Monday, June 26, 2023

Bishop Strickland Visited by Vatican

Understanding Apostolic Visitation: The Case of Bishop Joseph Strickland


In June 2023, Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, found himself at the center of a Vatican-directed investigation—an **apostolic visitation**. This process, shrouded in secrecy, has raised questions and speculation within the Catholic community. Let's delve into what apostolic visitations entail and explore the context surrounding Bishop Strickland's case.

What Is an Apostolic Visitation?

An apostolic visitation occurs when one or more representatives, usually bishops or canon lawyers, travel to a diocese, religious congregation, or ceremony on behalf of the Vatican. Their mission is to investigate specific issues within the institution. The decision to initiate such a visitation signals serious concerns within the diocese or religious community. In Bishop Strickland's case, this intervention was ordered by the Vatican's Dicastery for Bishops.

The Allegations Against Bishop Strickland

The specific reasons for Bishop Strickland's apostolic visitation have not been officially confirmed. However, rumors suggest that it relates to both governance issues within his diocese and his outspoken views on Church matters. Notably, Bishop Strickland has been a vocal critic of certain aspects of Pope Francis' leadership.

Social Media Use and Controversy

Bishop Strickland's social media presence has drawn both praise and criticism. Supporters appreciate his clarity on Church teaching, while critics argue that some of his statements are irresponsible. One tweet in particular—where he suggested that Pope Francis was "undermining the Deposit of Faith"—raised eyebrows. The Vatican reportedly addressed his social media use during the visitation.

Diocesan Management

Apart from social media, questions related to diocesan management were also part of the investigation. The apostolic visitors interviewed clergy and laity within the Tyler diocese to assess its governance.

Context: The Los Angeles Protest

Before news of the apostolic visitation emerged, Bishop Strickland participated in a eucharistic procession and prayer rally in Los Angeles. The event aimed to protest Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Dodgers for honoring an anti-Catholic drag group during their annual Pride Night game.


While Bishop Strickland has not made formal statements following the visitation, he continues to engage with supporters on social media. The investigation remains confidential, but its impact reverberates through discussions about Church leadership and transparency.

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1. [Catholic News Agency](

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