New vice-president for Australian Catholic Bishops Conference

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has a new vice-president after elections in Sydney.

Bishop of Sale, Greg Bennet, will take on the role after Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, retired from the position at the end of the maximum three, two-year terms.

The Conference acknowledged Archbishop Fisher’s service and leadership.

Archbishop of Perth, Timothy Costelloe, was re-elected president of the Conference.

“I am pleased to have the opportunity to be vice-president to Archbishop Costelloe whose leadership within conference and broadly across the Church has been so clearly reaffirmed by his re-election,” Bishop Bennet said.

“I am humbled by my brother bishops who have elected me to this position of service to the Conference.

“And, while I am surprised, I will commit myself to the support of the important work of administration and pastoral mission supported by the conference and our various partners across the dioceses and agencies of the Church throughout Australia.”

He was ordained bishop in December 2020 and appointed by Pope Francis to the Dicastery for the Clergy in March 2023.

Bishop Bennet has a Master of Science degree from Loyola College University in Baltimore (USA), undertook licentiate studies in Rome and completed a theology degree at the Melbourne College of Divinity.

He was ordained deacon in 1991 and priest in 1992 in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, serving in a number of parish and key archdiocesan roles.

In 2012 he was appointed Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia in the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

Bishop Bennet chairs the national Bishops Commission for Professional Standards and Safeguarding.

The Sale diocese is located in the Gippsland region of south-eastern Victoria.

The election was held on the first day of the May plenary of all Catholic bishops of Australia on Friday.

(Photo of Bishop Greg Bennet by Paul Osborne, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference)