Statement of Fr Timothy Kelly, Pastor of Holy Spirit Catholic Church of the Diocese of Tyler, on the removal of Bishop Strickland:
“I think it’s important to say that many decent good people have been hurt under his administration.
Seven years ago, something dark descended upon the Diocese of Tyler.
Under the direction of Bishop Joseph Strickland, charity was replaced in this diocese. Good, decent Catholic people, who had served at the diocese for a generation, were fired without as much as a thank you. Their hurt has never been recognized, nor has any apology ever been made.
Priests who disagreed with the bishop were intimidated by his supporters. I can personally attest to such phone calls from prominent friends of the bishop.
The bishop appointed people to positions of authority who are unworthy of those positions. (Thank God that most of them were later fired once the bishop felt that they were a threat to his authority.)
Every month, things in this diocese have gone steadily down and down.
Bishop Strickland’s well-being must be our primary concern today. He has been at war for the last few years. He has been manipulated and used by ruthless men, both laity and priests of this diocese, whose goal was to use the diocese and the bishop to push their extremist ideological agenda. I am not saying that Bishop Strickland is not responsible for his words, however, but some very unsavory men have influenced him.
It is essential that Bishop Strickland be given time to rest and come to terms with the disaster he had drawn upon himself and on us. It is important that he have some time for counseling and therapy. I wish him the best for his new life.
In the past, Bishop Strickland was a nice, unassuming, likable man, but in his addiction to celebrity he has ruined lives and ruptured decades-long friendships. Families have stopped going to Mass because of his unkind words. Parents have taken their children out of Catholic schools. He needs time for reflection. He needs time to rebuild the bridges he burned.
Bishop Strickland needs to step away from the cameras and microphones, and submit himself to the authority of the Supreme Pontiff.
Something dark has descended upon the Diocese of Tyler. Saint Peter was given the keys of the kingdom of heaven. The Bishop of Rome has spoken. That is the end of the matter.
‘Roma locuta est; Causa ﬁnita est.’
Augustine of Hippo