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Rome journalist says Bishop Fisher commands wide respect

Rome correspondent for the US National Catholic Reporter John Allen has commented that Sydney's new auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher OP "commands respect across ideological lines".

He reports on an interview he conducted with Fisher in Rome a week ago, in Friday's edition of his weekly web column The Word from Rome.

"[Fisher] had been described to me as one of the sharpest minds in English-speaking Catholicism, and this by Dominican confreres who don't necessarily share his rather traditional views on some questions.

"[He] is an expert in bioethics, and director of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Melbourne under the patronage of conservative Cardinal George Pell. Yet Fisher has also been socius, or assistant to the provincial, as well as master of students, in his own rather liberal Dominican province, a sign that he commands respect across ideological lines."

Asked about the Church's capacity to keep up with scientific change in areas such as non-therapeutic research on unborn life, Fisher said the Church could jump either way depending upon the politics and personalities involved.

"I'm not sure you'll ever get complete coherence on issues like that, and I'm not sure you'd want it," he said. "There are good arguments within the Catholic moral tradition that cut both ways, and what decides the matter may be the political situation, or what's happening in the culture, or how cautious or creative you are."

Auxiliary Bishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney (National Catholic Reporter )

Bishop-elect Fisher to debate Australia's 'Dr Death' (8/8/03)
Pope appoints two new bishops to Sydney Archdiocese (17/7/03)
Archdiocese of Sydney | Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP DD VG
John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family, Melbourne
The Dominican Province of the Assumption

3 Nov 2003