Bishop's Blog / An Important Statement of Clarification

By Joseph Strickland
Thursday, February 08, 2024

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In these troubled times it is necessary that we express ourselves very clearly. Let us seek to build bridges in the Truth and love that is Jesus Christ rather than allow false messages to constantly divide us.

I have agreed to serve as spiritual director for a pilgrimage that Patrick Coffin is putting together, even though I disagree with Patrick on a couple of points. However, I believe that I was called to lead this pilgrimage and, therefore, I have agreed to do so.  

It recently came to my attention, however, that a speaker was invited to Patrick Coffin's course, "Hope is the Fuel," whose words I would describe as antiSemitic, although he himself would object to this title. This speaker is E. Michael Jones. Because I feel strongly about this topic, and because I feel a follower of Christ cannot follow an ideology such as this that I believe is based in hatred, I spoke to Patrick about this, and we have recorded a video in which I have expressed my opinion and my great concern about this issue. 

I want to make this statement today that there is never, ever a place for antiSemitism, and it is a great tragedy that there has ever been a tolerance for it within the Church. Also, it is absolutely despicable that anyone would make comments about the Holocaust that attempt to downplay the suffering, pain and degradation of humanity that occurred there. Also, to attempt in some manner to place the blame on the Jews for their own suffering, as a supposed punishment for denying and crucifying Our Lord, is a denial of the fact that we are all to blame, and indeed we all have His blood on our hands.

I want to state clearly that I reject the tenets of Jones and any others who attempt to spread this ideology of hate. At this time when there is so much division and discord, let us look to Christ and realize that the catalyst that moves us towards Him is love.

May we always model the love and mercy of Our Lord to all people.

Joseph Strickland

Bishop Joseph E. Strickland was named the fourth bishop of Tyler in September of 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI. Prior to being named bishop, he served a number of roles in the diocese, including vicar general, judicial vicar, and pastor of the Cathedral parish. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1985.
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