From Where Peter Is: 

Reports of an apostolic visitation in [Bishop Joseph] Strickland’s East Texas diocese were reported by Church Militant just before noon Saturday and by LifeSiteNews in late afternoon. The LifeSite article referenced a video on YouTube featuring Catholic speaker Jesse Romero, LifeSite founder John-Henry Westen, and EWTN personality Doug Barry firing up a rambunctious crowd in favor of Strickland at a conference in support of “canceled priests” on Rosemont, Illinois.

A later report by the Pillar stated that the visitation was conducted this week and has been completed. Where Peter Is has independently confirmed through sources in Tyler and close to the Vatican that Bishops Gerald Kicanas (formerly of Tucson) and Dennis Sullivan (of Camden, New Jersey) conducted the visitation this week and were accompanied by two priests.

There have been mixed reports about the purpose of the investigation and whether it will ultimately lead to the removal or forced resignation of the bishop from his office. Many have speculated that this investigation is connected to the inflammatory statements frequently made by the bishop on social media. Last month, we reported on a tweet by Strickland stating of Pope Francis that “it is time for me to say that I reject his program of undermining the Deposit of Faith.” This statement appeared to cross a new line. The Catholic Church defines schism as “the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him” (CCC 2089). Strickland’s blatant rejection of the “project” of the pope suggests such a refusal of submission.

The Pillar reported on one priest’s account of the questions he was asked by the visitors, who told them that the “questions focused on Strickland’s administrative leadership in the diocese, rather than on his outsized social media personality.” The priest told them, “It was not even primarily about his ‘rants’ about Pope Francis,” saying that it focused mainly on governance issues. The Pillar also reported that the priest told them that during the interview, the visitors “were already asking questions about who might be a good fit to replace [Strickland].”

Read more. 

Several weeks ago, RNS reported: 

The conservative firebrand, who oversees the Diocese of Tyler, Texas, has sparked backlash from critics for everything from voicing support for priests who refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19 to offering a prayer at a “Jericho March” event in the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. More recently, Strickland challenged Pope Francis, announcing on his Twitter feed that he believes the pontiff is “undermining the Deposit of Faith.” His efforts have inspired some detractors to call for Strickland’s resignation, while others have urged Vatican intervention.

But according to multiple sources, Strickland has already been on the receiving end of the Vatican’s ire for more than a year: He was chastised by a representative of the Holy See in 2021, they say — a move that simultaneously signals the potential for formal Vatican disciplinary action and exemplifies the difficulty of reining in a controversial cleric.

The revelation came last week during a broadcast of the Terry and Jesse Show, a program that regularly features Strickland as a guest and airs on Virgin Most Powerful Radio, a conservative-leaning Catholic outlet. While discussing blowback to Strickland’s recent tweets, co-host Terry Barber described an occasion where Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Vatican’s U.S. ambassador, allegedly approached Strickland at a gathering of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. According to Barber, Pierre, known as the papal nuncio, “wagged his finger” at Strickland while saying “Bishop Strickland, we’re watching you — stop talking about the deposit of faith.”

“(Strickland) doesn’t really care,” Barber said of the alleged encounter. “It’s the truth that sets us free. If he goes down because he’s speaking the truth, oh well.”