Pope Francis fires Texas bishop after criticism of reforms

Pope Francis has fired the Texan bishop Joseph Strickland, a fierce critic who has questioned the Pope’s leadership of the Catholic church.

The Vatican said the bishop would be “relieved” of his duties as a result of investigations at his Diocese of Tyler.

Bishop Strickland is a leading voice in a branch of US Catholicism that is opposed to the Pope’s reforms. His removal comes after Francis spoke of the “backwardness” of some US Catholic church leaders.

Bishop Strickland has launched a series of attacks on the Pope’s attempts to update the Church’s position on social matters and inclusion, including on abortion, transgender rights and same-sex marriage.