VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has dismissed Texas Bishop Joseph Strickland, one of his fiercest critics among American Catholic conservatives. The Vatican informed about it today. It is very rare for a Roman Catholic bishop to be relieved of his duties. Usually, the Vatican asks bishops to resign themselves and the pope accepts their resignation, Reuters reported.
The removal of a bishop by the pope is considered a drastic step, and is usually only done by the pope if the bishop rejects a request to resign, Reuters wrote. Strickland is 65 years old, with ten years left until the usual retirement age for bishops. Strickland previously said he would refuse to resign if asked.
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Strickland uses social media a lot. He has been bishop of the Diocese of Tyler since 2012, appointed by the late Pope Benedict XVI.Earlier this year, X said on social media that he rejects the pope’s “program undermining the deposit of faith.” In particular, he criticized the Pope’s efforts to make the church more welcoming to the LGBT community or attempts in the church to give greater responsibility to people who are not priests.
The appeal comes after the Vatican investigated the administration of the diocese. According to Catholic media, this investigation also included the handling of funds.
The appeal was announced simultaneously by the Vatican and the US bishops’ conference. No reason for appeal was given in either statement. For the time being, the Pope appointed Bishop Joe Vasquez of Austin, Texas, as administrator of the diocese.
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Author: ČTK Date: November 11, 2023 Photo: Wikipedia – Joseph Strickland