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Bishop Joseph Strickland visits Catholics rallying outside USCCB meeting Nov. 13, 2018.Doug Mainwaring / LifeSiteNews

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(LifeSiteNews) — Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, has said that he will not resign but will comply if removed from his diocese by Pope Francis.

Catholic apologist and radio host Joe McClane revealed today that he has received an email from Bishop Strickland which said “he would not just walk away” from his diocese, but that “if the Pope removed him he would be obedient.” LifeSiteNews has seen a copy of the email sent from Strickland to McClane.

Strickland’s comments come after The Pillar reported on Monday that Pope Francis met with Vatican officials over the weekend to discuss asking Strickland to resign.

READ: Pope Francis reportedly set to ask Bishop Strickland to resign

The potential move by Francis comes against one of the most forthright and vocal bishops in the United States, who has drawn considerable support both from within and without his diocese for his promotion of traditional Catholic teaching.

Strickland and his diocese have been the subject of much scrutiny among the Catholic media ever since it was revealed that he was subject to an apostolic visitation in June 2023.

Yesterday Bishop Strickland shared with LifeSiteNews a letter sent to him by Bishop Athanasius Schneider encouraging and thanking him for his witness to the Catholic faith. Bishop Schneider says that it is because of this faith that Bishop Strickland is now threatened with being removed from his diocese in Tyler, Texas, but insists that future popes will thank him for his fidelity.

Schneider’s letter to Bishop Strickland states:

Dear Bishop Strickland, unlike St. Basil who addressed Pope Damasus, you don’t have, unfortunately, the real chance to address Pope Francis in order that he may help you to keep zealously the holy traditions of the past. On the contrary, the Holy See put you now under scrutiny and threatens you with intimidations and deprivation of the episcopal care of your flock in Tyler, basically only for the one reason, that you, like St. Basil, St. Athanasius, and many other confessor-bishops in history, are keeping the traditions of the Fathers; only because you are not silencing the truth, only because you are not behaving like not a few of the bishops of our day, who – using the words of St. Gregory of Nazianzus – ‘are serving the times and demands of the masses, leaving their boat to the wind which happens to blow at the moment, and like chameleons, know how to give their word many colors (De vita sua (Carmina) 2, 11).’

Bishop Strickland, 64, is well known among LifeSite readers for his unequivocal defense of Catholic teaching, teaching that is often cast in confusion by papal statements or messages.

Strickland’s more public positions on moral and doctrinal issues include urging Francis to deny Holy Communion to former U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi over her support of legal abortion, accusing the Pope of a “program of undermining the Deposit of Faith,” and condemning the prominent pro-LGBT “blasphemy” of Father James Martin, S.J.

READ: Bishop Schneider: Future popes will thank Bishop Strickland for his fidelity to the Catholic faith

Pledge your prayers for Bp. Strickland HERE