He Pope Francisco has removed as bishop of the American diocese of Tyler to monsignor Joseph E. Stricklandtraditionalist representative and critical of the pontiff, after an inspection of his government.
The diocese remains “vacant” but will be led by the bishop of Austin, Joe Vasquezas “apostolic administrator”, as confirmed today by the Holy See in a brief statement.
The Vatican has not specified the reasons for his departure and in the note uses the concept of “dismissal”, while Monsignor Strickland is still ten years away from turning 75, the age at which bishops retire according to the Code of Canon Law.
The decision comes after Pope Francis ordered an “apostolic visitation” or inspection of the Texas diocese last June, entrusted precisely to two American bishops.
Strickland is an avowed critic of Francis and in 2018 he joined the accusations against the pontiff declared by the former nuncio in the United States, Carlo Maria Viganòabout Francisco’s alleged knowledge of the cardinal’s abuses Theodore McCarrick.