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

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

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.

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