Pope Francis on Saturday ordered the removal of the bishop of Tyler. A one-line statement from the Vatican said Francis had “relieved” 65-year-old Bishop Joseph Strickland of the pastoral governance of Tyler and appointed the bishop of Austin as the temporary administrator. Strickland had been a leading critic of Francis, accusing him in a tweet earlier this year of undermining the faith. Strickland had been particularly critical of Francis’ recent meetings on ways to better welcome LGBTQ+ Catholics into the church.
The Texas counties in the Diocese of Tyler are:
It was announced today in Rome that Bishop Joseph Strickland has been relieved of pastoral governance of the Diocese of Tyler and that Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin has been appointed Apostolic Administrator of the diocese.
Our work as the Catholic Church in Northeast Texas continues. Our mission is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to foster an authentic Christian community, and to serve the needs of all people with compassion and love. We strive to deepen our faith, promote the common good, and create a welcoming environment for all to encounter the loving God – Father, Son, and Spirit.
During this time of transition, we pray that God may continue to abundantly bless and strengthen the Church and God’s holy, faithful people here and around the world.