OAN’s Abril Elfi
11:22 PM – Sunday, November 12, 2023
Pope Francis has removed Bishop Joseph E. Strickland from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas.
On Saturday, Pope Francis ordered the removal of Bishop Strickland who is one of his harshest detractors among Roman Catholic conservatives in the United States, after he refused to resign following a Vatican probe.
The decision came amid Strickland, 65, who has emerged as a prominent critic of Francis, accusing him earlier this year in a tweet of “undermining the deposit of faith.”
Strickland recently questioned Francis’ month-long closed-door debate on making the church more welcoming and attentive to the concerns of today’s Catholics. The gathering debated a number of traditionally taboo themes, such as women in leadership posts and accepting LGBTQ+ Catholics, but the final text did not depart from established doctrine.
Strickland called it a “travesty” that such topics were even on the table for debate before the meeting.
The Vatican brought in investigators earlier this year to check into his governance of the diocese, following reports that priests and laypeople in Tyler had complained and that he was making unorthodox assertions.
The Vatican never revealed the conclusions, and Strickland argued in media interviews that he was given a mandate to serve as bishop by the late Pope Benedict XVI in 2012 and couldn’t relinquish that role.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the head of the church in Texas said that the two Vatican investigators sent to investigate Strickland “conducted an exhaustive inquiry into all aspects of the diocese’s governance and leadership.”
“The continuation in office of Bishop Strickland was not feasible,” DiNardo said in a statement Saturday, following their inquiry.
The Vatican urged Strickland to quit on Thursday, but he refused, causing Francis to dismiss him two days later, according to DiNardo’s statement.
Stay informed! Receive breaking news blasts directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts