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A Leaven In The World . . . Francis’ Agenda

November 19, 2023 Frontpage No Comments

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK

Catholics who believe the Faith should have practical consequences in their lives should prepare now to be completely disenfranchised. With the forced removal of Bishop Joseph Strickland, the former ordinary of Tyler, Texas, the purge of cardinals and bishops who speak with clarity about the current “crisis of the Magisterium,” as Robert Cardinal Sarah describes it, comes closer to us all.
If they can do it to a cardinal or bishop, they can do it to you or me. But only if we let them.
Yes, Francis can gradually and inexorably separate from office and governance in the Church any who insist on teaching faith and morals as the Church has always done, and which no Council or Pope has the power to change, but that does not mean that he has “changed the faith.”
Wherever the holy Catholic Faith is lived by any of the baptized, the holy Catholic Faith is alive. Francis intimidates, abuses, excoriates, unjustly condemns and punishes, but that is all he can do. We witness the futile raging of a man who possibly had a troubled and unresolved relationship with his own father. Who knows? He certainly detests those who believe that the Faith should have practical consequences for our lives, as in obedience to the Commandments.
First Cardinals Burke, Mueller, Sarah, and others were fired. Then bishops around the world, including Puerto Rico and other places were removed from office without any proof of wrongdoing. Then Bishop Rey in France was forbidden to ordain any new priests. And now Strickland has been fired without any explanation, thus leaving the faithful to interpret the situation as maliciously as they choose. A scandal and a miscarriage of justice!
If Bishop Strickland has done wrong, make plain to him and to us all what it was. He holds a public office in the Church and his removal, whether justly or unjustly, affects all of us, beginning with his own faithful in Texas. Injury done to the father is injury done to the children and to the family.
The pattern repeats itself: Anyone who clings to the Traditional Faith, which unfailingly upholds traditional morals, anyone who shelters or ordains men to the traditional priesthood, all are made to feel as though at any moment they may find themselves in the crosshairs of Francis. Then follows an apostolic visitation, no explanation of what is wrong so the matter in question could be addressed and corrected, and removal. A reign of terror.
Many of the favorites of Pope Francis meanwhile commit all sorts of outrageous attacks upon faith and morals with impunity, compounding scandal to the faithful. And that is perhaps where the trouble began for Bishop Strickland.
He made the mistake of standing up and calling his brother bishops to account at a USCCB meeting in regard to the McCarrick affair. He mentioned, without naming him, the homosexualist Fr. Martin and criticized the fact that he commits every sort of verbal assault on faith and morals repeatedly and is rewarded with repeated personal audiences and handwritten notes by the Pope.
He touched the third rail of the Francis papacy and paid the price.
It is more than warranted at this point to call Pope Francis to account in accord with the parrhesia that he himself has endorsed. He has one job. That job is to sound and act like a Catholic not sometimes, but all the time. We do not love him if we do not hope and pray for his salvation. He will be judged as will we all by the Lord who has clearly taught through the Commandments and through His words and works in the Gospels as handed down apostolically that chastity in every vocation is a requirement for the personal holiness without which we cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
Christian chastity, a non-negotiable, requires the complete continence of abstinence for all those who are not called to the sacrament of marriage. Period.
The Pillar, at pillarcatholic.com, reported: “In a May post, the bishop said that he believed that Pope Francis is the Pope, ‘but it is time for me to say that I reject his program of undermining the Deposit of Faith’.”
“The bishop, active on Twitter, renamed his account on the site November 11 to @BishStrickland, removing reference to the Tyler Diocese.
“Strickland’s removal from office by the Pope follows a September 9 meeting between Pope Francis and Cardinal Robert Francis Prevost, OSA, head of the Dicastery for Bishops, and Cardinal Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, to discuss the apostolic visitation.
“‘There is the matter of the public scandal from all these comments about the Pope and the synod, but there are also real problems in the diocese. Those were the focus of the visitation; there are concerns in the diocese about governance, about financial matters, about basic prudence,’ the official said.
“The apostolic visitation included questions about the governance of a diocesan high school, considerable staff turnover in the diocesan curia, the bishop’s welcome of a controversial former religious sister as a high school employee, and the bishop’s support for ‘Veritatis Splendor’ — a planned Catholic residential community in the diocese, which has struggled with controversy involving its leadership’s financial administration and personal conduct.
“Sources familiar with the investigation have previously told The Pillar that diocesan officials and clergy interviewed as part of the process were asked about the possibility of Strickland stepping down and canvassed for their views about suitable possible successors.
“It is extremely rare for a Pope to remove a bishop from his diocese, though his legal power to do so is established.”
Yes, Pope Francis can brandish his universal power to fire anyone he pleases. However, such behavior runs counter to his frequent protestations in support of the prerogatives of local bishops.
If you dig deeply enough you can find almost anywhere an administrative reason for sacking nearly anyone. One of the reasons bishops and pastors hire bookkeepers, have audits, and get regular canonical inspections for record-keeping and other matters is that mistakes happen. It’s human.
Bishops sometimes in goodwill make mistaken judgments about people, or they are deceived. Personnel decisions can be affected negatively as a result. It’s nothing new and can happen to any bishop whether he is considered progressive or not.
We have been asked to believe over and over again that Pope Francis himself has been deceived and as a result made bad personnel decisions in, among other places, Chile, Argentina, and Rome, most infamously with Rupnik, the serial rapist and spiritual abuser who poses as a mosaic artist.
Rupnik was rapidly and mysteriously restored by the Pope after excommunication for absolving an accomplice in a sin against the Sixth Commandment, but whose supposed “contrition” was belied by his refusal to cooperate with a Jesuit investigation, for which he was then expelled from the order. After all this he was rapidly incardinated into a Slovenian diocese. No such accommodations for the exemplary Bishop Strickland.
But it sometimes happens in the military, the business world, and the Church that if you simply don’t like someone you can also use any slightest infraction falling under administrative procedures or policies to fire them. We would have to be terribly naive to fail to admit that we are left with more than enough evidence to come to the conclusion that we are witnessing a petty and vindictive campaign of revenge.
Does this smack of Christian charity and the love of a shepherd after the pattern of Jesus Christ?

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