Nothing to hide – Bishop Strickland denies wrongdoing

I've got nothing to hide

Bishop Joseph E Strickland of Tyler, Texas, has adamantly denied any misconduct connected to the Vatican’s investigation into his actions and those of his diocese, stating “I’ve got nothing to hide.”

The apostolic visitation, which he described as “not fun,” was conducted by delegates from the Vatican’s Dicastery for Bishops, focusing on various aspects of the diocese’s management and the bishop’s social media usage.

Strickland (pictured) made the comments on the latest episode of his podcast, “Bishop Strickland Hour.” Strickland addressed concerns surrounding the inquiry during the prerecorded show on July 25 via Virgin Most Powerful Internet Radio.

He compared the experience to being called to the principal’s office and acknowledged that some may interpret the visitation as a sign of significant issues within the diocese.

“There have been some administrative issues, and I’m sure people are concerned,” the bishop said. “I’m sure there are people saying that there must be something really bad, and something’s really gone wrong for this apostolic visitation [to happen].”

“I’ve got nothing to hide,” he said in a show excerpt posted to YouTube.

Apostolic visitations are formal investigations initiated by the Pope to examine and maintain sound doctrine and morals, and address possible abuses in institutions under the Church’s authority.

In this instance, the Vatican’s Dicastery for Bishops supervised the investigation, signalling potential disciplinary actions against Bishop Strickland

A polarising figure

The visitation reportedly involved interviews with diocesan clergy and laity, culminating in a meeting with Bishop Strickland. Among the topics explored were the bishop’s social media activities and matters related to diocesan administration and management.

Bishop Strickland has garnered both popularity and controversy for his outspokenness and staunch defence of pro-life principles, traditional liturgy and Catholic orthodoxy.

With over 136,000 followers on Twitter, his social media presence has been a point of scrutiny, leading to criticism of some of his posts, particularly one in which he implied Pope Francis was undermining the deposit of faith.

In an interview in October 2020, Strickland described the church under Francis’ leadership as “weak” and “not clear”.

On Twitter, the bishop endorsed videos labelling the current pontiff as a “diabolically disordered clown.” Strickland even dared the pope to remove him from his position.

Bishop Strickland said he thinks he was subject to the visitation “because I’ve been bold enough and loved the Lord enough and his Church, simply preaching the truth.”

Under Bishop Strickland’s leadership, the Diocese of Tyler has shown positive signs of spiritual and administrative well-being.

Despite its modest size with only 55,000 Catholics, the diocese boasts 21 men currently undergoing priestly formation, a higher rate of seminarians-per-Catholic than most other US dioceses. The diocese is also reportedly performing well financially.

However, some Twitter users commented “Bishop Strickland’s on the way out.” The bishop responded: “Maybe they’re right.”


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