News broke this morning that the stalwart man of God, Bishop Strickland of Tyler Texas was removed from his diocese. The official announcement was terse:
The Holy Father has removed Bishop Joseph E. Strickland from the pastoral care of the diocese of Tyler, United States of America, and has appointed Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin as apostolic administrator of the same diocese, rendering it sede vacante.
This is the definition of arbitrary power: the reason given is that it is the will of the Pope.
This is the definition of bishops being treated as “Vicars of the Roman Pontiff” (condemned by Lumen Gentium).
This is the definition of the spirit of Vatican I.
The Catholic Church has become a tyranny of arbitrary power, wielded by the vicar of Logos Incarnate. It is the very essence of anti-Logos: voluntarism.
What is voluntarist justice? The will of the stronger power over the weaker power.
The Pope is not bound by laws of God or laws of men – canon law, Tradition, whatever else may bind him to justice.
His will is law. His whim is decree.
The Pope says to all laws and customs and obligations to follow charity: non serviam.
The Pope says to all justice and due process: non serviam.
The Pope says to the cries of the faithful little ones, spiritually abused by wicked clerics, heretics, and the worldwide regime of Marxist globalism: non serviam.
The Pope says to Mercy Himself: non serviam.
Cardinal Pell of happy memory, one of the Pope’s key advisors, summed up this pontificate well when he said:
Commentators of every school, if for different reasons, with the possible exception of Father Spadaro, SJ, agree that this pontificate is a disaster in many or most respects; a catastrophe… Previously it was: “Roma locuta. Causa finita est.” Today it is: “Roma loquitur. Confusio augetur.”
Yes it’s a disaster. Yes it’s a catastrophe.
But it’s more than confusion. It’s naked injustice.
The juxtaposition of “Rapenik” getting a parish and Strickland being forced out accurately sums up this pontificate’s cries to heaven for vengeance. (After years of outcry, the “Great Reformer” Pope Francis has been forced to lift the statute of limitations on Rupnik.)
Thanks be to God, the good bishop has been counted worthy to suffer for the Faith! And they indeed went from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were accounted worthy to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus (Acts v. 41).
Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you (Mt. v. 11-12).
Wipe away your tears, brethren, and let us rejoice that this immense suffering has come upon this man of God. For therein are his prayers and penances given a multiplication of merit.
Almighty God will have the last laugh.
Rejoice always that…no matter what the day brings Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life, yesterday, today and forever. May the saints and the Blessed Virgin Mary always inspire us to return to Christ no matter how we may wander into darkness. Jesus is Light from Light. pic.twitter.com/BInqtESYaH
— Bishop J. Strickland (@BishStrickland) November 11, 2023
“I have loved justice and hated iniquity. Therefore, I die in exile.”
-Dying words of Pope St. Gregory VII pic.twitter.com/XpZEW88bv0
— OnePeterFive (@OnePeterFive) November 11, 2023
Timothy S. Flanders earned a BA in Greek and Latin from Grand Valley State University in 2010 with special studies in history, writing and Arabic. As a result of his studies, he converted from Protestantism to Eastern Orthodoxy and began working in education among ages Kindergarten to adult. He then pursued a Masters’ Degree in Christian history and theology with the Catholic University of Ukraine. In 2013, as a result of further searching, he converted to Roman Catholicism shortly after Pope Francis was elected. In 2019 he founded The Meaning of Catholic, a lay apostolate dedicated to uniting Catholics against the enemies of Holy Church. In 2021, he became the editor-in-chief of the online journal, OnePeterFive. He is the author of three books: Introduction to the Holy Bible for Traditional Catholics, City of God versus City of Man: The Battles of the Church from Antiquity to the Present and When the Gates of Hell Prevail: What Catholics Do in Dark Times, as well as a forthcoming book about Eastern Orthodoxy, published by St. Paul Center. He lives in Michigan with his wife and six children.