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By Lisa Bourne, LifeSiteNews, Nov. 14, 2018
BALTIMORE, Maryland, November 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Texas Bishop Joseph Strickland forthrightly articulated Church teaching on the immorality of homosexual acts to the U.S. Bishops’ Conference Tuesday. He questioned whether his brother bishops believed this “doctrine of the Church or not,” and if they did, why some of them have allowed certain clergy to speak in their dioceses with a pro-homosexual message.
“Brothers, I think part of the fraternal correction, or the fraternal support, we offer each other is to say, ‘Can that be presented in our diocese? That same-sex ‘marriage’ is just fine, and the Church will one day grow to understand that,’” Bishop Strickland said to his brother bishops gathered in Baltimore, MD, for their General Assembly.
“It’s part of our deposit of faith that we believe homosexual activity is immoral,” Strickland said.
“The people, those that we label ‘homosexual,’ are children of God, and they need our great care,” he added. “But to me that real care comes from acknowledging the sin, and the reality that all of us are sinners called from sin to virtue.”
Strickland questioned whether now ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick, credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor as well as seminarians, only got promoted — despite many in high places knowing about his open secret of predation — because a number of bishops did not really believe that what McCarrick was doing was wrong.
“How did this happen – if we really believe that what was going on was wrong?” said Bishop Strickland.
The question with McCarrick, he said, and the core issue of the abuse crisis that’s been put out there, is how McCarrick got promoted and was able to do all that he did if the bishops really all are of one mind that this is wrong and sinful.
“There seem to be questions about that,” said Bishop Strickland. “And I think we have to face that directly – Do we believe the doctrine of the Church, or not?”
Bishop Strickland challenged his brother bishops with the reminder of how it reflects on them when those whom they invite to speak in their dioceses contravene Church teaching.
“There’s a priest that travels around now basically saying that he doesn’t [believe the doctrine of the Church],” he said, “and he seems to be very well promoted in various places.”
Strickland continued, “Brothers, I think part of the fraternal correction, or the fraternal support, we offer each other is to say, ‘Can that be presented in our diocese? That same-sex ‘marriage’ is just fine, and the Church will one day grow to understand that.’”
“That’s not what we teach,” he stated. “And I think we really have to ask those serious questions.”
“Condemning no one, we get berated for bigotry that is not real,” the bishops added. “Jesus Christ brings good news to the world.”
While the Bishop did not name the priest he referenced, his description fits with LGBT-affirming Fr. James Martin, a Vatican consultant and editor-at-large of the Jesuit-run America magazine who has been invited into numerous U.S. dioceses where he speaks about the normalization of homosexuality within the Catholic Church.
Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and the clergy sex abuse crisis have largely dominated the USCCB Fall General Assembly. Bishop Strickland said the Gospel of Jesus Christ is good news and precisely what’s necessary for the Church to overcome the tragic scenario it faces.
Strickland concluded with mentioning that the recent Youth Synod also seemed to be missing focusing on the Gospel, having seemingly been surrounded with confusion and difficulty.
“I didn’t hear much about the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” he told the bishops. “He lived, died and rose so that we could be free from sin and death. “
“I think the more we can share that good news,” said Strickland, “the more we can overcome the tragic things that we’re facing now.”
Bishop Strickland was the one bishop from the Conference-wide gathering who stopped at the adjacent Silence Stops Now event organized by lay Catholics, doing so, he said, because people among his flock had asked him to go and pray with the Catholics gathered there.