Archdiocese of Sydney
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Mary
|Territory||South-western Sydney, Canterbury-Bankstown, Inner West, most of Sydney's northern suburbs, lower north shore, eastern suburbs, St George, Sutherland, and the northern part of the Macarthur region|
|Area||1,264 km2 (488 sq mi)|
|(as of 2014)|
611,392 ( 24.2%)
|Sui iuris church||Latin Church|
|Established||1834: Vicariate Apostolic of New Holland and Van Diemen's Land;|
5 April 1842: Diocese of Sydney;
22 April 1842: Archdiocese of Sydney
|Cathedral||Cathedral Church and Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Mother of God, Help of Christians|
|Patron saint||Our Lady Help of Christians|
|Metropolitan Archbishop||Anthony Fisher OP|
Gerard Joseph Hanna
Columba Macbeth Green
Vincent Long Van Nguyen
|Auxiliary Bishops||Terence Brady |
|Vicar General||Gerald Gleeson|
|Episcopal Vicars||Terence Brady|
|Judicial Vicar||Julian B Wellspring|
|Bishops emeritus||David Cremin|
Erected in 1842 and directly responsible to the Holy See, the archdiocese is responsible for the suffragan dioceses of Armidale, Bathurst, Broken Bay, Lismore, Maitland-Newcastle, Parramatta, Wagga Wagga, Wilcannia-Forbes and Wollongong. The Military Ordinariate of Australia, as well as the Eastern Rite Melkite Catholic Eparchy of St Michael, Archangel and the Maronite Diocese of St Maroun are also attached to the archdiocese.
The Archdiocese of Sydney is involved in many different agencies within Sydney to provide services, care and support to people in need, including aged care; education; health care; prayer, worship and liturgy; solidarity and justice; vocations and seminary; youth and young adults ministry.
In 1819, two priests were officially authorised by the British government to minister to the Catholics of the Australian colony. Until 1834, the territory now forming the Archdiocese of Sydney and that of the entire Australian mainland and the island of Tasmania, was a distant outpost of the Vicariate Apostolic of Mauritius.
On 12 May 1834, the Vicariate Apostolic of New Holland and Van Diemen's Land was created and Father John Bede Polding, an English Benedictine, was appointed Vicar Apostolic with jurisdiction over what is now the Commonwealth of Australia.
The Diocese of Sydney (Dioecesis Sydneyensis) was created on 28 February 1842 with Bishop Polding as its diocesan bishop. On 5 April 1842 the Apostolic Vicariate of Adelaide and the Vicariate Apostolic of Hobart were erected, on territory split from the Diocese of Sydney. On 22 April 1842, the Apostolic Vicariate of Adelaide was promoted as the Diocese of Adelaide and the Vicariate Apostolic of Hobart became the Diocese of Hobart. The diocese of Sydney was elevated to an archdiocese and a metropolitan see, with Hobart and Adelaide as suffragans. At that time, the Archdiocese of Sydney included the whole of the eastern portion of the continent, comprising what are now known as the states of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.
At present, the Archbishop of Sydney is metropolitan of all the dioceses of New South Wales, with the exception of portions of the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn, which are geographically situated outside the Australian Capital Territory. The suffragan dioceses are: Maitland (1847), Armidale (1862), Bathurst (1865), Lismore (1887), Wilcannia-Forbes (1887), Wagga Wagga (1917), Wollongong (1951), Parramatta (1986) and Broken Bay (1986).
The "Metropolitan Cathedral of St Mary" is the cathedral church of the Archdiocese of Sydney and the seat of the Catholic Archbishop of Sydney. The cathedral is dedicated to "Mary, Help of Christians", Patron of Australia.
St Mary's is the largest church in Australia, though not the highest. It is located on College Street in the heart of the City of Sydney where, despite the high rise development of the Sydney central business district, its imposing structure and twin spires make it a landmark from every direction. In 2008, St Mary's Cathedral became the focus of World Youth Day 2008 and was visited by Pope Benedict XVI.
A foundation stone for the cathedral was laid in 1821 by Governor Lachlan Macquarie and completed in 1851. When this cathedral was destroyed by fire in June 1865, plans were put in place for the construction of the current cathedral. Constructed in the Geometric Decorated Gothic Revival style based on the designs of William Wardell, a foundation stone for the current cathedral was laid in 1868, with a dedication Mass held in 1882. Further construction of the nave commenced in 1913 and was dedicated in 1928. The richly decorated crypt was completed in 1961 and the most recent additions, two pinnacled spires, were commenced in 2000 and completed in advance of World Youth Day 2008.
St Mary's Cathedral College, located adjacent to the cathedral, was founded in 1824 and is a secondary day school that caters for approximately 750 boys from Years 5 to 12 and is administered by the Congregation of Christian Brothers.
The following individuals have been elected as Archbishop of Sydney, with a number elected as cardinals, as well as receiving civilian honours. Their highest title is shown here:
|Order||Name||Title||Date installed||Term ended||Term of office||Reason for term end|
|1||John Bede Polding, OSB||Bishop of Sydney||5 April 1842||22 April 1842||17 days||Elevated to Archbishop of Sydney|
|Archbishop of Sydney||22 April 1842||16 March 1877||34 years, 328 days||Died in office|
|2||Roger Bede Vaughan, OSB||Coadjutor Archbishop of Sydney||28 February 1873||16 March 1877||4 years, 16 days||Elevated to Archbishop of Sydney|
|Archbishop of Sydney||16 March 1877||17 August 1883||6 years, 154 days||Died in office|
|3||Patrick Cardinal Moran||Archbishop of Sydney||14 March 1884||17 August 1911||27 years, 156 days||Died in office|
|Cardinal-Priest of Santa Susanna||27 July 1885||26 years, 21 days|
|4||Michael Kelly||Coadjutor Archbishop of Sydney||16 July 1901||17 August 1911||10 years, 32 days||Elevated to Archbishop of Sydney|
|Archbishop of Sydney||17 August 1911||8 March 1940||28 years, 204 days||Died in office|
|5||Sir Norman Cardinal Gilroy, KBE||Coadjutor Archbishop of Sydney||1 July 1937||8 March 1940||2 years, 251 days||Elevated to Archbishop of Sydney|
|Archbishop of Sydney||8 March 1940||9 July 1971||31 years, 123 days||Retired as Archbishop Emeritus of Sydney|
|Cardinal-Priest of Santi Quattro Coronati||18 February 1946||21 October 1977||31 years, 245 days||Died in office|
|6||Sir James Cardinal Freeman, KBE||Archbishop of Sydney||9 July 1971||12 February 1983||11 years, 218 days||Retired as Archbishop Emeritus of Sydney|
|Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria Regina Pacis in Ostia mare||5 March 1973||16 March 1991||18 years, 11 days||Died in office|
|7||Edward Cardinal Clancy, AC||Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney||25 October 1973||24 Nov 1978||3 years, 30 days||Elevated to Archbishop of Canberra (and Goulburn)|
|Archbishop of Sydney||12 February 1983||26 March 2001||18 years, 42 days||Retired as Archbishop Emeritus of Sydney|
|Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria in Vallicella||28 June 1988||3 August 2014||26 years, 36 days||Died in office|
|8||George Cardinal Pell, AC||Archbishop of Sydney||26 March 2001||24 February 2014||12 years, 335 days||Named Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy|
|Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria Domenica Mazzarello||21 October 2003||15 years, 301 days|
|9||Anthony Fisher, OP||Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney||3 September 2003||4 March 2010||6 years, 182 days||Named Bishop of Parramatta|
|Bishop of Parramatta||4 March 2010||12 November 2014||4 years, 253 days||Installed as Archbishop of Sydney|
|Archbishop of Sydney||12 November 2014||present||4 years, 279 days|
There are around 577,000 Catholics in the archdiocese, with a total population of 2,085,000. The Catholic population is 27.7% of the total. There are 139 parishes, in the pastoral care of around 246 diocesan priests. There are some 480 priests in total, including religious priests, working within the archdiocese, including those on lesser duties and retired priests. There are 1,238 religious sisters and 275 religious brothers and five permanent deacons.
While Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal Clancy established the Seminary of the Good Shepherd in the Sydney suburb of Homebush in 1996. It serves men who are in formation for diocesan priesthood for the Archdiocese of Sydney and a number of dioceses from the province of New South Wales and beyond. The Seminary of the Good Shepherd replaced St Patrick's College, Manly.
Part of the Archdiocese of Sydney's initiatives for young adults is the social networking site Xt3. Standing for 'Christ in the Third Millennium', Xt3 is a content-driven social networking site launched at World Youth Day 2008, held in Sydney.
The Catholic sexual abuse scandal in Australia is part of the wider Catholic sexual abuse scandal which are a series of convictions, trials and ongoing investigations into allegations of sex crimes committed by Catholic priests and members of religious orders.
Across the Archdiocese of Sydney, in 2007, Ross Murrin, 52, a former Sydney Catholic school teacher and Marist brother, accused of indecently assaulting eight male Year 5 students at a Daceyville school in south-east Sydney in 1974, pleaded guilty to some of the 21 charges.
On 19 July 2008, before a congregation of 3,400 assembled in St Mary's Cathedral, Pope Benedict XVI lamented that child sex abuse had taken place and the pain it caused. He also condemned those responsible for it and demanded punishment for them. However, he did not state or imply that the institutional church, or any of its leaders, accepted any responsibility for what had taken place. His statement reads:
"Here I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country. I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured and I assure them that, as their pastor, I too share in their suffering. ... Victims should receive compassion and care, and those responsible for these evils must be brought to justice. These misdeeds, which constitute so grave a betrayal of trust, deserve unequivocal condemnation. I ask all of you to support and assist your bishops, and to work together with them in combating this evil. It is an urgent priority to promote a safer and more wholesome environment, especially for young people."
On 21 July 2008, before flying out of Australia, Pope Benedict met at St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, with two male and two female victims of sex abuse by priests. He listened to their stories and celebrated Mass with them. The Premier of New South Wales, Morris Iemma, said that "Hopefully it will be a sign of righting the wrongs of the past and of a better future and better treatment by the church of the victims and their families." Mark Fabbro, a victim of abuse and member of the Catholic Abuse Survivors Collective, said that while he was "happy to receive the apology, we still consider it indirect and insufficient". Chris MacIsaac of the victims' rights advocacy group Broken Rites said the Pope had taken his apology further than his previous comments on the issue as he has "never put it quite so strongly before", but expressed disappointment that the Pope had not made his apology directly to sexual abuse victims. One Australian victim of sexual abuse by a Catholic priest has stated in the media: Dealing with the church itself was a hell of a lot more traumatic than dealing with the abuse.