New Christchurch bishop surprises with top priority

Marion College

Christchurch Bishop-elect says re-siting Marian College is his number one priority.

Students from Marion College have, for six years, operated from a temporary building.

Currently, Marian College is sited at the southern end of the earthquake-damaged cathedral.

“They have had a whole generation of students go through since the earthquakes”, he told The Press.

A new site for Marion College has not been identified.

In addition to re-sitting Marian College, a major decision surrounds the rebuilding of the Catholic Cathedral.

The estimated cost of rebuilding the Blessed Sacrament Cathedral is $70m.

Around eight earthquake affected churches in the diocese also need to be rebuilt.

Martin said he will assess the work done to date on the Cathedral and consult around the diocese before making a decision.

New bishop hopeful

Martin confessed to The Press that sexual abuse had done serious harm to the Church and its message.

He said sexual abuse by clergy makes it more challenging to promote many good things the Church does.

“The perception of the church is often not as positive as we would like it to be”, he said.

Admitting the frail nature of humanity, Martin however is confident new procedures are helping prevent further instances of clergy sexual abuse.

He understands that for some whatever the Church does it will never make amends.

Despite the challenges, Martin remains hopeful.

He hopes the example of Pope Francis will inspire many and encourage dialogue between those of different opinions.

On Saturday 3 March, Martin will become Catholic Bishop of Christchurch.

Cardinal John Dew will officiate at the ordination ceremony.

The ceremony is being held at 1,400 capacity Christchurch Boys’ High School Auditorium.



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