By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Bishop Joseph F. Martino, 63, the courageous and outspoken pro-life bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, has resigned due to health concerns.
Speaking at a news conference this morning, Bishop Martino said he had been suffering from insomnia and crippling physical fatigue. “As the song says, you have to know when to hold them, and when to fold them,” the bishop said. “And I think it’s time to move on.”
A few hours before the news conference, the Vatican press office announced that it had accepted the resignation of Bishop Martino along with Scranton’s Auxiliary Bishop, John M. Doughtery, 77, who had submitted his letter requesting retirement two years ago.
Bishop Martino made headlines often during his six year tenure in Scranton for insisting that Catholic colleges and politicians uphold the faith, and for faithfully instructing his flock on the proper way to vote in these contentious times.
The Bishop asked forgiveness from any one who felt he failed the diocese due to his “human limitations.”
Msgr. Joseph Bambera, pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Mary of Czestochowa parishes in nearby Archbald will oversee the day-to-day operations of the diocese. Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Phildelphia, will serve as the head of the diocese until a replacement is found.
Bishop Martino will now become the “Retired Bishop of Scranton” and plans to reside in nearby Dalton where he will continue to help the diocese in whatever way is needed.
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