Bishop Martino resigns amid criticism
Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009
The leader of the Philadelphia Catholic diocese will be taking over the reigns of the Scranton Diocese for a while. Bishop Joseph Martino resigned as the head of the Scranton Diocese Monday, leaving Cardinal Joseph Rigali of Philadelphia to also oversee the Diocese to the north.
Most heads of diocese retain their post until the church requires them to retire at age 75. Bishop Martino is only 63.
Martino: There has not been a clear consensus among the clergy and the people regarding my way of governance, which has caused me great sorrow, resulting in bouts of insomnia and crippling physical fatigue.
Martino's controversial actions include barring then-Senator Joe Biden from receiving communion in Scranton for his abortion views, banning teacher unions in Catholic schools, and closing churches in the diocese. Catholic journalist Rocco Palmo says Martino was one of the least liked Catholic leaders in the country.
Palmo: Martino is a brilliant theologian. His brilliance is beyond question, but brilliance in the nuts and bolts and running a diocese – that's one skill he doesn't have.
Martino's replacement will be chosen by the Vatican. Cardinal Rigali of Philadelphia could influence that decision.