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July 25, 2003


Pope John Paul II announced the appointment today of the Most Reverend Joseph Francis Martino as Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Bishop Martino has served as an Auxiliary Bishop to Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua since March 11, 1996. Bishop Martino is the Director of the Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Previously, he was a parish priest, high school teacher and seminary dean. In the early 1980's, he researched and authored position papers for the Canonization Cause of Mother Katharine Drexel. For Bishop Martino's complete biography, statement and more information about the appointment, please visit the web sites or

Statement of Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua Regarding Appointment

It is with great joy that I learned of the appointment of Most Reverend Joseph Francis Martino as the ninth Bishop of Scranton. In this appointment, our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, has placed great confidence in Bishop Martino's abilities as a shepherd of souls and a servant of the Gospel.

Bishop Martino's devotion to Our Eucharistic Lord, his love for Our Lady, his loyalty to the Church, his filial esteem for our Holy Father and his regard for the Priesthood have guided Bishop Martino in every aspect of his service as a priest and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. As a parish priest and high school teacher, he demonstrated his care for people of all ages and in every form of pastoral work. As a professor of Church History and Dean of Formation at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, Bishop Martino showed his appreciation for the significance of priestly formation on all levels, as well as his deep awe for the Priesthood.

In his capacity as Director of the Office for Renewal of Pastoral Life, Bishop Martino facilitated the important work of the nine-year Renewal of our Archdiocese and helped to lay the groundwork for our preparation for the Jubilee Year and the dawning of the Third Millennium of Christianity. As Director of the Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, his theological knowledge and cordial manner fostered openness and enhanced dialogue with other Christian denominations as well as our Jewish and Moslem brothers and sisters. Since 1996, his ministry has been augmented by his role as an Auxiliary Bishop. I am particularly grateful for Bishop Martino's willing assistance to me in my tenure as Archbishop of Philadelphia.

Bishop Martino also contributed to the Cause for the Canonization of Saint Katharine Drexel. His historical research on the life and work of Mother Katharine presented clearly the sanctity of this heroic Foundress, her Eucharistic devotion and concern for justice among the most neglected.

The many positions and responsibilities fulfilled by Bishop Martino are experiences that richly equip him to assume the leadership of the Diocese of Scranton. As Bishop Martino prepares to accept his new responsibilities, I join my brother Bishops, priests, deacons, religious, seminarians and all the laity of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in extending our heartfelt congratulations and assurance of prayers. At the same time, I offer prayerful best wishes to Most Reverend James C. Timlin upon his retirement. Bishop Timlin has been a compassionate shepherd and respected colleague. May the coming years be for him a time of grace and peace. To all the clergy, religious and faithful of the Diocese of Scranton, I send warmest regards and an assurance of prayers that God may continue to bless them abundantly, especially in this historic time of transition.


Donna Farrell
Broadcast and Media Specialist

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