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Coverage of the resignation of the Bishop of Scranton from PAHOMEPAGE.com and the news team at WBRE, Channel 28.
The reason cited for the resignation of the bishop was his health. I am sure that there is much more to the story. As I have stated in the past, and have provided proof from the Diocese of Scranton’s own paperwork, “health issues” are a convenient excuse for removal of priests from their positions. It seems that it can apply to the bishop as well. It is tough to listen to him say how well he feels and then a few minutes later lament that health is the reason for his stepping down. As with anything from this diocese, there are many mixed messages and many unanswered questions.
Like many others, I await for the real story of this resignation to come out.
Video of this morning’s press conference announcing the acceptance of Bishop Martino’s resignation by the Pope is available from the TimesLeader Website.
Comments by Cardinal Rigali of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and outgoing Bishop of Scranton, Joseph Martino can be heard along with a brief question and answer period.
I will post my comments later. Some of us still have jobs.
On the Diocese of Scranton website is an announcement regarding a press conference next week, presumably to announce the resignation of Bishop Martino.
The Announcement reads:
Diocese of Scranton To Make Announcement
The Diocese of Scranton will conduct a news conference this Monday, Aug. 31, at 10 a.m. The news conference is not open to the public, and the location cannot be disclosed.
The news conference will be broadcast live on Catholic Television: CTV. Afterward, a video of the news conference can be viewed on the Diocesan website at www.dioceseofscranton.org
There will be no comment from the Diocese prior to the news conference.
The comment boards on the Scranton Times-Tribune website are chock full of posts, mostly in favor of the Patriarch of the Electric City’s impending departure. There are still apologists and staunch supporters of the bishop that are placing blame on “liberals” for Martino’s resignation. Funny, looking back over his tenure one can find all kinds of evidence that he was the architect of his own demise.
One of the biggest discussion points in the comment threads I have read today imply that he is leaving for health reasons. Flags should be going up on this idea. When a priest in this diocese disappears for “health” reasons, there is usually something a lot more sinister at work. Father Robert Gibson, the man who raped me when I was 13, was removed for “health” reasons. I am sure that if you go down the list of the notorious priests of the Diocese of Scranton, at least the list that is public knowledge, you will find all kinds of retirements and early departures for “health” reasons.
The Diocese is keeping the location of the news conference a secret and will not allow the public to attend. Why be open and forthright when you can be secretive and closed off? Abuse has always flourished in an environment of secrecy. Abuse has always thrived in the Diocese of Scranton.
I have some questions for the Chancellor of the Diocese. Really, you think waiting until Monday to explain what is going on is a good idea? You don’t think that others will get control of this story? In an information vacuum, other ideas will take hold and will be hard to displace because you have waited so long to tell people. Are you afraid that an angry mob of torch bearing peasants will march on the cathedral? Or is it a simple case of not yet knowing which lie to tell that may seem to placate the masses?
Perhaps the Bully of Wyoming Avenue is busy preparing his farewell encyclical. My advise to the bishop is this, don’t go away mad, just go away!
Bishop Dougherty, Mr. Earley and Mr. Genello should tender their resignations right along with the boss. Bishop Timlin should also borrow a pick-up truck, load up the La-Z-Boy and move on out to the country. Now is the time to clean house in Scranton!
This morning, the Scranton Times Website had an article indicating that Bishop Joseph Martino was going to resign his position as Bishop of Scranton early next week.
Still no information from the Chancery or Bill “the mouthpiece” Genello on the reasons for the “Bully of Wyoming Avenue’s” abrupt departure. The Bishop has already started moving his personal belongings to the Fatima Renewal Center in Dalton, Pennsylvania.
Cardinal Rigali of Philadelphia will guide the direction of the Diocese until a new bishop is appointed by the Vatican to fill the vacancy left by Martino’s impending resignation.
Why is he resigning? We impatiently wait for the news. The longer the diocese waits to explain all this, the less credible they will be. Of course, to many of us, the Diocese of Scranton is not very credible to begin with.
With a change in leadership will there be a change in the diocese’s policy of denying, lying and deceiving parishioner? Will there be a house cleaning of all those that hid pedophiles in the diocese for years? Will the new Bishop try to fix the damage caused by Martino, Timlin and others before? I would like to see the new Bishop address the problems head on and honestly. I just don’t think that the Vatican is capable of appointing an honest man of god to the job.
More information to come as it becomes available.
Bishop Martino, this is your long distance dedication:
A report published on the Scranton Times-Tribune website and discussed on the National Catholic Reporter today has Bishop Joseph Martino, the patriarch of the Diocese of Scranton, moving out of the bishop’s residence near St Peter’s Cathedral in downtown Scranton. He is alleged to be taking up residence the Fatima Renewal Center near Dalton, Pennsylvania. Just when I get accustomed to calling him the Bully of Wyoming Avenue, he changes his address!
It strikes me that Bishop Martino has alienated so many groups (teachers, parishioners of parishes he has closed, democrats, victims of his pedophile priests, parade organizers, etc…) that there may be no one left in the Electric City who can tolerate his presence.
The reason for the move is yet to be explained. His mouthpiece, Bill Genello has not put the spin out on this one yet. In the absence of an explanation, no matter how contrived by the diocesan spin machine, the mind is left to come up with any number of reasons for the change of residence. I found it entertaining that the Bishop had some guy in a pick-up truck swing by for a desk, an easy chair and some other items to take up to Dalton. I makes him look just like a regular guy calling a buddy for a hand moving his stuff.
The question that remains is why is the shepherd abandoning his flock for the suburbs? Is this the result of a vote of “No Confidence” from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church? Rumors of a need for a change are mentioned in the National Catholic Reporter article. Have they had enough of the bishop’s antics? Is there some medical reason for his departure? While I am no fan of this Bishop, I do hope, sincerely, that this move is not the result of a serious medical condition.
Or is it something more sinister. When Father Gibson, my perp, was pulled from his last parish he was sent to a “renewal center”. You know the kind of place that caters to priests that have committed some crime or have become addicted to alcohol, drugs, alter boys, etc… Since he is not being moved out of state, like they have done with other priests with the intention of keeping them one step ahead of the sheriff, I am assuming it is to recalibrate him.
I have to admit, I would love for this to be the result of a U.S. Attorney probe into the Diocese’s activities to commit fraud, hide felons, and endanger children. But it could just as easily be that the Direct TV reception is better in Dalton and that the reception for the Phillies games is all the more clearer outside of the city.
I hope he enjoys the quiet and solitude. Perhaps he will come to reflect on the damage he has done not only to his flock but to those who were cast out of the flock by other shepherds in his organization. Maybe he will have a chance to hear the voice of some higher power telling him to do the right and moral thing. That voice seems to have been unable to sway him within the city limits of Scranton. If you get the notion, your excellency, how about coming clean on all your pedophile priests? Why not go on the road to all the parishes and schools that have had a predator priest and look for other victims? Why not expend diocesan resources on helping people instead of shielding pedophiles and paying public relation firms and lawyers to intimidate and isolate victims? Why not try to come across as more of a human and less of a bully.
It is all too much to ask for. Maybe we will eventually find out why he is distancing himself from the people he is supposed to serve. But for now, I think his new neighbors should be vigilant. There is a reason he has moved and given this diocese’s track record, I am confident something wicked this way comes.
Enjoy the tune by Billy Joel, your excellency!
P.S. Can anyone tell me what became of Father Dave Bechtel? He was the priest who would spend his days writing comments and countering other comments on the Scranton Times-Tribune Website. He is a young priest who seems to have been overly protective of the Bishop when negative comments appeared in response to the paper’s articles on the diocese or on the Bishop in particular. Father Bechtel has seemingly gone dark. Perhaps he was told to stop “defending” the Bishop? Perhaps he knows something that we don’t. Come on Father Dave, tell us what is happening, I’ll put up your comments for the world to read.
I spoke recently with someone who contacted me through the kind offices of another blogger. The person wishing to speak to me was concerned about sending a comment to this blog and having it automatically post on the internet with their personal information available to anyone who may be reading the blog. It took some effort for him to get me the message that he wished to speak to me privately. After talking to him on the phone, I understand and will respect his request for confidentiality.
I want to let readers of this blog know that I review all comments that come to this blog before they are posted on line. I have to approve the comment before it goes up on the blog and I have the ability to edit the comment to remove personally identifying information. If a reader sends me a comment that they do not want posted on the blog, I do not post it. I have been contacted by several people looking for information on how to report a pedophile. I have spoken to people who are not ready to come forward. I try to provide support and put them in contact with someone that can assist them with whatever issue they are dealing with. I recommend contacting your local SNAP chapter, the District Attorney or police for assistance. I do not recommend contacting the diocese (any diocese), despite their protestations to the contrary, they have no vested interest in assisting victims.
Please be assured that I will not reveal any information that a reader wishes to keep confidential. I strongly believe that I should never compound the harm on a victim of a sexual crime or their families. If you wish to contact me you may leave a comment on any post to this blog or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will respond to you directly.
Three video clips that document a 2007 federal suit brought against the Diocese of Scranton in the case of a priest who molested children. The Diocese took action to minimize their exposure and limit the release of information to the public. It is cases like this that bring into sharp focus the need to have look at the “secret” files being kept by the Diocese. Governor Frank Keating wasn’t far off the mark when he indicated that the Catholic Church acts like organized crime when dealing with cases of priests raping children. They have a policy of denying the truth and trying to conceal their complicity in hiding pedophiles. The only thing that is important is protecting the Diocese financially. Truth, ethics, and morality do not factor into the equation for these people.
I was provided with the links for these news reports from 2007 by a reader. This is good stuff, thank you!
When did this become a competition? Where do people think they have the right to judge and make assumptions about other victims? Who has the right to say whether someone has done enough? What is the point?
One of the downsides of writing a blog are the comments or emails that come from a certain element who have decided that, for whatever reason, they are more important or have been affected more deeply by abuse at the hands of clergy or nuns than anyone else in the universe. These individuals seem to be shouting at the tops of their lungs and yet their message is lost in the vitriol that is spewed with their words. I have been receiving emails from a couple of “victims” that spend more time maligning other people than making constructive recommendations on how to move the survivors’ cause forward to help make a change to protect children in the future and force an accounting for wrongs committed in the past by pedophiles and their protectors. These individuals make outrageous claims of closing down hundreds of Catholic Churches and challenge any and all comers to an exchange of ridiculous insults. It is all static on the net and it has no place in the conversation to end abuse by clergy.
It is pretty clear that when an individual resorts to attacks on other survivors to make their argument, they make it pretty clear that they have no argument to begin with. They seem to be taking a page from the Catholic Church’s bully play book. All the emails, full of insults and challenges designed to draw the recipient into a mindless exchange of personal attacks, are not worth the time or the effort needed to respond. The solution here is to use the gifts that Bill Gates gave us all and employ the feature that allows us to immediately delete the email from the source without ever having to read the desperately insulting message contained within. As for this blog, I will delete any comment that fails to move the conversation forward. You have the right to say what is on your mind and I have the right not to listen.
When it comes down to it, there is no competition among survivors with respect to who has had the most horrendous story. Even one violation is one too many and there are not points awarded for recurring attacks. If you hold that you have had it worse than anyone else and that you are right where everyone else in the world is wrong or has not done enough for you, I wish you luck and I wish you peace. I have no beef with you or your position. I have no desire to shut down every Catholic Church in the United States. I am interested in getting the Catholic Hierarchy to come clean on all of the abuse and acknowledge their role in protecting pedophiles and obstructing justice for every victim, including the victims who are focusing their attacks on other survivors. It seems that our goals and objectives are different. I can live with that.
I have absolutely no interest in engaging in an exchange of insults. It is a waste of my time. I am not going to participate. Any valid points you may have are lost in a message so heavily laced with hatred and disrespect.