Pope forcibly removes a leading US conservative, Texas bishop Strickland

by | Nov 11, 2023 | Religion

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis on Saturday forcibly removed the bishop of Tyler, Texas, a conservative prelate active on social media who has been a fierce critic of the pontiff and has come to symbolize the polarization within the U.S. Catholic hierarchy.A one-line statement from the Vatican said Francis had “relieved” Bishop Joseph Strickland of the pastoral governance of Tyler and appointed the bishop of Austin as the temporary administrator.
Strickland, 65, has emerged as a leading critic of Francis, accusing him in a tweet earlier this year of “undermining the deposit of faith.” He has been particularly critical of Francis’ recent meeting on the future of the Catholic Church during which hot-button issues were discussed, including ways to better welcome LGBTQ+ Catholics.
Earlier this year, the Vatican sent in investigators to look into his governance of the diocese, amid reports he was making doctrinally unorthodox claims.
The Vatican never released the findings and Strickland had insisted he wouldn’t resign voluntarily, saying in media interviews that he was given a mandate to serve by the late Pope Benedict XVI and couldn’t abdicate that responsibility. He had also complained that he hadn’t been told what exactly the pope’s investigators were looking into.
His firing sparked an immediate outcry among some conservatives and traditionalists who had held up Strickland as a leading point of Catholic reference to counter Franc …

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