Strickland prays rosary outside US bishops’ meeting


Bishop Joseph Strickland didn’t join his fellow US bishops at their annual autumn assembly on Tuesday.

Instead, he led the rosary outside the hotel where the bishops’ meeting was taking place without him.

Strickland’s appearance came just three days after Pope Francis removed him as the head of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas.

However he remains an American bishop.

There is nothing in the statutes of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) that would prevent him from participating in this week’s assembly.

Strickland says the papal nuncio to the US, Cardinal Christophe Pierre, asked him not to participate.

Strickland’s removal from office

Strickland says he was notified about his removal via email on 11 November. It had “an attachment … that said the Holy Father had … relieved me of the responsibilities as bishop of Tyler.”

His removal follows a formal investigation Francis ordered of him and his diocese in June.

The Vatican-ordered investigation’s official report was never published and the Vatican has not said why he was removed from office.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and a suffragan of the Tyler Diocese, said following Strickland’s removal that the investigation focused on “all aspects of the governance and leadership” in the diocese.

DiNardo said the investigation ultimately recommended to Pope Francis that “the continuation in office of Bishop Strickland was not feasible.”

However papal biographer Austen Ivereigh was more direct when he commented on X.

“The schism is well advanced.

“It began with rejecting Rome in the name of Tradition, looking to a counter-magisterium, seeking an alliance with secular princes (Orban, Trump) and taking refuge in pre-reform liturgy.

“Now it is developing its own martyrology.”

Strickland’s confusion

“I really can’t look to any reason except I’ve threatened some of the powers that be with the truth of the Gospel” Strickland told LifeSiteNews.

He agrees he is outspoken on Catholic social issues such as abortion and gender ideology.

He also has a sizeable social media following. He has railed against the political agendas of elected officials who blatantly disregard the sanctity of the unborn.

Although he has not explained what administrative issues may have been involved in the investigation the Pope ordered, he indicated there may have been more concrete reasons given for the action taken against him.

“Yeah, there are allegations, but we had the bishop’s appeal that was $3.1 million, larger than ever in the history of the diocese” he told CNA.

He says Cardinal Christophe Pierre told him verbally about various issues including his outspoken comments. Pierre had cited a 12 May tweet in which he suggested that Pope Francis was “undermining the deposit of faith.”

Another reason he was given was “the fact that I didn’t shut down the Latin Mass in my diocese…”. He says he didn’t obey the ruling “because I can’t starve out part of my flock.”

Pray for the Pope

Strickland says he doesn’t blame the pope entirely because “there are many forces working at him and influencing him to make these kinds of decisions.

“That’s why we pray for the pope…

“But … there are tremendous and powerful forces at work in the world … we’re fighting the powers and principalities of evil.”

Ultimately Strickland says his removal followed an accumulation of things.

“… I think we’d all agree the Church needs to be stronger in Christ, and that’s what I’ve encouraged through all of this…”.


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