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BREAKING: Pope Francis relieves Strickland of his duties as bishop of Tyler

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas.

Vatican City, Nov 11, 2023 / 07:05 am (CNA).

The Vatican announced Saturday that Pope Francis has relieved Bishop Joseph Strickland from his duties in the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, and appointed an apostolic administrator to replace him.

Strickland’s removal 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.

Strickland, 65, served as bishop of the Diocese of Tyler since 2012. The widely popular though polarizing Texas bishop had faced criticism for his firebrand social media posts, including a May 12 tweet that suggested Pope Francis was “undermining the Deposit of Faith.”

The Vatican announcement did not provide a reason for the bishop’s removal. Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin will serve as the apostolic administrator for the Diocese of Tyler until a new bishop is appointed.

During Strickland’s 10-plus years at the helm of Tyler, the diocese experienced some noteworthy changes, such as the 2018 resignation of three diocesan officials, a move Strickland said at the time would position the diocese to best fulfill its mission.

But Strickland’s tenure has also coincided with positive signs of spiritual and administrative health in Tyler. Currently, 21 men are in priestly formation for the territory of 119,168 Catholics. The diocese is also reportedly in good financial shape, exemplified in part by its ability to raise 99% of its $2.3 million goal for the 2021 bishop’s appeal six months ahead of schedule.

Pope Francis met with American Cardinal Robert Francis Prevost, the prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops, on Saturday morning before Strickland’s removal was announced.

The pope’s decision to relieve Strickland of his pastoral governance of the east Texas diocese comes just two days before the start of the U.S. bishops’ fall plenary meeting which will be held Nov. 13-16 in Baltimore, Maryland.


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169 Comments

  1. So I believe the decision here is a binary one: whom do we support for being faithful to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and whom should we avoid and ignore, as commanded by the Holy Spirit for not bringing His teaching ( Romans: 16, 17; 2 John 10, 11). It’s Bishop Strickland or Pope Francis.
    I stand with Bishop Strickland.

    • What IF it’s not quite so “binary”?

      Instead, what if it’s more about choosing words very carefully in a tripwire environment, whether on Twitter media (“…undermining the Church”), or even during media interviews on airplanes (“who am I to judge?”) While the cleverer and “non-Synod” Germans have been given more rope than Bishop Strickland, as recently at the Synod-on-Synodality, maybe their line also has the same LOOP at the end.

      In a few centuries, history might conclude that the BIG PICTURE today is the appointment of cardinals from the “periphery,” e.g., Mongolia and Singapore on the edges of China, as part of a more resilient but always Eucharistic and universal Church? And, in a world besieged from at least three directions: (a) radical Secularism in what’s left of the West and its political coalition, (b) a possible Marxist-Chinese hegemony (veiled as a BRICS coalition of Brazil, Russia, India, China, Southern Africa), and (c) resurgent and sectarian Islam, from Morocco and the Middle East to the southern Philippines.

      How best to possibly leaven these postmodern/anti-Christian leviathans—the perfect storm—by first proclaiming God Almighty as truly present at the center of all human history: His alarming self-disclosure and self-donation as the INCARNATION? How—even if we fallen mortals were to benefit from a holy, coherent, and supremely skilled papacy united in an equally graced “hierarchical communion” of apostolic successors sent forth (apostello: to be “sent”!) by the totally “concrete” and singular Jesus Christ?

      How? Maybe pause for a certain amount of “synodal” “listening”…BUT then what? An accommodated and syncretic leadership from behind?

      • What you suggest, in choice of words especially on a broad platform like Twitter [or X] in retrospect was imprudent. Most traditional Catholics agree with Bishop Strickland, as I do in the substance of his criticisms. However, I don’t entirely agree with the form of addressing them. That ‘to the world’ impersonal Twitter remark likely forced the pontiff’s hand.
        The models for Bishops as well as, to a lesser degree presbyters, deacons are Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Cardinal Willem Eijk, and Fr Thomas Weinandy. It’s best to maintain a degree of discretion, and direct complaints directly to the person with whom we have grievances.

        • He is the Bishop of Rome. Whether he stands or no, physically, I – and all faithful Catholics with me – stand with him spiritually. If the choice is between the Successor to St. Peter and some bishop, however good, God’s choice takes primacy.

          • Morally, however, according to the teaching of St. Thomas and the precedent set in the Acts of the Apostles, when a pontiff makes a bad decision one does not owe automatically owe submission. In fact, if the decision is an immoral one, you may even have an obligation to resist and confront through proper channels. Be careful lest you commit the heresy of ultramontanism out of a misguided piety that is contrary to natural and divine law. All signs so far are that what Pope Francis has done is unjust; humble popes reverse themselves when shown their mistakes, sins, or failures. We’ve yet to see real humility from Pope Francis in any controversial matter, only grand gestures that look good on camera.

          • Joshua:

            It is a misunderstanding to believe that every pontiff elected is somehow “God’s choice.”

            The Church has been candid enough, at least in the past when I was being taught, that there have been evil men as pontiffs (such as Alexander VI), and that there have been popes who are suspected to have murdered other popes to become pope.

            To put it succinctly, as Pope Benedict XVI noted, a pope is elected by men; and “the Holy Spirit is always speaking (during a conclave), but it’s not necessarily true that the electors are always listening.”

          • It is not the Pope or a Bishop that you need to follow. But those who speak the word of Christ through the Holy Spirit. It seems to me that the Pope has let his incredible empathy and desire for the salvation of all to cloud his judgment. Jesus invites The Sinner in, Reveals his sin to him, Forgives him and then tells him not to sin anymore. The celebration follows for the forgiveness and grace to live a new life. Pope Francis seems to want to invite the sinner in anyway that he comes and starts the celebration of the sin before any repentance and forgiveness has been given and a new life begun. I am with Jesus and his church but I don’t have to stand by the errors that are promoted by those who say they’re with us when they clearly are not. Let us pray that the hHoly Spirit will open the eyes and ears of Pope Francis that he will repent and save his own soul first for his sake and for the sake of those he is leading astray.

          • “God’s choice”? Really? You are making lots and lots and lots of comments here in the same fashion as what used to be called infiltrators. Holy Clergy or Laity do not need suffocating, narrative-fabricating, reality-shifting servants. You don’t stop there but are blocking the truth at every turn and twisting Bishop’s Strickland’s words to make him look as a sedevacantist, rebel, etc. That’s slander.

            The Holy Spirit is not in you or in Pope Francis. The myth that the Holy Spirit always chooses the Pope has long been debunked. There has been at least 8 bad Popes and this one is the very worst, by his own actions, listed here and available everywhere. God’s true choice would never ever break in any way, form or manner with God’s absolutely consistent 2,000 years teaching in order to invent his own sinful impersonation.

          • There is nothing immoral about this decision. Do not, moreover, presume anything about my own beliefs regarding the Holy Father’s papacy and administration: the facts are, Bishop Strickland’s resignation was recommended to the pope. He refused to resign, and was duly removed. He had already played footsie with sedevacantists and thus brought shame on whatever nobility his criticism of the pope had. He is not some martyr.

          • Then you and all those *you* consider “faithful catholics” don’t understand the papacy. You actually aren’t faithful at all.

          • “God’s anointed”? Really? Infinitely more than any Pope or especially Pope Francis, Judas Iscariot was annointed directly by the most holy hands of Jesus-God, spent 3 years living with him and the Apostles, and then he decided very freely to fail, sin and betray. God’s annointing never ever cancels free will and all the terrible and eternal risks associated with it.

            Would you stand with the annointed ex-Apostle Judas Iscariot? Would you commit idolatry today of a mere human being and betray God Almighty who sent his Son Jesus to die for you and for all of us?

          • Simple fact. One cannot stand with one who cannot stand.

            Do you have any other contributions to logic and civility?

      • We are witnessing the fulfillment of the prophecy of Our Lady of La Salette (France, 1846) wherein the Blessed Mother said that in the last days Rome would lose the faith and become the seat if the Antichrist. And, St. Francis of Assisi, after whom PF is named, said that in the end times, there would be a uncanonically elected Pope who would be a divider, and not a uniter. The two prophecies seem to be talking about the current resident in the Vatican.

      • Bold declaration. I’m sure you “stood with Ukraine” (as if that mattered, as well) until that was moved off the virtue signalers radar by the Middle East.

    • I am Catholic and a sinful but loyal son of Holy Mother Church. Where else can I go if not Rome? The Enemy is in disunity. Pope Francis is the Vicar of Christ and I will follow where he leads unless conscience prevents me. I may not be a fan of this pontificate but Francis rules at the very least, by the permissive will of God and that is the authority that matters.

    • Then you would be Protestant. I would urge prudence before making such statements. The Pope–be it Francis or Benedict–is still the Pope and Strickland is not.
      Just because we have the Internet does not mean we have all the information. Increasingly, I would say it is actually the opposite.

  2. It is to be expected that no fellow American bishops will speak out about this latest travesty by anti-Pope Francis. So long as their comfortable positions are secure, our bishops will continue to mumble a feel-good gospel of welcome and tolerance, and think of themselves as being much better than the openly heretical Germans bishops.

  3. Pope Francis is speaking clearly and all should hear him: “No bishop may be Catholic anymore. No bishop may adhere to the Catholic faith. All bishops must be evil, must be anti Catholic, and should be, preferably, homosexuals”
    Satan is in the Vatican.

    • No, Sam, Francis did not, has not, and will not say that. Strickland is not Athanasius. His removal might be unwarranted, but it’s unbelievable how people here are taking it.

      • Your must be right Joshua. After all, we just began a year of “synodal reflection.” Pope Francis is simply “helping” Bishop Strickland “reflect.” Removing Strickland was a nice thing to do.
        Blessed is the nice Bishop, he shall inherit Tyler, or even Houston!
        Yes, Synodaling “is the approach of Jesus, to create spaces for everyone so that no one feels excluded,” said Cardinal Mario Grech. So true.

        • Bishop Strickland played footsie with sedevacantists. His resignation was recommended to the pope, but he declined to resign. The pope removed him. Simple as that.

          • “playing footsie with sedevacantists?”

            So a priest with a foot fetish enjoys interaction with priests of a different order. That hardly seems to call for removal from ordained office. Specifically where can we find that in canon law?

          • Bishop Strickland was removed because he was a popular contrast to the pastoral heresies promulgated by Pope Francis.

            If Bishop Strickland did anything worthy of removal, why does the Vatican withhold this information?

            Bishop Strickland was singled out and struck down from his diocese because he clearly spoke up as a shepherd.

            Regardless, the Vatican got its message across to other Bishops to shut their mouths. And Synodaling is further exposed as a fraud and front for heteropraxy.

    • Then you should pack up and leave. Why stay and throw stones when you could make a difference somewhere else? Much better to be positive than negative. Better to build up than to tear down. May God bless you richly.

  4. Of course the Pontiff Francis did, because the Pontiff Francis is a false shepherd, and Bishop Strickland is a good shepherd.

  5. In my mind, Francis is an ex-Pope. I will listen to nothing he has to say from hereon out. The man is cruel, nasty, vindictive and unworthy to hold the position he does. God is an All-Just Judge.

    • Then you have rejected the authorized minister of Christ, and by virtue of this rejected the authority of Christ himself. There is no excuse for schism.

      • I agree with you. Now Francis must stop sowing confusion and being a small, spiteful man and act like Christ’s representative. True welcoming comes with a firm reminder of the need for conversion, for rejecting our sin, not celebrating our sin.

          • No. We are to submit to Christ through his CHURCH. Just as we are members of the Church, so is the pope. The pope is only a visible SIGN of the unity of the Catholic Church. Christ is the Head of the Church. The pope is a governing and administrative head of the Church. He wields no moral authority when he wields authority in opposition to the words of Christ, the revelation of Scripture, and the Tradition and the Teaching of the fathers, the doctors, the saints, the apostles, and the perennial 2000-year- magisterium of the CHURCH. Francis is a man, not a god. He is not an anointed prophet. He is not a saint. He is not a doctor of the Church. Francis is neither holy nor learned. He is an inept, divisive, and uncharitable ruler.

            Francis has not fed the Lord’s sheep nor the Lord’s lambs. Francis has failed to support and strengthen his brethren bishops. These are the Lord’s commands to Peter and to Peter’s successors. Christ shall judge the life and the rule of Francis in light of His commands. He shall judge with HIS omnipotent and infinite justice.

            For this, we THANK AND PRAISE GOD, and we pray for the soul of Francis.

    • One need not believe that Pope Francis is no longer Pope in order to stop listening to him. He’s never said anything ex cathedra before, and isn’t likely to do so in the future.

      Given what past Popes have said and done, you need a lot more than “cruel, nasty, vindictive, and unworthy” to make a Pope an anti-Pope.

      • Amanda, your words, not mine, “Anti-pope.”

        I said that in my mind he’s an “ex-Pope” meaning he’s validly elected but as far as I’m concerned he holds no moral authority. The man has said plenty to conclude that he’s an unworthy occupant of the See of Peter and should resihn immediately.

        • Exactly that. Moral authority. One may hold the position, sit in the seat, and hold keys. How are they used?

          The shoes are unfilled, the teaching false and erroneous, the authority put forth without force of truth or justice. The seat is stuffed full of fluff, and the keys were used to open the gates of hell.

          Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness’ sake.

  6. No surprise. The good Bishop was way too orthodox. He missed the memo that the Holy Father has done away with all that stuff so we can focus on modernism and spreading heresy.

  7. That’s one sure way to herd cattle to market. Gaucho Francisco Uno knows his business well. Slaughterhouse sharpen your blades. But will all be cowed? Will they remain dead men walking the Synodal path to market?
    Let’s be honest about all this walking together and listening to the Holy Spirit. Except this isn’t the Spirit that inspired Elijah to dispatch Jezebel’s fake prophets, or the Apostle to contradict the Sanhedrin, or Athanasius contra mundum, nor Cardinal Pell contra the profligates.

  8. One of my professors quipped: You shouldn’t major in political science if you cannot appreciate and analyze the Godfather Trilogy.

    • Synodaling is not about Christianity, charitable dialogue. Synodaling is an illusion of inclusion perpetrated to introduce pastoral heresy. Anyone with authority who does not applaud Synodaling, like a “happy” citizen of North Korea, will get whacked. Behold the example of bad boy, Bishop Strickland, who refused to foster a “synodal culture,” a “Church on the move.”

  9. To Quote Hilaire Belloc:
    The Catholic Church is an institution I am bound to hold divine – but for unbelievers a proof of its divinity might be found in the fact that no merely human institution conducted with such knavish imbecility would have lasted a fortnight.

  10. Not enough dialogue and openess between the Pope and Bishop Strickland. The Pope could have called the Bishop to Rome. How ironic. So jesuitical.
    I believe they could have patched things up, come to an agreement with forgiveness and understanding.

    • I agree Bill.
      Scripture instructs us to 1st go face to face with those whom we have a dispute with. I wish that had been the case here. Such a shame.

      • Why didn’t Pope Francis ask ze German Schismatic Bishops, who are guilty of far worse than just mean tweets, to resign or remove them when they refused? It’s not about obedience to this Pope, only about power and pure will.

  11. The abominable attacks that have been committed against the True Magisterium of our One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church by the apostate bergoglio have now reached the magnitude where the situation is no longer tolerable. In my humble, non-expert opinion, I believe that a group of Cardinals have sufficient evidence and justification to declare him an enemy of the Church and expel him, physically and very publicly from the Chair of St. Peter.
    Yes, this would appear to be a schism, but only to the sycophants of this iconoclast buffoon, to whom they owe their brief and illusory positions of power.

    • The First See is judged by no one, not even the college of Cardinals, except God. He’ll be deposed the traditional way: death or resignation.

    • By whose authority do you dare call the Pope “apostate”? If this is the caliber of the opposition to Francis, count me on his side.

      • A kick in PF’s pants by his cardinals would well be preferable to him suddenly dying and just as suddenly standing in judgement before God without the opportunity for repentance.
        This situation offers us all ample opportunity to commit sins of omission.
        Is not one of the Spiritual Works of Mercy to “Admonish the sinner?”
        This pope needs admonished.

      • Joshua:

        I don’t believe its the case that people need to be in positions of authority in the Church before being be permitted to say someone is an apostate.

        I could be wrong, and I welcome the facts, even if they are contrary to my own sense above.

      • Joshua,
        All of the people you are confronting are just hateful arrogant foos in judgment of their own lack of true Christian love, those here are not about Christianity but about selserving righteousness not about the humility that Jesus show us in his obedience to the will of the father. These are arrogant fools that can not see the difference between imposing its own selserving judgements and the lack of humility that Christ has exuded to the end. He did not judge Peter with all his faults. Crist loved him more. The bishop in his own arrogance denied himself the humility and obedience that made Jesusf the Christ. The arrogance of these righteous fools brings forth shame to Christ and true Christians. Evil is at work in those here expressing heatful and judgment. The bishop prevails on those that lack the love of Christ and rather see the Curch be smeared by those whom oppose the Pope because in their own righteousness and arrogance they are to prevail, not the church, for we are Christ’s Churh, not the bishop’s curch. The bishop would have rather humbled himself to the Love of Christ and do as Christ asked us to do.

  12. The Bishop has turned Protestantish by using his private interpretation of Church teaching (similar to Protestant private interpretation of scripture) and put himself above the Pope and magisterium to judge them as heretical and schismatic.

    • LOL. Your statement is so absurdly false in expressing the exact opposite of reality that you win the Comment Joke of the Day. Congrats.

    • You need to study Church history more deeply. Or even read the Book of Acts. Pope Francis has betrayed his office and it is a matter of prophetic preaching to call him on it. Otherwise, you dismiss the Holy Spirit-inspired rebukes of the pope by St. Paul and St. Catherine of Siena. The difference is that St. Paul and St. Catherine dealt with pontiffs who were humble enough to repent and make right their backsliding.

      • As you a Dominican, you should know better. That anti-Pope Francis critics’ misuse of Paul’s narrative in Galatians that he rebuked Peter for not eating with Gentile Christians to justify papal attacks miss the point of scripture. You take and study again your Bible closely. Paul did not rebuke Peter for his teachings or the disciplines he promoted but for his hypocrisy. Strickland has relentlessly attacked Pope Francis for his doctrinal orthodoxy, whereas Paul attacked Peter at a personal and prudential level. That also goes with the saint in your religious family. Catherine of Sienna did not engage the Pope on the level of doctrinal matters but on governance and spiritual concerns, especially that the Pope return to Rome from Avignon. As a Dominican you should have the sensitivity of the early Dominicans in fighting heresies like that of the Albigensians. Strickland does not have the moral-spiritual gravitas and theological prowess of a Paul or Catherine of Sienna. The bishop has become an open sedevacantist and a heretic like the shadow of an Albigensian.

      • By whose authority do you say the pope has “betrayed” his office? The bishop played footsie with sedevacantism. He was justly asked to resign, and refused. The pope was completely justified in removing him from office.

    • I believe it is past time that the bishops stood up and removed Francis from office. He has deviated from Catholic teaching a number of times and this calls into question him being able to retain the office of Pope.

      • Name a single occasion on which the Holy Father has done something that would merit his removal from office? By whose authority do you dare presume to rise up against God’s anointed? He is the Pope; God will deal with removing him.

        • • Worshipping a false idol.
          • Selling the Catholic Church in China to the CCP.
          • Giving a parish to a serial rapist fellow Jesuit.
          • Declaring that the multiplicity of religions is the “will of God.”
          • Proclaiming the licitness of homosexual unions and civil unions of divorced Catholics.
          • Declaring that “transgenders” can serve as godparents.

          And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Bergoglio has abdicated papal authority. No one owes him any obedience whatsoever.

          • – Where and when did the Bishop of Rome worship an idol?
            – When did poor political decisions become requisite matter for removal from the papal office?
            – When did poor ecclesiastical decisions become requisite matter for removal from the papal office?
            – When did acknowledging the permissive will of God in religious pluralism become said matter? Or, for that matter, making theologically ambiguous or debatable statements in a nonauthoritative capacity?
            – When and where did Pope Francis, who has consistently opposed homosexual marriage, declare that homosexual unions were morally licit?
            – What is it about your last point that so grossly violates the office of the pope that you feel you no longer owe him obedience, according to the will of Christ?

            And you do owe him obedience, Tim. You have no excuse: Francis is the Bishop of Rome. Remove your obedience from him at peril to your own soul.

          • I already replied to this, but I don’t see that comment. Anyhow, your accusations are either false or fall within the pope’s competency. You, however, have no authority to remove your obedience to him. He is the Pope; disobey him at your own peril.

    • Francis has been a passionate enemy of not only magisterial teaching but of the very idea of immutable changeless truth and the very idea of a perfect God being the source of all truth.
      You haven’t been paying attention.

    • “If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated Me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” John 15:18-19

      Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium. Ímperet ílli Déus, súpplices deprecámur: tuque, prínceps milítiæ cæléstis, Sátanam aliósque spíritus malígnos, qui ad perditiónem animárum pervagántur in múndo, divína virtúte, in inférnum detrúde. Ámen.

      I stand with His Excellency Bishop Joseph E. Strickland and his fidelity to Jesus Christ, His bride and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

      Oremus

  13. I am unaccustomed to such actions by a pope. I don’t think the action affects my thoughts and feelings about pope Francis; however, it saddens me that it was done. I strive to keep my focus on Jesus Christ, his gospel, his holiness, and his infinite mercy toward one such as I.
    I will pray for Bergoglio and for his soul. I continue to pray for the Church and all its members. St. Michael protect us in these perilous times.

  14. Bishop Strickland’s removal is ‘a blatant injustice’ says Bishop Schneider

    ‘The deposition of Bishop Joseph E. Strickland signifies a black day for the Catholic Church of our day,’ wrote Bishop Schneider.

    Excerpt:

    What happened to the bishops during the Arian crisis in the 4th century, who were deposed and exiled only because they intrepidly preached the traditional Catholic Faith, is again happening in our day.

    At the same time several bishops, who publicly support heresy, liturgical abuses, gender ideology and openly invite their priests to bless same-sex couples, are not in the least importuned or sanctioned by the Holy See.

    • Without disagreeing, but with an eye to possibly useful precision…

      the very clever difference today from the Arian crisis is that, rather than a heresy (or “undermining the Deposit of Faith”), the “new paradigm” instead intends to “stretch they gray area” (Cardinal Grech), or, as critics observe, actually separate or quarantine formal doctrinal content and continuity from informal pastoral practice.

      Not “heresy,” per se, but PARALLEL UNIVERSES?

      In this sidestep into a (synodal?) “endless journey” and “dialogue” of creative decision-making in concrete cases, within our daily “experience” of God, formal doctrine remains but is also rendered preliminary and provisional, and less than definitive. (The lengthening shadow of Jesuit Carl Rahner, e.g., “Spiritual Writings,” edited by Philip Endean, Orbis, 2004).

      Anticipating this unilateral overstatement, yes (?), of experience—and schizophrenic moral theology—Pope John Paul II included in his encyclical Veritatis Splendor, THIS:
      “A separation, or even an opposition [!], is thus established in some cases between the teaching of the precept, which is valid and general, and the norm of the individual conscience, which would in fact make the final decision [no longer a ‘moral judgment’!] about what is good and what is evil. On this basis, an attempt is made to legitimize so-called ‘pastoral’ solutions contrary to the teaching of the Magisterium, and to justify a ‘creative’ hermeneutic according to which the moral conscience is in no way obliged, in every case, by a particular negative precept [‘Thou shalt not….’]” (Veritatis Splendor, n. 56).

      The Second Vatican Council, too, about the very concrete (!) Incarnation:

      “The Christian dispensation, therefore, as the new and definitive [!] covenant, will never pass away, and we now await no further new public revelation before the glorious manifestation of the Lord Jesus Christ (cf 1 Tim 6:14, Tit. 2:13)” (Dei Verbum, n. 4).

  15. The little boy who simply declared the obvious, that “The Emperor has no clothes on!” wasn’t clinging to worldly approval, prestige, status or job security. The others remained silent because they were.

    If Bishop Strickland has suggested that Bergoglio is “undermining the Deposit of Faith” he was merely stating the obvious. Any serious Catholic familiar with the truths the Holy Spirit has preserved in the Church for two millennia knows that Bergoglio is undermining the Deposit of Faith. He and his minions can’t even bring themselves to make clear that the Church can’t bless homosexual fornication. Period. End of discussion. They instead make scandalous attempts to legitimize such fornication in the minds of Catholics and Christians worldwide.

    Due to their silence, their unwillingness to just state the obvious like Strickland did, I can’t help but think that if the U.S. bishops were faced with a situation like saints Thomas More and Bishop John Fisher faced, we would end up with a Church of the United States. Although our situation is more like when the majority of the bishops embraced the Arian heresy while the laity kept the faith, simply teaching friends and family that “The Bishop is wrong” until the Holy Spirit purged the Church of heretical clergy.

  16. Politics. The libs have the power now so they can protect their own and go after the Traditionalists. A future pope could right the wrong.

    • You dare presume to array Catholics against God’s anointed in the name of fidelity to Christ? Fidelity to Christ is fidelity to the Pope. God will judge him same as the rest of us, but God has committed to him the keys. I stand with God and his pope.

        • Our fidelity is not to some abstract “God”. It is to God in and through communion with the Pope whom he has set over his Church. Anything else is mere Protestant equivocation.

      • Neither scripture (Galatians 2:11-13) or history (Pope Alexander VI to name just one of a dozen or so) is on your side of the argument.

        • Nonsense, and you know it. Alexander VI was still lawfully pope. There was never any excuse to disobey his lawful authority. Neither is there any in Galatians. Francis is the Bishop of Rome, and I side with him, as opposed to this hysteria making a sedevacantist-sympathizer out to be the next Athanasius.

          • A pope is only infallible when he teaches ex cathedra or when he, together with all bishops, teach as the ordinary magisterium (through an ecumenical council, for example).

            We are not obliged to agree or “submit” to anyone’s—even a pope’s—error.

            At conception, God granted a soul to each individual human person. Every soul has the spiritual faculties or abilities of free will and of reason or intellect. At Baptism, a soul is infused with God’s grace and theological virtues.

            We are to use our faculties and grace to work out our eternal salvation. The Church is to ‘feed’ or help us on our journey to beatitude with her TRUE, JUST, HOLY, APOSTOLIC TEACHINGS AND sacraments. The teachings of a pope and the Church are to be ONE with those of Christ. The authority of a pope and the Church is to be ONE WITH CHRIST.

            We pewsitters are to use our reason, free will, and intellect prudently, justly, courageously. We most assuredly may study, reflect, and JUDGE WITH OUR reason what is right, true, just, and good and ONE with CHRIST. We may judge another’s words and actions. We most assuredly are free to do so since no teaching of the Church or Christ has denied us use of our own God-created and blessed faculties! We most assuredly may and SHOULD JUSTLY JUDGE THE ACTIONS OF PERSONS (i.e., a pope) WHOSE God-given authority and duty IT IS TO SERVE Christ by FEEDING the sheep and the lambs of JESUS the Christ.

            If we submit to everything a pope says without using our God-given intellect and free will, we are nothing more than Chat GPT4.

            We are NOT drones. We are free agents, made in the image and likeness of God and trusting and hoping and striving to be with Him in eternity. Anything or anyone which hinders that objective is suspect, a stumbling block, a scandal.

            Now I wish you a good day.

      • The attitudes you have expressed here are not Catholic. You are adopting the Protestant caricature of the lobotomized Catholic who believes that God personally names the Pope and expresses His divine will for humanity through everything the Pope does and says. That is completely ridiculous and contrary to Catholic history and teaching. People like you keep reasonable Christians from embracing the Catholic Church. An evil man like Bergoglio must NOT be obeyed. No Catholic can use “obedience” to justify passive acceptance of the Bergoglian pornocracy that has seized power in Rome.

        • It’s your view that is unCatholic and very Protestant. Like Strickland, in exercising your private interpretation of Church teaching (similar to Protestant private interpretation of scripture), you think your interpretation is true and since Papal magisterium contradicts you, you conclude that the Pope is a heretic. You do not know or forget the “divine assistance” that the Pope has in the conduct of his office. Read Luke 22:32. Because of this, faithful Catholics are to adhere to ordinary papal teaching with “religious assent.” Read Catechism of the Catholic Church 892.

      • Joshua:

        The pontiffs are successors of the first pontiff St. Peter. It is a misunderstanding to believe that pontiffs are stand-ins for Jesus.

        • Oh come on, cut the crap of your diversionary word gymastics which by the way also reasons out like a Protestant argument against the Papacy. You read and study closely Matthew 16:18-19 and Isaiah 22:22, on the office of holding the key to the kingdom or household on behalf of the King, which are the biblical bases of the Catholic teaching on the Pope as Vicar of Christ as articulated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church 882 which cites Vatican II’s Lumen Gentium 22. Vicar here precisely means a representative, a proxy, or stand-in. The Bible clearly shows and the Catholic Church faithfully implements this divine organizational plan of having a Vicar of Christ in the Church. Rejecting or resisting this office is a top mark of Protestantism.

    • To Chris and those many here who hold similar dangerous views. This is a false choice and is a heretical Protestant view. As Catholics we hold and have the Pope as Christ’s chief minister and manager of his household we call his Vicar (Matthew 16:18-19 prefigured in Isaiah 22:22; Vatican II Lumen Gentium 22; Catechism of the Catholic Church 882). To declare out of this misplaced choice that you decline the Pope’s authority because you disagree with him on doctrinal matters and so simply bypass him and relate directly with and to Christ is crossing the boundary from Catholicism to Protestantism.

      • Permit me to correct your misunderstanding PFtG.

        I haven’t said that the Pontiff Francis isn’t the pontiff, or yhst he doesn’t have authority of the papal office.

        I’ve only said he’s a bad pontiff, and I have also said he’s a false shepherd.

        The point at issue is not whether I, or you, or anyone “agrees with” or “disagrees with” the Pontiff Francis about the apostolic faith. The only question of concern here is whether the Pontiff Francis disagrees with the apostolic faith, as publicly stated by his hand-picked false shepherd and Synod Relator Cardinal Hollerich (who as the world knows publicly apostasized by declaring that the apostolic teaching against sodomy was “wrong”) and Bishop Overbech (who at the post Synod press conference declared, twice, that apostolic tradition must be set aside).

        Thus every Catholic person has ample reason to conclude that the Pontiff Francis agrees with Hollerich that the apostolic teaching against sodomy is wrong, and agrees with Overbech that it must be set aside.

        Thus, if such men above deny the apostolic faith, personslly taught to the apostles by Jesus, snd as Jesus said, revealed to them by the Holy Spirit, then these men are rightly judged to be false shepherds, as they deny the voice of the Good Shepherd.

        And we, being faithful sheep, do not heed the voice of a false shepherd, because Jesus warned us not to.

        So while the Pontiff Francis is the Pontiff, that doesn’t make him a good shepherd. And the faithful are not expected by Jesus to follow the voice of a false shepherd, because Jesus says we are like sheep, not cattle.

        So the Pontiff Francis is subject to our discernment.

        And the Church expects us to speak up when necessary, like now.

      • Resisting a Protestantized pope who demonstrates contempt for Catholic doctrine and who has personally rejected the title of Vicar of Christ is not heretical. It is disloyal to Jesus Christ to refuse to be observant of the numerous offenses to the Roman Catholic religion exercised by Francis as a man, independent of whatever office he occupies. Our baptism did not sign us up to a personality cult.

  17. Frankly, this is a mistake and another example of a form of “clericalism” but in this case on the part of Pope Francis. Apparently if you don’t like criticism all you have to do is fire/terminate a priest, Bishop, Cardinal who does not agree with you; who is next? Cardinal Burke? How about Cardinal Sarah? Pengo? As a Catholic who also believes in the pledge of obedience our cleric’s take as part of their vows, these actions point to removal of religious who are conservative, are bringing people back to the Faith and actually believe in and teach the doctrinal foundations of the Church. This is a very bad decision in my view, one that tells US Catholics we (laity and religious in USA) better agree with the liberal efforts comments, statements and decisions of our Pope and within the Church or else. Soon we will be forced underground as the True Church of God not unlike what exists in China today

  18. Moderate all you want, this is a very bad decision and as Pope Francis continues to coddle, agree with and perpetuate his advancement of a “secular-Catholic” agenda for the Church…. rather than see an explosion of faithful and returnees to the faith we will see a departure of many, fleeing to true doctrine, true Faith in the Eucharist, in the Trinity and in our foundations from Jesus Christ.

  19. Our Pope speaks of “clericalism” as a disease within the Church that must be wiped out; interesting that his action(s) in this and other cases of removal of religious who are well thought of, doing their job of shepherding and strengthening the Faith, is a form of Clericalism. How so? As the Pope and Cardinal Dolan have defined it: clericalism distorts Church life by raising the clergy above the people and reducing the laity to silent spectators. So, in this case our Holy Father is distorting and actually harming Church life (and we the laity) by taking a Bishop who was one of the people, who has helped bring men into the seminary and who was reduced to being a “silent spectator” as a Bishop, an Apostolic as successor who actually believes in the Truth of our Faith and not some “secular catholicism” being promoted many.

  20. Could a current bishop appoint Bishop Strickland as an auxiliary bishop without Rome’s approval? Or at a minimum, bring him into their diocese simply in the capacity as a priest? If either is possible, I double-dog-dare a bishop to do this. Of course, they will also be shown the door, but it isn’t like they will have their head lopped off like St Thomas More.

  21. Let’s always remember that this is a Pope whose election was orchestrated by Theodore McCarrick – serial pedophile, sexual trafficer, and sexual abuser of priests and seminarians. That should tell you all you need to know about the kind of man Pope Beroglio is.

    • Under Canon Law it is questionable whether the election of Francis to the office of pope is valid because of the interference by Cardinals like McCarrick.

      • I think it was Cardinal Muller who said that even an illegitimately elected Pope is validly Pope if he is considered to be such by virtually everyone in the Church. Sort of a necessary thing if we don’t want to shrink the number of past Popes.

      • Name a single canon lawyer who would hold such an absurd notion. If a papal election is only valid when there is no interference, the Church only ever had one pontiff. For better or for worse, Francis is the pope. Stand with him, and pray for him, because he needs it.

          • And who exactly conferred your doctorate? Francis has been accepted as pope by the Church. He is the pope. If you can’t recognize that, you should return your degree.

        • You don’t have to be a canon lawyer to read canon law which is explicit about invalidating a conclave that was corrupted by campaigning for a particular candidate prior to the conclave.

  22. “If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated Me before you. If you had been of the world, the world would love its own: but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” John 15:18-19

    Sáncte Míchael Archángele, defénde nos in proélio, cóntra nequítiam et insídias diáboli ésto præsídium. Ímperet ílli Déus, súpplices deprecámur: tuque, prínceps milítiæ cæléstis, Sátanam aliósque spíritus malígnos, qui ad perditiónem animárum pervagántur in múndo, divína virtúte, in inférnum detrúde. Ámen.

    I stand with His Excellency Bishop Joseph E. Strickland and his fidelity to Jesus Christ, His bride and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    Oremus

  23. This feels like an inflection point.

    With all of the heterodox prelates advanced by the Bergoglian Vatican — e.g., McElroy, Martin, Hollerich, et al — removing a man for his stalwart defense of the Church of Jesus Christ and its Deposit of Faith would seem to be a deal breaker for committed Catholics.

    Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of your love.

  24. Whatever the defects of the current pontificate (continuing the liberalism of the previous pontificates of Popes Benedict, John-Paul and Paul), the Pope has the authority to dismiss a bishop from a territorial jurisdiction WITHOUT CAUSE. As Vatican I and Pope Pius XII (Mystici Corporis) and Thomas Aquinas make clear, all jurisdiction in the Church is a participation in that of the Pope. Certain conservative “Traditionalists” have adopted the Conciliarist Gallicanism of Congar and de Lubac and, basing themselves on the ambiguous passages of Vatican II, to advocate the invention of a new, collegial jurisdiction in the Church. The “doctors” of this new constitution of the Church are slipping in the Conciliarist heresy of the 15th. century, Gallicanism and Congar’s modernism, under the guise of opposing the papacy of today. It is noteworthy that Bishop Schneider has opposed this attack upon the Church’s constitution.

    Muddying the Strickland narrative of opposing Catholic truth to modernism is his presence at a 2020 rally demanding the overturning of the presidential election result, implying a plunge into politics in which both sides were opposed to Christian morals. Playing with BishopVigano did not help either. I think these and other factors make a defence of his continued position as Bishop of Tyler, in the name of defending orthodoxy, against the right of the Pope to remove him for no reason at all extremely problematic.

  25. Bishop Strickland stands for the teaching of Jesus Christ and leads a financially thriving diocese. Of course he needs to be removed and replaced (eventually) by one of Francis’ “listeners.” Don’t be surprised if it’s James Martin.

    • But should a Bishop go on social media and publicly doubt the validity of the Pope? Is this not the essence of Protestantism? The bishop is undoubtedly a very good man who has also made some bad mistakes which have contributed to widening the wound in an already very fractured Church. This is not a black and white situation , there are many grey areas to consider! May God bless us all with wisdom and charity.

    • It did strike me immediately that the bishop whom Francis chose to remove leads a diocese that is prospering in terms of both faith and finance. It’s almost as if that were the reason…

  26. Pope Francis is so called tolerant of all kinds of theological dissent in the Catholic Church but intolerant of theological assent and those who point out dissent. Why? Because he’s a dissenter himself.

  27. This hysterical reaction is distressing. Strickland is not Athanasius. He declined to resign and was removed. Heavy-handed? Maybe. But not enough to warrant these declarations that Francis is not longer pope or should no longer be obeyed.

    I was received into the Church by a very distinguished canon lawyer, a man of considerable holiness and unquestionable orthodoxy, with whom I have had the privilege of becoming friends. Just a week ago, this man and I were in conversation, and he remarked “Francis has changed nothing.” The law, yes, he has changed that. But doctrine? No. That he isn’t capable of doing, even if he wants to. I would advise everyone to calm and prayer, with the knowledge that this too shall pass. There is no need to debase ourselves by glorifying sedevacantist-adjacent bishops such as Strickland or unfortunate “rad trads” such as Schneider. The future does not belong to them.

  28. A previous commenter listed a statement by Bishop Schneider defending Bishop Strickland. Of course, Bishop Schneider is from far away Kazakhstan. Will any United States bishops stand by him? I am not holding my breath.

  29. I am not a canon lawyer or a theologian. I am just confused. As far as I can see, we have not been told the exact grounds on which the bishop was removed – heresy? apostasy? theft of Church property? idolatry? gross immorality (a la McCarrick & Rupnik who of course were protected by the Vatican on and on.)
    Dare I say this looks political? a warning to the U.S. bishops on the eve of their annual meeting to get in line, toe the mark, keep quiet (I thought this was the pope who listens?) or be fired. This is a very political pope – political in the worst sense of the term.
    But, the pope need not worry about U.S. bishops. The Apostles were the first bishops. On the night Christ was arrested, they fled. Courage is not part of the episcopal charism.

  30. I guess the pope can get away with all he wants as long as he is not declared a heretic. As far as l can read he has not gone that far.

  31. Strickland’s retweeting of the video calling Frances a diabolically disoriented clown would seem to require at least some accountability.

    • What if it is true that Francis is indeed a ” diabolically disoriented clown”?

      And besides, aren’t you quoting the same attribution here for all to read? So, why are you different from the Bishop of Tyler TX?

      • Touchy touchy.

        It’s not an argument, it merely shows it outsmarted itself.

        These past days Netanyahu was saying he is the light of the world and that Macron lost the moral touch; meanwhile the Holy Father is crying out to them, “Enough bombing brothers!”

        Is the Holy Father denouncing the atrocities? Or is he just consoling the brothers for the peace to come?

        Netanyahu plans to take back from the Wadi of Egypt to the Euphrates and from the Sinai to Lebanon and Damascus -half of Syria and half of Jordan and a big chunk on Iraq. Let’s see who in the US is in on it.

        Now we have a Joshua in the Church “reconquering the Promised Lands” for us in the “spiritual-religious” senses? Himself not really arguing just blindsiding the process.

        And he’s quite misguided. The Church’s history is an open door no-one will ever be able to close. That is not part of those ambitions. Those who show they keep trying to close the door or add bad ambitions to it will be condemned.

  32. Bishop Strickland whose celebrity status has obviously gone into his head by continuously attacking the Pope through the means of social media tweets to attract the world’s attention (in contrast to the more prudent Cardinals, Bishops, and presbyters who confine their critiques of the Pope’s teaching in the form of formal and discreet writings, talks, or dubias) has actually ceased functioning to be a true bishop a long time ago. In the theological principle called collegiality, bishops truly function only in a collegial manner with and under the Pope “cum et sub Petro” (Catechism and of the Catholic Church 883 to 885). In Strickland’s pride, he not only cut himself off from the College of Bishops under the leadership of the Bishop of Rome, but even positioned himself above the Pope erroneously judging and slandering him a “heretic,” “an illegitimate clown of a Pope,” “a usurper of the papal throne.” By these well publicized declarations Strickland has openly revealed his heretical sedevacantist views. His fellow bishops in the College who conducted that recent visitation (investigation) of him suggested that he resign. Preferring to appear a martyr of sedevacantist anti-Pope Francis crusade, Strickland fought and declined. Pope Francis was left with no choice but to fire him.

      • You must be only person in this discussion-comment thread ignorantly clueless of the well promoted and much consumed social media output of the mothballed celebrity heretic bishop. Search, read, watch, and listen to his sedevacantist rantings in cyberspace yourself. As I quoted a few of his words, more of them are also quoted and cited by others on this comment thread here.

      • Deacon Edward: For proof, try and do it yourself attacking your bishop and pastor by unjustly and erroneously judging them as illigimate, as not validly authorized shepherds, as satanic usurpers of their offices.

      • “Pope Francis the Greater” is likely the same Bergoglian Idolater who considers former Cardinal (nor Mr) McCarrick to be a “Living Saint”. Pay no attention to him. He frequently attends this forum under different names to spew his idiocy.

  33. I think Catholicism under a ‘New paradigm’ is just a euphemism for a heresy.

    “A word needs to be said on the notion of paradigm shift. It was made popular by Thomas Kuhn, an American historian of science, who saw a paradigm as “the entire constellation of beliefs, values, techniques and so on shared by the members of a given community”.(18) When there is a shift from one paradigm to another, it is a question of wholesale transformation of perspective rather than one of gradual development. It really is a revolution, and Kuhn emphasised that competing paradigms are incommensurable and cannot co-exist. So the idea that a paradigm shift in the area of religion and spirituality is simply a new way of stating traditional beliefs misses the point. What is actually going on is a radical change in world- view, which puts into question not only the content but also the fundamental interpretation of the former vision. Perhaps the clearest example of this, in terms of the relationship between New Age and Christianity, is the total recasting of the life and significance of Jesus Christ. It is impossible to reconcile these two visions.”

    from: JESUS CHRIST, THE BEARER OF THE WATER OF LIFE (A Christian reflection on the “New Age”) by PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR CULTURE, PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE (2003)

    (see website link)

    • This thinking is so influenced by or borrowed (?) from George Weigel’s 2018 essay,”The Catholic Church Doesn’t Do ‘Paradigm Shifts.'”

  34. Can someone explain why priest and bishop’s in Germany can disregard the Pope’s directive about blessing same sex marriages and nothing is said or done but when a bishop in America apparently disregards the Pope he’s removed from office? I say apparently because the Vatican didn’t say why they removed him.

  35. Searching, finding, and serving Jesus in the poor, the weak, the sick, the elderly, the hungry, the thirsty, and the dying is a mission second to none.

    • True. Strickland thought he is more Catholic than the Pope and meanly judged the Vicar of Christ as a “demonic clown and usurper of the papal throne.”

  36. The issue is not that Francis disciplined Strickland (despite his orthodoxy, I think he had it coming). The issue is who Francis DOES NOT discipline. Strickland gets the boot whilst other bishops (even entire conferences) dissent and aggressively attack Church teaching and nothing happens to them. Moreover, priests and bishops (even Cardinals) who have been accused of grave crimes face few consequences (if at all). This is why this Papacy seems unfair and arbitrary. As a dictator once said: “For my friends, anything…for my enemies, the law!”

    PS: For those asking…Francis doesn’t have to give a canonical reason or follow canonical procedure. Since he is the highest authority in the Church on earth he is not bound by canon law.

    • In other words, he can behave like the lawless tyrant he is He holds the office, so he has the power to do as he pleases. That is reality. It is also known as abusing one’s authority. No Catholic is owes obedience to his offensive “teachings” and arbitrary and brutal dictates.

  37. We are mostly of the right (conservative) wing of the Church. For the sake of widening our horizons and awareness of the other side, let’s get and compare the left (progressive) wing’s take of Bishop Strickand’s removal from office in the form of a typical summary and highlight of the news:
    “Pope Francis has removed Bishop Joseph Strickland — the notoriously election-denying, QAnon-spreading, Francis-bashing, vaccine-rejecting, LGBTQ-hating, division-sowing, rage-tweeting, partisan False Prophet — from his role as Bishop of Tyler, TX.”

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