Pope Francis has dismissed Bishop Joseph E. Strickland of Tyler, Texas, a prominent critic among U.S. Roman Catholic conservatives, according to a Vatican statement. This is an unusual move, as bishops are typically asked to resign before their resignation is accepted by the pope. However, in cases where a bishop refuses to resign, the pope may take more drastic action, as was the case with Strickland. Despite being 65 years old, 10 years away from the usual retirement age for bishops, Strickland had previously stated that he would refuse to resign if asked. He has been vocal on social media, rejecting Pope Francis’ actions and criticizing his attempts to make the Church more inclusive to the LGBTQ+ community and give more responsibility to lay people. The dismissal followed a Vatican investigation into the administration of the Tyler diocese, including a review of Strickland’s handling of financial affairs. The announcement was made simultaneously by the Vatican and the U.S. Bishops Conference, without providing a specific reason for the dismissal. Strickland, known for his conservative views, has a national following and is a strong supporter of former U.S. President Donald Trump. In the past, he defended an ultra-conservative U.S. anti-abortion priest who was defrocked by the Vatican. The Vatican has appointed the bishop of Austin, Texas, Joe Vasquez, as the interim administrator of the Tyler diocese.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org