(LifeSiteNews) — Terry Barber of Virgin Most Powerful Radio revealed on Sunday that Pope Francis’ apostolic nuncio to the United States, Cardinal Christophe Pierre, told Bishop Joseph Strickland three years ago that “there is no deposit of faith.”
Barber, who regularly speaks with the faithful and recently deposed prelate of Tyler, Texas, on his radio program The Bishop Strickland Hour, said that according to Bishop Strickland, Pierre made the “shocking” claim at a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
“Bishop Strickland communicated to me that … Pierre confronted [him] and said, ‘Look, the Holy Father is watching you. You need to stop talking about the deposit of faith. There is no deposit of faith.’”
“Well, you can imagine how shocking that is to hear a nuncio say there’s no deposit of faith, because if you don’t believe in the deposit of faith, you’re not Catholic,” continued Barber. “That’s not just my opinion. That’s the Church teaching.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church explicitly refers to the deposit of faith, stating that “The apostles entrusted the ‘Sacred deposit’ of the faith (the depositum fidei), contained in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, to the whole of the Church.”
The radio host asked for prayers for Bishop Strickland, as well as prayer and reparation for the leaders of the Catholic Church.
“He’s going to be carrying a heavy cross, and he’s being persecuted like the saints have been persecuted for speaking the truth,” said Barber, before going on to ask that his listeners pray that Pope Francis reverses his decision and comes to understand that his role is to “protect the flock.”
“That’s not being done. We’ve got bishops all over the world who are modernists undermining the deposit of faith and nothing is done to them,” said Barber.
Indeed, modernist clerics promoting heterodoxy have frequently been promoted by Pope Francis, as can be clearly seen most recently in his picks for voting members of the Synod of Synodality, which include clerics known for pro-LGBT and other heterodox stances and for animosity for the Latin Mass.
Meanwhile, faithful shepherds like Bishop Daniel Fernández Torres, an outspoken advocate of Catholic teaching from the Diocese of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, are punished. Bishop Fernández Torres was removed from his position by Pope Francis without explanation, reportedly due to his support for conscience objections to COVID jab mandates.
Barber went on to declare, “I’m exercising canon 212 to let our leaders of our Church know that’s unacceptable. We want bishops who are willing to lay their life down for their flock. We don’t want compromise.”
Canon 212 states that “the Christian faithful are free to make known to the pastors of the Church their needs, especially spiritual ones, and their desires,” and that “According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful[.]”
Barber believes laypeople “need to communicate to the Vatican that we’re not happy about this.”
The Holy See’s daily bulletin announced on Saturday, November 11, that Pope Francis removed Bishop Joseph Strickland from his role as bishop of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, without a stated reason.
The striking move by Francis comes against one of the most forthright and vocal bishops in the United States, who has drawn considerable support both from within and without his diocese for his promotion of traditional Catholic teaching.
Bishop Strickland’s more public positions on moral and doctrinal issues include accusing the pope of a “program of undermining the Deposit of Faith,” condemning the prominent pro-LGBT “blasphemy” of Father James Martin, S.J., and urging Francis to deny Holy Communion to former U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi over her support of abortion.
He has also been notably forthright on moral controversies in U.S. politics and culture, including the Biden administration’s spying on Catholics and public displays by self-described “satanic” groups. This summer, he spoke at a protest against the Los Angeles Dodgers’ hosting an anti-Catholic drag queen troupe called the “Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence,” who style themselves as grotesque nuns.
Bishop Strickland’s reaction to the news of his removal was remarkably mild. Only moments after, he told LifeSiteNews’ editor-in-chief John-Henry Westen, “I stand by all the things that were listed as complaints against me. I know I didn’t implement Traditionis Custodes [Pope Francis’ decree restricting the Traditional Latin Mass] because I can’t starve out part of my flock.”
He added, “I’d do it the same way again. I feel very much at peace in the Lord and the Truth that He died for.”