♗ Why Pope Francis Removed A Conservative East Texas Bishop 🔌


‘Saddened … but at peace’: News broke Saturday that Pope Francis had fired Bishop Joseph Strickland, “one of the pope’s most vocal critics in the U.S. hierarchy,” according to the Wall Street Journal’s Francis X. Rocca:

The Vatican said that the pope had “relieved [the bishop] of the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Tyler,” Texas, and appointed Bishop Joe Vázquez of Austin as “apostolic administrator,” or acting bishop, of Tyler.

“I’m saddened for the harm to the faithful but at peace in His Truth, stay Jesus Strong,” Strickland wrote via email on Saturday, in response to a request for comment. Asked about his plans, he replied: “Just praying for now.”

The conservative bishop’s departure comes after Francis complained this summer of a “very strong reactionary attitude” among elements of the Catholic Church in the U.S.

In May, the bishop wrote on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, that “Pope Francis is the Pope but it is time for me to say that I reject his program of undermining the Deposit of Faith,” or the body of Catholic Church teaching contained in the Bible and tradition.

The National Catholic Reporter’s Brian Fraga delves deeper into the axing of the “firebrand prelate” and “darling of right-wing Twitter.”

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