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Bishop Joseph Strickland visits Catholics rallying outside USCCB meeting Nov. 13, 2018.Doug Mainwaring / LifeSiteNews

February 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – When a Twitter user accused Bishop Joseph Strickland of “condemning” persons who identify as “LGBT” on account of his outspoken defense of Catholic sexual teaching, the Tyler, Texas prelate issued a gentle refutation: “I’m not condemning anyone.” 

“Not calling a person away from sin is in fact condemning them to the destruction that sin brings,” he stated. 

Strickland was responding to a Tweet that claimed “when people like the Bishop of Tyler condemn LGBT+ persons, they are missing a chance to serve Jesus, and they are condemning the Lord.”

Many rushed to support the Texas bishop, who is a stalwart defender of Church teaching and protector of human life and dignity.  

“Condemn? By proclaiming the truth of Church teaching about human sexuality and marriage?” asked pro-life columnist, Jennifer Hartline.  “I think you're confused about who is condemning and who is actually concerned for souls. Bishop Strickland is a true shepherd.” 

Canon lawyer Edward Peters said, “You do not need my encouragement to keep on keeping on, Bishop, but you totally have it. Oremus pro invicem.”

“You are a true shepherd amongst a legion of wolves,” declared Twitter user Sean.  “A witness to the truth. I pray for you and all those souls under your care.”

“That’s what is expected of our shepherds and priests,” said Phyllis Gibson. “To teach correct Catholic Doctrine, including what is sin, counsel, encourage conversion & reconciliation.”  

Another tweeted the words of St. Thomas Aquinas:  “The greatest kindness one can render to any man consists in him from error to truth.”

Bishop Strickland frequently takes to social media to defend Catholic teaching. He is also known to have challenged his fellow bishops about permitting priests to offer views that contradict Catholicism. In a meeting of the USCCB in 2018, he reminded them that “homosexual activity is immoral” and that “real care comes from acknowledging the sin.”

“Do we believe the doctrine of the Church or not?” Strickland asked.

Referring to pro-homosexual Fr. James Martin, SJ, Strickland said, “There’s a priest that travels around now basically saying that he doesn’t, and he seems to be very well promoted in various places,.”

“Brothers, I think part of the fraternal correction, or the fraternal support, we offer each other is to say: Can that be presented in our dioceses? That same-sex marriage is just fine and the Church will one day grow to understand that? That’s not what we teach.” 

Last June, when Bishop Thomas Tobin was being called homophobic for defending church teaching for warning his Rhode Island Diocese against participating in “Pride Month” events, Strickland was the only U.S. bishop to publicly come to his defense:  

“Please stop labeling bishops who speak the truth of the Gospel as homophobic,” pleaded Strickland.

“God gave us sexual intimacy for the procreation of children and the deeper union of a man & woman in marriage. Stating this truth is not homophobia, it is simply reality.”