Our Lady of the Rosary Parish Kellyville

ABC’s Andrew West on Sydney’s new Archbishop


Installation Mass of Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP as the Ninth Archbishop of Sydney
Xt3 will live stream the Installation Mass of Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP as the Ninth Archbishop of Sydney from 7pm Wednesday 12 November. Watch here.

From the Sydney Morning Herald analysis of ABC RN’s Religion & Ethics Report presenter Andrew West on the new Archbishop of Sydney, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, Wednesday 12 November

Anthony Fisher steps into one of the most powerful jobs in Australian Catholicism when he is installed as archbishop of Sydney on Wednesday night.

On the crucial question of how he handles the sexual abuse crisis, Fisher has clearly learned from an incident during World Youth Day in 2008, when he said some people were "dwelling crankily ... on old wounds". It's fair to observe that he now speaks with a profound sense of disgust. "We accept that this is a spiritual and moral problem in our church and not just some bad guys in the old days," he told ABC. He even speaks of the church being "purified by this experience by the humiliation".

Fisher is a noted scholar, with a doctorate in bioethics from Oxford University, but what will count even more under Pope Francis is strong pastoral conviction. As disappointed liberals are noticing, this does not mean overturning all church doctrine but it does mean less judgment and more inclusion.

Perhaps the most complex challenge that Francis offers to the "John Paul II generation" of priests and bishops, such as Fisher, is on the economic order. The trend – most pronounced in the United States but present across an entire cohort – is towards conservatism on both moral and political issues.

Read Andrew West’s full analysis at the Sydney Morning Herald online

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