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History
The Archbishops of Melbourne

By Dean W.J. McCarthy. The biographies of Cardinal George Pell and Archbishop Denis J. Hart supplied by other sources. Photos supplied courtesy of Melbourne Diocesan Historical Commission.

Up until 2001 the Catholic Church of Melbourne has had seven Archbishops. Three Archbishops - Goold, Carr, and Mannix - were born in Ireland. Archbishop Simonds and Cardinal Knox were born in Glen Innis, New South Wales and Bayswater, Western Australia, respectively, while Archbishops Little and Pell are native Victorians and claim as their common Alma Mater St Patrick’s College, Ballarat. Each archbishop, however, has contributed most significantly to the story and the fabric of St Patrick’s.

 


 

James Alipius Goold, first Bishop and Archbishop of Melbourne, was born in Cork, Ireland, in 1812. He received his early education there at a small Augustinian school and later entered the Order of St Augustine. Ordained in Perugia, Italy, he volunteered for the mission of New South Wales following a chance meeting with Dr Ullathorne in Rome.

After his arrival in Australia in 1838 he was appointed parish priest of the Campelltown district, N.S.W. Then in 1847 the Diocese of Melbourne was established with Goold as its bishop. He was 36 years old when consecrated a bishop in Sydney on 6 August 1848. Setting out almost immediately from Sydney, Goold travelled overland to Melbourne by a coach drawn by four horses and arrived there on 4 October 1848.

Bishop Goold laid the foundation stone of the first St Patrick’s Church on 9 April 1850. When gold was discovered, he decided not to proceed with this building because he foresaw Melbourne’s rapid population growth and the need for a larger Cathedral. Thus he engaged newly- arrived English architect, William Wilkinson Wardell, to design a grand Cathedral church for Melbourne.

The contract for the new building was signed in 1858. Steady progress was made and the nave and the aisles were completed by 1868. In 1874 Melbourne was elevated to an archbishopric. In 1886 Archbishop Goold died, less than six months before the great tower was completed, and was laid to rest beneath the pavement of the nearly finished chapel of the Holy Souls.

Archbishop Thomas Joseph Carr, Goold’s successor, had been Bishop of Galway. He arrived in Melbourne exactly one year after the death of his predecessor. Carr had been Professor of Theology and Vice-President of the Irish seminary at Maynooth before his appointment to Galway.

For thirty years he administered the Archdiocese of Melbourne, during which time St Patrick’s Cathedral was completed and it was consecrated and officially opened in October 1897.

Archbishop Carr died in May 1917 and was succeeded by Archbishop Daniel Mannix who held the reins of the Archdiocese for the next forty-six years. Much has been written about Archbishop Mannix and his times. Besides his many achievements as Archbishop, he had height, personal charm, elegant bearing, outstanding intellectual powers, enviable control of language, and great wit and flair.

Wardell had included plans for spires in his original designs. Dr Mannix decided to add the spires but called for new plans which would give the spires greater height than Wardell anticipated. In 1937 the construction of the spires began and they were blessed upon completion in 1939. Dr Mannix announced that the spires celebrated the 100 years of Catholicism in Melbourne since Father Geoghegan arrived and celebrated the first Mass in the city in 1838. Mannix dedicated the spires to the memory of his two predecessors. At the same time he had the narthex remodelled as a tribute to Dr Fitzpatrick and Father Donaghy, the first Deans of the Cathedral.

Archbishop Mannix died in his 99th year, just four months short of his 100th birthday. The spires endure as a lasting memorial to him.

In 1942 Justin Simonds, the first Australian-born Archbishop, was transferred from Hobart where he was Archbishop to Melbourne as Coadjutor Archbishop, a position he held for the next 21 years. Archbishop Simonds was attending the Second Vatican Council in November 1963 when news arrived of Mannix’s approaching death.

Simonds returned immediately to Melbourne where he celebrated Archbishop Mannix’s funeral Mass and preached the panegyric. "We are mourning one of the world’s leaders of our time. A cedar of Lebanon has fallen," said Simonds, and no-one disagreed.

Archbishop Simonds dedicated the new organ to the memory of his predecessor. The organ, one of the largest in Australia, has 4762 pipes and a set of Spanish trumpets. Ill-health and age reduced Simonds’ period as archbishop and he died a few months after retiring in 1967.

Shortly after Dr Simonds retired, Archbishop Knox, the Apostolic lnternuncio to India and the Apostolic Delegate to Burma and Ceylon, an Australian with wide experience as a Vatican diplomat, was appointed Archbishop of Melbourne. In 1970 he approved the extension of the Cathedral sanctuary into the transept crossing to provide the space required for the liturgy following the Second Vatican Council. The new sanctuary worked admirably for the many ceremonies of the 40th international Eucharistic Congress held in Melbourne in February, 1973. Later that year Archbishop Knox was created a Cardinal and moved to Rome as Prefect of the Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments and Divine Worship.

In 1974 Bishop Frank Little succeeded Cardinal Knox as Archbishop of Melbourne. Archbishop Little had been an assistant priest at the Cathedral and its Dean from 1965 to 1970 before being appointed Auxiliary Bishop to Cardinal Knox. In 1977 he launched a $1 million appeal for the St Patrick’s Cathedral Maintenance and Restoration Fund. Later he restored and blessed the bells before they were re-hung in 1989. Then in 1992 he instituted the Cathedral Centenary Appeal and a major works programme to restore and conserve the Cathedral. This work comes to its completion in the centenary year of 1997.

The Cathedral restoration and conservation programme began in 1992 after a lengthy period of detailed planning and fund raising. It was almost completed by the time of Archbishop Little’s retirement in 1996.

Melbourne welcomed a seventh Archbishop when Bishop Pell, who had served as an auxiliary bishop there for seven years, was appointed in 1996. Like his two immediate predecessors he was ordained in Rome while a student at Propaganda College. During Archbishop Pell’s time as Archbishop he supervised the continuing restoration of St Patrick’s Cathedral, the installation of the aboriginal mosaic in the forecourt of the Cathedral and the creation of the Pilgrim Walk.

CARDINAL GEORGE PELL was born in Ballarat, on June 8th 1941, and was educated in that city at Loreto Convent and St Patrick’s College. He studied for the priesthood at Corpus Christi College, Werribee, and Propaganda Fide College, Rome, and was ordained a Catholic priest for the Diocese of Ballarat by Cardinal Agagianian in St Peter’s Basilica, Rome, on December 16th 1966.

On May 21st 1987 he was ordained an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne and Titular Bishop of Scala by Archbishop Sir Frank Little in St Patrick’s Cathedral.

On July 16th 1996 Pope John Paul II announced Cardinal Pell’s appointment as seventh Metropolitan Archbishop of Melbourne. He was installed as Archbishop on August 16th 1996 in a ceremony at the Exhibition Buildings, and received the Pallium from the Pope at St Peter’s in Rome on the feast of Sts Peter and Paul, June 29th 1997.

On March 26th 2001 the Holy Father appointed Cardinal Pell the eighth Metropolitan Archbishop of Sydney. He was installed as Archbishop at St Mary’s Cathedral on May 10th 2001, and the following month received the Pallium from the Pope for the second time at St Peter’s in Rome on the feast of Sts Peter and Paul. His elevation to the Sacred College of Cardinals was announced by the John Paul II on September 28th 2003, who created him Cardinal Priest of the Church of Saint Maria Domenica Mazzarello in Rome.

Cardinal Pell holds a Licentiate in Theology from Urban University, Rome (1967), a Masters Degree in Education from Monash University, Melbourne (1982), and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Church History from the University of Oxford (1971). He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators, and was Visiting Scholar at Campion Hall, Oxford University, in 1979 and at St Edmund’s College, Cambridge University, in 1983. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of St Edmund’s in 2003.

Before becoming Archbishop of Melbourne Cardinal Pell worked as Assistant Priest in the parishes of Swan Hill (1971-2) and Ballarat East (1973-83), as Administrator of Bungaree parish (1984) and as Parish Priest of Mentone and Bishop for the Southern Region of Melbourne (1987-96).Cardinal Pell served as Director of the Aquinas Campus of the Institute of Catholic Education from 1974 to 1984 and as Principal of the Institute of Catholic Education (now merged into Australian Catholic University) from 1981 to 1984. He was Episcopal Vicar for Education in the Diocese of Ballarat (1973-84), a founding member of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (1973-84), a member of the Academic Board of the State College of Victoria and at different times a member of the Councils of the State College of Victoria – Ballarat, the Ballarat College of Advanced Education, and Signadou College Canberra.

From 1988 to 1997 Cardinal Pell was a member of the National Catholic Education Commission. He was a member of the Bishops’ Committee for Education from 1994 to 1997 (as Secretary) and again from 2000 to 2006 (as Chairman from 2003). In 1989 Cardinal Pell was appointed Chairman of the committee charged with setting up the new Australian Catholic University, and in 1991 to 1995 he served as the University’s Foundation Pro-Chancellor. In 1999 to 2000 he assisted in the establishment of the new city campus of the University in Melbourne. Cardinal Pell has been President of the University’s board of owners since 1996.

Cardinal Pell’s commitment to Catholic tertiary education is also reflected in the role he played in establishing campuses of the University of Notre Dame Australia in Sydney, giving the east coast of Australia its first Catholic law school and first Catholic medical school. In 2003 he served as Patron of the capital appeal for Campion College, Australia’s first Catholic liberal arts college. Christendom College, an American Catholic liberal arts institution based in Virginia, conferred the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters (honoris causa) on Cardinal Pell in 2006.

From 1985 to 1987 Cardinal Pell was Rector of Corpus Christi College, the Provincial Seminary for Victoria and Tasmania. In 1990 Pope John Paul II nominated the then Bishop Pell to the Synod of Bishops in Rome on the preparation of priests, where he served as one of the Synod spokesmen and on the Committee which prepared the final Synod Message. He was appointed Apostolic Visitor to the National Seminaries of New Zealand (1994), Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands (1995), the Pacific (1996) and Irian Jaya and Sulawesi (1998) by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in the Vatican. In 1999, as Archbishop of Melbourne, Cardinal Pell established new facilities for both Corpus Christi College in Carlton and Catholic Theological College in East Melbourne.

Cardinal Pell was Chairman of Caritas Australia, the Catholic Church’s Australian agency for overseas development and relief, from 1988 to 1997. He was a member of the Bishops’ Committee for Justice Development and Peace from 1987 to 1997 and has been a member of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace from 1990 to 1995 and again from 2002. From 1990 to 2000 he was a member of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and has been Chairman of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Commission for Doctrine and Morals since 2001.

Having served as a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for the Family for many years, Cardinal Pell was appointed to the Presidential Committee of the Council in 2002. In 2005 he was appointed a member of the Supreme Committee of the Pontifical Missions Societies by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

In November 1998 Cardinal Pell attended the Synod for Oceania in Rome. He was appointed by Pope John Paul II to represent the Bishops of Australia and Oceania at the Special Synod for European Bishops in Rome in 1999, and at the Synod of Bishops held in October 2001. Pope Benedict XVI also appointed Cardinal Pell to the Synod of Bishops held in October 2006 to mark the close of the Year of the Eucharist. From 2001 to 2005 he served on the Council of the Synod of Bishops, and was appointed to the new Synod Council established at the conclusion of the 2006 Synod.

In April 2002 Cardinal Pell was named President of the Vox Clara Committee to advise the Congregation for Divine Worship on English translations of liturgical texts. He was appointed a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship in January 2005. In February 2007 he was appointed to the Council of Cardinals on Organisational and Economic Problems of the Holy See.In April 2005 Cardinal Pell took part in the Conclave of 115 Cardinal Electors which elected His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI as the successor to Pope John Paul II.

In February 1998 Cardinal Pell attended the Constitutional Convention in Canberra as a delegate appointed by the Prime Minister. He served on the Resolutions Committee responsible for drafting motions put to the Convention and moved the motion in support of the Republican model which was finally adopted by the Convention. On March 21st 2001 he addressed a joint sitting of the Victorian Parliament on the drug problem.

Cardinal Pell was awarded the Centenary Medal by the Australian Government on April 21st 2003, in recognition of his service to the Australian community through the Catholic Church. He was made a Companion in the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2005 for service to the Catholic Church in Australia and internationally, to raising debate on matters of an ethical and spiritual nature, to education, and to social justice.

Cardinal Pell is Grand Prior of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, Australian Lieutenancy - Southern, from 1998 to 2001, and was appointed Grand-Prior of the Order in New South Wales in 2001. Cardinal Pell was created Knight Grand Cross of the Order in 2003 to mark his elevation to the Sacred College of Cardinals.

Cardinal Pell’s long-standing commitment to ecumenism was recognized in 1998 with the conferral of the Grand Cross of Merit of the Order of Saint Lazarus, and his promotion to Ecclesiastic Grand Cross of St Lazarus, the Order’s highest ecclesiastical rank, in 2003. From 2001 to 2007 he served as the Order’s National Chaplain.

In 2007 Cardinal Pell was appointed Conventual Chaplain ad honorem of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and invested in the Order with the rank of Bailiff Grand Cross of Honour and Devotion. Cardinal Pell’s work in inter-faith relations has included attendance at the Asia-Pacific Interfaith Dialogue (originally established as the Australian-Indonesian summit on inter-religious dialogue and terrorism) in 2004, 2006 and 2007. On each occasion, he attended the Dialogue as part of the official Australian delegation led by the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

As Archbishop in Melbourne and Sydney Cardinal Pell has been involved in leading pilgrimages of young Australians to World Youth Days in Rome, Toronto and Cologne. Following the Toronto World Youth Day the Archdiocese of Sydney examined the possibility of hosting the event, placing a formal bid for this honour with the Holy See in 2005. The success of this bid was announced at the conclusion of World Youth Day in Cologne in August 2005, when Pope Benedict XVI invited the young people of the world to join him in Sydney for the 2008 World Youth Day.

Cardinal Pell’s interest in and support for young people, marriage and families has been demonstrated not only in his preaching and many public statements on these matters, but also in his in involvement founding the Australian campus of the international John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family; the institution of Australia’s first independent commissioner to handle sexual abuse complaints against clergy; and in the creation of the Mary of the Cross Centre in Melbourne to assist families with a member affected by drug or alcohol abuse. As Archbishop of Melbourne he commissioned the production of To Know, Worship and Love, a series of texts for use in religious education in Catholic schools. The series continues to be used in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, and was officially launched and mandated for use in the schools of the Archdiocese of Sydney at the end of 2003.

Cardinal Pell has written widely in religious and secular magazines, learned journals and newspapers in Australia and overseas, and regularly speaks on television and radio. He was editor of Light, the magazine of the Ballarat diocese from 1979 to 1984, and since 2001 he has been a weekly columnist for Sydney’s Sunday Telegraph. Cardinal Pell is a well-known public speaker, who has lectured in the United States of America, England, Ireland, New Zealand, Croatia, Canada and Korea, and every State of Australia (except Western Australia). In September 1996 Oxford University Press published Issues of Faith and Morals, written by Cardinal Pell for senior secondary classes and parish groups. Other publications include The Sisters of St Joseph in Swan Hill 1922-72 (1972), Catholicism in Australia (1988), Rerum Novarum: One Hundred Years Later (1992) and Catholicism and the Architecture of Freedom (1999), and Be Not Afraid (2004), a collection of Cardinal Pell’s homilies and writings from the last forty years. In October 2007 Catholic University of America Press and Connor Court Publishing published God and Caesar, a selection of Cardinal Pell’s essays on religion, politics and society.In earlier years Cardinal Pell was a keen sports coach in soccer, Aussie Rules and rowing. He is Vice Patron of the Richmond Football Club and a long term supporter and member of the Club since he signed to play with them in 1959.A popular biography of Cardinal Pell by senior journalist Tess Livingstone was published by Duffy and Snellgrove in 2002, and an expanded American edition of this biography was released by Ignatius Press in 2004. 

Melbourne welcomed an eighth Archbishop when Bishop Hart, who had served as an auxiliary bishop there for nearly four years and was appointed in 2001.  On 1 September 1996 he became Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia and subsequently Diocesan Consultor; Chairman of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission; Deputy Chairman of the Diocesan Extension and Maintenance Fund; Deputy Chairman of the Diocesan Finance Council; Secretary of the Roman Catholic Trust Corporation for the Diocese of Melbourne; Ex-officio member of the Archbishop’s Personnel Advisory Board; of the Archbishop’s Committee for New Areas in the Archdiocese; a nominee of the Archbishop of Melbourne on the Committee of Catholic Capital Grants.

On 10 November 1997 he was named Titular Bishop of Vagada and Auxiliary Bishop to the Archdiocese of Melbourne and was consecrated on 9 December 1997. As a Bishop he has retained all of the above offices and in addition to Diocesan ministries has worked in the Southern Region of the Archdiocese. He was Secretary of the Bishops of the Province of Melbourne and a member of the Australian Catholic University.

In the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference he is a member of the Committee for Finance (since 2001) and of the Committee for Liturgy (since 2000) and of the Central Commission (since 2002). In November-December 1998 he participated in the Synod for Oceania in the Vatican.

On 22 June 2001 he was appointed Archbishop of Melbourne. On 29 June 2001 he received the Pallium in St Peter’s Square, Rome with the other newly appointed Archbishops at the hands of Pope John Paul II. On 1 August 2001 Archbishop Hart took possession of the See of Melbourne.

Archbishop Denis Hart was born at East Melbourne on 16 May 1941, the eldest of three children of Kevin James Hart and Annie Eileen Larkan. His primary education was at St John’s Marist Brothers, Hawthorn 1946-53 and Xavier College, Kew 1954-59. He studied for the priesthood at Corpus Christi College, Werribee 1960-63 and Corpus Christi College, Glen Waverley 1963-67. He was ordained to the priesthood at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne on 22 July 1967 by Most Reverend A F Fox DD, the then Auxiliary Bishop.

He was appointed Chaplain at the Repatriation Hospital, Heidelberg from 20 December 1967 to 20 January 1968; then Assistant Priest, North Balwyn (1968), Assistant Priest and Master of Ceremonies at St Patrick’s Cathedral (1969-74), on 25 March 1970 he was appointed Prefect of Ceremonies for the Archdiocese of Melbourne (this appointment continued until 17 August 1996). On 25 January 1975 he was appointed Advocate and Notary of the Regional Matrimonial Tribunal, residing in North Richmond Parish (this appointment continued until 1 October 1985). He was Executive Secretary of the National Liturgical Commission of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference from 1 July 1975 until 1 July 1990. He was responsible for the preparation of official editions of books for worship - the three volume Lectionary for Mass, the rites of Anointing, Marriage, Funerals, Initiation of Adults, and, in co-operation with publishers, of people’s books for worship. He was Liturgy Director and Assistant Master of Ceremonies for the whole of the Australian Papal Visit in November 1986.

On 28 January 1987 he was appointed Parish Priest of St Joseph’s, West Brunswick. On 1 September 1996 he became Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia and subsequently Diocesan Consultor; Chairman of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission; Deputy Chairman of the Diocesan Extension and Maintenance Fund; Deputy Chairman of the Diocesan Finance Council; Secretary of the Roman Catholic Trust Corporation for the Diocese of Melbourne; Ex-officio member of the Archbishop’s Personnel Advisory Board; of the Archbishop’s Committee for New Areas in the Archdiocese; a nominee of the Archbishop of Melbourne on the Committee of Catholic Capital Grants.

On 10 November 1997 he was named Titular Bishop of Vagada and Auxiliary Bishop to the Archdiocese of Melbourne and was consecrated on 9 December 1997. As a Bishop he has retained all of the above offices and in addition to Diocesan ministries has worked in the Southern Region of the Archdiocese. He was Secretary of the Bishops of the Province of Melbourne and a member of the Australian Catholic University.

In the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference he is a member of the Committee for Finance (since 2001) and of the Committee for Liturgy (since 2000) and of the Central Commission (since 2002). In November-December 1998 he participated in the Synod for Oceania in the Vatican.


The Pallium

The Pallium is a circular band, about 2 inches wide made of white wool and worn over the chasuble (the Archbishop’s outer vestment) about the neck, breast and shoulders. It has two pendants - one hanging down in front, the other at the back. It is set with six black crosses of silk - one each on the breast and back, one each on each shoulder and one on each of the pendants.

The Pallium is made from the wool of two lambs, suggesting Christ, the Lamb of God and the Good Shepherd, blessed each year in Rome on January 21st, the Feast of St Agnes. They are subsequently blessed by the Pope and presented to the new Archbishops on 29 June.

The Pallium is a symbol that an Archbishop is the Metropolitan of a Province (a number of Dioceses) and it is a symbol of unity with the Apostolic See, a bond of love for the Church and for the Pope and an incentive to courage in preaching and teaching. The Pallium is buried in the casket with an Archbishop who has received it.





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