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(LifeSiteNews) — On this week’s episode of The Bishop Strickland Show, Bishop Joseph Strickland voices support for the recent dubia by Cardinal Raymond Burke and company, comments on a quote by Archbishop Ven. Fulton Sheen, and calls for prayer and fasting during the Synod on Synodality.
Beginning the show addressing the Synod, Strickland encourages us to remain calm, pray, fast, and give alms during the Synod.
“Use [the Synod] as a mini-Lent,” he suggests.
“We really need to do that more often anyway, because it’s not just Lent that we’re called to make sacrifices, almsgiving, and prayer and fasting,” he continues. “It should be a way of life.”
His Excellency also discusses the opening of the Synod in light of the concomitant Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, drawing attention to the readings for St. Francis in the new rite, which discuss glorying in the Cross and giving up the world to attain eternal life. He also addresses the popular view of St. Francis as someone who loved animals, stressing that St. Francis was more than a mere animal lover.
“He had a deep theological faith,” he says. “He really had a devotion to the Eucharist. He experienced the stigmata… He suffered a lot.”
Comparing the reception St. Francis received during his lifetime from the “institutional Church,” Strickland also notes that St. Francis was not welcomed by it, as most churchmen believed the poverty urged by St. Francis was “too extreme.” He also highlights how, just like in our time, churchmen in St. Francis’ day “had a lot of wealth, and had a lot of prestige,” and that St. Francis challenged them to live simply.
“I think we can go deeply into St. Francis and be inspired by his poverty, his simplicity, his clear doctrine,” Strickland says. He also recalls the call of Our Lord from the Cross of San Damiano telling St. Francis to rebuild the Church in ruins. “We need St. Francis now, because the Church is spiritually falling in ruins in too many ways,” he says.
Midway through the episode, His Excellency comments on a quote by Archbishop Ven. Fulton Sheen, who said: “Truth brings with it great responsibilities. That is why so many men keep their hands open to welcome it, but never close them to grasp it. In their cowardness, they keep their minds open so they will never have to close them on anything that would entail responsibility, duty, moral correction, or altered behavior.”
Beginning his commentary on the quote, Strickland recalls a joke from the 1970s: that one can be so open-minded their brain falls out. He calls Sheen’s quote “prophetic.” Even so, Strickland recognizes that a degree of open-mindedness is needful so that men can come to grasp the truth and stand for it, as opposed to what many in our day do.
Looking at the way people talk today, Strickland says that many no longer speak with clarity. They use an abundance of words but say nothing of substance, leading to confusion. Strickland says that Christ, God Himself, used “simple images” in such a way as to be clear to those listening to Him, and that people should imitate Christ.
Later in the episode, His Excellency is asked if he endorses the recent dubia submitted to Pope Francis by Cardinals Raymond Burke, Walter Brandmüller, Juan Sandoval Íñiguez, Robert Sarah, and Joseph Zen.
Strickland says he supports the dubia, and calls for people to pray and urge for a clear response to the dubia by the Holy Father. He also opines that when talking about the issue of potential blessings for same-sex unions, people need to “broaden the whole picture.” According to Strickland, sins are not limited to the sexual sins, and notes that just as one cannot bless a same-sex union, one cannot bless embezzlers or child molesters if they ask for blessings.
“We can’t bless sin!” he affirms, adding that the only blessing that can be received by sinners is the call to repentance. Turning the argument for blessing same-sex unions on its head, Strickland says the demand for such a blessing is a demand to ignore one category of sin at the expense of others.
“As people who follow Jesus Christ, we can’t ignore any sin, whether it’s dishonesty, or blasphemy against God, or sexual sin, or whatever it may be. We’ve got to call all people from sin to virtue,” he says.
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