Texas Bishop Calls for Fidelity to Church Teaching on Homosexuality

by Trey Elmore  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  November 14, 2018   

'Do we believe the doctrine of the Church or not?'

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BALTIMORE (ChurchMilitant.com) - On Tuesday, Bp. Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas spoke out against homosexualist clergy being allowed free reign to speak in various dioceses. "Do we believe the doctrine of the Church or not?" the bishop asked, continuing, "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."

Bishop Strickland emphasized the support bishops should offer each other in guarding souls against error.

"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," he asked.

Bishop Strickland didn't name what priest he was speaking of, but responses to the clip on Twitter tended towards the assumption that Strickland was speaking of liberal Jesuit Fr. James Martin.

Among responses to First Things' Matthew Schmitz tweet of the clip was a response from Culture of Life Africa founder Obianuju Ekeocha, who responded, "Yes!!!!!!!!"

Bishop Strickland was the first bishop to issue a statement on the first Viganò testimony, saying, "Let us be clear that they are still allegations but as your shepherd I find them to be credible." Strickland also met with attendees at the Silence Stops Now rally across the street from the bishops' meeting.

J.D. Flynn of Catholic News Agency also tweeted an account of Bp. Strickland's words on homosexualist speakers. Flynn reported that the bishops present responded to his words with "light applause." The tweets about Strickland's words received a spike in likes and retweets over and above the other posts of bishops' words that evening.

Church Militant has frequently covered the statements and behaviors of Fr. Martin as well as others such as Fathers Thomas Rosica, Bryan Massingale and Dan Horan. His heterodox statements have been chronicled in Church Militant's FAQ on him. Among those statements has been that homosexuals are not bound to live lives of chastity because they haven't received the Church's teaching on homosexual acts.

The homosexualist Jesuit said in 2017, "For a teaching to be really authoritative, it is expected that it will be received by the people of God, by the faithful. So you look at something like say, the Assumption. So the Assumption is declared and people accept that. They go to the feast of the Assumption, they believe in the Assumption, it's received."

"The teaching that LGBT people must be celibate their entire lives," he continued, "has not been received."

In other words, Martin is pushing the Protestant notion that teaching only becomes magisterial if the people "receive" the teaching. Because the LGBT community has not "received" the requirement of chastity, therefore that teaching is not authoritative and thus has no application to them.

The Code of Canon law in paragraph 750 reads:

A person must believe with divine and Catholic faith all those things contained in the word of God, written or handed on, that is, in the one deposit of faith entrusted to the Church, and at the same time proposed as divinely revealed either by the solemn Magisterium of the Church or by its ordinary and universal Magisterium, which is manifested by the common adherence of the Christian faithful under the leadership of the sacred Magisterium; therefore all are bound to avoid any doctrines whatsoever contrary to them.

Section 2 goes on to read:

Each and every thing which is proposed definitively by the magisterium of the Church concerning the doctrine of faith and morals, that is, each and every thing which is required to safeguard reverently and to expound faithfully the same deposit of faith, is also to be firmly embraced and retained; therefore, one who rejects those propositions which are to be held definitively is opposed to the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

Vatican II teaches in Lumen Gentium that the definitions of the Catholic Church "must be adhered to with the submission of faith." This teaching is referenced in the Catechism of the Catholic Church in paragraph 892.


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