The latest from Scranton
“The diocese of Scranton requires a bishop who is at least physically vigorous. I am not that bishop.” *
The resignation of Bishops Martino and Dougherty is official. The Wilkes-Barre, PA Times Leader has the story, and (raw) video of the press conference. It sounds like “health reasons” is the official explanation, although rumors of disease were happily inaccurate.
After being introduced by the director of communications, Bishop Martino read a prepared statement. He described the financial and organizational problems he confronted when he became bishop in 2003. Then he said:
“For some time now there has not been a clear consensus among the clergy and people of the diocese of Scranton regarding my pastoral initiatives or my way of governance. This development has caused me great sorrow, resulting in bouts of insomnia and, at times, a crippling physical fatigue.”
Bishop Martino concluded, “”As is customary on an occasion like this, I seek forgiveness from anyone whom I may not have served adequately as bishop due to my human limitations.”
From the Times Leader:
[Philadelphia Cardinal Justin] Rigali praised Martino, Dougherty and Bishop Emeritus James Timlin, who stood in the back of the room during the press conference. Rigali named Monsignor Joseph Bambera, Pastor at St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Archibald, as his official representative in the Diocese, giving him the title “vicar general.”
Trivia question (to which I don’t know the answer): are there any other dioceses in the U.S. with two living bishops emeriti?
* Updated to correct wording, per video.