Bishop Joseph F. Martino is expected to resign as head of the Diocese of Scranton next week, sources within the diocese confirmed to Times-Shamrock today.

Speculation about the bishop's future began earlier this week when The Times-Tribune in Scranton reported that his belongings were being moved from the rectory adjacent to the diocese's mother church, St. Peter's Cathedral, to a retreat in Dalton.

Bishop Martino was installed as head of the 11-county Diocese of Scranton in 2003. A long-time auxiliary bishop in the Philadelphia Archdiocese, Bishop Martino arrived in October 2003, to become the diocese's ninth bishop, replacing Bishop James C. Timlin, who now serves as bishop emeritus.

Tradition dictates that should Bishop Martino step down, the diocese would be directed by Cardinal Justin Francis Rigali of Philadelphia, the metropolitan for this area, until a successor can be appointed by the Vatican.

See later editions of The Review for details as they become available.