Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

The Heroic Bishop Strickland

March 29th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

It is being reported by Church Militant, among others, that Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas has refused to sign the Texas bishops’ statement permitting hospitals and similar institutions of ‘care’ to decide

    Bishop Joseph E.      Strickland, Tyler, TX

unilaterally how to ration life-saving equipment. Even such a thought opens the door for abominable kinds of abuse; it smells of rationing mortal sin. “Who gets to commit it and who doesn’t?” But sin is sin, and it is a sad situation when the majority of the successors of the Apostles, albeit in just one geographical area, presume to permit sin in the same tone as permitting eating meat on Friday!

Some reporters are seeing this as a type of civil war among the bishops, but it may just be a misunderstanding of what it really looks like when a true priest stands up for his conscience and for his flock. One headline states: “Bishop Strickland Stands Alone.” Then all the more, let us praise God for giving all the other Texas prelates a hero in their midst.

Bishop Strickland refused to back a declaration by the TCCB (Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops) to eliminate the legal penalties against healthcare rationing. That declaration would give hospitals the license to decide who gets to live and who gets to die among coronavirus-infected patients, without explanation and without legal accountability. For example, a key hospital (or diocesan) donor could receive the first ventilator available, just for financial reasons. Are financial reasons too far fetched? No. Texas Right to Life has reported that dioceses are investors in hospitals, and so can financially benefit. TCCB states:

“The TCCB is the administrative and lobbying arm of the Texas bishops and holds no canonical authority as an entity. The TCCB’s recent suggestions would effectively suspend all patient protections currently in law, violating the constitutional rights of vulnerable patients. Regrettably, this action is consistent for the TCCB, which holds interests in hospitals and has opposed patient protections and needed reforms to medical ethics laws for each of the last 12 sessions of the Texas Legislature…. Waiving all laws and standards of care does not further protect patients, but rather fosters quality of life value judgments about who should live and who should die, spreads anxiety and fear, and jeopardizes the lives of those needing care at hospitals.”

Texas Right to Life supports Bp. Strickland’s decision. They understand that giving healthcare providers a pass to allocate/ration equipment and/or services means that tomorrow it could decide there should be no treatment for Catholics, or for pro-lifers, or for children, depending on who is making the decision. Bp. Strickland also stood alone recently in calling for a probe into Catholic Relief Services, in its alleged support of contraceptives and abortion. That’s another hornet’s nest he has not avoided.

Reminder Regarding Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz! 

It is rare that a bishop chooses to stand alone and expresses loyalty to doctrine yet independence of mind and spirit, which is why I think so much from diocesan conferences appears weak and watered down.  But one such bishop with strength of character and loyalty to Church Teaching, as we see with Bp. Strickland, is the retired Bp. Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska. His declaration and statement of excommunication of Catholics in his diocese (1996) who are members of any one of more than a dozen organizations, including Planned Parenthood, can be found here:

Bp. Bruskewitz also stood up against the entire USCCB and prevailed. He was the only vote against submitting to mandatory audit reviews. He refused to surrender diocesan rights and just his one vote meant the proposed changes could not go forward as mandatory, only voluntary. Bp. Strickland will surely take heart. The Diocese of Lincoln during Bp. Bruskewitz’s period of service produced four bishops.

My only personal contact with Bp. Bruskewitz was on a Catholic Radio call-in show in 2012. It can be found here:

I do think it is important to give our support to such strong bishops. We can write to Bp. Strickland at:

The Most Reverend Joseph E. Strickland

Bishop of Tyler, Texas

1015 ESE Loop 323

Tyler, Texas 75701-9663



One Response to “The Heroic Bishop Strickland”

  1. true faith says:

    I’m not sure why The Texas Conference of Bishops would draw up such a document and ask bishops to sign it. In reality, all decisions made during a pandemic or a disaster would be made by the medical/ healthcare community under their legal and ethical guidelines during a Mass Casualty Event. The Federal,State, and Local Health Departments, as well as Federal and State Governments will declare when Mass Casualty Triage will take the place of regular emergency triage. They won’t be seeking approval from any Conference of Bishops or any other religious leadership.

    I don’t know of any physicians, A.P.P.s or nurses who would want to make these kind of decisions and ration ventilators and other care based on survivability. We already know the outcome of this in Italy. Physicians and nurses in Italy will probably be emotionally traumatized for the rest of their lives. There are stories of priests who gave up their ventilators, in order that others could live.

    Other than South Korea, most countries, including our country, lacks adequate personal protective equipment to protect healthcare personnel for more than a few weeks, if that. Nurses in New York City are cutting holes in garbage bags to order to wear them, because they ran out of isolation gowns. Across the country, physicians and other healthcare personnel are rationed one N95 mask to use and reuse until it becomes visibly soiled and are told to reuse their visors after sanitizing them between patients.

    In South Korea, all physicians and nurses were placed in Level 3 Personal Protection Equipment. They all wore hoods with built in face masks, Tyvak Suits, and PAPR battery operated packs to deliver forced pure air into their hoods to breathe,while carrying for patients in negative pressure isolation. Citizens were all given respirator masks to wear in public. Their morality rate has been less than 0.5%.

    The bright light in this is the willingness of private citizens to sew cloth masks for healthcare personnel to wear over N95 masks or alone. Jim Dyson who designed the cyclone vacuums, fans, and hand dryers, designed a portable, mobile ventilator model in 10 days and his company is starting mass production. Besides filling an order of 30,000 ventilators by the British government, he is donating several thousand ventilators across the world to help with the pandemic. Elon Musk has said that he is designing a portable, moveable ventilator and will have his company, Tesla, mass producing them by the second week in April.

    President Trump has had General Motors reopen their plants in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio and bring back laid off employees to assemble and build Ventac brand ventilators in their Indiana and Ohio plants. GM and Ventac state that they can turn out 10,000 ventilators per month. GM Plant in Michigan will be producing face masks and other personal protective equipment. Ford states that their company will assist in the production of Ventac portable ventilators and personal protection masks, as well.

    Let’s hope and pray that we will have enough ventilators for everyone, as well as adequate personal protective equipment for the entire healthcare community to be protected, while caring for patients.
    I was inspired by aa wonderful video on the history and the power of the rosary on YouTube. Here it is Father Don Calloway MIC: The Rosary: Spiritual Sword of Our Lady

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