In a rare move, Pope Francis removes far right Texas bishop from office

The AP reports “Pope Francis on Saturday forcibly removed the bishop of Tyler, Texas, a conservative prelate active on social media, who has been a fierce critic of the pontiff and has come to symbolize the polarization within the U.S. Catholic hierarchy.

A one-line statement from the Vatican said Francis had “relieved” Bishop Joseph Strickland of the pastoral governance of Tyler and appointed the bishop of Austin as the temporary administrator.

In a recent speech, the Cardinal criticized indirectly the Vatican decision to allow LGBTQ members to be baptized and act as godparents; he has also been critical of the movement of the Church away from a “pro-life” stance. Strickland went on to say that he would not be silent in the face of blatant attacks on the faith, but would continue to speak out in defense of Catholic teaching. “The prevailing imprudence in our Church today is not speaking out inappropriately… I’d rather do that than not speak out when it’s necessary, absolutely necessary,” he declared, to which those listening responded with loud applause. 

Highlighting the example of the many saints who courageously defended the faith to the point of suffering persecution and the shedding of blood, including St. Peter Damien who had to face “the horrible LGBTQYXZ of his time,” Strickland said, “We were born for times such as this.”  (

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