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(LifeSiteNews) — Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, called on Catholics to “speak to the world the message of Jesus Christ” and be “ready to die” for Him in a powerful speech at Friday’s protest against the L.A. Dodgers’ blasphemous “Pride Night.”

“Brothers and sisters, we can’t be shy about our faith,” he said to cheers, urging Catholics to “be strong enough to speak for what you believe.” 

The east Texas bishop invoked the early Christian martyrs, like St. Ignatius of Antioch, who “was ready to be martyred for Jesus Christ, like most of the apostles.”

“I often say, we need to be first century Christians in the twenty-first century,” he told the crowd.

“Probably most of us will not be called on to shed our blood, but if we are, we need to be ready, like the martyrs,” he added. “But more importantly, we need to live our martyrdom.”

“We need to live as those ready to die and ready to live for the blood that was shed for us all.”

“We need to live as those ready to die and ready to live for the blood that was shed for us all.”

Bishop Strickland led Catholics and other protesters in a massive prayer rally at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Friday, protesting the Dodgers’ honoring of the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence,” a blasphemous anti-Catholic drag queen group.

The “Sisters” use their homosexual perversion to mock the Catholic Church and religious sisters and blaspheme the Eucharist and the Holy Mass.

Despite the group’s explicit anti-Catholic bent, the Dodgers announced in May that they would honor the drag queens with a “Community Hero Award” at the team’s LGBT “Pride Night” on June 16 — the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ —  sparking widespread backlash from faithful Catholics.

More than 5,000 people attended Friday’s protest in front of Dodger Stadium, which also featured LifeSite’s John-Henry Westen and Fr. James Altman. 

‘We need to speak to the world the message of Jesus Christ’

In his speech at the rally, Bishop Strickland stressed the need to share the truth of Jesus Christ despite hostility from the world.

“Jesus is Savior of the world, not just of some small group of believers,” he said. “Everyone of us here, every person in this beautiful city, everyone who will gather at this stadium, every single one, is beloved of God. And we have to be audacious enough to speak that truth — not shying away, not being quiet.”

Jesus “shared the truth even when it was rejected,” the bishop noted, and He serves as our model of “lovingly, clearly sharing the truth.”

“The Gospel makes it clear that very often, people walked away when they heard this challenging, audacious truth of the Messiah, the Son of God, Who came to dwell among us. We need to embrace the model that Jesus Christ offers us: lovingly, clearly sharing the truth,” he insisted. “We know that Jesus is the Face of truth. He is Truth incarnate. The world needs to know Him!”

“We need to speak to the world the message of Jesus Christ. We can’t allow it to be shouted down by anyone!” Bishop Strickland exclaimed.

“We need to speak to the world the message of Jesus Christ. We can’t allow it to be shouted down by anyone,” Bishop Strickland said.

The faithful prelate also called for “real love” in imitation of the crucified Christ.

“We must be people of love, but real love,” he declared. “We look to Jesus on the Cross for our image of love. It is an image of sacrificial love and truth, that He died to share with us. We need to look to Him as our model, our hope, and our Lord.”

“We need to return to truth, and Jesus Christ is Truth incarnate,” he concluded.

READ: Catholic MLB pitcher Trevor Williams calls for boycott of LA Dodgers over drag ‘nuns’ blasphemy

Amid widespread heresy plaguing the Church, Bishop Strickland reiterated that God Himself established the Church and that unity always requires truth.

The Catholic faith, he said, “is always One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic, not because of us, but because God has established it so. That holiness comes from God. That apostolic call comes from God. That unity is always in His Son, Jesus Christ.”

“We often hear about the need to be unified — absolutely, but we will never be unified in false messages that ignore Jesus Christ,” the bishop said to rousing applause.