Updated: August 31, 2021 06:45 PM
Created: August 31, 2021 10:05 AM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Catholic Diocese of Rochester Bishop Salvatore Matano will submit his resignation, he confirmed in a letter to parishioners on Monday.
In his letter to Catholics Bishop Salvatore Matano says he's submitting his resignation to Pope Francis when turns 75 in Sep. Matano writes he hoped the diocese bankruptcy would be done by the time he leaves "thereby relieving my successor of this painful
situation." @news10nbc pic.twitter.com/O3LQrgVb8k
According to the bishop, the resignation is due to him turning 75 years old, an age limit set by the Code of Canon Law. Canon law is the fundamental body of law for the church. He says the decision to accept the resignation, and when it will be effective, is ultimately up to Pope Francis.
Matano's announcement comes just short of two years since the Diocese of Rochester filed for bankruptcy in 2019, which is the same year that the Child Victim Act was signed into law. The act effectively lengthened the amount of time adult victims of sexual abuse have to come forward with their claims. Some of the people filing claims are in their 80s.
In his letter, Matano acknowledged the roughly 475 lawsuits the diocese is facing and mentioned ongoing talks with survivors are being held virtually within the next few days due to the pandemic. Previously, the diocese called on the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to approve a $35 million settlement agreement.
"We all await and accept in obedience the will of our Holy Father," Matano said. "I would hope to be able to see the Diocese through to the completion of the bankruptcy process, thereby relieving my successor of this painful situation. His will be the task of rebuilding and, I pray, a new time will dawn and this very sad episode of our diocesan history is passed, but always praying daily for all who
suffered through this period and taking every precaution that the grievous sins of the past are not repeated. "
He took on the role in 2014 after being appointed to succeed Bishop Matthew Clark.
Matano said it's possible he will stay in his role past the age of 75 pending the Pope's choice.
A group called God's Word, Many Voices wants the new bishop to be a little different.
When I asked Bill Pickett of God's Word, many voices, what he wants to see in a new Catholic bishop for Rochester he said "it's a big job and that's a big question." @news10nbc pic.twitter.com/QwBSQz2INP— Berkeley Brean (@whec_bbrean) August 31, 2021
"This is a diocese that has a unique history, has had a lot going on recently, a lot in its past," said Bill Pickett. "There's a lot of diversity here and not just racial diversity, rural, urban, but also just diversity in how Catholics think the church should be. Someone coming in shouldn't be coming in with an agenda to say I know how things should be. They need to listen."
Pickett said the group has written letters to Rome and American Cardinals on the Bishop Selection Committee to consider someone with a different philosophy for Rochester.
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