The National Catholic Review

NCR is reporting that Bishop Joseph F. Martino of Scranton, Pa., has resigned abruptly.   "In All Things" readers will recall that Bishop Martino, during a parish meeting last fall centering the USCCB's document "Faithful Citizenship," in the midst of the presidential election, declared, "“No USCCB document is relevant in this diocese,” said Martino.  “The USCCB doesn’t speak for me.”  “The only relevant document ... is my letter,” he said in an unscheduled visit.  “There is one teacher in this diocese, and these points are not debatable.”  That story, first reported in the Wayne Independent is hereUpdate: his auxiliary is also resigning.

Comments

Anonymous | 9/1/2009 - 12:00am
Living all my life in the Scranton Diocese and after seeing all the schools and churches he closed I felt that Bishop Martino was Rome's "Hatchet Man." The events of the last few days have changed my mind. Bishop Martino had to "trim the fat" in order to allow the entire Diocese of Scranton to run properly. Still, all the church closings made Bishop Martino very unpopular.
Many of the young Roman Catholics are not the same type of people that I was at their age. They move away from home. They marry outside the Roman Catholic Faith and they only need the Church when someone dies or a marriage needs to be preformed.
I wish Bishop Martino the best of health and I know the Church, founded by Christ, will continue to survive.
Anonymous | 8/31/2009 - 10:13am
The USCCB has stated that the resignation of both bishops has been accepted, with Martino for health reasons and his auxiliary for age.  Cardinal Rigali will act as ordinary in the interim.  Our prayers are with the Bishop as he deals with his illness, so many of us spoke to soon about any motivation (unless someone is lying  in the hierarchy - perish the thought).
 
The USCCB web page also states that Bishop's conference supports universal health care, as long as it is abortion neutral.  Anyone thinking otherwise is dealing with a set of facts of their own, rather than the reality of the situation. Some rogue Bishops are ignoring the Vatican and the USCCB in their opposition to health care reform.  This is partisanship and likely will have consequences, if not for them personally than for their credibility as teachers within their sees.
Anonymous | 8/30/2009 - 4:02pm
I've heard the rumor about Martino having cancer but I don't buy it.  If he does have cancer, why not just say so rather than leave his departure open to endless speculation. 
More likely, it played out something like this:
Someone in a position of authority talked to Martino about toning down the rhetoric and possibly other matters as well.  A huge row ensued with Martino insisting that he would not comply with whatever was asked of him. At that point, (1) he stormed out and resigned, or (2) the "person of authority" informed him he would no longer be serving as bishop of Scranton or anywhere else.
 
 
Anonymous | 8/29/2009 - 8:24pm
the comment from Mr. McCrea is disgraceful.  How un-Christian.
Anonymous | 8/29/2009 - 12:12pm
"That trumps anything the Bishop's conference has to say."  No it does not.  The general principles articulated by the Pope are applied in concrete situations by the Conferences of Bishops.  So, you cannot dismiss the bishops opposition to this particular healthcare proposal.  To do so is deceitful and misleading.  To use the name of the Magisterium to corroborate the falsehood is even worse.
Anonymous | 8/29/2009 - 5:51am
Ricky, the Pope's have, through the years, called health care a right.  That trumps anything the Bishop's conference has to say.  Also, through the years, they have been supporting health care reform and are working with  Catholic Health and Catholic Charities USA to get this passed with the proper restrictions on abortion.  BTW, these restrictions are more about Catholic identity to prevent the funding of abortion, since abortion gets funded anyway by state funds for Medicaid or the medical charities fund, which is non-federal.  Finally, most private insurance, which is subsidized by tax deductions, funds abortion.  Anytime you buy anything or pay taxes, a portion of those dollars goes to almost every abortion performed - that is how the economy works.
Anonymous | 8/28/2009 - 11:11pm
Bp Martino may be leaving for Siberia but not to worry.  The ever so compassionate Bp Nickless of Sioux City will be holding down the fort . . .
"The Catholic Church does not teach that government should directly provide health care.  Any legislation that undermines the vitality of the private sector is suspect.” ~ Bp Nickless 
Take that, you rotten social justice liberals!
Hannity himself could not have said it better.
Anonymous | 8/28/2009 - 6:43pm
What's this "nuance" of which you speak?
Anonymous | 8/28/2009 - 4:08pm
In fairness, Bishop Martino could be running death-camps and Joe Garcia would find him "nuanced."  
Anonymous | 8/28/2009 - 5:24pm
When a cleric is as vociferously "orthodox" as Martino, it is not uncommon that blustering is a cover for something hugely "unorthodox" hidden deeply in a personal closet.
We shall see in time why Martino is really leaving.
Anonymous | 8/28/2009 - 2:49pm
Interesting.  Perhaps there is blowback from the decision by certain obviously Republican Bishops to actively campaign against health care reform, which is supported by the Magisterium as a right (meaning people should get it, regardless of cost to them if necessary - regardless of immigration.  It appears that if he thought that be following in Archbishop Burke's footsteps, he'd get kicked up to Rome, he had another thing coming.
Anonymous | 8/28/2009 - 1:04pm
I fairness, Bp. Martino's legacy probably encompasses more than his views on Faithful Citizenship.
Anonymous | 8/28/2009 - 3:40pm
Re:  "It appears that if he thought that be following in Archbishop Burke's footsteps, he'd get kicked up to Rome" Only God knows the intent.  There's also a sin called rash judgment.
Re:  "health care reform, which is supported by the Magisterium " This one is not supported by the Magisterium whose position is articulated by the Bishop's conference.