Friday, August 28, 2009

Martino Out? Barres In?

Rumors of rumors about Bishop Martino of Scranton. Below the local newspaper quotes a highly placed Catholic blog article as source of the rumor for the impending retirement or semi-retirement of Bishop Martino.

Rumors suggest Martino may leave diocese
…published reports that Bishop Joseph Martino was planning to relocate from the Scranton rectory to the former St. Pius X Seminary in Dalton, a bucolic retreat outside of Scranton that boasts expanses of lawn, a large pond, and clusters of trees…

No longer a training ground for priests, the location serves as the Fatima Renewal Center for religious retreats. Its seclusion is reminiscent of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in suburban Philadelphia, where Martino was stationed prior to his appointment as bishop here, and where he has long been rumored to spend some weekends…

…the Vatican could handle the transition in several ways. A bishop from another diocese could add the Diocese of Scranton to his responsibilities until further action was taken, or an apostolic administrator could be appointed to run the diocese until a new bishop was named. A third alternative would be the appointment of a “coadjutor bishop,” who would share diocesan responsibility and authority with Martino.
I find it ironic that so many parishes have closed. Now are we seeing the possibility of consolidation of whole dioceses into one another? My article on July 29, 2009 "New Temporary Bishop - Allentown - John Barres" speculated that the diocese of Allentown might be absorbed into Scranton. Now I see the possibility of Bishop Barres possibly being in charge of the two dioceses but without any official consolidation until a lot of details are worked out. Rather convenient that John Barres and his NYU MBA training might come in handy in any organizational reshuffling.

I see this more as a semi-retirement thing for Martino. He has toed the party line. His fate was decided in some money changing office in the Vatican without regard to his absolute faith in the perfect faith. Now he must submit to the political, economic reality of things and obey.

I see this closed seminary in Scranton being reopened to coordinate with a greater Archdiocese of NE PENN (Northeast Pennsylvania). Perhaps Bishop Barres will be an archbishop much sooner than I would have guessed.

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