Pope Benedict appointed a replacement today for the diocese left vacant by the unexpected resignation of Bishop Joseph Martino last August. Msgr. Joseph C. Bambera was chosen by the Holy Father to lead the Diocese of Scranton, Pennsylvania as its 10th bishop.
The bishop-elect is currently the pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas parish at Archbald and of St. Mary of Czestochowa parish at Eynon. With the Diocese of Scranton vacant, Msgr. Bambera served as a delegate to Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philidelpia and helped run the daily operations of the diocese.
Bishop Martino retired at the age of 63 last year following what some called a contentious tenure at the helm of the Scranton diocese.
Though the bishop cited “crippling physical fatigue” as his primary reason for stepping down, he also stated in a press conference last Aug. 31 that disunity and a lack of “clear consensus” among the clergy about his “way of governance” were also to blame for his resignation. Bishop Martino was known as a staunch pro-life advocate and for his critiques of Sen. Bob Casey Jr., whom he urged to be more outspoken against abortion.
The new bishop-elect, Msgr. Bambera, was born in Carbondale, Pennsylvania and, according to the Scranton Times-Tribune, grew up attending Catholic schools in the area. Msgr. Bambera was ordained a priest in 1983 and was made a Prelate of Honor by Pope John Paul II in 1997.
The date of Msgr. Bambera's ordination Mass has yet to be announced.