The Vatican recently removed Bishop Strickland of Tyler, Texas, over issues framed as the former Bishop’s “leadership” of the diocese but seem to be much more driven by political and culture war arguments between Bishop Strickland, a committed conservative, and the far-left pope, Pope Francis.
Now, a bishop in Miami is pushing back on both the removal of Bishop Strickland and the generally leftward drift of the Catholic Church under the reign of Pope Francis, particularly in culture war battles over issues like transgenderism.
That is Bishop D. Edward Meikkle, who wrote a letter to his “dear sons and daughters in Christ,” saying that “Recent events have brought troubling matters to my attention which I feel compelled to address plainly, for the good of souls and the integrity of our holy Catholic Faith.”
Kicking off the letter and his main claims in it, Bishop Strickland first said that the removal of Bishop Strickland “raises grave concerns,” as bishops can only be removed for “grave moral failings” and Bishop Strickland simply differed with Pope Francis over certain points of theology.
He wrote, “First, regarding the apparent dismissal of Bishop Strickland from his see in Tyler, TX. While we do not yet know all the details, the handling of this matter raises grave concerns. As Cardinal Müller rightly stated, arbitrarily removing a bishop from his rightful post undermines the Church’s authority. A bishop can only justly be removed for grave moral failings – not for simply defending the Faith. Each bishop is a successor of the apostles, not a branch of the Vatican. We must pray for Bishop Strickland and for soul of Francis, his deficient persecutor, that justice and Truth may prevail.”
Continuing, he next commented on the church’s leftward drift on the issue of transgenderism, arguing that Pope Francis is not upholding Catholic theology with his recent statements on the highly contentious issue, and is instead moving away from the “nature of the sacraments” of the Catholic faith.
He wrote, “Second, some recent guidance from Rome seems to imply acceptance of “transgenderism” and fail to clearly uphold Catholic teaching on sexual morality and the nature of the sacraments. Our Faith has always taught that God created humanity male and female, in His image and likeness. Deliberate mutilation of one’s God-given body is a violation of human dignity. Those requesting baptism and other sacraments must repent of all gravely sinful behavior. While we must treat all people, including those struggling with gender confusion and same-sex attraction, with compassion, we cannot confirm them in error or sin. The salvation of souls must be our guiding principle.”
Relatedly, he then argued that Pope Francis is dangerously pushing the church toward adopting modern trends just to adopt them, rather than defending the traditions of the church. As he said, “Finally, it grieves me that recent writings from Francis promote troubling notions about adapting theology to modern cultural trends. While the Church should speak to the conditions of the age, our holy Faith rests on the firm foundation of Scripture, Tradition and Magisterium – not fleeting philosophies and certainly not Marxism or Teilhardism. Theology flows from the unchanging Deposit of Faith. To support or defend such foolishness attaches oneself to grave sin.”
Then, describing what the church should be doing instead, he wrote, “Our task is to faithfully present the liberating Truth of the Gospel, as preserved for millennia by the Saints and hallowed Catholic customs. We cannot reshape eternal teachings to indulge disordered appetites, McReligion, or gain worldly approval. Rather, let us lovingly call all people – including those on society’s fringes – to encounter Our Lord Jesus Christ on His terms, taking up the Cross and following the narrow path that alone leads to life. For as the Carthusian motto “Stat crux dum volvitur orbis” reminds us: “The Cross remains steady while the world turns”.”
Concluding, he added, “In these challenging times, let us fix our eyes on Christ crucified, the same yesterday, today and forever; let us remain rooted in prayer and fidelity to the unchanging truths of our Catholic Faith, which alone can save souls. May Our Lady’s mantle of protection envelop us all. Please pray for me, as I pray for you.”
Check out the letter here:
A powerful rebuke of Woke Pope Francis! pic.twitter.com/1qQKdNXjGM
— Will Tanner (@Will_Tanner_1) November 15, 2023
Featured image credit: By Tânia Rêgo/ABr – Agência Brasil, CC BY 3.0 br, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27457949
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