland, following St. Thomas Aquinas.

The scribes and Pharisees, Strickland points out, have their authority, even authority over Christ in His humanity, from God, because they occupy the seat of Moses, to whom God gave the covenant. In our day, these seats are filled by modern religious leaders, the bishop representing Christ in his diocese and their authority still coming from God.

What Christ is saying, however, is that while we should listen to those in authority, we should not follow their example if it is contrary to the law of God, which is challenging to Strickland as a bishop, to fathers of families, and others. Furthermore, the obedience asked for is not an external submission, but a true turning of the heart to God.

“I think probably our greater sin as a society today is the office isn’t honored, because the office holder isn’t honorable,” Strickland observes, adding that the lack of respect for authority is “on me and every bishop.” “We have to be careful about just being respectful when that respect hasn’t been modeled and earned,” he continues.

READ: Theologians reject Vatican News’ use of Ratzinger, John Paul II to defend Fiducia Supplicans

Also in Part 1, Strickland addresses three recent news stories, starting with the decision of Bishop Liam Cary of Baker, Oregon, barring his priests from blessing same-sex “couples” in accordance with Fiducia Supplicans.

Strickland says that he applauded Cary for the decision, but says that it came to him while reading Cary’s notice to priests that while Cary, whom Strickland knows personally, is a “nice guy,” was not ordained to be a “nice guy” or because he already was one.

“The cardinals are not chosen because they won a popularity contest,” says Strickland, admitting that it is good for them to be kind nonetheless, but that “they need to speak the truth, and they need to be clear shepherds.” Strickland invites listeners to pray other bishops will “stand up and simply be bishops” and that they “speak up.”

Referencing the open letter released early last month asking bishops request a retraction of Fiducia Supplicans, Strickland says that while he does not expect a retraction, the letter “expresses the true faith and the faith of a lot of people and a lot of priests, and hopefully a lot of bishops.”

Strickland also touched upon Fr. Gerald Murray’s recent appearance on Raymond Arroyo’s The World Over show, in which the canonist said that women deacons would be a “serious moment of heresy” and a use of “modern feminism” to interpret revelation.

Strickland agrees with Murray’s assessment, and adds that “too much of feminism has actually denigrated women.” When one does not follow the “beautiful role of women” intended by God, Strickland says, it is “devastating.” Nor is it considered an honor for a woman to be brought to the altar for ordination, Strickland says, speculating that part of the reason why women want to become priests is because men are “reluctant to be the religious leaders.”

He also looks to the effect women’s ordination had on other Christian churches, pointing out that the Catholic Church is the true Church of Jesus Christ and that the gates of hell cannot conquer it, but that we must be faithful to Him to stay faithful to the Church.

In Part 2 of the episode, Strickland offers commentary on Matthew 20:17-28, in which Christ tells the Apostles of His impending Passion, and in which Mary Salome, wife of Zebedee, asks Christ that her two sons could sit at His right and left in the Kingdom.

Looking at Salome’s intercession for her sons, Strickland says that she is looking at the Kingdom from a worldly point of view. To sit with Christ, Strickland says, is to suffer with Him, and to be the greatest is to serve the least. He views the cardinalate as a mix of both, as the cardinal’s red clothing symbolizes his willingness to die for the Catholic faith.

Strickland also discusses reading the Gospel itself, noting that while we can read one passage at one time, if we approach the same passage at a different time and under different circumstances, it will speak to us in a different way. “Rejoice in this Living Word that is always giving us the strength to walk with the Lord and to be reminded that He’s walking with us every day,” says Strickland, adding that there is a “beautiful opportunity” to have an “intimate relationship with Him before His Eucharistic Face.”

Strickland notes that while we cannot always be at adoration, we can always acknowledge the presence of God in prayer. However, there is a need for adoration, and adoration itself strengthens the “connection” to Him while not before Christ in the Eucharist.

Speaking to the Alabama Supreme Court’s decision that IVF embryos are persons no matter where they are, Strickland notes that to allow frozen embryos “to be disposed of and treated as if they weren’t valuable is part of the whole tragedy of abortion.”

READ: Bishop Strickland champions sanctity of life, turning America into ‘one nation under God’ at CPAC

While Strickland agrees with the court’s decision, he also observes that it leaves us with the “quandary” of what to do with “these immorally produced children.” While these children are still persons made in the image and likeness of God, Strickland opines that we must learn that any immoral medical breakthrough is “not a breakthrough at all.”

“It’s not helping humanity to do these things,” Strickland asserts, noting that people are talking of artificial wombs. Strickland states that while any tool can be used for the building-up of life, it can also be used for its destruction, just as a hammer can be used to build a house, but also to bash someone’s head in. For Strickland, the way to discern the difference is by looking to God.

“The more people ignore looking to God and looking to His truth, the more the tools become tools of the devil, tools of diabolical evil that every tool can become if we forget who we are,” Strickland observes.

He also calls for a moratorium on the further production of IVF embryos and to work out how to ethically handle humans who have been conceived but never implanted in a mother’s womb and be who God wanted them to be.

“It can feel overwhelming when you start thinking about these things … but because we feel overwhelmed, we can’t cease to speak the truth and know that the best way out of this quagmire of evil is to follow the truth,” Strickland notes of the consequences of evil.

“God in his mercy, just like He was merciful to the people of Nineveh when they repented, if we repent, God in His mercy will allow His ways to rightly deal with the wrongs that we’ve created because of our sinfulness and our willfulness against the will of God.”

To watch all previous episodes of The Bishop Strickland Showclick here to visit LifeSite’s Rumble page dedicated to The Bishop Strickland Show.