[Americanist Magazine] In his letter this morning, Cardinal DiNardo reveals that as a result of the apostolic visitation, “the recommendation was to the Holy Father that the continuation in office of Bishop Strickland was not feasible.” After several months “of careful consideration by the Dicastery for Bishops and the Holy Father,” Bishop Strickland’s resignation was requested on Nov. 9, 2023. Bishop Strickland refused to resign, and Pope Francis subsequently removed the bishop on Nov. 11.
Bishop Strickland had led the 33-county diocese since 2012, when he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI. He was a priest of the Tyler diocese and served at various points as the diocese’s vocation director, apostolic administrator and vicar general. When first appointed, he was known as the “blogging bishop,” writing uncontroversial posts on his personal website about faith and his hobby of running.
He grew more outspoken as a critic of Pope Francis over time, forwarding Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganó’s explosive 2018 letter calling for the pope to resign to “all Holy Faithful of the Diocese of Tyler” and saying he found “credible” the letter’s allegations that Pope Francis had knowingly covered up former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sexual abuse of minors and seminarians. After the Vatican published its investigation into the McCarrick case in 2020, Bishop Strickland walked back his endorsement.
Cardinal Müller says this is an abuse of the divine right of the episcopate.