Pope accepts resignations of both bishops from Diocese of Scranton
Scranton, Pa., Aug 31, 2009 / 10:32 am (CNA).- An announcement from the Vatican this morning revealed that not only will the diocese’s bishop, Most Rev. Joseph Martino be stepping down due to health reasons, but Scranton’s auxiliary bishop will be retiring as well.
Last week, CNA reported that Bishop Martino, 63, would be resigning from his post in Scranton. The Vatican announced today that Pope Benedict has accepted the resignation of Martino in accordance with canon 401 § 2 of the Code of Canon Law which says: a diocesan Bishop who, because of illness or some other grave reason, has become unsuited for the fulfillment of his office, is earnestly requested to offer his resignation from office.”
Born in Philadelphia in 1946, Martino was ordained a priest in 1970 and was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia in 1996 before becoming Bishop of Scranton in 2003.
The Diocese of Scranton will not only lose Martino, but also one of its auxiliary bishops, Most Rev. John M. Dougherty, whose resignation was also accepted by the Vatican today. Dougherty, 77, submitted his resignation when he reached the age of 75.
Dougherty was born in Scranton in 1932. The Scranton auxiliary studied at the University of Notre Dame and was ordained a priest in 1957. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Scranton in 1995.
Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia will oversee the Diocese of Scranton as its apostolic administrator until a replacement is named by the Holy Father.