The Vatican said Saturday that Pope
Francis has relieved American traditionalist bishop Monsignor
Joseph E. Strickland from the pastoral governance of the Diocese
of Tyler (USA) and appointed Bishop Joe Vasquez of Austin as
Apostolic Administrator of the vacated diocese.
Strickland is a self-avowed traditionalist who has been openly critical of Francis's pontificate.
Bishop Strickland is a vigorous defender of the Catholic Church's doctrinal and dogmatic positions on marriage, human life and religious freedom.
Last June, he received an apostolic visitation, which some say was due to his traditional positions, which are seen as being irreconcilable with the new course initiated by Pope Francis.
Among Strickland's critical positions are his fears over innovations on marriage, the Eucharist, and sexuality, Vatican sources said.
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