TYLER, Texas (KETK) – A march through downtown Tyler was held in support of the former Bishop of Tyler, Bishop Joseph Strickland on Saturday morning. Bishop Strickland was removed as the Bishop of Tyler by the Vatican last Saturday on Nov. 11.
The Associated Press reported that Bishop Strickland, a conservative, had become a “fierce critic of the pontiff and has come to symbolize the polarization within the U.S. Catholic hierarchy.”
Earlier in the year, the Vatican sent two other Bishops to investigate the governance of the Tyler Diocese.
Today’s march started at 10 a.m. in downtown Tyler and was organized by the Knights of The Republic.
“We felt that we really needed to bring people together,” said Justin Haggerty with the Knights of Republic.
Here’s KETK’s full livestream of Saturday’s march:
Some people like Brian Offer came out to the march from Dallas.
“We love the Catholic Church and we love Bishop Strickland,” said Offer. “We’re deeply tied to catholic tradition and so this is a chance for us to join fellow Catholics.”
There was at least one person at the march who supported the decision Pope Francis made to remove Bishop Strickland.
“I hear that there’s about 2/3 of the Catholic people that are kind of with him, which is scary to me, which is why I’m here,” said Kelly Koontz
Koontz said that Bishop Strickland thinks he’s above the Pope.
Despite being one of the only people at the march not supporting him, she said that there’s more people like her out there.
“I think there are others,” Koontz added. “I think it’s like a lot of other situations where there’s a fear instilled.”