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Pope Francis with Bishop Joseph Strickland during a meeting with US bishops at the Vatican in January 2020 (Vatican Media)

Following a recent visitation and several instances of outspoken opposition to the current papacy, the Vatican announced on Saturday that US Bishop Joseph Strickland has been removed from the leadership of his Texas diocese. Source: Crux.

The Vatican announced that “the Holy Father has relieved Bishop Joseph Strickland from the governance of the Diocese of Tyler” and has named Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin as apostolic administrator until a new bishop is named.

A staunch conservative and papal critic who has all but accused Pope Francis of heresy, Bishop Strickland and the Tyler Diocese were the object of a Vatican apostolic visitation earlier this year.

The reasons for the visitation were not made public, but it’s widely believed it was related to Bishop Strickland’s public opposition to Pope Francis and his pastoral decisions.

Through his social media accounts, as well as a radio program on Virgin Most Powerful Radio and his website – – Bishop Strickland has frequently posted about LGBTQ+ issues and has repeatedly criticised Pope Francis’s Synod of Bishops on Synodality, as well as various other aspects of Francis’s pontificate.

In a statement on Saturday, Cardinal Daniel Nicholas DiNardo, Metropolitan Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, said that as a result of the visitation, “the recommendation was made to the Holy Father that the continuation in office of Bishop Strickland was not feasible”. Cardinal DiNardo said Bishop Strickland was asked to resign on November 9 but he declined and the Pope decided to remove him.


Pope removes Texas bishop who’s been a frequent Francis critic (By Elise Ann Allen, Crux)

Bishop Strickland relieved of pastoral governance of US diocese (Vatican News