The Catholic News Agency (CNA) reports that Bishop Joseph E. Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, is the subject of an inquiry by the Vatican. The probe might lead to disciplinary action against the bishop.
The bishop in Texas who is well-known for opposing the program being implemented by the current Pope and for taking part in a prayer rally directed against the “Pride Night” game being played by the Los Angeles Dodgers has reportedly been investigated by the Vatican, according to a recent story published by CNA.
Referred to as an “apostolic visitation,” the investigation centers on recent public comments, such as one by Strickland in which he claimed that Pope Francis was “undermining the Deposit of Faith.”
By declaring in January that homosexuality is not a crime and that homosexuals should not be punished, Pope Francis offered further clarification regarding his attitude toward LGBTQ+ persons. Despite this, he continued to insist that it was sinful “as is any sexual act outside of marriage.”
As reported by CNA, Strickland is widely regarded as a “culture war champion” and staunch defender of conservative values. When he joined a prayer demonstration in June to protest the Dodgers’ support of the LGBTQ+ community during a Pride game, some individuals called it a “breach of ecclesiastical protocol.”
On June 21st, Strickland stated his disagreement with some topics the Vatican has suggested be discussed. Women deacons, married priests, and more LGBTQ+ inclusion are all on the table.
He said that the very fact that these issues are being discussed at all is laughable. He said he prays that none of those with a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ will let themselves be led astray in this way.
A close confidant of Bishop Strickland said that the bishop is confident with the visitation’s findings and does not want to make a big deal out of the investigation. CNA stated that a priest on the apostolic trip discussed potential successors to Strickland during interview sessions. CNA also stated that the priest commented, although it is unknown what sort of penalty Strickland may face.