Scranton, Pa., Aug 28, 2009 / 11:12 am (CNA).- Most Rev. Joseph F. Martino, Bishop of Scranton, will resign as head of the Diocese of Scranton next week, sources within the diocese confirmed to the local press today.
The sources did not explain the reason for the 62-year-old bishop’s decision. The sources also did not specify if the Bishop’s resignation was going to be presented or if it had been already submitted and accepted by the Vatican.
When asked by CNA to confirm Bishop Martino’s resignation, diocesan spokesman William Genello said that the diocese will hold a press conference next Monday for media members only.
Perhaps the Bishop of Scranton cannot support the present practices of the Catholic Church like allowing a public Liturgy for someone like Ted Kennedy that supported abortion and gay rights. Sad to say, many priests and bishops cannot come out in public and admit that it is wrong to give Holy Communion to those that support abortion, same sex marriages; if they did, they would be labelled “Protestant”, “Holy Roller”. What scandels are being committed each day. Maybe the Scranton Bishop just got tired with it all.
The Vatican will be accepting the resignations of Bishop Joseph F. Martino and Auxiliary Bishop John M. Dougherty as leaders of the Diocese of Scranton next week, sources within and outside the diocese confirmed to The Times-Tribune today.
Cardinal Justin Francis Rigali, the head of the archdiocese of Philadelphia and the metropolitan for the province that includes the Diocese of Scranton, will serve as the apostolic administrator of the diocese until a successor can be appointed by the Vatican, sources said.
The Diocese of Scranton announced a press conference will be held Monday at 10 a.m., but it did not reveal the subject or place of the event. The conference will not be open to the public, but will be broadcast live on Catholic Television: CTV and a video of the event will be posted on the diocese’s Web site. In a press release, the diocese said it will not issue any comments prior to the news conference.
So sad to hear this in the last day or 2. The local media in Scranton can be absolutely vicious to Bishop Martino. Thank you for linking the Times Tribune Story. I don’t mean to badmouth anyone, but staff writer Lara Legere made me crazy during the recent presidential campaign. The media around here slams him whenever they can. They try & appear fair, but promoting President Obama & slamming Bishop Martino appears to be the rule of the day.
I don’t know how to provide links, but one of her stories in the campaign was"It’s OK for Catholics To Vote for Obama". The stories about Bishop Martino always stress what they view as negative. If supporters are quoted, his critics are always given the stronger quotes or the last word in the so-called reports.
I think the above-linked Times-Tribune story is a classic example with a subtle dig. Legere mentions the Bishop just had a hair cut. Why mention that? Would you mention if he just filled his car with gas or drank a glass of water? No, it’s irrelavent. Mentioning his trim, however, implies he’s the vain Bishop who is more concerned with his looks than making sandwiches for the poor. IMHO this is just classic treatment of Bishop Martino.
A local TV news station, WBRE reported very negatviely about the Bishop & actually repeated claims that he was retiring due to health reasons & may have had a nervous breakdown! I don’t know much about journalism, but I thought that was despicable.
According to Whispers in the Loggia the reasons are rumored to be:
the quarter-million member Scranton church has been roiled since Martino’s 2003 arrival by swaths of contentious parish and school closings, strained relations with the presbyterate, a perceived indifference to the media, clashes over the diocese’s de-recognition of the local union for Catholic high school teachers (a move upheld by the Vatican) and, most famously, a steady stream of statements on politics, parades and public officials which served to draw lines in the sand in the socially conservative, heavily-Democratic area, home to both the revered Casey clan and, in his boyhood, Vice-President Joe Biden.
A ‘perceived indifference to the media’ ? More like a total inabilty to handle it. So, they announced on Friday that there would be a private press conference Monday, leaving the media and everyone else (including CAF) to speculate. Come Monday, everyone will have worked out what they think are the reasons to their own prejudiced satisfaction and no-one will believe a word from the press conference if it in any way differs from what they believe. No wonder Jesus said "the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” Get some competent media wranglers, guys.
After days of speculation, the Holy See has announced that Pope Benedict has accepted the resignation of controversial Scranton Bishop Joseph Martino, 63, and his 77 year old auxiliary, Bishop John Dougherty.
The Vatican statement it noted that the pope had accepted the resignation under a provision of church law in which a bishop due to illness or “some other grave reason, has become unsuited” to carry out his duties.
Bishop Martino had the misfortune of taking over a diocese that had grown rapidly for more than a century but had started to decline in recent decades, The Times-Leader notes.
Well, the Vatican is usually not pleased with bishops who raise a rukus but are unable to handle the consequences. It appears this bishop “lost” both his priests and the faithful of the diocese. You can’t be a leader if no one is willing to follow.
I can tell you from first hand experience that the toll of the job was affecting Bishop Martino immensely. I had the honor of going to a Divine Mercy Sunday Mass while he was an auxillary Bishop of Philadelphia and residing in Scranton while he was bishop there.
His appearance, even then, had changed dramatically (including weight loss for a time). I am wondering if there are other underlying conditions that have not been made public.
That wouldn’t surprise me. We really don’t need to know his full medical evaluation. I think he explained it well enough in the press conference.
He had a hard job to do and I think he did it well. He did what needed to be done, even though it was extremely unpopular. Hopefully now his successor can benefit from Martino’s good decisions without having to suffer the backlash of being the one who made those tough decisions. I pray it is an opportunity for healing for the Diocese of Scranton and for Bishop Martino.
The Vatican accepted the resignations of Bishop Joseph F. Martino and Auxiliary Bishop John M. Dougherty this morning. The brief official announcement was delivered through the Holy See’s daily news bulletin at around 6:15 a.m.
A temporary administrator, Cardinal Justin Rigali the head of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and metropolitan for the province that includes the Diocese of Scranton, has been appointed to lead the diocese until the Vatican names a new bishop.
Msgr. Joseph Bambera, pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Mary of Czestochowa parishes in Archbald, will oversee the day-to-day operations of the diocese, Cardinal Rigali said Monday morning at a news conference in Scranton.
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