Australian prelate appointed to Oriental congregation

Archbishop Fisher with Pope Francis (Vatican Media)

Vatican City, August 8, 2019: Pope Francis has appointed Dominican Archbishop Anthony Fisher of Sydney to the Congregation for Oriental Churches.

The Vatican announced his appointment to the congregation on August 7, following on from previous Congregation member and former Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart.

The congregation is responsible for a number of Churches including the Melkites, the Maronites, the Ukrainians and the Chaldeans.

Archbishop Fisher welcomed the appointment which will involve specific dialogue with the Eastern Churches in Australia and across the world.

“Australia has a rich diversity of Middle Eastern Catholics and I very much look forward to working with the congregation,” he said.

Archbishop Fisher is also currently a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, an honorary member of the Pontifical Academy of St Thomas Aquinas and a member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

Joining Archbishop Fisher on the Congregation for Oriental Churches are Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, Archbishop of Perugia-Città della Pieve; Cardinal Carlos Osoro Sierra, Archbishop of Madrid; Cardinal Anders Arborelius, Bishop of Stockholm; Cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, Archbishop Georges Bacouni of Beurit and Jbeil of the Greek Melkites; Archbishop Borys Gudziak of Philadelphia of the Ukrainians; Archbishop Michel Petit of Paris, and Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

The congregation was established due to the complex reality of the geographical, cultural and social conditions of the middle eastern Churches and aims to strengthen the relationships between them.

It has exclusive authority over regions including Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula, Eritrea and northern Ethiopia, southern Albania and Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Jordan and Turkey, and also oversees jurisdictions based in Romania, Southern Italy, Hungary, India and Ukraine and is located in the historic Palazzo dei Convertendi.

Established by Pope Pius IX on January 6, 1862 with the Apostolic Constitution Romani Pontifices it was declared independent on May 1, 1917, by Pope Benedict XV.


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