Pope Francis forcibly removed conservative Bishop Joseph Strickland of Texas

Pope Francis forcibly removed a conservative Texas-based bishop on Saturday.

The Vatican has removed Bishop Joseph E. Strickland from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas.

To replace Strickland, the Pope appointed Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin, Texas, as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Tyler.

The Vatican ordered an apostolic visit in June.

According Vatican NewsThe investigation was led by Bishop Dennis Sullivan of Camden, New Jersey, and Bishop Emeritus Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona.

Cardinal Daniel Nicholas DiNardo, metropolitan archbishop of Galveston-Houston, issued a statement which read: “After months of careful consideration by the Dicastery for Bishops and the Holy Father, the decision was reached to request the resignation of Bishop Strickland.”

The Vatican asked Strickland to resign on November 9. However, Strickland refused.

Two days later, Pope Francis removed Strickland from office.

Strickland was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012.

Strickland, 65, was a prominent critic of Pope Francis and often questioned his leadership on social media.

According to the National Catholic ReporterStrickland said the Church was “weak” and “unclear” under Francis’ leadership. The outlet added that Strickland even challenged Francisco to “fire him.”

In May, Strickland wrote on the social media platform

Strickland – a self-described “red pill” bishop – once described President Joseph Biden as an “evil president.”

According to the Associated Press“It is rare for the Pope to forcibly remove a bishop from office. Bishops must offer to resign when they reach age 75. When the Vatican discovers problems with the government or other problems that require a bishop to leave office before On that date, the Vatican typically seeks to pressure him to resign for the good of his diocese and the church.

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