On heels of apostolic visitation, Bishop Strickland keeps up presence on social media

Bishop Joseph Strickland Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas. | Credit: Peytonlow at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

While many Catholics across the country have expressed solidarity with Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, following a formal investigation into him and his diocese ordered by Pope Francis, the east Texas prelate hasn’t made any formal statements following the apostolic visit. He has, however, continued to post many tweets. 

It’s unclear how many of his tweets are related to the investigation. However, one directly addresses his supporters, in which he thanked an organization for its support. 

Other than that, his Twitter feed appears to be par for the course for the widely-popular firebrand bishop who is admired by many Catholics for his outspokenness against prominent modern-day issues such as abortion, gender ideology, and the political agendas of elected officials who blatantly disregard the sanctity of the unborn.

The cause of the investigation from Rome is unclear. News of the inquiry into Strickland comes following his participation in a eucharistic procession and prayer rally in Los Angeles on June 16 organized to protest Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers for honoring an anti-Catholic drag group at the team’s annual Pride Night game.

A source within the diocese who spoke with EWTN News on background explained that the apostolic visitation consisted of interviews with diocesan clergy and laity throughout the preceding week before concluding on Saturday morning with a meeting with Strickland.

According to the source in the diocese, the bishop’s social media use was addressed as well as questions related to diocesan management. 

Strickland, 64, has faced both praise and criticism for his social media use, which supporters laud for clarity on Church teaching but critics argue is irresponsible, with some taking aim at a May 12 tweet in which he suggested that Pope Francis was “undermining the Deposit of Faith.”

Strickland typically tweets several times each week about the Catholic faith and related current events, oftentimes directly criticizing the nation’s pro-abortion leaders such as Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and President Joe Biden by name.

Bishop Emeritus Gerald Kicanas of Tucson and Bishop Dennis Sullivan of Camden, New Jersey, led the apostolic visitation, which EWTN News confirmed has already concluded.

CNA reached out to the Diocese of Tyler for comment on Tuesday morning but didn’t receive a response.

Strickland’s tweets

The organization Coalition for Canceled Priests tweeted a video from its conference of attendees praying the Hail Mary prayer for Strickland on June 26, to which the bishop responded.

“When we heard about Rome’s visit to @Bishopoftyler we acted immediately. May the humble prayers of the hundreds of Catholics be of assistance and peace for you as you continue being a stalwart of Catholicism, Your Excellency,” said the tweet by the organization, which seeks to help priests return to active ministry after being “unjustly canceled by their bishops.”

Strickland responded to the organization’s tweet by thanking them, saying “Our power is…’Hail Mary full of grace…’”

The bishop responded to another tweet on Monday night by Fox News that shows a photo of a gay pride parade with men walking around naked, saying: “It’s imprudent to speak out against this wonton evil? I disagree.”

He added: “I believe the imprudence is that their [sic] is not a might roar from people of faith saying, ‘These atrocities against our innocent children CANNOT be tolerated.”

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Responding to an article by LifeNews.com about Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi’s promotion of the pro-abortion agenda, Strickland tweeted Tuesday: “Pray for her heart & the hearts of many to turn from the ways of death and embrace the way of the Lord of Life, Jesus Christ.”

On Tuesday, he also posted a picture of a painting of Jesus holding a sheep on his shoulders. 

Strickland tweeted: “Philippians 4:4 ‘Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say Rejoice’, may no earthly forces steal our peace or diminish our joy. If we know Jesus Christ as Our Lord & Savior we know that His power is the only real & lasting power. All things will pass away but the Lord remains.”

In another tweet on Monday, Strickland praised the Catholic Church for being established by Jesus Christ: “Of course she has her flaws, but she is the only True Church. Catholic Church = established by God. Any & every other church, established by man…,” he said.

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On Sunday, he tweeted: “To be persecuted for speaking truth is an honor every Christian should be willing to embrace. It is walking with Jesus Christ who is Truth Incarnate. If we know Jesus it is easier to speak His Truth no matter what forces oppose us. The opposition is temporary, Jesus is forever.”

In another tweet on Sunday, Strickland posted a photo of himself in priestly vestments and a young boy sharing a joyful moment seemingly after a Mass, with a passage from Romans 8:38.

On Monday morning, Strickland tweeted a picture of Jesus with words from a popular hymn, “In Christ Alone.”

“‘In Christ alone my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song, This Cornerstone, this Solid Ground, Firm through the fiercest drought and storm, What heights of love, what depths of peace, When fears are stilled, when strivings cease, My Comforter, my all in all…’ Him alone.”

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