USCCB News Release
August 31, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Pope Accepts Resignation Of Scranton Bishops
WASHINGTON—Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Bishop Joseph F. Martino from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania, for health reasons. The decision was announced August 31, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.
The pope has also accepted the resignation of Bishop John M. Dougherty, until now Auxiliary Bishop of Scranton, who has served past the mandatory retirement age for bishops. Cardinal Justin F. Rigali of Philadelphia, the Metropolitan Archbishop, has been appointed Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Scranton.
Joseph F. Martino was born in Philadelphia, May 1, 1946. He studied at the North American College in Rome and earned a sacred theology licentiate (S.T.L.) degree at the Gregorian University there. He was ordained a priest for the Philadelphia archdiocese on December 18, 1970 and was named Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia on January 24, 1996. He was appointed bishop of Scranton on July 25, 2003.
John M. Dougherty was born in Scranton April 29, 1932. He studied at the University of Notre Dame where he earned an M.A. and St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, where he obtained a Sacred Theology Licentiate (S.T.L.). He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Scranton on June 15, 1957 and was named auxiliary bishop of Scranton on February 7, 1995.
The diocese of Scranton was established in 1868 and comprises 11 counties in northeastern Pennsylvania. It has a Catholic population of 325,243, 30 per cent of the area’s for a total population of 1,090,779.