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In rare move, Pope Francis ousts conservative bishop in Texas

Strickland gained notoriety in May when he wrote on social media that "I believe Pope Francis is the Pope, but it is time for me to say that I reject his program of undermining the Deposit of Faith.”

Published: November 11, 2023 11:01pm

Updated: November 12, 2023 1:12am

Pope Francis on Saturday took the rare step of ousting a conservative bishop in Texas, who had criticized both the Roman Catholic pontiff and President Joe Biden.

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, was removed after he refused to resign, Galveston-Houston Archbishop Cardinal Daniel DiNardo told news media in a statement.

The move came after the Vatican Dicastery for Bishops completed an inquiry into Strickland’s social media use and his management of his diocese in what is known as a visitation.

“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.

When Strickland refused to resign on Thursday, Francis ordered his removal on Saturday.

Strickland gained notoriety in May when he wrote on social media that "I believe Pope Francis is the Pope, but it is time for me to say that I reject his program of undermining the Deposit of Faith. Follow Jesus."

The bishop had also criticized Biden, a Catholic, on abortion.

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