Scranton’s Bishop Martino Resigns

Bishop Joseph Martino, head of the Catholic Diocese of Scranton has resigned abruptly. His resignation has reportedly been accepted by Pope Benedict XVI. Martino, 62, was appointed bishop of Scranton in 2003, and is a full 13 years away from the mandatory retirement age of bishops in this country.
Martino’s tenure as head of the Scranton diocese has been filled with controversy over his staunchly conservative views including his refusal of communion to pro-choice politicians, parish closings, and his handling of the priest abuse scandal.
In the news reports concerning his resignation, media outlets have mentioned his statement that “No USCCB document is relevant in this diocese. The USCCB doesn’t speak for me. The only relevant document,’ he said, was his letter on politics, which he had ordered read at all parishes.”
I wonder if that includes the so-called Dallas Charter approved by the US Bishops as a response to the priest abuse crisis.
Martino’s hard-line stance on issues such as abortion have carried over to his handling of priest sex abuse in his diocese. While we can only speculate about the reasons spurring his resignation, we can hope that the next bishop handles pastoral concerns such as the treatment of sexual abuse survivors in a different fashion.