Tuesday, November 14, 2023



Silence from Rome, turmoil in Texas, and plenty of blame to go around

Bishop Strickland erred greatly in many ways. But he is a sort of episcopal golem of the Pope’s own making.


Bishop Strickland may or may not have deserved to be relieved of duty. Ultimately, that is not my call, and it is not my primary concern in the current moment. My concern is that so many of these “inside baseball” ecclesial issues are a sign of the ascendancy of a narrowly political view of the Church at the expense of the Church’s primary mission of making saints of us all and calling others to salvation. Sadly, it is indicative of a very narrow politics that everyone is funneled through the choke point of “friends or enemies”, and every penultimate “issue” is dealt with as an instance of ultimacy and pressed upon us as something of dire importance. I think this is especially true of progressive Catholics, whose extreme horizontalist understanding of the Church knows only of sociology, psychology, and the politics of constant ecclesial tinkering. But traditional Catholics have also caught the bug, turning every papal misstep into a sign of the greatest perfidy.


Jerome Merwick said...

The latest from the ever-intrepid Bishop Athanasius Schneider:

A pope is not necessarily protected from error in his ordinary or daily magisterium, he explains, stressing that the Church is stronger than an “erring pope” and can endure even in a time when a pope is propagating heresy,

“I think this is one of the heaviest crosses that God can put on our shoulders, this pontificate,” Schneider said.

TJM said...

Amen, Bishop Schneider!

rcg said...

We need to be careful about developing the bad habit of reflexively criticizing the Pope. It can prevent us from seeing the truth in what he says and can bleed over to the next guy and bishops, etc. It can also prevent valid criticisms from being developed if valuable ways. Even for a fellow like Pope Francis, who calls strikes on his own position, deserves good followership so that he can take proper corrective actions.

TJM said...


Corrective action against a tyrant? Please explain

Mark Thomas said...

Larry Chapp said that "Bishop Strickland erred greatly in many ways. But he is a sort of episcopal golem of the Pope’s own making."

Bishop Strickland is not of the Holy Father's making.

Mike Lewis, for example, has traced Bishop Strickland's descent into nonsense. As Mike Lewis noted, prior to 2018 A.D., "most American Catholics had likely never heard of Bishop Strickland...most of the media coverage surrounding him had to do with his athleticism, such as a pushup contest during World Youth Day in Poland and his “Running Priest” blog, where he tracked his exploits as a runner..."

Bishop Strickland descent into nonsense had coincided with his dreadful decision to have thrown in with the disgraced former nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.

Bishop Strickland: "Dear Priests, Deacons, Religious and all Holy Faithful of the Diocese of Tyler...A letter by Archbishop Viganò, former Nuncio to the United States, raises grave allegations and calls for the resignation of numerous high ranking prelates including Pope Francis."

"Let us be clear that they are still allegations, but as your shepherd I find them to be credible."

Prior to that, Bishop Strickland had, for example, praised to the hilt Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia. Bishop Strickland: "A beautiful teaching from our Holy Father Francis on the splendor of Christian marriage and the family" [that] "recalls the essential aspects of the Church’s teaching on marriage and the family, which are based on Divine Revelation found in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition."

Mike Lewis: "Where did the new Strickland come from? Strickland played no public part in the debates over Amoris Laetitia or the dubia or any of the other controversies that divided the US Church in the first five years of Francis’s papacy."

"Then, as if out of nowhere, Bishop Strickland became one of the most visible and outspoken bishops in the country. There was hardly a Church cause or controversy in which he did not find himself."

Mike Lewis noted also: "Many people familiar with Bishop Strickland’s evolution point to the influence of a new right-hand man. Deacon Keith Fournier’s arrival in the Diocese of Tyler was formally announced in October 2019 in a YouTube video."

"During the video discussion, however, Fournier and Strickland discussed how they had been “email pals” for some time before that. Many observers believe Fournier is the “brains” behind the re-branding of bishop Strickland."


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

It is preposterous to advance the notion that radicalized Bishop Strickland is of Pope Francis' "making."

Last year Larry Chapp advanced the following similar, preposterous, discredited claim:

Larry Chapp: "The irony is that the very radical traditionalists the Pope clearly dislikes are of his own making. He is the one who has radicalized them."


For years during Pope Francis' Pontificate, Bishop Strickland had presented himself as a non-controversial bishop who, for example, had praised Pope Francis as a great teacher and promoter of "Christian marriage and the family."

Bishop Strickland, in 2018 A.D., launched his public descent into radicalization via his dreadful, horrific decision to throw in with Archbishop Viganò.

Bishop Strickland radicalized himself. He had thrown in with Archbishop Viganò, as well as additional folks who promoted nonsense.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

There is one credible claim that Larry Chapp issued via his article that Father McDonald has linked:

Larry Chapp:

"Less well known amidst the hoopla surrounding Bishop Strickland’s removal from office is that there were also serious and ongoing complaints from priests and laity in his diocese about Bishop Strickland’s governance."

"And these facts should not be lightly dismissed as a mere smokescreen designed to hide the “real reason” (his criticisms of the Pope) for his dismissal. After all, there are other bishops in the world who have also been critical of the Pope who remain in office and who have not had an apostolic visitation."

Pope Francis' vicious rush to judgement critics, have, by and large, glossed over the above.


Mark Thomas

rcg said...

TJM, i meant corrective action BY the Holy Father. We offer him the benefit of well considered expertise and opinions. He may disregard or even lash out, but we owe him and the Church the best information and recommendations. In this case he seems predisposed to certain actions or even under the influence of people hostile to us. We have to offer the help anyway and avoid too much schadenfreude.

Mark Thomas said...

It is amazing as to the many ways in which the Pontificates of Popes Francis, as well as Benedict XVI, have overlapped each other.

The following news article from Catholic News Agency appeared on Mike Lewis X (twitter) page:

July 3, 2012 A.D.

-- Slovakian archbishop removed from post

CNA (Catholic News Agency)

Vatican City — Pope Benedict XVI removed Archbishop Robert Bezak of Trnava, Slovakia from the pastoral care of his archdiocese without explanation on July 2.

According to Italian media, the 52-year-old archbishop – who took over the archdiocese in 2009 – was removed for administrative reasons.

Archbishop Bezak read a letter about the action during July 1 Sunday Mass at the cathedral in Trnava, noting that the Vatican asked him not to talk to the press.

The archbishop told congregants he does not know the specific accusations against him.


Mark Thomas