A presidential election forum at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church on Sunday centered mainly on abortion. The argument and audience, however, erupted when Diocese of Scranton Bishop Joseph F. Martino unexpectedly arrived and vehemently expressed his distaste for what was said about the church’s stance on voting for pro-choice candidates and the exclusion of his anti-abortion letter at the forum, which recommends voting against pro-choice candidates for moral reasons. Martino, who arrived while the panelists were stating their viewpoints, took issue with the USCCB statement, which was handed out to everyone at the meeting, and also that his letter was not mentioned once at the forum.
“No USCCB document is relevant in this diocese,” said Martino. “The USCCB doesn’t speak for me.”
“The only relevant document … is my letter,” he said. “There is one teacher in this diocese, and these points are not debatable.”….The letter also states that Catholic public officials who “persist in public support for abortion” should “not partake in or be admitted to the sacrament of Holy Communion.”