Bishop of Tyler meets with Pope Francis on Vatican visit

Bishop of Tyler Joseph Strickland, seated fifth from right, attended an audience with Pope...
Bishop of Tyler Joseph Strickland, seated fifth from right, attended an audience with Pope Francis Monday as part of an ad limina visit to Rome. (Source: Diocese of Tyler)(Source: Diocese of Tyler)
Updated: Jan. 22, 2020 at 8:16 AM CST
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VATICAN CITY (KLTV) - An East Texas bishop’s meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican this week included discussion of a laicized American former cardinal, according to a report.

The Catholic News Service reported Bishop Joseph Strickland of the Diocese of Tyler asked the pontiff Monday about the Vatican investigation into Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, DC accused of abuse.

An August 2018 statement by Strickland gained national attention when he called for a “thorough investigation” after the release of a letter by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, detailing allegations of sexual misconduct by McCarrick.

“Let us be clear that they are still allegations, but as your shepherd I find them to be credible,” Strickland said in the 2018 letter released through the Diocese of Tyler website.

After his audience with Pope Francis, Strickland told the Catholic News Service the anticipated release of the Vatican report on McCarrick may bring closure.

"It’s about the victims. It’s about the children of God who have suffered through the negligence and bad acting of bishops, priests and other members of the Church,” Strickland told CNS.

This week bishops from Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas are participating in an ad limina visit to Rome. The pilgrimage, required of bishops every five years, includes meetings with the Pope and Vatican officials to provide reports on the state of their dioceses.

Bishop Edmund Carmody, who served as Bishop of Tyler from 1992 to 2000 and later as vicar general of the diocese, is also participating in the pilgrimage.

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