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[Image: Bishop Isidore Borecky (left); Bishop Joseph Strickland (right)]

Would there be historical precedent if Bishop Joseph Strickland were to refuse to acknowledge his deposition if Rome should proceed with that step?

By Peter Kwasniewski, Crisis Magazine, Sept. 13, 2023

Dr. Peter A. Kwasniewski is a writer and speaker on traditional Catholicism. He is the author or editor of many books, most recently Good Music, Sacred Music, and Silence: Three Gifts of God for Liturgy and for Life (TAN Books, 2023). Visit his website at

Peter KwasniewskiEveryone by now has heard the news that Pope Francis, on the recommendation of the U.S. papal nuncio and the visitators, is expected imminently to request the resignation of Bishop Joseph Strickland. In an interview done two months ago with John-Henry Westen, I explained why I believe the good bishop should not only refuse that request, but also refuse to acknowledge his deposition if Rome should proceed to that dire step. Why do I argue this?

According to the teaching of the Second Vatican Council, “the apostles’ office of nurturing the Church is permanent and is to be exercised without interruption by the sacred order of bishops. Therefore, the Sacred Council teaches that bishops by divine institution have succeeded to the place of the apostles” (Lumen Gentium 20). Moreover, ….

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