Published by Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) on 10 May 2022
Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB has been announced as the new Australian Catholic Bishops Conference President, succeeding Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge.
Archbishop Costelloe, who was elected to the role on 6 May, was appointed an Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne in 2007 and Archbishop of Perth in 2012. He is the first president of the Bishops Conference from Western Australia and, as a priest of the Salesians of Don Bosco, the first member of a religious Order to be elected president.
Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB – image courtesy Ron Tan/The Record AU
Archbishop Costelloe paid tribute to Archbishop Coleridge, who served in the presidency for four years, saying he had guided the Bishops Conference through important and sometimes challenging times.
Archbishop Mark Coleridge – image courtesy Archdiocese of Brisbane
“It was Archbishop Coleridge who guided our response beyond the Royal Commission, represented the Church in Australia at the global summit on sexual abuse and steered the bishops through a pandemic and a host of other challenges,” he said.
“Archbishop Coleridge has been a calm and considered leader locally and in the global Church and will be a trusted adviser for me in this new role.”
His Grace added that despite those difficulties, the Church’s ministries remained critical to Australian society.
“The Church in this country is an immense contributor to our society, through our parishes, our schools, our hospital and aged care, our social services and countless other ministries,” Archbishop Costelloe said.
“As we continue to contemplate how we live out the Gospel in this age, including through the Plenary Council, I look forward to working with my brother bishops and the People of God to carry forward Christ’s mission.”
Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP, who has served as vice-president of the Conference for the past four years, will remain vice president.
Archbishop Fisher said he was looking forward to continuing to serve the Conference in a leadership role and working closely with Archbishop Costelloe on key issues for the Church’s mission in Australia.
The president and vice president’s two-year terms will commence on 13 July 2022, at the conclusion of the Second General Assembly of the Fifth Plenary Council of Australia (4 to 9 July 2022).
To learn more about the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference go to https://www.catholic.org.au/