Conservative U.S. Bishop Removed by Pope Francis

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Video capture of Bishop Joseph Strickland being interviewed by LifeSite after his removal from office.
Video capture of Bishop Joseph Strickland being interviewed by LifeSite after his removal from office.

Thousands are planning to attend a rally on November 18 in support of Bishop Joseph Strickland, who was recently removed from his post by Pope Francis for his outspoken disagreement with church policies. 

Supporters of Strickland voiced their sentiments on X, formerly Twitter, with comments like, “This is an assault on the Church,” and “I’m very grieved to hear of the good bishop’s removal,” and “Bishop Strickland for Pope.”

Strickland said in an interview with the Catholic News Agency about the reason for his removal: ““The only answer I have to that is because forces in the Church right now don’t want the truth of the Gospel. They want it changed. They want it ignored.” 

Strickland was likely referring to the new direction of the Church in being more accommodating to LGBTQ+ parishioners

Strickland wrote in August to his diocese, in apparent contradiction:

“The Sacrament of Matrimony is instituted by God… Humanity has no right or true ability to redefine marriage.”

People should not be “supported in a disordered attempt to reject their undeniable biological and God-given identity.”

“Sexual activity outside marriage is always gravely sinful and cannot be condoned, blessed, or deemed permissible by any authority inside the Church.”

Strickland subsequently addressed his congregation in September, after the Vatican concluded an investigation into his activities, “I have said publicly that I cannot resign as Bishop of Tyler [Texas] because that would be me abandoning the flock that I was given charge of by Pope Benedict XVI. I have also said that I will respect the authority of Pope Francis if he removes me from office as Bishop of Tyler.”

Strickland was removed by Pope Francis as Bishop of Tyler on November 11.

-Noora Ahmad