Reached by email on Tuesday, Strickland told Religion News Service he was unaware of any resignation request from the Vatican, saying, “I have received no information on this from Rome.”
Asked whether he would resign if the pope asked, Strickland suggested he would resist, possibly forcing the Vatican to remove him.
“As a basic principle I cannot resign the mandate given to me by Pope Benedict the XVI,” he wrote. “Of course that mandate can be rescinded by Pope Francis, but I cannot voluntarily abandon the flock that I have been given charge of as a successor of the apostles.”
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