Bishop Peter Comensoli named as new Archbishop of Melbourne

Bishop Peter Comensoli has been named as the new Archbishop of Melbourne.

Comensoli will be installed as archbishop on 1 August. He has been the Bishop of Broken Bay in New South Wales for the past three years.

When he is installed, he will take over from recently-retired Archbishop Denis Hart at Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral.

It is the largest archdiocese in Australia, with a Catholic population of 1.1 million people.

Hart, who was also President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference until May this year, says Comensoli is “generous, gifted and faith-filled” and has experience in three dioceses.

Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, who replaced Hart as the new conference President, says Comensoli has “the gifts and energies that his new mission would require.

“Archbishop-elect Peter has a good mind, an engaging personality and the strong pastoral sense needed in our largest diocese at a complex time like this,” Coleridge says.

“He’s a man who can listen and a man who can speak not only to Catholic people, but to the wider community as well.”

Comensoli says he is humbled Pope Francis had chosen him and recognised “the challenge he has placed before me to lead God’s people in Melbourne tenderly, mercifully and joyfully.

“The life of Christian discipleship is a precious gift, developed through hearing and responding to God’s call,” he says.

“In accepting this call to be a new missionary among God’s people of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, I readily acknowledge the great responsibility entrusted to me, along with the frailties I carry.”

In acknowledging the “great responsibility” that comes with his new position, Comensoli also spoke of sex abuse and the need to right wrongs.

“I am deeply aware of the painful witness you bear because of the crimes committed in the Church against the most innocent, our children and the vulnerable.

“I share the bewilderment and anger you feel at the failure of Church leaders to believe victims and to respond to them with justice and compassion.

“This is not the way of Jesus Christ. It is our solemn shared duty to right the grievous wrongs of the past and ensure that the future is very different.”


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