Dutch Bishop: Pope Francis Wrong to Remove Bishop Strickland Without Appeal

Bishop Rob Mutsaerts, auxiliary bishop of s-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch) in the Netherlands, is as outspoken as he is a loyal defender of traditional Church doctrine. After asking hard questions about the Synod on Synodality as the Rome meeting was drawing to its close, he again posted vigorous comments on his personal blog, Paarse Pepers, this time on Bishop Joseph Strickland’s recent dismissal as bishop of Tyler, Texas. He called it a “strange story” and an instance of “drastic measures” being taken by Rome against a “humble, balanced, faithful, and law-abiding” pastor of the Church. 

Bishop Mutsaerts was particularly indignant about the absence of canonical recourse open to his brother bishop: this is not the first time, he notes, that Pope Frances has imposed such a sanction personally, as the highest authority in the Church, thereby depriving its recipient of any kind of “appeal of defense.” 

“These are methods we might expect to see in North Korea, or Rome in the days of Nero,” he scathingly remarked. 

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