TIME Magazine’s liberal spin of the resignation of Bp. Martino (D. Scranton)

The resignation of Bp. Joseph Martino as Bishop of Scranton raised some eyebrows.  The eyebrows probably arched with the simultaneous resignation of the Auxiliary of Scranton.  Bishop Martino cited health problems.  I think we need to take him at his word.  Still, many will wonder if there isn’t a some other reason. 

Liberal pro-Catholics will try to spin this is such as way as to further their pro-abortion agenda.

From TIME with my emphases and comments:

Wednesday, Sep. 02, 2009
Was an Anti-Abortion Bishop Too Outspoken?
By Amy Sullivan [more on the writer at the end]

For suddenly departing politicans and CEOs, the standard line is to "spend time with my family." [A pretty good reason, ceteris paribus.] Now the Catholic church may have its own version of this unconvincing, stock answer. On Monday controversial Scranton Bishop Joseph Martino stunned longtime church-watchers by announcing that he was resigning his post because of problems with insomnia [No joke, as anyone who has experienced it can attest.] and fatigue.

The controversial Catholic leader, who has gained national prominence for his outspoken pro-life advocacy and aggressive criticism of pro-choice Democratic politicians, was still more than a decade away from reaching the Church’s automatic retirement age of 75. Martino’s abrupt resignation, along with the fact that he was not reassigned to another position within the Church, has some church insiders suggesting that the highly unusual move was far from voluntary [They would.] — and quite possibly the work of a Vatican that has been decidedly less openly critical of the Obama Administration. (See pictures of Obama meeting with the Pope in July.)  [What is the suggestion here…. that this was… what… quid pro quo?  Is there a whiff here of "won’t someone rid me of this troublesome priest" as a pre-condition for a meeting in Rome between POTUS and Pontiff?]

Whether Martino is leaving willingly or not, his departure means that one very vocal critic of the Administration has lost his bully pulpit. [Interesting word choice.  And, no, he has not lost his pulpit.  Bishop Martino is still a bishop and he will be active to a degree yet to be seen.] That may come as a relief to some within the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), ["some"… yah…] who have become increasingly disturbed by the politicization of some church leaders this year, most notably in protests against President Obama’s invitation to speak at Notre Dame and the role of some church officials at Senator Ted Kennedy’s funeral service and burial. (Read "After Kennedy’s Death: Silence From the Pope.)  [Now the agenda of Time starts to come to the fore.  As you read, watch the word choices.]

Martino seemed to take special pleasure in castigating institutions and individuals that he felt were failing to properly represent Catholic values. He could be abrasive, blasting Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania for inviting an openly gay writer and former Clinton Administration aide to speak. [Hang on… the problem was the open homosexual advocacy, not that the person in question once worked in the Clinton Administration.] The university, declared Martino, was "seriously failing in maintaining its Catholic identity." [Which was true.] Earlier this year, Martino threatened to shutter Scranton’s cathedral on St. Patrick’s Day if any local Irish-American organizations included pro-choice politicians in their celebrations. [You know what?  The cathedral is the bishop’s church in the diocese.  He has the responsibility to see that nothing improper happens there.  Should pro-choice politicians have the spotlight in the cathedral of a diocese?]

During the 2008 campaign, Martino focused particular attention on vice presidential nominee Joseph Biden, [the pro-abortion Catholic] the Scranton native and Catholic [pro-abortion] Democrat. The bishop declared that Biden would be denied communion if he tried to receive it at any church in the diocese, which covers the northeast quarter of the state — "I will be truly vigilant on this point," said Martino. And he warned his parishioners there would be dire consequences [and we get closer the the real problem, don’t we] for supporting Biden and the Democratic ticket. [The point is NOT support for Democrat as a Democrat, but rather support for a Democrat as a pro-abortion Catholic.  But TIME and the liberal establishment will always try to gloss that fact in favor of a politicized interpretation.] In October, Martino directed that a letter be read at all Sunday masses, charging that a vote for a pro-choice politician was the same as supporting "homicide."  [Cardinal von Galen preached against euthanasia, forced sterilizations and concentration camps and had his sermons distributed.  I suppose what he did was wrong.  Folks, this is what bishops do!] He also instructed priests to deny communion to anyone they believed publicly supported abortion rights. [NB: "publicly".  So… why that word "believed"?]

Finally, shortly before election day last fall, as David Gibson of AOL Politics Daily has reported, Martino showed up unannounced at a voter-education forum at a Honesdale parish to criticize organizers for discussing the comprehensive election guide endorsed by the USCCB instead of the letter he had drafted for the diocese on abortion. "No USCCB document is relevant in this diocese," Martino declared of the guide he objected to, which stated that there were a lot of issues, not just abortion, that Catholic voters should consider when making a decision about whom to support. "The USCCB doesn’t speak for me."  [A couple things here.  A bishop does not have to announce that he is coming to a parish in his diocese.  Also, Bp. Martino was absolutely correct that the USCCB doesn’t speak for him.  The USCCB does not override a bishop’s authority in a diocese.  The documents of the USCCB are not applicable in a diocese if a bishop has some other measure to apply.  What the paragraph here did is make it sound as if Bp. Martino was a renegade going against some body which had authority over him.  The USCCB does not have authority over individual bishops.]

Such comments didn’t endear him to the parishioners who organized the forum, or to his immediate superior, Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali. [No!  Card. Rigali was not Bp. Martino’s "superior" in the Diocese of Scranton.  As a matter of fact, were the Cardinal to have come into the Diocese of Scranton, he would be obliged to follow the bishop’s directives (except in the cases where the Church’s universal law gives Cardinal’s special privileges.)] As the head of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Rigali is just as opposed to abortion as Martino. But he is a much more politic figure. [There’s high praise!  And from TIME!] Many [many] think Martino finally went too far this spring when he started training his sights on Bob Casey, Jr., the Democratic Senator from Pennsylvania and a staunchly pro-life Catholic. [But… for what reason?] Casey’s late father, the former governor of Pennsylvania, is still revered by Catholics for speaking out against the Democratic Party’s support for abortion rights. But that didn’t stop Martino from sending Casey letters — also issued as press releases — warning the senator that his opposition to abortion was insufficient. In one such letter, Martino wrote that Casey "persist[s] formally in cooperating with the evil brought about by this hideous and unnecessary [abortion] policy" and suggested that the senator could be denied the Eucharist in the Scranton diocese[Still waiting for reasons.  TIME has told us that Casey is "staunchly pro-life".  What is the rest of the story?]

The situation came to a head this spring, when King’s College in Wilkes-Barre invited Casey to speak at its commencement ceremony. Objecting to Casey’s vote to confirm former Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius (a Catholic who supports abortion rights) [Yes… that is indeed troubling.  It isn’t about the confirmation of, say, the Secretary of Energy.  This was HEALTH and Human Services.] as Secretary for Health and Human Services, Martino said it was "sad and disappointing" that the college chose to honor a Democrat who could not "muster the courage" to oppose "the pro-abortion agenda.[Sounds about right to me.]

Two days before Casey’s address at King’s, Rigali issued a statement "applauding" the senator for introducing legislation to promote policies that encourage women facing unplanned pregnancies to carry their babies to term. In the highly ritualized world of Church communication, the Cardinal’s announcement was akin to a public smackdown of Martino. One month later, Martino was summoned to Rome, and submitted his resignation[Note the logical fallacy here.  This is a post hoc ergo propter hoc argument: Bp. Martino goes after Casey and Sebelius and therefore he is "summoned" to Rome.  We just don’t know, and neither does TIME, that Bp. Martino was "summoned" to Rome. Bishops, in the case of need, can always go to Rome for serious consultation.  Thinking that it is time to resign for health reasons is a serious reason to go to Rome.  But it not in the interests of TIME that Bp. Martino be taken at his word.  Note also that TIME is pitting the "more politic" Cardinal Rigali, whom TIME erroneously called Bp. Martino’s "superior", against the former bishop of Scranton.  TIME will pit one bishop against another…]

[Watch this conflation of events….] Martino’s departure comes just weeks after the Archbishop of Santa Fe became the first Church leader to speak out publicly about the increasingly political behavior of a minority of bishops within the conference. [The usual liberal talking point: those bishops who are speaking about against support of abortion, especially from Catholics, are being political.  Speaking out against abortion is "political behavior".  Also, they are a "minority".  You are supposed to conclude that these bishops are unreasonable cranks who have to me reined in, even forced out of their sees.] Archbishop Michael Sheehan told the National Catholic Reporter on August 12 that he spoke out during the bishops’ meeting in June, arguing that they risked "isolat[ing ]ourselves from the rest of America by our strong views on abortion and the other things. We need to be building bridges, not burning them." [See how "politic" Sheehan is?]

Building bridges [which effectively means "SHUT UP!"] has also been the public posture of the Vatican when it comes to the Obama Administration. [For heaven’s sake.  You cannot draw a parallel between what Holy See does and what a diocesan bishop is tasked to do.] The Vatican remained silent on the University of Notre Dame’s decision to invite Obama to speak. [Yes… to the shame of the Secretariat of State.] And although Pope Benedict expressed his disappointment with Obama’s support for abortion rights when the two met in July, a Vatican spokesman went out of his way to state that the Holy Father was "very impressed" by the Democratic president. (Read "When Benedict Meets Barack.")  [See what damage is done back soft-peddling anything with the secular press?  It seems like a good idea to be smooth and conciliatory at the moment, but down the line the secularists will take what you said – or didn’t say – and use it as grist for their own mill.]

[Again.. watch the word choice…] But that approach is clearly anathema to Martino, [TIME wants to suggest the bad old days in the easily steered minds of the less than savvy reader.] who has no regrets and no doubts. "My devotion to the sanctity of life is a long-standing and visceral principle of my standard of acting and being," he said at Monday’s press conference in Scranton. "We must work to overturn a profound cancer in our society, this sin of frankly murdering 50 million. We have become quite blase about that, and that scares me very much."   [Actually, this was a very good note to end on.  I am not sure that TIME knows who clearly this rings with the truth.  The writer may have thought that this quote made Martino sound like an extremist.]

 

I can hear it now.

"But Father! But Father!", leaps from the lip of you who are soft on the TIME spin of these events.  "You are being unfair!  The writer, Amy Sullivan is probably just an objective reporter sticking to the facts as she sees them.  You are twisting her words!"

Oh?

Who is Amy Sullivan?

BeliefNet has this little bio about the writer, Amy Sullivan with my emphases:

Amy Sullivan is an editor of The Washington Monthly. She has written about religion and politics for publications including the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, and The Washington Post, and has served as a commentator for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, NPR’s Morning Edition, and other news outlets. Previously, Sullivan served as a legislative assistant to U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle and as editorial director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. She holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Harvard Divinity School.

Washington Monthly has this little bio:

Amy Sullivan is the nation editor for TIME magazine, where she directs political coverage and the magazine’s polling operation. Her book on Democrats and religion, The Party Faithful, will be published in February 2008 by Scribner. Sullivan’s work has appeared in publications including the Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, and was included in The Best Political Writing 2006. She is a frequent guest on radio and television talk shows. Previously, Sullivan served as editor of the Washington Monthly, and as editorial director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. She holds degrees from the University of Michigan and Harvard Divinity School, and pursued doctoral studies in sociology at Princeton University.

Her liberal pedigree thus established, did you see what she wrote in TIME about the "quiet faith" of late Sen. Edward Kennedy?  It is a paen to the privatization of one’s faith, shelving of one’s faith when acting in the public square.

Bp. Martino is a bishop for whom Catholic identity includes accepting the Church’s teachings and then acting accordingly according to his state in life, including acting on Church teachings openly and actively in the public square. 

We will be seeing more and more bishops like him in the future.

That idea has the liberal Catholic abortion collaborators in panic mode.

 

TIME Magazine’s liberal spin of the resignation of Bp. Martino (D. Scranton)
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57 Responses to TIME Magazine’s liberal spin of the resignation of Bp. Martino (D. Scranton)

  1. MikeM says:

    The fact that Martino is not being moved to another position is, to me, an indication that he really is leaving of his own will. From what I’ve seen, when the Vatican wants to shut up someone with the stature of a Bishop, he’s transfered to a job in Rome with a nice office or something like that.

  2. Jordanes says:

    If it were for the Post Hoc fallacy, Sullivan’s editorial would have been about 95% shorter.

  3. Supertradmom says:

    It seems to me that Time Magazine should get out of the commentating on religion business, as the information is either fallacious or banal. What has happened to real journalistic research, rather than innuendo and frankly, gossip?

  4. kester says:

    Good riddance to Martino! How foolish can you be? There is a BIG difference between being pro-choice and pro-abortion. Time to wake up Father – maybe the Vatican will get rid of you next. One can only pray.

  5. MichaelJ says:

    kester,

    What is the difference? Seriously.

  6. Grabski says:

    Kester Not sure what you mean. The Democrats think that abortion is a ‘public good’, to be paid for with public funds. Forcing people to pay is 180% from being ‘pro choice’, where my right to choose is respected. It is about as pro abortion as there can be, and Old ‘Teddy’ was at the front of the line to make us pay. Don’t be afraid of the truth!

  7. Grabski says:

    Sorry, 180% is to mean 180degrees!

  8. Jackie L says:

    Was Senator Rick Santorum corrected by Bishop Martino when he endorsed pro-abortion Senator Arlen Spector over pro-life Pat Toomey in ’04? It seems to me that that would be similar to voting to confirm the HHS secretary.

  9. tm30 says:

    Kester = Amy Sullivan?

  10. Scott W. says:

    There is a BIG difference between being pro-choice and pro-abortion.

    Pro-abortion=it’s ok to kill innocent humans.
    Pro-Choice=it’s ok to kill innocent humans. Ironically, the innocent human in this case doesn’t get a choice.

    Classic illustration of a distinction without a difference.

  11. tm30 says:

    Dream headline: “Vatican Appoints Father Euteneuer Bishop of Scranton”

    You know, just to watch heads explode in the MSM.

  12. Many years ago, Time Magazine was considered a paragon of Catholic media in this country. It was run by Henry Luce and Clare Booth Luce, a Caconvert ot Catholicism and the author of several books as well as the screenplay for “Come to the Stable” (a movie about the nuns of Regina Laudis Monastery).

    It seems to me that the liberal media likes to tar and feather almost anyone that stands up for what is right in society. Bishop Martino’s resignation could have been for any number of reasons and yet the liberal media automatically assumes that Bishop Martino resigned because of some pact signed between the Vatican and the current administration.

    All I have to say about this is, “Give me a break!” No person in his right mind would believe such clap trap.

    Supertradmom is right. Time should stop reporting on relgiion if they don’t have anything positive to say.

  13. medievalist says:

    “TIME will pit one bishop against another…”

    I didn’t realise that TIME writers had subscriptions to the Tablet.

  14. tm30 says:

    Pro-Life = “I am my brother’s keeper”

    Pro-Choice = “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

    Hope that clears things up a bit.

  15. james says:

    The Holy See should publically respond to this garbage.
    In particular, to the accusations that the Vatican is
    in cahoots with the current administration is simply
    untrue.

    This rubbish is “journalism”? I suppose it is, these
    days. Wonder if Time would run a response from the Holy
    See?? Again, there really needs to be a response to some
    of this. A public position has to be expressed. Not just
    on this issue, but on a few others. That said, I believe
    those public positions will be public in the not-so-
    distant future. Which is good for the Church.

  16. Jordanes says:

    Scott W., you’re wrong. “Pro-choice” doesn’t mean “it’s ok to kill innocent humans.” It means “it’s ok to CHOOSE to kill innocent humans.” Get it straight, man!

    :-D

  17. tm30 says:

    Being pro-choice or pro-abortion is simply a matter of proximity to the clinic. “Pro-choice” is merely “Pro-abortion” from a distance. Intellectually, pro-choicers are cooperating in the act.

  18. Scott W. says:

    Scott W., you’re wrong. “Pro-choice” doesn’t mean “it’s ok to kill innocent humans.” It means “it’s ok to CHOOSE to kill innocent humans.” Get it straight, man!

    I stand corrected.

  19. Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

    No one would describe this piece as other than unfortunate, at the very least. It speaks more to the author’s ignorance and cynicism (I will not say malice) than anything else.

    I wonder, though, whether we have not perhaps been airing a little too much of our dirty laundry in public, i.e. using issues legitimately before the public as vehicles for the conduct of the debate over our Catholic identity? [?]

    I do not mean to say that we ought not engage, and strongly, in the national discourse.

    Perhaps we have been doing so in a way that creates too many opportunities for those who would see us excluded altogether, to divide and weaken us? [Okay… perhaps you might outline for us what the alternative might be?]

    Just a thought, or the beginning of one.

    Best,
    C.

  20. Grabski says:

    Jackie L Rick Santorum is not a member of the Diocese of Scranton, he is from Pittsburgh. He did not fall under Bp Martino’s jurisdiction at that point.

  21. Konichiwa says:

    But Father! Father! What you’re saying is good stuff! :D

  22. Jackie L says:

    Grabski – Is Casey from the Scranton Diocese? I know Biden has a history there, but was never under Martino’s jurisdiction, and he was told not to recieve communion. If Santorum was campaigning there and not under Bp. Martino’s jurisdiction how is this different?

  23. gloriainexcelsis says:

    I think that conducting the debate over our Catholic identy in public, via public issues, is, while perhaps uncomfortable, might be the way to wake up so-so “Catholics,” as well as educating non-Catholics to true Church teaching. We just need more Bishop Martinos AND a louder, non-equivocating voice from “the Vatican.”

  24. Dear Fr. Zuhlsdorf,

    I will certainly make a stab at it, though it will have to wait ’til tomorrow. I’m to dinner with friends in a short while.

    Just to be clear, though: I am only trying to think this out, and looking for help in thinking it through.

    Best,
    C.

  25. Supertradmom says:

    For Chris,

    Sadly, the Truth is not always pleasant and is frequently divisive. In a time of real persecution, it is not the “we” who divide, but the Holy Spirit Himself who separates the sheep from the goats. Our time is no different than the crises of Albigensianism, Arianism, Donatism, the Protestant Revolt, etc. If one lives in Europe and sees close-up the ravages of the histories of religious civil wars, such as in England, one realizes that it is necessary to stay awake and sharpen one’s wits (reason)in the light of faith. This is our duty as adult Catholics. To pretend the divisions are not there is at best, naive, and at worst, deceptive.

  26. Dr. Eric says:

    I for one would like to see the points that Father has “fisked” in red put into a letter to the editor and sent to TIME. It’s time for that magazine to go!

  27. jo seno says:

    I say we bring back burning… but thats just me.

  28. tm30 says:

    “I wonder, though, whether we have not perhaps been airing a little too much of our dirty laundry in public, i.e. using issues legitimately before the public as vehicles for the conduct of the debate over our Catholic identity?

    Perhaps we have been doing so in a way that creates too many opportunities for those who would see us excluded altogether, to divide and weaken us?”

    To borrow from Thomas Jefferson, I would say that the Tree of Life needs to be watered with a little righteous anger every now and again. We learned (and are continuing to learn) a brutal lesson about trying to keep our dirty laundry our own dirty little secret (read: sexual abuse scandal). The world despises us by definition, because we are not of this world. And frankly, we look weaker as a group of mealy-mouthed instruments of Realpolitik, than we do in having a public squabble that demonstrates passion for the immutable Truths handed down by the Magisterium from Day One. As for being taken advantage of by a perception of division, if I’m a burglar, I’m not going to walk into the house where there’s a racket going on – but I’ll steal swiftly into the one where everyone’s fast asleep…

  29. Grabski says:

    Casey is a Scrantonian, as am I and as was Joe Biden. I do not think it was an issue w/ Santorum ever.

  30. ssoldie says:

    Hey Kester—- abortion is MURDER, common sense, oh! where ,oh! where has it gone. I myself am ‘anti-abortion’ or ‘anti-murder’ not pro-life, this is like the seamless garmet Bernardin espoused and has been one of the crappy confusions we have had for the last 36+ years, say it like it is either you are: anti-murder or for-murder

  31. stgemma_0411 says:

    I had the privilege when I was doing my minor seminary (College) at St. Charles Borromeo to be able to have a few conversations with Bp. Martino. He is a man who takes his priesthood and episcopacy seriously. As seriously as one should take it when their own immortal soul is on the hook for the 10,000 or more souls that are under your canonical jurisdiction (both Christian and Non-Christian). He admitted on many occasion to the public as well as in his resignation address that he is retiring due to insomnia and fatigue. When I was assigned to a parish in the Arlington Diocese for a summer, I happened to be under the tutelage of one Fr. X (Name protected for obvious reasons). This was a priest of God who tirelessly spent so much time dedicated to his parish that he too had to remove himself from his pastor-ship of the parish in order to even fulfill his job as priest, let alone pastor. The first week I was at his parish he sat me down and had me read 2 things. A section from Alphonsus Liguori’s “The Dignity and Duty of the Priest” as well as a book on the Canonical rights and obligations of the Pastor and Parochial Vicar. Amazing reading for me and really instilled the sense of how serious a job it is for those who take it as seriously as these men have shown they do.

    I had not one hesitation in believe Bp Martino for his reasons as to why he retired. It only saddens me that so many are taking advantage of his tireless and selfless giving and turning it into a political tool to try and divide the Church further and further. Shame on this author as well as others that I have seen write about this with recklessness and insincerity.

  32. P.McGrath says:

    Two things:

    Our friends at Catholic Culture ask whether Bp. Martino was pushed, and they conclude, yeah, he was pushed.

    Key graf:

    “Still it is not easy to dismiss the perception that Bishop Martino was removed because he was regarded as excessively militant in his defense of the right to life. Other American bishops who have alienated priests and laity in their dioceses, provoked canonical lawsuits, criticized their brother bishops, and still remained in office. The highly publicized removal of Bishop Martino– with only the barest of gestures to camouflage the real cause– is a rare and remarkable occurrence.”

    Second: Back to the Amy Sullivan story: “(See pictures of Obama meeting with the Pope in July.)

    I know I posted about this in this combox, and anywhere else I could post it: It was a CRITICAL ERROR for the Vatican to allow pictures of the Benedict-Obama meeting to be released, and for precisely this reason — the message of that image says, “The Holy Father approves of the Obama policy on the life issues.” And that is PRECISELY how Sullivan is spinning it. Again, I’m not saying they should not have met; such meetings are part of the pope’s job description. But that particular image does immense damage to the Pope’s advocacy for life.

  33. kester says:

    Get with it people — HE WAS FIRED!! Martino was summoned to the Vatican and was FIRED. I guess the Vatican did not see him as fit to serve the Church or be an appropriate pastor to his flock. [You don’t know that. Let me put this another way… you don’t know that.]

  34. Timbot2000 says:

    We just have to wait and see who his replacement is…..the enemies of the church may come to miss Bs. Martino.
    Also, when one falls, another sometimes rises in his place. Martino was vocal and direct, but perhaps lacked the fighting spirit and physical fortitude to be able to carry on the fight…I know another, younger, bishop though, who may turn out to be their worst nightmare. You know of whom I speak……

  35. Scott W. says:

    Get with it people—!

    What’s with the barking orders? Any chance you could try talking to us instead of shouting at us?

  36. kester says:

    Scott,
    Not shouting at you at all. I am just expressing my frustration of this groups narrow-sightedness and ignorance.

  37. bruno says:

    “I guess.” by kester.

    Both of your comments seem to me, to be just loud guessing. What gives?

    bruno

  38. Scott W. says:

    I am just expressing my frustration of this groups narrow-sightedness and ignorance.

    The frustration I can believe, but you haven’t established one iota of your contention that “this group” is short-sighted and ignorant. You not liking something =/= ignorance on our part.

  39. PomeroyJohn says:

    Wow, once the good bishop recovers, maybe he’d like to come to our little diocese (86,000 catholics vs almost 1/3 of a million in Scranton). Our bishop turned 75 last spring and we are ready for a change.

    John

  40. Girgadis says:

    I do not believe this bishop was removed. I do believe that the lack of support, coupled with a growing chorus of criticism, drove him to the physical problems that forced him to resign. It is exhausting to feel you are carrying the fight all alone, even when you know you are right.

  41. QUAERITUR: I am sure that you, like I, have heard and even said something like, “Being a bishop must be a terrible thing in these difficult times. I don’t envy them. I can’t imagine how they do it all.”

    Isn’t it plausible that some bishops, finally, can’t do it all? That their health would decline to the point where they cannot fulfill their mandate?

    We know being a bishops is very taxing. Is it not likely that, among the hundreds of bishops in the USA, perhaps a couple might simply “wear out” and resign?

    In that case, is not the bishop who steps down rather to be praised for doing so?

  42. markomalley says:

    Have any of you all seen the press conference where the announcement is made? It is available here: http://dioceseofscrantonarchive.org/video/press%20conference.wmv

    It will be very interesting to see who is named as his successor (IMHO / YMMV)

  43. Traductora says:

    While Amy Sullivan focuses mainly on the abortion issue, another thing that Bp Martino was very strong on was orthodoxy in Catholic colleges and particularly orthodox Catholic teaching on sexuality and reproduction (no “Gay Days” at Catholic colleges in his diocese, for example). I would suspect that a lot of pressure came from that quarter, too, and there are unfortunately some of the old guard at the USCCB who are probably a little more lavender than they should be. I don’t think they got Rome to “fire” him, but I do think his position must have been considerably weakened with Rome because he was obviously not getting much support from his brother bishops. Some people can stand that, some people can’t.

  44. Grabski says:

    Kester You wrote “HE WAS FIRED”. Ok, give the story! Let us know what you know; who did you talk with and how did it happen. How did the Pope fire him, and why wasn’t he just moved to a different place. And what was Bp Dougherty’s issue?

    Inquiring minds want to know what you know. Share with us; let us know.

  45. danidunn says:

    Who reads Time? Or, for that matter, Newsweek? Or, any of those other rags?

  46. Dear Supertradmom,

    Allow me to address your comments, offered “for [me]”, seriatim.

    You write:

    1. Sadly, the Truth is not always pleasant and is frequently divisive.

    R: I do not need you to tell me this, thanks much.

    2. In a time of real persecution, it is not the “we” who divide, but the Holy Spirit Himself who separates the sheep from the goats.

    R: This is dangerous ground, to say the least. In the first place, the separation of which you speak is to come at the end of days. The attempt to understand the behavior of some of our brethren, however craven, as indicative of final exclusion from the Church, is precisely the Donatist heresy of which you speak below.

    3. Our time is no different than the crises of Albigensianism, Arianism, Donatism, the Protestant Revolt, etc.

    R: I really wonder how much you know about the crises you mention. I wonder, because I happen to know quite a bit about them, and I know that the crises you have listed are so different, each from all the others, as to make comparison useless for the purposes of critical discourse: albigensianism was a bizarre syncretistic folk religion that never threatened the vast majority of Christendom; Arianism was a christological doctrine (erroneous, but subtle and difficult to spot as such because of the lack of developed theological vocabulary and analytical/critical techniques) that spread largely as a result of lingering effects of a faulty Pagan religious order of empire; Donatism grew out of the desire for revenge and the failure to recognize the Church as a hospital for the sick, rather than a resort for the pure – it ultimately denied also the mysterious working of grace through the sacraments and the unique Lordship of Christ, who alone has final jurisdiction over souls; the Protestant revolt, as you call it, was brought about as much by the base morality of professional churchmen throughout Europe and the theological ineptitude and hard-headedness of certain Popes, as it was by power-mad princelings and lunatic monks. “Our time” has something of each of these in it, to be sure. It has this in common with every other time. This makes your observation critically useless.

    4. If one lives in Europe and sees close-up the ravages of the histories of religious civil wars, such as in England, one realizes that it is necessary to stay awake and sharpen one’s wits (reason)in the light of faith.

    R: I do live in Europe. My ancestors fought in those wars (mostly on the continent, by the way). I have written a book explaining the enduring consequences of Westphalia, and the difference in America: in America, the common morality of all God-fearing men made it possible to construct a society in which no one need be excluded from full participation in public life on the basis of his creed. In Europe, any public expression of creed has been, since the middle of the 17th century, at most tolerated in practice and disqualifying in principle from the same.

    5. This is our duty as adult Catholics. To pretend the divisions are not there is at best, naive, and at worst, deceptive.

    R(1): Yes, it is.
    R(2): I am not pretending the divisions are not there. Indeed, this discussion is predicated on the empirically verifiable fact of a crisis of Catholic identity. I am concerned with how to overcome that crisis and heal the division.

    Best,
    C.

  47. Gail F says:

    Our auxiliary bishop, who recently died (RIP), resigned about two years ago “for health reasons.” That’s all anyone ever said, officially. He had at least two massive strokes and was completely incapacitated. I’d call that a “health reason.” Sure, there are times when such a term (or perhaps a claim not to be able to sleep at night) is a hedge. And then there are times when a “health reason” is really a “health reason.”

    The one good thing about that article is that I was not aware of everything Bishop Martino had done, and how much opposition he must have been fighting all the time. Bishop Martino, you are my hero!

  48. Publius says:

    I like how in this democratized vision of the Church, these people like to revel in the (supposed) authority of the USCCB over the bishops, but when you take it to a higher authority (ie the Pope), suddenly authority is a baaaaaad thing. Gotta love it.

  49. robtbrown says:

    Good riddance to Martino! How foolish can you be? There is a BIG difference between being pro-choice and pro-abortion. Time to wake up Father – maybe the Vatican will get rid of you next. One can only pray.
    Comment by kester

    Wasn’t the Confederacy pro-choice about slavery? Why should that evil not have been tolerated but the present evil of abortion be tolerated?

  50. robtbrown says:

    2. In a time of real persecution, it is not the “we” who divide, but the Holy Spirit Himself who separates the sheep from the goats.

    R: This is dangerous ground, to say the least. In the first place, the separation of which you speak is to come at the end of days. The attempt to understand the behavior of some of our brethren, however craven, as indicative of final exclusion from the Church, is precisely the Donatist heresy of which you speak below.
    Comment by Chris Altieri

    Disagree. Although the final separation comes at the end of time, the beginning of such separation is found temporally because the life of grace is the beginnig of eternal life.

    I suggest you read the 1 John 2, esp 19-20:

  51. robtbrown says:

    Get with it people—HE WAS FIRED!! Martino was summoned to the Vatican and was FIRED. I guess the Vatican did not see him as fit to serve the Church or be an appropriate pastor to his flock.
    Comment by kester

    Your comments manifest ignorance of how the Vatican works.

  52. Supertradmom says:

    Thank you, robtbrown. What I was attempting to state was that the liberal Church is heretical, with regard to universal salvation, the denial of Original Sin, indifference, keeping religion out of the market place and out of politics, relativism, eirenism and the entire list of modernist, as well as some traditionalist heresies. In response, I have taught Catholic doctrine and the heresies I listed above, in great detail at the college level. I am not an “end-times” advocate by any stretch of the imagination, only one who knows the long history of the Church with regard to heretical groups. Are we not the “Church Militant”, a phrase the liberals do not use. One of the biggest problems in attempting to build bridges, which I must and try to do, is that of language. We must be clear on our definitions, as taught and clarified by Holy Mother Church.

  53. Supertradmom says:

    Sorry to add, but we have had Internet connection problems.

    In attempting to draw comparisons with other times, I am stating that the comparisons hold, as many liberals Catholics are Pelagianists, semi-Pelagianists, Marxists, and other “isms”, making common language difficult. The Donatists and the Arians succeeded in taking over the academies, thus spreading errors, just as is happening among so-called Catholic theologians in so-called Catholic universities and colleges. As to personal experience, among others, I attempted dialogue for six years at Notre Dame, where the Church, the Pope, religious orders, and pro-life Catholics were openly mocked by some professors and many students. To find a common vocabulary is extremely difficult and mostly, impossible.

  54. joy10878 says:

    I am very sad about the resignation of Bishop Martino. I do find it interesting that Cardinal Rigali will be filling in for him until there is another Bishop appointed. I thought there was a standard policy set up for just such occasions? Why is this one different?

  55. robtbrown says:

    I am very sad about the resignation of Bishop Martino. I do find it interesting that Cardinal Rigali will be filling in for him until there is another Bishop appointed. I thought there was a standard policy set up for just such occasions? Why is this one different?
    Comment by joy10878

    It is not unusual to appoint a bishop of another diocese as apostolic administrator, esp if there is no auxiliary.

  56. Andrew Hollingsworth says:

    Dear Father

    I realise that the Archbishop of Philadelphia is not the superior of the Bishop of Scranton by virtue of the structure of the Bishops Conference but is Scranton not a Suffragan See of the Metropolitan See of Philadelphia. On that basis is not the comment true. Where events have taken a turn for the worse because of the unfortunate behaviour of diocesan bishops in Scotland and Ireland it has appeared to be a matter for the Metropolitan of the Province. I am not suggesting any parallel with Scranton in terms of the underlying situation.

    Regards

    Andrew Hollingsworth

  57. Jordanes says:

    Andrew Hollingsworth asked: I realise that the Archbishop of Philadelphia is not the superior of the Bishop of Scranton by virtue of the structure of the Bishops Conference but is Scranton not a Suffragan See of the Metropolitan See of Philadelphia. On that basis is not the comment true.

    No, it’s not. A suffragan bishop is not “mid-level management” in a corporation answering to a departmental vice president. A metropolitan has the authority to consecrate the bishops in his province. But those bishops do not answer to him for how they run their dioceses or how they teach the faithful entrusted to their care. A metropolitan has no more authority in the diocese of one of his suffragans than the suffragan has in the metropolian’s archdiocese.

    There’s simply no “propter hoc” in the fact that Cardinal Rigali said something positive about Casey after Bishop Martino said something critical.