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Pause. Ask your guardian angel to guard you. Done? Now we can talk about Bishop Strickland. And never forget: If they hate us, let’s not return the favor…..

Pause. Ask your guardian angel to guard you. Done? Now we can talk about Bishop Strickland. And never forget: If they hate us, let’s not return the favor…..

Pause for a moment, now, and ask your guardian angel to guard you.  Don’t be flowery.  Ask.

We have all read with unsurprised shock the announcement in today’s Bollettino, ironically under “rinuncie e nomine… resignations and appointments”.

Sollevamento del Vescovo di Tyler (U.S.A.) e nomina dell’Amministratore Apostolico

Il Santo Padre ha sollevato dal governo pastorale della Diocesi di Tyler (U.S.A.) S.E. Mons. Joseph E. Strickland e ha nominato il Vescovo di Austin, S.E. Mons. Joe Vásquez, come Amministratore Apostolico della Diocesi resasi vacante.

In Italian, “sollevamento” is what you do in weightlifting. Bp. S got the “heave ho”.

It seems to me that they’ve created a martyr. John Henry Weston of LifeSite says he interviewed Bp. Strickland who said:

I stand by all the things that were listed as complaints against me. I know I didn’t implement Traditionis Custodes [the Pope Francis decree restricting the Traditional Latin Mass] because I can’t starve out part of my flock.” He added, “I’d do it the same way again. I feel very much at peace in the Lord and the Truth that He died for.

More than one thing. However, one seems to have been the big one.

I suspect we will see many more instances of cancelling now.

Were any of us surprised to read this news? Not a bit. It was merely a matter of timing. As one priest friend wrote to me: When a man plays blackjack and asks for a hit, he gets hit.

To use another image, if they are not shooting at you, you are not over the target.

No reasons were listed in the announcement.  This was a personal decision of Francis. There seems not to have been a formal canonical procedure, which is the regular way of things in the Church to maintain good order.   I suspect my vaticanisti friends back in Rome are asking questions in the Press Office… and receiving no answers. [More below]

My fear from this is that many of the faithful will be terribly scandalized and demoralized, perhaps to the point of making unhealthy decisions about their spiritual lives.

A couple weeks back in Rome I met Bp. Strickland for the first time face to face.  We had a good conversation.  During the course of the conference when there was prayer, I tuned in on him a little, because I know he has a strong discipline of prayer.  “Yup”, I thought, “He prays.”

This discipline of prayer will be important for him in the near and far future.   He’s going to have to decide how to deal with this.  There will be great pressure on him now.

Prayer will be important to us in filtering and deciphering what his treatment means.

My strong suggesting is that if you find a story or podcast – I saw a bit of one yesterday by a lunatic spouting crazy stuff about Strickland – if you simply can’t pass it over, then ask your guardian angel to protect you while you spend time on it.

Can you take a little time in your day today to say at least a decade of the Rosary for Bp. Strickland?

Also, remember, if there is anyone out there who harmed you, or harmed someone near you, if there is anyone out there whom you are really struggling not to be angry at or even to hate, pray for that person.  It is really hard to maintain angry or hateful thoughts toward someone for whom you are regularly and sincerely praying.

If they hate us, let’s not return the favor.


Perhaps p. Strickland has been “Bynged”. As Voltaire would say: “Il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres.”

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