Monday 7 September 2009 Further to Father Bob’s comments today, Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart said today that he has listened to Father Bob’s comments on 3AW.“Father Maguire has for many years provided exemplary service to the Archdiocese of Melbourne and in particular to the people of South Melbourne,” the Archbishop said.“I am deeply grateful to him for his exceptional pastoral work over many years.” Father Maguire has been the Parish Priest of Saints Peter and Paul Parish, South Melbourne since 15 September 1973. Father Maguire will be 75 on 14 September 2009.
The Code of Canon law, which governs the structure of the Catholic Church, provides that when a Parish Priest reaches 75 years of age, that he is requested to offer his resignation to the Diocesan Bishop. The Bishop, after considering all of the circumstances of the priest and the parish, can decide whether to accept or defer the resignation.
Archbishop Hart said that he had written to Father Maguire to advise him of his responsibilities under Canon Law and of the support available to retired priests of the Archdiocese. The Priests Retirement Foundation supports retired priests through the provision of accommodation and financial support.
There are currently 88 retired priests of the Archdiocese being supported by the Priests Retirement Foundation, 61 of whom are 75 years of age or more, 21 of whom are aged between 66 and 75, and 6 under 65 who have retired due to ill health. The Archbishop said that he awaits Father Maguire’s response.