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Pope Francis has officially removed Bishop Joseph Strickland from his role in the diocese of Tyler, Texas, a decision following Strickland’s recent criticisms of the Pope.
The Vatican News reported that Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin has been appointed as a temporary administrator in Tyler. Strickland, 65, has been openly critical of Pope Francis, particularly on social media platforms, where he accused the Pope of “undermining the deposit of faith.”
In 2020, Strickland described the church as “weak” and “not clear,” and even challenged Pope Francis to dismiss him, according to The National Catholic Reporter. Additionally, Strickland openly criticized the Pope’s discussions on sensitive issues like LGBTQ+ Catholic integration, the possibility of female deacons, and priesthood access for married men.
Pope Francis authorized a review of Bishop Strickland in June. This investigation, led by two USbishops, examined Strickland’s governance and leadership. Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, head of the church in Texas, revealed that the inquiry concluded Strickland’s continuation in his role was “not feasible.”
Despite being requested to resign, Strickland declined, leading to his removal by Pope Francis.