Papal FAFO strikes Texas bishop

Pope Francis took the unusual step of firing Joseph Strickland, the bishop of Tyler, Texas. The ultra-conservative bishop repeatedly badmouthed the pontiff and his policies before he got the boot following an on-site investigation. This proves that it’s easier for a priest to lose his job if he offends the pope than if he molests small children, but that’s not the salient point of this story.

It seems that one of the targets of Strickland’s ire is the (slightly) more inclusive attitude that Francis has than his predecessors. Apparently, Strickland has a problem with how grown men and women choose to diddle their tingly bits, perhaps overcompensating for his vow to not diddle his own. It would seem he’s also not a fan of ostentatious drag queens, even though he is one himself.

Ordinarily, Strickland dresses like this:

Note the conservative attire: a black suit and pants and few, if any, visible accessories. However, on special occasions, Strickland prefers to vamp it up in outlandish attire like this:

Here, he struts his stuff in a white silken ankle-length dress, with a lavish purple robe and matching stole, adorned with lovely golden feminine lacing, and completed with a tall, golden hat, and various gaudy jewels, while gripping a long, stiff staff.

I dunno. I don’t see anything hypocritical in this at all, do you? Certainly, the dead woman in the picture doesn’t seem to mind the bishop flaunting his drag set during her final march, so why should we?

Strickland’s firing is drawing the wrath of Catholic “traditionalists”, AKA fanatical conservatives, who have deemed the move “total war”. Strickland told conservative web site LifeSiteNews that part of the reason for his ouster is that he refuses to support the pope’s restrictions against the Latin mass, which had fallen out of favor since the Vatican II council in 1962, where it was decided that speaking to the flock in a language they could understand might have some positive benefits.

However, Francis’ predecessor, the nazi and child molesting sympathizer Benedict, restored permission to use the Latin mass in 2007, at the discretion of the local bishops. In 2021, Francis reversed that decision and added new restrictions. “Can’t we popes all just get along??

So, this seesaw battle has been a rallying cry for irrational conservative bishopry more concerned about politics and divisiveness than expanding the appeal of their church. Thus, blaming Strickland’s firing on his opposition to restrictions against Latin mass is a direct appeal to the clerical right wing and their followers.

One such voice, Michael J. Matt, editor of a conservative Catholic newspaper, wrote that Francis was “actively trying to bury fidelity to the Church of Jesus Christ”. Matt may not be aware that Jesus did not speak Latin, or that the Latin mass was not a codified thing until the Council of Trent  in 1570, some one and a half millenia after Jesus croaked his last words. In Aramaic.

(There is some dispute over what those final words were, as each inerrant Gospel makes a different claim. My money is on “Damn, this hurts!” or “Verily I say unto you, do not FAFO like I did!”)

“This is total war,” Matt xitted on Xitter. “Francis is a clear and present danger not only to Catholics the world over but also to the whole world itself.” Indeed, by attempting to appeal to those who don’t speak dead languages as well as those who diddle the wrong tingly bits, the world is one step closer to fatal cataclysm.

Just for fun, it’s also worth noting that Strickland expressed support for COVID-19 conspiracy theories. No, that’s not a big surprise.


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Noble Member
7 months ago

Fun times in the holier than thou crowd! Thanks for the comedy and sense in the morning with your stellar review!

Noble Member
7 months ago

Great take on the problem your line that: “this proves that it’s easier for a priest to lose his job if he offends the pope than if he molests small children”. Oh what a wonderful world we have to bring our children to.

Noble Member
7 months ago

Strickland: “I dare the pope to remove me for being an absolute fucking asshole.”
Pope: “Challenge accepted!”
Strickland: “Damn!”

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