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Bishop Strickland praying in BaltimoreLifeSiteNews

BALTIMORE, Maryland (LifeSiteNews) – Faithful Catholics were joined by Tyler’s Bishop Joseph Strickland during the U.S. bishops fall meeting recently, as they gathered in the city to prayerfully protest against the “scandal” of the bishops not protecting the “integrity of Church teaching on worthy reception of the Eucharist.”

While the United Sates Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) gathered in Baltimore November 15 through 18, for their first in-person meeting since the outset of the COVID-era, numerous faithful Catholics also gathered in the city to voice their concerns to the bishops. 

One group came together in order to “tell the bishops that we, the laity, expect and demand that they uphold the truths of our Catholic Faith.”

“This includes the fact that the sanctity and dignity of human life is preeminent,” said Patrick Comiskey, an attendant at the protest.

Bishop Strickland praying the rosary

The group’s protest dealt with “the potential for scandal from the Bishops for failing to protect the integrity of Church teaching on worthy reception of the Eucharist.” 

The subject of much debate, the USCCB’s document on the Eucharist was met by visible dissent  during June’s public sessions, as certain bishops and cardinals were concerned that the document might contain the Catholic Church’s teaching prohibiting those who “obstinately” persevere “in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion.”

However, without any mention of withholding Holy Communion from politicians who support abortion, the document passed November 17, with a strong majority of 222 to 8, with 3 abstentions.

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, was a lone voice in the conference hall, calling for bishops to “evangelize all the politicians.”

“When it comes to Eucharist and the sanctity of life, I must speak,” he noted. “The most important thing I must speak about is the presence of the Lord and fighting the atrocity of abortion.”

As previously, Strickland was the only bishop who came out to pray with the gathered laity, joining them to pray the rosary. 

As is his custom, he said the Rosary on his knees, and then imparted a blessing on each participant.

Bishop Strickland’s opposition to pro-abortion politicians was shared by the Catholics he joined.

“Any senator, president, or other leader who claims to be Catholic but who stands in opposition to the Church’s infallible and unchangeable teachings on issues such as abortion and euthanasia must be denied Holy Communion by our bishops, otherwise those bishops risk not only the souls of those leaders, but also their own souls, and the souls of countless faithful who are misled and scandalized by this action,” said Comiskey. “It’s a re-crucifying of Christ.”

Attendees at the protest held a banner of Our Lady along with signs bearing messages for the assembled bishops, with one reading: “Our churches are not yours to close. Our faith is not yours to alter. Safeguard the Eucharist and deposit of faith, or resign!”

Bishop Strickland has often joined Catholics who have been demonstrating outside the USCCB meetings, telling LifeSiteNews in 2018 that he did so in answer to requests from his “flock.” 

“The reason that I went out there is some of the flock back home asked me to. Because they said these people are going to be there praying, and they need to have bishops …and they said [afterwards], ‘thank you for praying with us.’ And that’s basically what I did.”