Priest to Pope: ‘Bishop Strickland has the Right and Duty to Correct You Publicly’

The following is an open letter by Father Jesusmary Missigbètò. His previous writings can be viewed here.

on the dismissal of Bishop Joseph Edward Strickland
Memorial of the Dedication of the Basilicas of Saints Peter and Paul

Dear Father,

May Jesus Christ, God and Founder of the Church, bless you and give you abundantly His Holy Spirit so that you may be well enlightened about this important period in your life and in our Church! I pray that you will receive the words contained in this open letter as a sign of affection from a son to his father. It is the love of the Pope and of justice that drives me to write to you, with humility and respect. On 11 November 2023, the whole world learned with surprise that you had dismissed Joseph Edward Strickland as Bishop of the Diocese of Tyler (Texas, USA).

According to Cardinal Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, this dismissal is due to a lack of fraternity with the other bishops, a lack of interest in the Synod on Synodality, and a failure to apply Traditionis custodes. But using Cardinal Joseph Zen’s beautiful expression, we have to say that the nuncio’s statement “is truly an offense to our intelligence.” All intelligent Christians know that Bishop Strickland was sanctioned for publicly criticizing Francis’ destructive programme: “it is time for me to say that I reject his program of undermining the Deposit of Faith” (12 May 2023); “the evil and false message that has invaded the Church, Christ’s Bride” (22 August 2023). In reality, “lack of fraternity” means refusing to keep quiet about Francis’ errors as other bishops do; “lack of interest in the Synod on Synodality” means refusing the democracy that wants to change the traditional teaching of the Church; “failure to apply Traditionis custodes” means refusing to do away with the traditional Mass, the source of piety of the new Mass.

O my Father, are you sure that you have not committed a grave injustice? In order to better explain the problem, I will write you three letters to justify why Bishop Strickland was right to publicly criticize the moral and doctrinal errors of your magisterium. The first letter (18 November 2023) will be a theological justification proving the need for filial correction to Francis. The second letter (25 November 2023) will be a philosophical justification showing that Francis’ “authentic magisterium” is an illusion. The last letter (30 November 2023) will be a canonical justification presenting Francis’ moral and doctrinal errors and the heresies they contain.

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