What did Bishop Strickland of Tyler Texas do?
According to recent reports, Bishop Strickland from the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, is currently under investigation led by the Vatican regarding his administrative leadership within the parish.
This investigation is said to be triggered by his controversial social media posts.
On Saturday, June 24, it was revealed that Joseph Strickland, aged 64, is the subject of an apostolic visitation.
This visitation is a process conducted by the Vatican to investigate a U.S. parish and determine if disciplinary action against a Bishop is necessary.
On Sunday, The Pillar confirmed that Bishops Gerald Kicanas (formerly of Tucson) and Dennis Sullivan (of Camden, New Jersey), accompanied by two priests, conducted the visitation during the previous week.
The visitation’s specific purpose remains undisclosed, but various sources within the Diocese suggest that it is linked to Bishop Strickland’s controversial statements on social media regarding LGBTQ rights, marriage, and abortion, and his recent criticism of a newly published Vatican document.
According to reports, the Vatican document in question reportedly proposed discussing topics related to greater inclusion of LGBT individuals during an upcoming assembly in October.
On June 21, Bishop Strickland expressed his condemnation of the document through a tweet, stating:
“It is a travesty that these things are even proposed for discussion. I pray that all who truly know Jesus Christ will not be deceived by this path. The Gospel welcomes all to repentance & sanctity, if there is no repentance the barriers to sanctity remain.”
Bishop Strickland from Tyler Texas held a protest against Dodgers for honoring a drag group
During the apostolic visitation, a source within the diocese, who spoke with EWTN News, disclosed that Bishop Strickland, known for his staunch defense of conservative views on matters such as marriage and abortion, faced questioning regarding his social media posts, which were allegedly in violation of ecclesiastical protocol.
BREAKING: The Vatican has placed Texas Bishop Joseph Strickland under investigation after leading the Prayer March against the LA Dodgers last week
— Jack Poso 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) June 26, 2023
The investigation follows Bishop Strickland’s organization of a prayer rally in Los Angeles on June 16, which aimed to protest the Dodgers’ recognition of a drag group during their annual Pride Night game.
In a previous social media post, the bishop made a strongly worded statement targeting Pope Francis, expressing his disagreement with what he perceived as the Pope’s attempts to undermine the Deposit of Faith.
The tweet stated:
“Please allow me to clarify regarding, “Patrick Coffin has challenged the authenticity of Pope Francis.” If this is accurate I disagree, I believe Pope Francis is the Pope but it is time for me to say that I reject his program of undermining the Deposit of Faith. Follow Jesus.”
The tweet seems to have sparked discontent among higher authorities within the Vatican, leading to an investigation into the bishop’s ongoing pattern of divisive social media posts.
The Catholic Church has been radically inclusive of sinners ever since Jesus Christ founded her. There is nothing more radical than “deny yourself, take up your cross & follow me”. Christ died & rose so that we could share in His life but following Him begins with repentance. pic.twitter.com/TW9BiDiMuB
— Bishop J. Strickland (@BishStrickland) June 20, 2023
Alongside Bishop Strickland’s dissenting viewpoints, he is also accused of providing shelter to a French nun named Mother Marie Ferréol, who was expelled by Pope Francis in 2021 due to her criticism of the institute’s governance.
At the time, the French Catholic newspaper La Croix reported:
“She tried to pit one sister against another, as well as against the superiors, right up to Pope Francis, towards whom she made some very virulent remarks.”
To be persecuted for speaking truth is an honor every Christian should be willing to embrace. It is walking with Jesus Christ who is Truth Incarnate. If we know Jesus it is easier to speak His Truth no matter what forces oppose us. The opposition is temporary, Jesus is forever. pic.twitter.com/FXdG0uRjNQ
— Bishop J. Strickland (@BishStrickland) June 25, 2023
At this time, Bishop Strickland has not issued a response to the Vatican’s investigation.
However, in a recent tweet on Sunday, he made a cryptic statement that read:
“To be persecuted for speaking the truth is an honor every Christian should be willing to embrace. It is walking with Jesus Christ who is Truth Incarnate. If we know Jesus it is easier to speak His Truth no matter what forces oppose us. The opposition is temporary, Jesus is forever.”
Bishop Strickland has served as the leader of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas since 2012.