.- Vermont’s upcoming coadjutor bishop has a strong pro-life track record and is known to be an advocate for the poor. Msgr. Salvatore R. Matano will be ordained a bishop April 19 and serve as coadjutor to Bishop Kenneth A. Angell. He is likely to succeed Bishop Angell, who is expected to resign in August when he turns 75, according to canon law.
As former co-chancellor and vicar general of the Diocese of Providence, Msgr. Matano had engaged in a public debate in the 1980s with Mary Ann Sorrentino, the then-executive director of Planned Parenthood of Rhode Island.
Sorrentino had released a letter she had received from Msgr. Matano advising her that she had excommunicated herself from the Catholic Church because of her "direct involvement" with abortion.
"To be a bishop means to take the words of Jesus very seriously, 'Pick up your cross and follow me,' " the 58-year-old monsignor said to a press conference in Burlington hours after his nomination as coadjutor bishop was made last week.
"There are many challenges today, which face the community of believers in the Catholic Church. The bishop is looked to for guidance," he said.
Vermont is sometimes been considered a tough assignment for pro-life, pro-family bishops. Despite protests and rallies led by Bishop Angell, Vermont became the first state in the country to approve civil unions for same-sex couples.
The Journal also reported that when Bishop Angell sought to stop girls from being altar servers, since the Vatican had not approved it, parishioners around the state organized a boycott of church collections.
Vermont has about 150,000 Catholics.