|Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP.|
Thursday 18 September 2014
His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed the Bishop of Parramatta, Most Reverend Anthony Fisher OP, as the ninth Archbishop of Sydney, the Vatican announced today.
Bishop Anthony said he was deeply honoured by the appointment and by Pope Francis’ expression of confidence in him.
“I ask all Catholics and other people of good will to pray for me that I might be a good shepherd after the heart of Jesus Christ,” he said.
The Archbishop-elect is very much ‘a Sydney boy’. Born at the Mater Hospital in Crows Nest he attended Catholic schools at Lakemba, Lane Cove, Ryde and Riverview. He studied history and law at the University of Sydney and practised in a city law firm before entering the Dominican Order.
He was ordained a priest in 1991 and after completing a doctorate in bioethics at Oxford, returned to teach at the Australian Catholic University. He later founded the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Melbourne.
In 2003, he was appointed auxiliary bishop of Sydney and was Coordinator of World Youth Day 2008.
He became Bishop of Parramatta in 2010 and now returns to the Archdiocese of Sydney as Archbishop.
“Growing up in the south-west and then the north of Sydney, working as a bishop in the east and then the west, I feel a deep affinity for every part of this wonderful city and a deep concern for its people,” he said.
“I’m very excited to be returning to the Archdiocese of Sydney and building on the strong foundations left by my predecessor Cardinal George Pell. Sydney is a vibrant, growing city with so much potential to be one of the greatest cities – and faith communities – of the world.”
The Archbishop-elect said the Catholic Church in Australia had made an enormous contribution to nation building through parishes, education, healthcare, welfare, aged care and more.
“But it has more to do to renew our social capital and ensure that our country fulfils its potential to be a just and compassionate society,” he said.
“The Catholic Church in Australia is going through a period of public scrutiny and self-examination. I hope it will emerge from this purified, humbler, more compassionate and spiritually regenerated.
“Victims of abuse and all young people must come first – no excuses, no cover-ups.
The Church must do better in this area and I am committed to playing a leading role in regaining the confidence of the community and of our own members.”
The Archbishop-elect said he was enormously enriched by his time as the Bishop of Parramatta and by the people of western Sydney.
“I know it will be hard to leave the Diocese of Parramatta and I thank the priests and people of the Diocese for the wonderful years I had with them.”