Monday, August 31, 2009
Bishop Joseph F. Martino "Resigns"
Video of Bishop Joseph Martino's resignation, now former bishop of Scranton, from this morning's press conference can be found here. This morning, Bishop Martino announced that his resignation, that he had sent in June, had been accepted by Pope Benedict. Martino is only 63 years old. He states that it was his decision to resign because of insomnia and other health problems caused by the stress of being bishop of Scranton.
Martino is known nationally for his uncompromising and bombastic pro-life attitude. Reportedly, this bombastic style of his extended beyond abortion issues to the reorganization he was enacting in his diocese to deal with fewer practicing Catholics and changing demographics (proving that a conservative bishop is not synonymous with greater church participation). In the last few years we have also seen two bishops moved when controversy would not desist: Cardinal Law of Boston was "promoted" to a Roman post and Bishop Burke of St. Louis was "promoted" to a Vatican post. While it is very possible that Martino's resignation is for the reasons stated, it is not beyond any realm of possibility that he was pressured to resign after having lost the support of many Catholics and priests in his own diocese. As can be also seen in St. Louis and Boston, once the bishop lost the support of his priests, he was moved.
In any case, it is all very interesting and I am sure that speculation will continue for a long time.
A Faithful Catholic