Pope Francis Has Personally Removed Bishop Joseph Strickland from Office

The news is sad and terrible, but not surprising. Here are multiple sources:

VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) –– Pope Francis has removed Bishop Joseph Strickland from his role of shepherd and bishop of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas.

The shock announcement came via the Holy See’s daily bulletin, November 11. It stated simply

The Holy Father has relieved from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Tyler (U.S.A.) H.E. Msgr. Joseph E. Strickland and appointed the Bishop of Austin, H.E. Msgr. Joe Vásquez, [Bishop of Austin] as the Apostolic Administrator of the vacated diocese.

Bishop Strickland had been formally asked to resign by Pope Francis, in a request that came via the papal nuncio Cardinal Cristophe Pierre. Strickland declined this request, but now – upon the direct order of the Pope – is vacating his diocesan see.

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TYLER, Texas  (LifeSiteNews) ––  … Knowing that Bishop Strickland is up very early, I ventured to give him a call moments after the news came down that Pope Francis had removed him. But he answered, obviously awake already. Noon, Rome time, is when he was removed but for him that translates into 5 a.m. in Texas.  … 

Bishop Strickland said:

I stand by all the things that were listed as complaints against me. I know I didn’t implement Traditionis Custodes [the Pope Francis decree restricting the Traditional Latin Mass] because I can’t starve out part of my flock.” He added, “I’d do it the same way again. I feel very much at peace in the Lord and the Truth that He died for.

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VATICAN CITY, Nov 11 (Reuters) – Pope Francis has dismissed Bishop Joseph E. Strickland of Tyler, Texas, one of his fiercest critics among U.S. Roman Catholic conservatives, a Vatican statement said on Saturday.

It is very rare for a bishop to be relieved of his duties outright. Usually bishops in trouble with the Vatican are asked to resign before submitting a resignation, which the pope accepts.

Popes make such moves, considered drastic, when a bishop refuses a request to resign. Strickland is 65, 10 years shy of the usual retirement age for bishops. Strickland had said earlier this year that he would refuse to resign if asked.