Bishop Putney installed as Bishop of Townsville
Former Brisbane auxiliary Bishop Michael Putney was installed as Bishop of the Diocese of Townsville on Tuesday evening.
The installation ceremony took place in the Villa Vincent Church at Mundingburra.
Bishop Putney has succeeded Bishop Raymond Benjamin, who reached the retiring age of 75.
Born in the central Queensland city of Gladstone in 1946, and grew up in Townsville. He is returning to Townsville after a long absence.
He told The Catholic Leader: "One Townsville priest said to me when I went to the seminary for Brisbane archdiocese that it wasn't right. I should be going there for Townsville. Little did he know that that was what would eventually happen."
Bishop Putney chairs the Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, and is a member of its Committee for Doctrine and Morals, which he chaired for five years until 2000. He has been widely published in Australian and international theological journals and has lectured widely, especially on ecumenism, across Australia and in New Zealand.
He said he would give special attention to youth: "They are capable of greatness as young people never were. Our task is to show then that the Church can offer them an answer to their spiritual longings and a vision for the world that can inspire them."
He also told the Leader that he would also focus on Aboriginies and Torres Strait Islanders: "Townsville actually has one of the largest indigenous populations of any diocese and I very much look forward to working with them."