Mark Coleridge new Archbishop for Canberra

Melbourne auxiliary bishop and noted scripture scholar Mark Coleridge has been named the new Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn.

Bishop Coleridge, 57, also brings with him four years experience from 1998-2002 working in the Holy See Secretariat of State where he was also personal chaplain to the late Pope John Paul II.

He succeeds Archbishop Francis Carroll who is retiring as Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, having reached the age of 75.

"I am honoured and humbled to follow Archbishop Carroll in a diocese with a history as rich and varied as its landscape," Bishop Coleridge said last night.

"I look forward very much to meeting people, both in the cities and countryside and to serving them as pastor after Christ's own heart."

The Bishop was ordained a priest in 1974 at St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne. He is a distinguished Scripture scholar, having studied in Rome and earned a doctorate in Sacred Scripture.

Bishop Coleridge is also currently the Chairman of the Australian Bishops' Commission for Liturgy and is a member of the Australian Bishops' Commission for Doctrine and Morals.

Archbishop Carroll has welcomed the naming of his successor.

"I am delighted to welcome Bishop Mark Coleridge as my successor as Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn. Really blessed by nature and grace, he will be a true pastor to the people of the Archdiocese and an effective leader in the wider community," he said.

Archbishop Philip Wilson, the recently elected President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, has also welcomed Bishop Coleridge's appointment and thanked Archbishop Carroll for his years of service to the Church.

"Bishop Coleridge's wonderful intellect, talents and experience will be very valuable in his ministry," Archbishop Wilson said.

According to The Canberra Times, Canberra-based Church historian and commentator Paul Collins said Bishop Coleridge has wide pastoral experience and is "eminently suitable for the national capital."

Mr Collins said one of the important aspects of the appointment was that he would be able to work with Bishop Pat Power, whose concern for people alienated by the church has not always made him popular with its hierarchy.

Latest News (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 19/6/06)
Pope Benedict XVI appoints Bishop Mark Coleridge as the new Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 19/6/06)
Bishop Mark Coleridge honoured to be appointed Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn (Australian Catholic Bishops Conference 19/6/06)
Moderate scholar to lead ACT Catholics (The Canberra Times 20/6/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Bishop Mark Benedict Coleridge (Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne)
Bishop Mark Coleridge Documents and speeches (Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne)
Bishop Coleridge interview (Catholic Charismatic Renewal)
Pope no rottweiler (The Age 20/4/05)
Not Hollywood (Radio Vaticana 8/6/06)

Rome belongs to all of us (CathNews)
Bishop says Rome history shapes our identity (CathNews 16/12/05)

Church names Canberra prelate (The Australian 19/6/06)

20 Jun 2006