It is clear Pope Francis is trying to silence Bishop Joseph Strickland and anyone else who disagrees with his radical positions on foundational theology and truths. The intention of the pope silencing anyone disagreeing with him became even clearer when he removed Strickland as bishop of Tyler, Texas on November 11. The pope’s attempts to push back against and silence his fiercest critic could backfire. This recent decision from the Vatican continues to highlight the stark contrast between Francis and Strickland. The pope appears to make decisions to intentionally cause division and hurt Catholics, while Strickland continues to point Catholics to Jesus despite circumstances and opposition.
The reasons and results of an Apostolic Visitation against Bishop Strickland have remained under secrecy. Secrecy equals shady. The removal of Strickland as bishop of Tyler comes without an explanation by the Vatican or Francis. Strickland had the audacity to take a strong stand in defending Jesus and the Church against the attacks of Satan and, as a result, he was rewarded by the pope with an Apostolic Visitation.
Bishop Strickland gained widespread recognition and support when he hosted a rally and Eucharist procession in Los Angeles following the L.A. Dodgers’ decision on June 16 to honor an anti-Catholic drag group at a Pride Night game. Strickland recognized the apathy and silent endorsement such actions have received recently from the Vatican and Church officials. He took measures to defend the Church and, as a result, once again placed himself in the bullseye of a bullying pope.
Once again, I’m convinced Pope Francis would rather cover up sexual abuse of children than allow a bishop to stand for truth. He would rather promote a pro-LGTBQ and sin endorsing priest like James Martin as a consultor to the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications rather than supporting a Eucharistic procession through sinful streets and against Satan’s agents of hell.
The pope is a persecutor and bully against those who stand for truth and, as a result, oppose him. He is out of control and the power he perceives himself to hold has gone to his head a bit I imagine. I say the “power he perceives himself to hold” because we all know there is no true power granted or maintained other than the power of God. The Lord Jesus certainly cannot be happy with such a sinful and arrogant papacy.
In direct contrast to the bullying and punishing nature of the papacy, Bishop Strickland has once again shown his focus is on the Lord and not himself. In response to a “March on Tyler, TX” being promoted and called for on Saturday, November 18th as a result of his removal, Bishop Strickland urged all considering on attending the rosary procession in defense of the Catholic Church and Bishop Strickland to ensure the procession is of Christ. On X, Strickland retweeted the post about the rally with the comment, “I pray that this effort is prayerful, respectful, and focused on Jesus. He is the only support I need, and I feel the profound embrace of His Sacred Heart. I appreciate the vigorous faith that is inspired by, but please remember I am nothing. Jesus is everything, Viva Cristo Rey!” With such an abundant social media presence and influence, the pope may find that his persecution of “America’s bishop” (as many have dubbed him) will give the good bishop even greater respect and power.
The reality with this papacy is it has shown its intention of watering down sin, normalizing evil, and dismissing the need for repentance in order to increase numbers and diminish the power of the Cross. It will do whatever is necessary to silence those in opposition. It will put an end to those promoting the need for repentance. It will squash those who dare stand up and call something a sin. The foot of the papacy may be on the neck of those such as Bishop Strickland as they try to stand for truth. However, the arm of holiness will stretch forth from heaven and break every leg on the necks of the righteous and every gag that has silenced them. It is clear with this papacy that one has a choice: Stand with Pope Francis or Stand with the Lord Jesus. One cannot do both right now. As for me, I’ll stand with the Lord Jesus Christ, truth, and righteousness. I stand with Bishop Strickland and Jesus. Will you join me?