ARCHBISHOP George Pell of Melbourne has pledged to maintain and deepen unity within Sydney’s Catholic community after being named the city’s new archbishop last Monday.
In a media statement in Sydney last Tuesday, Archbishop Pell made a pledge of service to the archdiocese.
“I willingly accept appointment to this important office in the mother Church of the Catholic community in Australia,” he said.
His predecessor, Cardinal Edward Clancy, who resigned in January 1999 when he reached 75, as is required by canon law, said last Tuesday in response to the announcement, “At last!”
“I’m very happy about Archbishop Pell’s appointment. It’s a good choice,” he said.
Sydney’s retired Auxiliary Bishop John Heaps said the appointment had come as “a massive surprise”.
“A move from Melbourne to Sydney is quite unusual,” he said.
Emeritus professor of history at the Catholic Institute of Sydney, Fr Edmund Campion, confirmed that this was the first time a Victorian had been appointed to Sydney in such a capacity.