Bishop's Blog / My letter to the Flock of Tyler regarding the Holy Communion Controversy

By Joseph Strickland
Friday, June 11, 2021

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Dear Flock of Tyler,

As we move through these post-Pentecost days of Ordinary Time, let us continue to seek the peace and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

As your bishop, I want to address the controversy that the Church is facing at this time regarding our national leaders who profess the Catholic faith. My main purpose, as always, is to teach the Catholic faith clearly and give us all the knowledge we need to address the many controversies that arise. Therefore, rather than address the situation of President Biden or any other leaders specifically, my approach is to remind all of us of basic Catholic teachings.

Our faith clearly teaches that life is sacred from conception to natural death and that direct abortion is an immoral violation of the sanctity of life. Our faith also teaches that the bread and wine consecrated at Mass truly become the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ, God’s Divine Son. In order to rightly receive the Body and Blood of Christ in Communion, we all have the serious obligation of ensuring that we are in the state of grace and that we are doing our best to live the truth that God has revealed to us.

As your shepherd, I pray that this controversy will primarily serve to prompt all of us to a serious examination of conscience. I am not the president’s bishop, but I am yours. I grow daily in awareness of my own unworthiness as we all should, and this allows us to be more deeply in awe of God’s love and mercy. Every man and woman of faith has an obligation to repent of our sins and live the Gospel as fully as possible. When we are aware of serious sin in our lives, we must go to Confession and seek a true conversion of heart. Then we can approach Communion assured that the Lord will strengthen us to go forth on our mission.

Let us pray lovingly for all of our leaders and for deeper unity in our own lives with the Lord and his bride, the Catholic Church.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

+ Joseph E. Strickland Bishop of Tyler

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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