Bishop-elect Joseph Bambera
Vatican City, Feb 23, 2010 / 11:59 am (CNA).- Pope Benedict appointed a replacement today for the diocese left vacant by the unexpected resignation of Bishop Joseph Martino last August. Msgr. Joseph C. Bambera was chosen by the Holy Father to lead the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania as its 10th bishop.
The bishop-elect is currently the pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas parish at Archbald and of St. Mary of Czestochowa parish at Eynon. With the Diocese of Scranton vacant, Msgr. Bambera served as a delegate to Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philidelpia and helped run the daily operations of the diocese.
Bishop Martino retired at the age of 63 last year following what some called a contentious tenure at the helm of the Scranton diocese.
Though the bishop cited “crippling physical fatigue” as his primary reason for stepping down, he also stated in a press conference last Aug. 31 that disunity and a lack of “clear consensus” among the clergy about his “way of governance” were also to blame for his resignation. Bishop Martino was known as a staunch pro-life advocate and for his critiques of Sen. Bob Casey Jr., whom he urged to be more outspoken against abortion.
The new bishop-elect, Msgr. Bambera, was born in Carbondale, Pennsylvania and, according to the Scranton Times-Tribune, grew up attending Catholic schools in the area. Msgr. Bambera was ordained a priest in 1983 and was made a Prelate of Honor by Pope John Paul II in 1997.
The date of Msgr. Bambera’s ordination Mass has yet to be announced.
Looks like a fine appointment. I am happy for the people of Scranton.
By the way, I notice that in the article they use the term “Ordination Mass.” Perhaps because I’m older I am used to the terminology Consecration when
referring to the ceremony for elevating one to the office of bishop. Does anyone know when the terminology changed?
A CWNews piece yesterday suggested that diocesan budget problems may also have provided a reason for Bp. Martino’s departure. A local newspaper article mentions a $15M deficit for the year, including $7M in bad debts owed by parishes.
He will need our prayers.
Any Bishop stepping into a new position needs prayers….and an excellent sense of humor. Particularly in instances where there was a long-time Bishop proceeding them, there are many habits that are hard to break, and established practices that seem to have the force of law. Our current Bishop is now 4 years serving and is only just now beginning to get a handle on things….
Joe’s a good guy and I’m pleased with the appointment. He’s going to have his hands full after years of Timlin’s head in the sand. Martino got a bad rap, though he was a more than a bit on the odd side; he was prayerful and solid in the faith. What Scranton needs now more than anything else is 1.) more priests; 2.) more parishioners; 3.) more money. NE PA has been on the downturn since the mines flooded in the 50’s; there is no real industry there (I grew up there and was a seminarian) and all the little old Polish ladies who kept the parishes alive are dead or dying. It’s all very sad since the region is so beautiful (strip mines/culm banks aside).