The Vatican has announced that Pope Francis has dismissed Bishop Joseph Strickland, a prominent critic of the Roman Catholic Church, particularly among conservatives in the United States.
This is an uncommon occurrence, as bishops usually step down voluntarily when facing difficulties with the Vatican. However, in this case, the Pope felt it necessary to take direct action after Bishop Strickland refused to resign despite being asked to do so. The Pope’s decision is considered drastic and is only taken when a bishop adamantly refuses to step down.
Bishop Strickland, who is 65 years old and ten years away from the typical retirement age for bishops, expressed his refusal to resign earlier this year. He is known for his active presence on social media and was appointed to the diocese by the late Pope Benedict XVI in 2012. In a tweet earlier this year, Bishop Strickland criticized Pope Francis’ actions, accusing him of undermining the fundamental beliefs of the Catholic Church.
Specifically, Bishop Strickland has been highly critical of Pope Francis’ efforts to promote inclusivity and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community within the Catholic Church. He has also opposed the Pope’s initiatives to involve laypeople more actively in church affairs and recently expressed his disagreement with a synod held by the Pope.
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