Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Martino: "I Own This Building"

Yet another local paper in the Scranton diocese offers yet another account of what's quickly become this election cycle's most celebrated bishop-eruption:
"We are not here to endorse anyone. We are here to express the issues. Catholics are not one-issue voters,” said St. John’s pastor, the Rev. Martin M. Boylan, adding that he wanted to “encourage Catholics to be active in the political process.”

"I own this building,” said Bishop [Joseph] Martino, adding that he was “very uncomfortable” with the forum. He added that he had wanted to persuade Father Boylan to cancel the event.

"This is madness,” said the bishop in concluding his remarks before quickly leaving.

About one-third of the crowd gave him a standing ovation and many of those people walked out with him, shouting comments such as “God is good” and “There is no other issue.”

The bishop, 62, was upset that one of the panelists, Sister Margaret Gannon, a professor at Marywood University, distributed information from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship: A Call to Political Responsibility from the Catholic Bishops of the United States” statement.

"There is one teacher in this diocese. I am the only one who is allowed to teach in this building,” said Bishop Martino in reference to himself....

"I do not want to be in opposition of the bishop,” said Sister Gannon after he left. “I did not know that he does not accept the United States Conference of Bishops statement. It was my understanding it was an acceptable guidance.”