An outspoken bishop has accused the Pope of orchestrating an “internal persecution” of faithful Catholics.
Bishop Athanasius Schneider said the sacking of the Rt Rev. Joseph Strickland as Bishop of Tyler, Texas, represented a particularly unjust exercise of papal power against a faithful and conscientious Church leader.
“This will go down in history as a great injustice against a bishop who did only his task in a time of confusion,” said Bishop Schneider in an exclusive interview with the Catholic Herald in Cambridge.
“Now it is silenced, this voice,” the bishop said. “That was the evident, clear intention.”
Bishop Schneider continued: “I consider this a huge, blatant injustice which was committed. I know him (Bishop Strickland) personally. I have visited his diocese. He is a man of God. Evidently in his diocese were growing new families with children, seminarians – the true spiritual life of the Catholic faith was growing.
“His public statements in favour of the Catholic faith – the truth – which he felt in his conscience to speak out (on) in order to strengthen the faithful, this was basically the cause of his removal, this voice which spoke clearly the truth.
“He did not do much polemics – you can check his words. They simply state, sometimes in a very clear way, the truth. He was a kind of prophetic voice, but he was for many in the Church an obstacle and they wanted to remove this unpleasant voice from them. This is the cause. We have to be very honest.”
Bishop Schneider added: “At the same time he (the Pope) is not removing, and in some cases is promoting, cardinals and bishops who are publicly distorting or undermining the faith … those bishops who openly promote LGBT ideology, he is not touching them.
“It is an evident sign and demonstration that he has another intention – an intention to silence and to stop those communities and bishops in the Church who are still faithful and attached to the faith and the tradition of the Church and her liturgy.
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