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by William Mahoney, Ph.D.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  February 7, 2020   

Bp. Joseph Strickland: 'Return to the Deposit of Faith'

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TYLER, Texas (ChurchMilitant.com) - Texas Bp. Joseph Strickland has called on German Bp. Franz-Josef Bode to return to the Catholic faith after Bode contradicted the Nicene Creed.

On social media Tuesday, Bp. Strickland respectfully called Bode of the Osnabrück diocese in Germany to return to orthodoxy. 

"I respectfully call you as one bishop to another to return to the truth of the Deposit of Faith for your salvation and for the good of the Church," said Bp. Strickland in a tweet.
 

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Included in the message was a November 2019 tweet in which Bp. Strickland proclaimed Church teaching on the Person of Jesus Christ: "Catholics believe that Jesus Christ is God's Divine Son, the second person of the Blessed Trinity, fully God, fully man. All power in Heaven and on earth has been given to Him by the Father. Jesus Christ is Lord!"

Bishop Strickland was responding to Bode's comment that Christ "has become human for us, not man," as reported in Kirchenbote, the Osnabrück diocese's weekly newspaper.

He came down from Heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man.

"The interaction between women and men is one of the important signs of the times," he added in the article titled "No Fear of a Split." 

The Nicene Creed explicitly states Jesus "became man": "For us men and for our salvation He came down from Heaven, and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and became man."

History of Heterodoxy

Bode has a history of liberal trailblazing and heterodox commentary on a host of unambiguous Catholic teachings and traditions. 

In a 2015 interview with German newspaper Katholische Nachrichten-Agentur, Bode suggested administering Holy Communion to civilly divorced and remarried Catholics, as well as blessings for homosexual partners. 

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Bp. Franz-Josef Bode

"With a sacramental marriage, something is concluded that never dissolves easily. Through human weakness, this relationship can still break and fail. People can enter into a new relationship that is more mature, but which does not have the same sacramental significance as the first," he said.

"The question is whether this new reality, which might actually correspond better to God's covenant with human beings, must always have, as a consequence, the exclusion from the sacraments of penance and Holy Communion," added Bode. 

Father John Zuhlsdorf explains that a priest must deny absolution if one confessing does not have "a purpose of amendment [determination to avoid that sin in the future] at that time."

Catholics living as man and wife with partners other than their spouses are "excluded" from the sacrament of penance because there can be no firm purpose of amendment as long as they remain in an adulterous union. 

In the 2015 interview, Bode said, "Just as with other individuals who live together before marriage, it is also a matter of recognizing the strengths of homosexuals, and not simply their weaknesses and shortcomings."

"The Church can be of assistance in life partnerships through dialogue and positive support. However, there cannot be anything resembling marriage. Nevertheless, one can accompany them with prayer and a private form of blessing," he added. 

At a Mass on New Year's Day this year, German Cdl. Gerhard Müller said, "The poison paralyzing the Church is [the] opinion that we should adapt to the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the age, and not the spirit of God — that we should relativize God's commandments and reinterpret the doctrine of the revealed Faith."

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