Understanding Pope Francis’ decision to remove Bishop Strickland
Pope Francis made headlines on Nov. 11 for his decision to oust one of his most vocal critics, Bishop Joseph Strickland, as the head of the Diocese of Tyler, Tex., following the bishop’s refusal to resign upon request.
In this episode of “Inside the Vatican,” host Colleen Dulle and veteran Vatican correspondent Gerard O’Connell dive into this rare but decisive move by Pope Francis. They explain the Vatican-mandated investigation into the governance of the archdiocese that ultimately led to Bishop Strickland’s removal. They consider whether or not this marks a “breaking point” for Pope Francis, who has faced plenty of criticism from other bishops but has only removed Bishop Strickland.
In the second half of the show, Gerry and Colleen review Gerry’s recent interviews with a host of cardinals and bishops from around the world, including American Cardinals Cupich and McElroy, India’s Cardinal Gracias, Amazonian Cardinal Pedro Barreto, Australian Archbishop Costello, the Chinese Jesuit Cardinal Stephen Chow, and the French Cardinal Christophe Pierre, who serves as apostolic nuncio to the United States. Across the interviews, Gerry observed that “everybody recognizes [the synodal process] is a work in progress,” but despite some hiccups, “they all saw that something new had been born with this synod.”
Colleen and Gerry then trace out how synodality is still developing. Gerry goes on to say of his interviewees, “I think all of them see this as a real transformational moment in the history of the church.”
Gerry and Colleen conclude with Pope Francis’ continued appeals for a ceasefire in Gaza and for his adamant call for all Catholics to “take only one side… that of peace.”
Links from the show:
- Pope Francis removes Bishop Strickland of Diocese of Tyler, Texas
- Australia’s Archbishop Costelloe: Cardinal Newman’s ‘development of doctrine’ is key to understanding the synod
- India’s Cardinal Gracias: The ‘future’ of the church does not depend on synodality
- Hong Kong’s Jesuit cardinal Stephen Chow: ‘The pope truly cares about China.’
- Cardinal Pierre on why the U.S. bishops are struggling to connect with Pope Francis
- Cardinal McElroy: There should never again be a synod without lay people as voting members
- Cardinal Cupich on the synod, women deacons, giving bishops job reviews and why ‘LGBTQ’ was left out of the final doc