Rochester Catholic bishop pens resignation, gives update on bankruptcy proceedings

WHAM-TV, Ch. 13 [Rochester NY]

August 31, 2021

The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Rochester has submitted his resignation to the head of the Church.

In a letter to the church community, Rev. Salvatore Matano says canon law requires him to step down when he reaches 75, which he does this month.

The resignation requires approval by Pope Francis, who also determines when it becomes effective.

In his letter, Matano noted that other diocesan bishops in the country have served past the age of 75 until their successor has been appointed.

The potential change in leadership comes at a pivotal time for local Catholics. Nearly two years ago, the diocese filed for bankruptcy – becoming the first in the state to do so.

In his letter, Matano says COVID-19 has impacted the proceedings. Seven mediation sessions have been held, but they did not lead to a settlement agreement. Mediation is continuing through Sept. 2.

The bishop also writes that he hopes to see the diocese through the completion of its bankruptcy process so is successor does not have to deal with it.

“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 writes.

Matano also apologized to the survivors of childhood sexual abuse who were victimized by clergy, laity, and staff. He says he prays for renewed hope and healing for them and their families.