Vatican News—The Vatican has published the Pope’s decision concerning the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, following an apostolic visitation conducted by two US bishops.
The Holy Father [Pope Francis] has removed Bishop Joseph E. Strickland from the pastoral governance of the diocese of Tyler, United States of America, and has appointed Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin as apostolic administrator of the same diocese, rendering it sede vacante.
The decision came after an apostolic visitation ordered by the Pope last June in the Diocese of Tyler, which was entrusted to two US bishops, Bishop Dennis Sullivan of Camden, and Bishop Emeritus Gerald Kicanas of Tucson.
Cardinal Daniel Nicholas DiNardo, Metropolitan Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, released a statement in which he noted that the prelates who made the visit, Dennis Sullivan, the Bishop of Camden, and Gerald Kicanas, Bishop Emeritus of Tucson, “conducted an exhaustive inquired into all aspects of the governance and leadership of the Diocese of Tyler by its Ordinary, Bishop Joseph Strickland.”
“As a result of the Visitation,” the statement continues, “the recommendation was made to the Holy Father that the continuation in office of Bishop Strickland was not feasible. After months of careful consideration by the Dicastery for Bishops and the Holy Father, the decision was reached that the resignation of Bishop Strickland should be requested. Having been presented with that request on November 9, 2023, Bishop Strickland declined to resign from office.” Pope Francis then decided to remove the bishop.
“Pending more permanent arrangements for the Diocese of Tyler,” Cardinal DiNardo said, “the Holy Father has, at the same time, appointed Bishop Joe Vasquez, Bishop of Austin, as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Tyler.”
Cardinal DiNardo concluded his statement, “Let us keep Bishop Strickland, the clergy and faithful of the Diocese of Tyler and Bishop Vasquez in our prayers.”
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