Aguer criticizes Strickland's expulsion

(LifeSiteNews) — Argentina’s Archbishop Hector Aguer has spoken out in support of Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, after his removal by Pope Francis on November 11.

In a Tuesday morning statement, the archbishop emeritus of La Plata called Strickland’s deposition “another ‘feat’ of the absolute papal monarchy.”

“I wish to express my solidarity with Bishop Strickland, to whom I promise my poor prayers for his future status as a ‘canceled’ bishop and his intentions,” Aguer wrote.

The archbishop emeritus added that the stunning move reminded him of a scriptural passage where St. Paul speaks of reproaching St. Peter for his hypocritical behavior around the Gentiles (Gal. 2:11-14).

“Could this apply today to the relations between the successors of the apostles and the successor of Peter?” Aguer said.

Aguer also wrote that he is praying for all American bishops who are “faithful to Tradition.”

“Progressivism is sterile; young people aspire to a Catholic Church faithful to its origins and the best of its history. They are the future of the Katholiké,” he said.

The 80-year-old Argentine archbishop joins a chorus of Catholic clergy and laypeople around the world denouncing Francis’ removal of Strickland. Other notable prelates who have spoken out against the move include Bishop Athanasius Schneider and Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.

The Vatican has not publicized an official reason for Strickland’s removal, though Strickland himself told LifeSiteNews’ John-Henry Westen that he stood by “all the things that were listed as complaints against me.”

“I know I didn’t implement Traditionis Custodes [the Pope Francis decree restricting the Traditional Latin Mass] because I can’t starve out part of my flock,” he said. “I’d do it the same way again. I feel very much at peace in the Lord and the Truth that He died for.”

Aguer was succeeded as Archbishop of La Plata in 2018 by the highly controversial Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández, who now serves as head of the Dicastery (formerly Congregation) for the Doctrine of the Faith under Pope Francis. Aguer has known both Francis and Fernández for decades.