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New bishops (letter)
The article by Michael Gilchrist (September AD2000) on Sydney's two newly appointed Bishops left me feeling sad especially about the comment allegedly made by Bishop Pat Power that "it stretches my imagination to know, etc ...".
I would like to comment on these two marvellous appointments.
I have only recently met Bishop Porteous. Indeed, when I was in Sydney recently at the Human Life International conference, Bishop Porteous invited Gail Instance, HLI President, Fr Euteneuer, President HLI (USA), and myself for lunch at the seminary. It was wonderful meeting him, and as he showed us around the seminary, we enjoyed his company, laughter and sense of humour, but above and beyond that, his humility.
The Sydney people are blessed to have him.
Bishop Anthony Fisher I know better. I first met him many years ago when I was studying at Australian Catholic University and involved in pro life work. I began post abortion grief counselling about seven to eight years ago and for a time worked from home. This became difficult as the numbers increased and it was intruding into my family's life.
I approached many people for help to find room to work from, but all I got was a flattened nose from doors shut on it. Until I saw Fr Fisher. Within a matter of weeks I had rooms near the Melbourne Cathedral.
Fr Fisher (now Bishop Fisher) has supported me, offered Holy Mass for me and my work and been there when I needed to speak to someone.
My only sadness is that he has now moved to Sydney. While I still enjoy the support of Archbishop Denis Hart (as far as my rooms are concerned) those that I knew closer have gone. This makes me sad.
However, what makes me a little angry is the inference by Bishop Power that politics was at play in the appointments. Both these two men are worthy of their appointment as bishop and of being successors to the apostles.
I may be naive but I imagine the Holy Spirit may just have had a little to do in the appointments. If this is not the case, then we all have problems.
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 16 No 9 (October 2003), p. 14
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