Archbishop Coleridge to explore Synodal Church in upcoming seminar

23 April 2024
Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Brisbane, speaks during the Canon Law Society of Australia and New Zealand Annual Conference at the Novotel Sydney Parramatta. Image: Diocese of Parramatta.


So what does go on under the mitre? How does a bishop think? Does he change his mind? He gives advice, but does he take it? Ever angry, fearful, or joyful?

A bishop I knew told me that when visiting a primary school, he asked a child, “So, what is a bishop?” The child’s answer was, “A priest who did well and got promoted.” The bishop thought that the child had a good understanding of the corporate world, but had rather missed the point.

Let’s look at just one bishop, not our Bishop Vincent, but one from Brisbane: Archbishop Mark Coleridge. A middle child, he did his initial education in South Australia and his senior years at the famous St Kevin’s in Melbourne. With a diplomatic career in mind, he studied French and English at Melbourne University.

Having discerned a vocation to the priesthood, he studied in Melbourne and was ordained there in 1974. He was appointed an assistant priest in Melbourne, but soon was either studying Sacred Scripture in Rome and Jerusalem or teaching it in Melbourne. The signs were here of a “priest who was doing well”. Rome thought so too, and at the end of 1997, he was invited to work in The Vatican Secretariat of State.

In 2002, he was ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne, in 2006 Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn and in 2012 Metropolitan Archbishop of Brisbane. His love of Scripture is clear, but his interests range widely and he gives thoughtful commentary on current issues. After his experience at the Synod on the Family, he was a natural choice to head the commission that organised our Plenary Council.

In reflecting upon his four decades as a priest and a Bishop, Archbishop Mark has noted that almost nothing has turned out as he expected but, invariably, events had turned out better than they would have had he planned them himself. As he has been moved to reflect, “Jesus often surprises, but he never disappoints”.

Learn more about what happens under the mitre by listening to Archbishop Mark speak on “My journey in the Synodal Church” on Sunday 5 May in the Crypt of St Patrick’s Church, 20 Grosvenor St, The Rocks from 1.30pm to 3pm. Sponsored by Catalyst for Renewal. No need to book.


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