Denis Hart

Last updated


Denis James Hart

Archbishop Emeritus of Melbourne
Church Roman Catholic Church
ArchdioceseMelbourne
SeeMelbourne
Appointed22 June 2001
Installed1 August 2001
Term ended29 June 2018
Predecessor George Pell
Successor Peter Comensoli
Orders
Ordination22 July 1967
by Arthur Francis Fox
Consecration9 December 1997
by George Pell
Personal details
Birth nameDenis James Hart
Born (1941-05-16) 16 May 1941 (age 77)
East Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Residence Saint Patrick's Cathedral
Previous post
Alma mater
MottoConstant in Faith
Styles of
Denis James Hart
Mitre plain 2.png
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Grace or My Lord Archbishop
Religious style Archbishop

Denis James Hart (born 16 May 1941) is an Australian prelate of the Catholic Church. He was Archbishop of Melbourne from 2001 to 2018.

Prelate high-ranking member of the clergy

A prelate is a high-ranking member of the clergy who is an ordinary or who ranks in precedence with ordinaries. The word derives from the Latin prælatus, the past participle of præferre, which means "carry before", "be set above or over" or "prefer"; hence, a prelate is one set over others.

Catholic Church Christian church led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's "oldest continuously functioning international institution", it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

Archbishop bishop of higher rank in many Christian denominations

In Christianity, an archbishop is a bishop of higher rank or office. In some cases, such as the Lutheran Church of Sweden and the Church of England, the title is borne by the leader of the denomination. Like popes, patriarchs, metropolitans, cardinal bishops, diocesan bishops, and suffragan bishops, archbishops are in the highest of the three traditional orders of bishops, priests, and deacons. An archbishop may be granted the title or ordained as chief pastor of a metropolitan see or another episcopal see to which the title of archbishop is attached.

Contents

Early years and background

Hart was born in East Melbourne, Victoria, the eldest of the three children of Kevin and Annie Hart. Educated at St John's Marist Brothers, in Hawthorn and Xavier College in Kew. He commenced study for the priesthood at Corpus Christi College between 1960 and 1967.

East Melbourne, Victoria Suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

East Melbourne is an inner suburb of Melbourne, Australia, 2 km east of Melbourne's Central Business District. Its local government area is the City of Melbourne.

Marist Brothers Catholic religious institute of brothers and affiliated lay people

The Marist Brothers of the Schools, commonly known as simply the Marist Brothers, is an international community of Catholic Religious Institute of Brothers. In 1817, St. Marcellin Champagnat, a priest from France, founded the Marist Brothers, with the goal of educating young people, especially those most neglected. While most of the Brothers minister in school settings, others work with young people in parishes, religious retreats and spiritual accompaniment, at-risk youth settings, young adult ministry and overseas missions.

Hawthorn, Victoria Suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Hawthorn is an inner suburb of Melbourne, Australia, 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) east of Melbourne's central business district situated in the City of Boroondara. At the 2016 Census, Hawthorn recorded a population of 23,511.

Ordained at St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne in 1967, Hart served as a hospital chaplain, an assistant parish priest and then master of ceremonies at St Patrick's Cathedral. He supervised the preparation of the books used in worship, including the lectionary for Mass. He was liturgy director and assistant master of ceremonies for the 1986 Papal Visit to Australia. [1] In 1987 Hart became a parish priest and in 1996 he became Vicar General and Moderator of the curia. He has served in the parishes of North Balwyn, North Richmond and West Brunswick. In 1997, he was consecrated a bishop and made an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Melbourne. [1]

St Patricks Cathedral, Melbourne Church in Melbourne, Australia

The Cathedral Church and Minor Basilica of Saint Patrick is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia, and seat of its archbishop, currently Peter Comensoli.

Lectionary book of scripture readings for a particular day or occasion

A lectionary is a book or listing that contains a collection of scripture readings appointed for Christian or Judaic worship on a given day or occasion. There are sub-types such as a "gospel lectionary" or evangeliary, and an epistolary with the readings from the New Testament Epistles.

Mass (liturgy) type of worship service within many Christian denomination

Mass is a term used to describe the main eucharistic liturgical service in many forms of Western Christianity. The term Mass is commonly used in the Catholic Church and Anglican churches, as well as some Lutheran churches, Methodist, Western Rite Orthodox and Old Catholic churches.

Archbishop

During 2001 Hart was appointed Archbishop of Melbourne, replacing George Pell who became the Archbishop of Sydney. On 29 June 2001, he received the pallium from Pope John Paul II in St Peter's Square. [1]

George Pell Australian Cardinal of the Catholic Church and convicted child sex offender

George Pell is an Australian prelate of the Catholic Church and convicted child sex offender. He served as the inaugural Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy between 2014 and 2019; and was a member of the Council of Cardinal Advisers between 2013 and 2018. He previously served as the eighth Archbishop of Sydney (2001–2014), the seventh Archbishop of Melbourne (1996–2001) and an auxiliary bishop of Melbourne (1987–1996). He was created a cardinal in 2003. Ordained in 1966, he has also been an author, columnist, and public speaker. Since becoming Archbishop of Melbourne in 1996, he has maintained a high public profile on a wide range of issues, while retaining a strict adherence to Catholic orthodoxy on most matters. His views on the environment, and global warming in particular, are inconsistent with scientific consensus, and contradict the positions held by Pope Francis.

Catholic Bishops and Archbishops of Sydney

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney has had a number of Bishops and Archbishops since 1842.

Pallium an ecclesiastical vestment in the Catholic Church: a narrow band, seen from front or back the ornament resembles the letter Y and decorated with six black crosses

The pallium is an ecclesiastical vestment in the Roman Catholic Church, originally peculiar to the Pope, but for many centuries bestowed by him on metropolitans and primates as a symbol of the jurisdiction delegated to them by the Holy See. In that context, it has remained connected to the papacy.

Within the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, he has been a member of the Permanent Committee since 2002, chairman of the Bishops' Commission for Administration and Information (2002-2012), member of the Bishops' Commission for Liturgy (1998-2012) and vice president of the conference (2010-2012). He has been chair of the ad hoc committee for the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross since 2010. [2] In May 2012, he was elected President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for two years. [3] He has been a member of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy since 2003 and its Vice President (2010-2014). He took part in the Oceania Synod and Ad Limina visit in 1998 and Ad Limina visits in 2004 and 2011. In 2007 Hart expressed that he was troubled by the remarks of St Pats Priest Geoff Baron. [4]

During 2016, Hart urged schools to be sensitive and respectful to students who want to invite a same-sex date to school dance nights. "These are quite often emotional situations and it's very important that we always have respect for the dignity of the human being involved", he said when Fairfax asked for his response to a previously unreported case at the Academy of Mary Immaculate in Fitzroy. [5]

He was appointed a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. [6]

Pope Francis accepted his resignation on 29 June 2018.

Hart requested a Melbourne parish priest stand down while the priest is looked into by civil authorities for allegedly violating child safety laws. [7]

Controversies

In 2009 during a court case, Hart was accused of having told a woman to "Go to hell, bitch" when she had knocked on his door in the middle of the night in 2004. [8] [9] On the ABC on 14 November 2013, Hart acknowledged making the comment, then immediately asserting that he always followed the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. He apologised for it and described it as unfortunate. [10]

In May 2013, Hart appeared at a Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse. He commented, in regard to why it took eighteen years to have a priest laicised for sexually abusing children, "Better late than never." [11]

In 2016, Hart banned the federal MP for Indi, Cathy McGowan, from speaking at a church organised event because she supports same-sex marriage and was the co-sponsor of a bill on the issue in the Australian parliament. [12]

On 15 August 2017 the Archbishop stated that if the law was changed to require clergy to report child sexual abuse learned of during confessionals he would break the law and not report such abuse. [13]

Related Research Articles

Cases of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests, nuns and members of religious orders in the 20th and 21st centuries have been widespread and have led to many allegations, investigations, trials and convictions as well as revelations about decades of attempts by the Church to cover up reported incidents. The abused include mostly boys but also girls, some as young as three years old, with the majority between the ages of 11 and 14. Criminal cases do not for the most part cover sexual harassment in the workplace against persons who had renounced sexual activity and therefore pre-declined sexual advances. This category includes all priests and seminarians and all religious brothers and sisters. The accusations began to receive isolated, sporadic publicity from the late 1980s. Many of these involved cases in which a figure was accused of decades of abuse; such allegations were frequently made by adults or older youths years after the abuse occurred. Cases have also been brought against members of the Catholic hierarchy who covered up sex abuse allegations and moved abusive priests to other parishes, where abuse continued.

Anglican Church of Australia church of the Anglican Communion

The Anglican Church of Australia is a Christian church in Australia and an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. It is the second largest church in Australia, after the Roman Catholic Church. According to the 2016 census, 3.1 million Australians identify as Anglicans. For much of Australian history, the Church of England was the largest religious denomination. It remains today one of the largest providers of social welfare services in Australia.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne archdiocese

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne is a Latin Rite metropolitan archdiocese, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Erected initially in 1847 as the Diocese of Melbourne, a suffragan diocese of Archdiocese of Sydney, the diocese was elevated in 1874 as an archdiocese of the Ecclesiastical Province of Melbourne and is responsible for the suffragan dioceses of Sale, Sandhurst and Ballarat. The Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Ss Peter and Paul and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hobart are attached to the archdiocese, for administrative purposes. St Patrick's Cathedral is the seat of the archbishop of Melbourne, currently Peter Comensoli who succeeded Denis Hart on 1 August 2018.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Sale is a suffragan Latin Church diocese of Archdiocese of Melbourne, that covers the south east of Victoria, Australia. The diocese was established in 1887.

Roman Catholic Diocese of Ballarat diocese of the Catholic Church

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Ballarat, based in Ballarat, Australia, is a diocese in the ecclesiastical province of Melbourne. It is a suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Melbourne and was established in 1874. Its geography covers the west, Wimmera and Mallee regions of Victoria. The cathedra is in St Patrick's Cathedral, Ballarat.

Donald Wuerl American cardinal

Donald William Wuerl is an American prelate of the Catholic Church, and was Archbishop of Washington, D.C. from 2006 to 2018. He was elevated by Pope John Paul II to serve as Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle (1986–1987), and Bishop of Pittsburgh (1988–2006). He was named Archbishop of Washington by Pope Benedict XVI and made a cardinal by him in 2010. Wuerl was the subject of a 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report that praised and criticized how he handled sexual abuse cases during his time in Pittsburgh. Wuerl has denied mishandling the cases. On October 12, 2018, Pope Francis accepted his resignation as Archbishop of Washington, although Wuerl remains in charge of the archdiocese as its apostolic administrator until Pope Francis appoints his successor, and remains a member of the College of Cardinals, one of only ten American cardinals who could choose the next Pope.

Anthony Fisher Australian bioethicist; Archbishop of Sydney

Anthony Colin FisherOP is an Australian prelate of the Roman Catholic Church and a friar of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans). Since 12 November 2014, he has been the ninth Catholic Archbishop of Sydney. He served as the third Bishop of Parramatta from 4 March 2010 to 12 November 2014, having previously served as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Sydney.

Sir Thomas Francis "Frank" Little KBE was an Australian bishop. He was the sixth Roman Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne. He was appointed by Pope Paul VI on 1 July 1974 and retired in 1996; he was succeeded by the Most Reverend George Pell. On retirement he was styled Archbishop Emeritus in the Archdiocese of Melbourne. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found that Little had led a culture of secrecy in the Melbourne archdiocese designed to hide complaints against several priests and protect the church's reputation from scandal.

Anglican Diocese of Brisbane

The Anglican Diocese of Brisbane is based in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The diocesan bishop's seat is St John's Cathedral, Brisbane. The current Archbishop of Brisbane is Phillip Aspinall, who was formerly the Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide archdiocese

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide is a Latin Church metropolitan archdiocese of the Catholic Church in Australia located in Adelaide, South Australia.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney archdiocese

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney is a Latin Church metropolitan archdiocese, located in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

John Clayton Nienstedt Roman Catholic archbishop

John Clayton Nienstedt is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as the eighth Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis from 2008 to 2015. He previously served as Bishop of New Ulm from 2001 to 2007.

This page documents Catholic Church sex abuse cases by country. The Catholic sexual abuse scandal in Europe has been documented by cases in several dioceses in European nations. Investigation and widespread reporting were conducted in the early 21st century related to dioceses in the United States of America; several American dioceses were bankrupted by settlement of civil lawsuits from victims. A significant number of cases have also been reported in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and countries in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Philip Wilson (bishop) Australian Roman Catholic bishop

Philip Edward Wilson is a retired Australian bishop who was the eighth Roman Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide from 2001 to 2018. He was President of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference from 2006 to 2010. From 1996 to 2001 Wilson was bishop of the Diocese of Wollongong, where he gained a reputation as a "healing bishop" for handling child-abuse scandals.

The Catholic sexual abuse scandal in Victoria is part of the Catholic clerical sexual abuse in Australia and the much wider Catholic sexual abuse scandal in general, which involves charges, convictions, trials and ongoing investigations into allegations of sex crimes committed by Catholic priests and members of religious orders. The Catholic Church in Victoria has been implicated in a reported 40 suicides among about 620 sexual abuse victims acknowledged to the public after internal investigations by the Catholic Church in Victoria.

Catholic sexual abuse cases in Australia, like Catholic sexual abuse scandals elsewhere, have involved convictions, trials and ongoing investigations into allegations of sex crimes committed by Catholic priests, members of religious orders and other personnel which have come to light in recent decades, along with the growing awareness of sexual abuse within other religious and secular institutions. Criticisms of the Church have centred both on the nature and extent of abuse, and on historical and contemporary management of allegations by Church officials. Internally, the Church began updating its protocols in the 1990s, and papal apologies for abuse in Australia were made by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI. A number of government enquiries have also examined church practices - most notably the 2015-17 Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The Royal Commission established that some 4,444 claimants alleged incidents of child sexual abuse in 4,756 reported claims to Catholic Church authorities and at least 1,880 suspected abusers from 1980 to 2015. Most of those suspected of abuse were Catholic priests and religious brothers and 62 percent of the survivors who told the commission they were abused in religious institutions were abused in a Catholic facility.

Gerald Francis Ridsdale, an Australian laicised Catholic priest, was convicted between 1993 and 2017 of a large number of child sexual abuse and indecent assault charges against 65 children aged as young as four years. The offences occurred from the 1960s to the 1980s while Ridsdale worked as a school chaplain at St Alipius Primary School, a boys‘ boarding school in the Victorian regional city of Ballarat. The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse found that senior figures in the church knew about Ridsdale's abusing children but protected him. Ridsdale was ordained at St Patrick's Cathedral in Ballarat in 1961. The first complaint about his behaviour towards children was received by the church that same year. Ridsdale held 16 different appointments over a period of 29 years as a priest, with an average of 1.8 years per appointment.

Patrick ORegan (priest) Catholic priest

Patrick Michael O'Regan is a priest of the Catholic Church. O'Regan was elected as the 9th Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sale in 2014 and he was consecrated and installed as a bishop by the Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart on 26 February 2015 at a ceremony in Sale.

Peter Joseph Connors was the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ballarat from 1997 to 2012 and is now Bishop Emeritus following his retirement on 1 August 2012.

References

  1. 1 2 3 "Biography of Archbishop Denis J. Hart". Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  2. "Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne: Church in Melbourne, Australia > Archbishop > Biography". www.cam.org.au.
  3. Link text
  4. https://www.theage.com.au/national/swearing-priest-suspended-20070801-ge5h6d.html
  5. Dobbin-Thomas, Marika (22 January 2016). "Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart gives green light to gay couples at Catholic school formals" via The Age.
  6. "Rinunce e nomine". press.vatican.va.
  7. https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/parish-priest-stood-down-over-child-safety-concerns-20180612-p4zl0i.html
  8. McKenzie, Nick (11 August 2009). "Sex abuse victim told to 'go to hell'". The Age. Australia. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  9. Lauder, Simon (11 August 2009). "Archbishop told abuse victim to 'go to hell': report". AM (ABC radio). Australia. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  10. "Archbishop apologises for Catholic Church's handling of sexual abuse", Lateline, ABC website, 14 November 2013.
  11. "Better late than never", The Australian newspaper.
  12. lifesitenews.com website.
  13. "Why an archbishop and a priest wouldn't report a confession to police". 15 August 2017.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
George Pell
Archbishop of Melbourne
2001–2018
Succeeded by
Peter Comensoli