In very rare move, Pope dismisses conservative US bishop Strickland

“One of his fiercest critics”? Hardly. “Conservative” as in strongly conserving the sacred Treasure of divine revealed Truth? Definitely.


Strickland is a strong supporter of former U.S. president Donald Trump and is seen as a hero by conservative U.S. Catholic media outlets that are aligned with Trump.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Pretty sure Strickland’s support of Trump checks all four of those boxes, albeit obliquely in the case of the latter two. He is a US citizen under the protection of the Constitution.

I can think of a lot of people I’d rather see be President than Donald Trump — I intend to vote for Nikki Haley in the Republican primary, because I think she could win — but I’d support Trump over Biden, don’t even have to stop and think about it. Lesser of two evils (which is usually how American politics play out).

What sin is that? Hate him or hate him, President Trump did more for the American Catholic Church than any president in US history. No? Just ask the Little Sisters of the poor, whose Catholic consciences were violated by executive order of the Obama administration. One of the first things President Trump did was reverse the executive order that had forced the religious order to pay for employees’ abortions. Again, what sin is that?

As to Bishop Strickland, in all reformations, the most faithful will suffer. Look at the Saints of the 16th century Counter-Reformation. They remained faithful and suffered for the Name.

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It’s like democracies vs. a monarchy.

I think we’ve reached the point where political leaders trump religious ones.

Trump is a deeply flawed man with a lot of issues, however, that said, he did a whole lot of good while he was in office. If we hadn’t had those three Supreme Court Justices, Roe v Wade would almost certainly still be the law of the land.

SCJs can die suddenly, just think of Scalia. Whomever the next President is, he (or she) may have one or more Justices to replace. Do you want Biden doing the replacing? Three words: Ketanji Brown Jackson.

Don’t over-think it. Did Trump undo Obama’s rape of the consciences of the Little Sisters of the Poor? Yes.
Were there any wars begun under Trump? No.
Was he the forst US President to enter into peace talks with North Korea - on their turf? Yes.
Is he (and Catholic wife) therefore a better choice than the smoking ash heap we have now?

Who is being political?

The bishop has apparently said unkind things about Pope Francis. So have I.

I really have my doubts that Putin would have gone into Ukraine, had Trump been President.

Trump and Putin basically got along. Ditto with Kim Jong-un. That can’t be a bad thing.

Whether warranted or not, mutual respect can bring much peace.
Did President Trump get the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in North Korea? Nope.
I don’t remember, but they probably awarded it to Caitlin Jenner for promoting ZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA pride.
Obama got the award for being elected.
Beam me up, Scotty!

This thread has moved over toward politics - no surprise. The politics of the U.S. today and the governance of the Church today are becoming reflections each of the other: it’s not “who is following whom”; it appears both are following the same someone else.

But as to Nikki Haley, I would not like to see a woman president. I see now the general and heavenly truth in this, from St. Paul, much more clearly now than before:

1Tim 2:11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness.
1Tim 2:12 I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent.
1Tim 2:13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve;
1Tim 2:14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.
1Tim 2:15 Yet woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.

The feminine soul has many gifts and strengths unique to herself, and is very beautiful, as God designed her. This work is wounded, I believe, when a woman attempts to apply strengths intended for the masculine soul to herself.

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Perhaps it has drifted because much of the Strickland debate is at least partially rooted in politics. It is no secret that Pope Francis dislikes American conservativism.

As to strong women leaders, we have Esther, Judith, Joan of Arc, and in our own time, Mother Angelica, just to name a few. The reality of politics, and American life in general in the year 2023, favors someone such as Nikki Haley — a woman, a person of color (though it’s not readily apparent, you would have to be told, she could be Italian or Greek), daughter of Global Southern immigrants from a non-Christian upbringing (though she has converted to Protestant Christianity), and add to this, Americans are great admirers of style and “star quality”, which she has in spades, attractive, intelligent, articulate, and supremely self-confident. She presses all of the right buttons (aside from being a pro-life conservative), and IMO she could just win.

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What you’ve written is without doubt shared by many today! But -
You haven’t responded to the Scriptural passage, accepted by the Church as the Word of God. The Catechism includes this:

106 God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. “To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, all the while he employed them in this task, made full use of their own faculties and powers so that, though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more.”
107 The inspired books teach the truth. “Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures.”

I’m interested to hear - if you’re willing - how you understand this passage, given your support for her.

Related, shared by a theologian:

Can. 331 The bishop of the Roman Church, in whom continues the office given by the Lord uniquely to Peter, the first of the Apostles, and to be transmitted to his successors, is the head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ, and the pastor of the universal Church on earth. By virtue of his office he possesses supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church, which he is always able to exercise freely.

Can. 333 §1. By virtue of his office, the Roman Pontiff not only possesses power over the universal Church but also obtains the primacy of ordinary power over all particular churches and groups of them. Moreover, this primacy strengthens and protects the proper, ordinary, and immediate power which bishops possess in the particular churches entrusted to their care.

Can. 1404 The First See is judged by no one.

If it is to be taken literally and admitting of no exceptions, then that means a monarchy ruled by a queen — even if she is a Catholic queen such as Isabella of happy memory — is contrary to the Mind of Christ. I have never heard any authoritative, traditional teaching of the Church that calls into question the concept of a queen.

So work downwards from there. Does it make sense to say that a monarchy can be legitimately ruled by a queen? All right, then. A US president is basically an elected, non-hereditary monarch who rules for a defined period of time, as head of state (as well as head of government). What’s the difference?

Taking 1 Timothy 2:12 literally, it was wrong all those years, for women religious to teach boys in Catholic school. The Church seems not to have had an issue with that.

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Yes, let’s begin with the mind of Christ. He is certainly not opposed to the concept of a Queen - His Blessed Mother Mary is made Queen, not queen ruler but Queen Mother of the King. Mary was not given the keys and singular authority in the Church, as Peter was (Mt 16:19); she was not made Shepherd of the shepherds, as Peter was (Jn 21:16). The woman was made in the positive sense to be companion and helper for mankind, that he not be alone: (Gen 2:18) Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”

So let’s work downward from there. Does it make sense to say a woman should be queen-ruler of a Christian state? Or should a woman be shepherd among the sheep of God as an ordained priest, bishop or pope?

Woman as helper and mother in the Church should or could be a catechist of boys, yes, as their biological mothers are in the home. Certainly a helper of men in the Church, yes, and in the home. But authoritative teacher of men? That does not follow.

All of the “logical conclusions” that have followed concerning “womens’ rights” in Western culture have led to the gender insanity and homosexual equivalence arguments of today. The movement for women’s rights have helped to lead us astray because they followed from “tweaks” made in exegesis to be “reasonable” in view of the world today.

It is true: Women were being dishonored, and abused! Women were being sinned against and not loved as Christ loves HIs Church (Eph 5:25 ) That is the fact, and correction was needed and called for! But “corrections in understanding” of the words of God by sinful men and women are bound to be flawed. “Tweaks” of perfection in the name of (flawed) “reason” will be imperfect, and it will not end well. Look at the world, and much of the Church, today.

I’m not trying to be flippant (or argumentative) in saying, “I rest my case.” I hope my post is at least partially clear and helpful, and fair (that is, just) toward the darknesses of our times. God’s Way - the way who is Jesus the Son - is always best, perfect, true.

Hello ralfyman. Related is the fact that the question is raised, and debated: Is the person now “in the Chair” actually legitimate? Was this election “stolen” in one improper or illegitimate way or another?

I’ve read arguments on both side of this question, and both have merit. There is no canonical way out of the mess that would result from a false “pope” in the office. The comment from Pope Paul VI smelling the “smoke of satan” in the holy temple of God, the Church, the holy place - whatever the actual words spoken - indicating, it seems obvious - the release of satan from “the bottomless pit” (Rev 9:2,3). He must be released “for a little while” - has that “while” now begun?

Rev 20:1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding in his hand the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain.
Rev 20:2 And he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years,
Rev 20:3 and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years were ended. After that he must be loosed for a little while.

Are these the last of the Last Days? What evils are not possible, in such a trial?

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You raise some good thoughts here and I have a few of my own:

I’m not clear whether you are asserting that, aside from a “queenship of motherhood” such as Our Lady (and, really, all mothers) has, there should be no female monarchs. If that were the case, then what of Esther and Isabella? Why did not Pope St Pius V, when he released English Catholics from their allegiance to Elizabeth in Regnans in excelsis, say “just as well, a woman’s got no business being your ruler in the first place” (or words to that effect)?

And is a female monarch (which, again, is what Nikki Haley or any female US President would be) an “authoritative teacher of men”? Are monarchs and presidents “teachers”? I’ve never looked to any president that way.

I’m not arguing for women being “shepherdesses” in the Church in any way. But in your construct, is there any place for someone such as Mother Angelica? Was she a shepherdess? No, she never exercised any authority over anyone (except her own sisters in the convent), and she would have been the first one to tell you that. And while she was a teacher of sorts, on TV and radio, the only “authority” she professed was of the moral kind, and she never created anything of her own, she simply passed on the traditional teachings that were authoritative.

Dear HSDad, I don’t want to deal with examples in this world contrary to the Word - it is obvious that women do “teach or have authority over” men in some situations, secular and ecclesial, now and in the past. Does that shock you? It does not shock me. All I would like to have done by my post is suggest to you that the Word of God has been “interpreted to fit convenience” by men in the Church and in the world for a very long while, to the dishonoring of God and His way and will. Compromises with Truth are common, and we can be very clever finding ways to justify them.

Spend some time on it - there is a very very beautiful integrity in the Truth when considered in the wholeness and unity of it all. We pray to the Father, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” by command of Jesus to His followers, for a good reason: today, as when that prayer was given, obedience on earth is a far cry from obedience “as it is” in heaven. Therefore, very sadly, His glory on earth is diminished, the purity of His will is not seen or experienced by many.

But thank you for the opportunity to express this here and now. Maybe some will hear it, and hear a little differently the Our Father - a very poorly prayed but most beautiful of prayers.