(LifeSiteNews) — The recently canceled Bishop of Tyler, Texas, His Excellency Joseph Strickland, is calling on Catholic bishops to resist Fiducia Supplicans, a document released earlier today by Pope Francis in conjunction with left-wing Cardinal Victor Manuel Fernández that calls for blessings of homosexual couples.
In remarks shared exclusively with LifeSiteNews via video, Bishop Strickland encouraged “my brother bishops that we all join with a voice of strength and joy in the Lord in these last days of Advent and say ‘no’ to this latest document.”
“We really simply need to be a united voice saying, ‘no,’ we will not respond to this,” Strickland stated. “We will not incorporate this into the life of the Church because we simply must say ‘no.’ And it needs to be a united voice.”
Strickland was unceremoniously dismissed from his post as the ordinary of Tyler on November 11 after refusing Pope Francis’ request to resign. He had been serving in that position since 2012. Francis’ decision prompted massive outcry from Catholics not just in the United States but across the world due to Strickland’s reputation for being an outspoken defender of Church teaching.
Fiducia Supplicans has been heralded by dissident, pro-LGBT priest Fr. James Martin as well as mainstream media outlets. “The declaration opens the door to non-liturgical blessings for same-sex couples, something that had been previously off limits for bishops, priests and deacons,” Martin exuberantly stated in a post on X today. “Along with many priests, I will now be delighted to bless my friends in same-sex unions.”
At the same time, the document has been roundly criticized by Catholics loyal to the Church’s unchanging magisterium, which forcefully condemns “blessings” for homosexual “unions.”
As reported by LifeSite earlier this month, Bishop Strickland was banned from saying Mass in the Diocese of Tyler. He has kept a low public profile over the past month. In his video message today, he said that it would be appropriate to “ask for a clarification of the true teachings of our Catholic faith.” Presumably he is suggesting a dubia should be issued to the Pope.
“In history, with the kinds of issues that we’re facing, a pope would call for a council,” he also stated. “That isn’t likely to happen now, but we need a united voice, something like a council, to address the confusion and the issues that continually arise to know the truth of Jesus Christ that is unchanging.”
Fernández was named Prefect of the Congregation (now Dicastery) for the Doctrine of the Faith in July. He was elevated to the cardinalate in September. He previously wrote an erotic book in 1995 titled Heal me with your mouth: The art of kissing. LifeSite’s Vatican correspondent Michael Haynes interviewed Fernández, who hails from Argentina, in October about his openness to blessings for same-sex couples, which he has expressed support for on multiple occasions.