ACU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Greg Craven AO GCSG has welcomed the appointment of the Most Reverend Peter A Comensoli as thenew Archbishop of Melbourne.
“The University is delighted by the announcement from Rome last Friday and welcomes the Holy Father’s appointment of Archbishop-elect Comensoli as the ninth Archbishop of Australia’s largest Archdiocese," he said.
“We look forward to building on the close relationship that ACU already shares with the Archbishop-elect.”
The Archbishop-elect was born and educated in the Illawarra region of NSW. He entered the seminary in 1986 and was ordained in 1992. After ordination, he undertook further studies in moral theology in Rome and was appointed Diocesan Chancellor for six years. He completed postgraduate studies in philosophy at the University of St Andrews and a PhD in theological ethics at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, before returning to the Wollongong Diocese where he served in a number of parishes. He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop to the Archdiocese of Sydney in 2011, and Apostolic Administrator to the Archdiocese in 2014, after which he was made the third Bishop of Broken Bay.
Archbishop-elect Comensoli will now lead the Archdiocese of Melbourne after serving the Broken Bay Diocese over the past three and a half years.
During his time in NSW, Archbishop-elect Comensoli has been a friend and supporter of ACU, notably as the Chair of the Internal Unit Review of the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy in 2015. He has participated in a number of student activities through Campus Ministry, including presiding at a number of our Graduation Masses in Sydney, serving on the Advisory Board of the PM Glynn Institute, and as a panelist in a public event, ‘A Respectful Conversation on Marriage’ in 2015. With his strong academic background and engagement with young Catholics, the opportunities of Catholic higher education have been of keen interest to him.
Archbishop-elect Comensoli serves on the Bishops’ Commissions for Evangelisation and for Family, Youth and Life. He has particular responsibility for euthanasia, life matters and media. This year he published a book entitled In God’s Image: Recognizing the Profoundly Impaired as Persons and has written several articles on Christian anthropology and disability.
In May this year, he was appointed to Chair the Bishops’ Commission for Life, Family and Public Engagement – which he will take up in November this year – and membership of the Bishops’ Commission for the Plenary Council.
The new Archbishop will be installed at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne on 1 August. He succeeds Most Reverend Archbishop Denis J Hart DD who is retiring after 17 years as Archbishop of Melbourne.
Archbishop Hart has been a good friend and strong supporter of ACU during his time as Archbishop of Melbourne. He has been a member of ACU Limited since its inception in 1991. He became a member of Corporation in 2001 and has been President of ACU Limited since 2014.
Professor Craven said, “The ACU community offers its deep appreciation and gratitude to Archbishop Hart for his strong and wise leadership for some years, and his friendship to us.
“We look forward to welcoming Archbishop-elect Comensoli to the Melbourne Campus in his new role soon.”