Bishop Joseph Strickland, the former Roman Catholic bishop in Texas who was removed by Pope Francis for his traditional teachings, will be a keynote speaker at the annual CPAC gala dinner next month in Washington, D.C.
Strickland, who has risen to national prominence in the wake of his firing by the pope, is set to speak at CPAC's annual Ronald Reagan Dinner on Feb. 23.
CPAC host Matt Schlapp told Newsmax that the bishop has become a national figure who has drawn strong interest from conservatives and others across the nation.
Schlapp said Strickland will also celebrate Mass during the conference for Catholic attendees.
This past November Pope Francis abruptly removed Strickland from the Office of Bishop of Tyler, Texas, after he refused to resign.
After an apostolic visitation, church officials never clearly explained why he was removed, stating only "that the continuation in office of Bishop Strickland was not feasible."
Many believe Strickland was relieved of his duties because he took public positions at odds with Francis' progressive views on life, marriage, and gender.
Strickland also gave permission for the traditional Latin rite of the Mass to continue in his diocese after the pope banned the ceremony.
Strickland had been highly critical of the pope's lurch to the left in the months preceding his removal, including a social media post about the pope's support of "radical left-wing changes" to long-held Catholic teachings.
In response, Pope Francis called Strickland and other conservative American bishops backward and "reactionary" for their views.
"I would like to remind these people that backwardness is useless," Francis told a group of fellow Jesuits at World Youth Day celebrations in Lisbon, Portugal, last August.
"Doing this, you lose the true tradition and you turn to ideologies to have support. In other words, ideologies replace faith."
Three months later, the pope removed Strickland.
For his part, Strickland harbored no regrets, saying in an interview shortly after his removal that he'd "do it the same way again."
"I feel very much at peace in the Lord and the truth that he died for," he said.
Since leaving his bishop's seat, the pope has continued to move decisively to the left.
Late last year he approved allowing transgender individuals to be baptized and even serve as godparents.
The Vatican also caused an uproar around the globe after approving priestly blessings of same-sex couples.
Again Strickland took a hard line in opposing the Vatican's new direction.
"We really simply need to be a united voice saying, 'No, we will not respond to this; we will not incorporate this into the life of the church,' because we simply must say no," Strickland said in December. "It needs to be a united voice."
Mark Swanson ✉
Mark Swanson, a Newsmax writer and editor, has nearly three decades of experience covering news, culture and politics.
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