The rare decision to dismiss a prominent Catholic figure came after Francis sent two American bishops to the Diocese of Strickland, Texas, in June.
The Vatican said in a statement: “The Holy Father has removed Joseph Strickland from the pastoral government of the Diocese of Tyler (USA), announcing the appointment of the Bishop of Austin, Joe Vasquez, as apostolic administrator of the diocese.” Without giving further details.
The Vatican did not reveal the reason for the apostolic visit – which Strickland himself announced – or the conclusions reached. It is only known that Strickland, who was appointed by former Pope Benedict XVI in 2012, was one of Pope Francis’ most prominent critics.
The 86-year-old Argentine pope is seeking to form a church that is more compassionate and open to different points of view, but he faces strong opposition from critics – especially in the United States – who accuse him of causing confusion and failing to stand up for them. Basic Catholic Beliefs…
Earlier this year, Strickland published a post on X, formerly Twitter, in which he accused the pope of “undermining the deposit of faith.” In September, he also addressed rumors on a blog that the Vatican had encouraged him to resign.
“I cannot resign as Bishop of Tyler because that would mean abandoning the flock,” the post read. “I also said that I would respect the authority of Pope Francis if he removed me as Bishop of Tyler,” he added.
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