Earlier this morning, the USCCB released the following statement:

Pope Francis has relieved the Most Reverend Joseph E. Strickland from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Tyler. At the same time, the Holy Father has appointed the Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, as the Apostolic Administrator sede vacante of the Diocese of Tyler.

These provisions were publicized in Washington, D.C. on November 11, 2023, by Cardinal Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

The Diocese of Tyler is comprised of 23,443 square miles in the State of Texas and has a total population of 1,436,247, of which 119,168, are Catholic.

Cardinal DiNardo, Metropolitan Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, also released the following public statement:

In June of this year, the Holy Father, Pope Francis, directed that an Apostolic Visitation of the Diocese of Tyler should be conducted. Bishop Dennis Sullivan of Camden and Bishop Emeritus Gerald Kicanas of Tucson were appointed to conduct the Visitation. The Prelates conducted an exhaustive inquiry 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 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. Thereafter, on November 11, 2023, the Holy Father removed Bishop Strickland from the Office of Bishop of Tyler.

Pending more permanent arrangements for the Diocese of Tyler, the Holy Father has, at the same time, appointed Bishop Joe Vasquez, Bishop of Austin, as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Tyler.

Let us keep Bishop Strickland, the clergy and faithful of the Diocese of Tyler, and Bishop Vasquez in our prayers.

Please join Cardinal DiNardo in his prayer intentions for Bishop Strickland, Bishop Vasquez, clergy, lay staff, and all of the people of God in Tyler who have been impacted.

Discuss this article!

Keep the conversation going in our SmartCatholics Group! You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

Liked this post? Take a second to support Where Peter Is on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Paul Fahey lives in Michigan with his wife and four kids. For the past eight years, he has worked as a professional catechist. He has an undergraduate degree in Theology and is currently working toward a Masters Degree in Pastoral Counseling. He is a retreat leader, catechist formator, writer, and a co-founder of Where Peter Is. He is also the founder and co-host of the Pope Francis Generation podcast. His long-term goal is to provide pastoral counseling for Catholics who have been spiritually abused, counseling for Catholic ministers, and counseling education so that ministers are more equipped to help others in their ministry.

Share via
Copy link