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Aspiring Catholic university names first President

Campion College Australia, a Catholic institution of higher learning being established in Sydney, has appointed well-known Adelaide bioethicist and Anglican turned Roman Catholic radio priest Fr John Fleming as its inaugural President.

The college, which is set to take its first students next year, is based at the former Toongabie monastery in western Sydney. Its focus will be on the liberal arts, with a stated intention of countering the national trend towards a vocational focus in higher education.

Announcing Fr Fleming's appointment, Board Chairman Joe de Bruyn praised his blend of "scholarly expertise, religious dedication and social involvement".

"I believe that Dr Fleming will be a most impressive leader of Campion College Australia," said Mr de Bruyn. "He will be moulding a unique institution in this country, which combines an education in the classical sources of knowledge - the Liberal Arts - with a firm grounding in Catholic wisdom."

Fr Fleming has been director of the Southern Cross Bioethics Institute in Adelaide since 1987. He is best known for his Sunday night radio program, which he has been presenting for 33 years. Married with three children, Fr Fleming is a former Anglican priest who became a Roman Catholic in 1987. He received a papal dispensation permitting his ordination in the Catholic Church for the Diocese of Adelaide in 1995.

Fr Fleming said he looks forward to working with many others to realise the project.

"The Church has played a decisive role in the history of higher learning," he said. "We only have to recall the civilising influence of Christian institutions like the monasteries, the first universities, and the international teaching orders, and we recognise the impact of Christian humanism through such figures as Benedict, Aquinas, John Henry Newman and John Paul II."

Campion College Australia Names Its First President (Campion College)

Campion College
Liberal arts focus at Campion College (Catholic Weekly 10/8/03)
Bishop challenged on use of diocesan property (4/12/02)
Southern Cross Bioethics Institute

17 Mar 2004