Coleridge re-elected as head of Australian Bishops’ Conference

Australia’s Bishops re-elect Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane as president of the national Bishops’ Conference.

By Vatican News

On Friday, the Bishops of Australia re-elected Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane as President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher, OP, also won re-election as Vice-President of the Conference. Both will be serving a second two-year term.

The elections were held at the beginning of the Conference’s biannual plenary meeting, which runs from 7-14 May. The meeting is being held using videoconferencing on account of the coronavirus pandemic.

Archbishop Coleridge made the following remarks after being re-elected: “As a Conference, we have faced a number of big challenges over the past two years, including preparing for the Plenary Council and considering how the People of God in Australia can walk together into the future, especially now in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis”, said Archbishop Coleridge.

He also  noted, “The Church’s implementation of policies and protocols that prioritise child safety and offer a just and compassionate response to victims and survivors of abuse has also been a crucial focus” since the previous plenary meeting. “Much has been done, and the bishops will consider further steps during our plenary meeting over the next few days.”

Archbishop Fisher highlighted the importance of continuity as the Australian Church moves forward. “When we have medium- and long-term initiatives to carry out”, he said, “it’s good to have settled leaders supported by a group of bishops with shared aspirations”.