“No USCCB document is relevant in this diocese.”
The “Battle of the Bishops” get raucous…A remarkable story, via Whispers, about Scranton Bishop Joseph F. Martino, who has become one of the most vocal proponents of the “single-issue” theory of voting and a fierce opponent of voting Democratic. Martino’s recent letter on voting was the centerpiece of this NYTimes story, and according to this story in The Wayne Independent yesterday, Martino “walked the talk” as he crashed a parish forum on the election and rebuked the panelists (who seem to represent diverse political views) for a one-sided discussion that included the U.S. hierarchy’s voter guide, “Faithful Citizenship,” but not his letter. The money quotes:
“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. “There is one teacher in this diocese, and these points are not debatable.”
Martino apparently wanted the forum canceled. Many broke into applause at his “intervention,” while about a quarter of the audience walked out. Martino soon followed. Ugly for the parish, for the diocese, for civil discourse, and for the hierarchy, which seems increasingly divided. They are to meet after the election to discuss their collective response. This sort of witness is clearly not working. As Rocco notes, Martino wasn’t present at last November’s USCCB meeting in Baltimore which passed the Faithful Citizenship statement with 98% approval rate.