DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Last week, Bp. Joseph Strickland of the diocese of Tyler, Texas was criticized on social media for "condemning" homosexuality, but received praise from faithful Catholics.
A Twitter user remarked on Feb. 20, "When people like the bishop of Tyler condemn LGBT+ persons, they are missing a chance to serve Jesus, and they are condemning the Lord."
#1 way for people with privilege is to associate with people who are on the margins in society and in the Church. So when people like @Bishopoftyler condemn LGBT+ persons, they are missing a chance to serve Jesus, and they are condemning the Lord. https://t.co/AO5orUJ7wN— Do we do clever names for Lent? (@DisabledSaints) February 20, 2020
This was a criticism of Bp. Strickland for his defense of Catholic teaching on sexuality.
Bishop Strickland responded by saying, "I'm not condemning anyone. Not calling a person away from sin is in fact condemning them to the destruction that sin brings."
I'm not condemning anyone. Not calling a person away from sin is in fact condemning them to the destruction that sin brings. https://t.co/YV1Uh3YZ2i— Bishop J. Strickland (@Bishopoftyler) February 20, 2020
Many faithful Catholics on social media thanked Bp. Strickland for his defense of Church teaching.
For instance, canon lawyer Edward Peters replied to Strickland's tweet, "You do not need my encouragement to keep on keeping on, Bishop, but you totally have it."
You do not need my encouragement to keep on keeping on, Bishop, but you totally have it. Oremus pro invicem.— Edward Peters (@canonlaw) February 20, 2020
Likewise, Twitter user Kari Froelicher stated, "Bishop, thank you for your courageous stand to these LGBT bullies."
Amen. Bishop thank you for your courageous stand to these LGBT bullies.— Kari Froelicher (@karimfaz) February 20, 2020
A large number of Catholics on Twitter said "yes," "thank you" or "amen" to Bp. Strickland.
The bishop of Tyler, Texas has been known for speaking out in defense of Catholic teaching.
Earlier this month, Bp. Strickland called out a German bishop for suggesting Christ "became human, not man."
Back in November 2018, he spoke out against pro-LGBT Jesuit Fr. James Martin, who has been allowed to speak in many dioceses around the country. Addressing fellow bishops at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' meeting in Baltimore, Bp. Strickland asked, "Do we believe the doctrine of the Church or not?"
He continued, "There's a priest that travels around now, basically saying that he doesn't, and he seems to be very well-promoted in various places."
Strickland encouraged his fellow bishops to reconsider giving a speaker's platform to Fr. Martin, saying: "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?"
Last October, Bp. Strickland again spoke out against Fr. Martin, saying on Twitter, "I know you have lots of support, but you are challenging the Deposit of Faith that I promised to defend. As a bishop, I'll keep defending it."
Last summer, Strickland supported Bp. Thomas Tobin when he came under fire for warning against LGBT pride celebrations.
Bishop Strickland was the first American bishop to issue a statement on Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò's first testimony, which was released in August 2018. Strickland wrote, "Let us be clear that they are still allegations, but as your shepherd I find them to be credible."