Bishop Strickland refused to resign, cardinal says

Bishop Strickland refused to resign, cardinal says

Pope Francis removed Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, from his post Saturday after he refused to resign, according to Galveston-Houston archbishop Cardinal Daniel DiNardo.

Strickland’s ouster on Nov. 11 comes after the Vatican Dicastery for Bishops completed a formal investigation in the diocese earlier this year called an apostolic visitation, which, according to a source, looked into the bishop’s social media use and questions related to diocesan management. The visitation was carried out by Bishop Dennis Sullivan of Camden, New Jersey, and Bishop Emeritus Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona.

“As a result of the visitation, the recommendation was made to the Holy Father that the continuation in office of Bishop Strickland was not feasible,” DiNardo said in his Nov. 11 statement. 

“After months of careful consideration by the Dicastery for Bishops and the Holy Father, the decision was reached that the resignation of Bishop Strickland should be requested,” DiNardo continued. “Having been presented with that request on Nov. 9, 2023, Bishop Strickland declined to resign from office. Thereafter, on Nov. 11, 2023, the Holy Father removed Bishop Strickland from the Office of Bishop of Tyler.”