Catholic bishop that Pope Francis removed from power honored with pro-life award

Bishop Joseph Strickland
Bishop Joseph Strickland | Screengrab/Cross Catholic Outreach

A Roman Catholic bishop who was recently removed from power by Pope Francis will be honored with a pro-life award due to his track record of advocacy against abortion.

Bishop Emeritus Joseph E. Strickland, former leader of the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, will be presented with a Pro-Life Recognition Award at the 29th annual National Prayer Service.

The event is sponsored by the groups Priests for Life, the National Pro-Life Religious Council, the National Institute for Family and Life Advocates, and Catholics for Catholics on Friday, ahead of the March for Life.

Get Our Latest News for FREE

Subscribe to get daily/weekly email with the top stories (plus special offers!) from The Christian Post. Be the first to know.

“I couldn’t be honored more than to be honored for respecting the precious gift of life that God has given us,” said Strickland, as quoted by Life News. “I truly believe the sanctity of life is the issue of our time.”

Strickland garnered headlines in 2022 when he announced that then speaker of the House and self-professed practicing Catholic Nancy Pelosi would be denied communion due to her advocacy for abortion.

Strickland was one of multiple Catholic bishops to take such a position, reported Catholic News Agency at the time, joining Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, who oversees Pelosi’s home diocese.

Strickland also called out President Joe Biden, another practicing Catholic who advances abortion policies, labeling him a “fake Catholic” for his support for taxpayer-funded abortions.

A theological conservative, Strickland had also been an open critic of Francis regarding other issues.

Last November, the Vatican posted a bulletin describing appointments and resignations of bishops, with Strickland being listed as removed from office, while Bishop Joe Vásquez of Austin was appointed apostolic administrator of the Tyler diocese.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston explained in a statement released Saturday that the decision to remove Strickland came following an Apostolic Visitation earlier this year by Bishop Dennis Sullivan of Camden and Bishop Emeritus Gerald Kicanas of Tucson.

“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,” said DiNardo.

“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.”

In response, Strickland told LifeSiteNews hours after his removal that he believed there were “forces in the [Catholic] Church” that “don’t want the truth of the Gospel” but instead want “it changed” and “ignored.”

“They want to be rid of the truth that is gloriously not going to go away,” Strickland asserted. “It is a sad day for me, but I’m strong in the Lord.”

“I encourage myself and others to go more deeply than ever into prayer. To pray for Pope Francis, to pray for the [Catholic] Church, to pray for our world.”

Strickland has received immense support since his ousting, with an online petition in support of the former bishop launched in November garnering more than 54,399 signatures.

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.

Most Popular

More Articles