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Cordileone, Strickland condemn ‘scurrilous’ false schism message 

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas. / Credit: Peytonlow at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jul 17, 2023 / 15:30 pm (CNA).

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and Diocese of Tyler, Texas, Bishop Joseph Strickland on Sunday both publicly condemned a message falsely attributed to Strickland that appeared to advocate schism from the Catholic Church. 

Earlier in the month an image had circulated on social media appearing to suggest that Strickland was backing a move toward a “separation from the Bergoglian sect,” an apparent reference to a schismatic break from the Holy See. 

The Texas prelate on Sunday openly condemned the message and denounced it as false. 

“A fabricated and scurrilous message using my image and name is circulating which falsely depicts me making a statement advocating separation from the Catholic Church,” Strickland wrote on Twitter on Sunday morning.

“I condemn this false use of my name; I am a loyal son of the Catholic Church,” he said. 

Cordileone likewise came out publicly against the fabricated message, writing on Twitter in response to the fake message: “The devil is a liar and the father of all lies.”

It is unclear where the image originated. Screenshots on social media suggest it was shared at least by the media website Gloria.tv. 

Pat Buckley, an ex-priest who was excommunicated from the Catholic Church after being “ordained” into the “Independent Catholic” movement, had also shared the fake statement on his blog, claiming he received the remarks “by way of a comment” and that it had reportedly “appeared on Stricklands’s [sic] Twitter account.”

CNA reached out to Buckley to ask specifically from where or from whom he received the comment and why he did not verify its accuracy before posting it. Buckley declined to answer. “I do not correspond with people who address me as ‘Mr.,’” he said.

Strickland was most recently at the center of controversy when he was the subject of a Vatican-ordered investigation addressing the controversial bishop’s social media posts as well as the management of the diocese he oversees. 

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