Melbourne Archbishop to Lead Australia's Prelates

Archbishop Hart Succeeds Archbishop Wilson

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SYDNEY, Australia, May 4, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Archbishop Denis Hart, metropolitan archbishop of Melbourne, was elected this week the president of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference.

The bishops plenary is under way in Sydney.

Archbishop Hart will take over after this meeting from Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide, who has held the post for the past six years. 

Archbishop Hart says he is delighted to have been chosen to serve the Church in Australia in this way. “I am pleased to be able to serve the Church in any way that I can. I hope to see the faith of Catholics in Jesus Christ grow in this country. I am also grateful for the faith that my brother bishops have placed in me."

The bishops' conference president is elected every two years and can serve up to three terms. 

Denis Hart was born in Melbourne in 1941 and ordained a priest in 1967. He was named auxiliary bishop of Melbourne in 1997 and has been the archbishop since 2001. 

In the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference, he has been chairman of the Bishops Commission for Administration and Information, as well as being a member of the Permanent Committee and of the Bishops Commission for Liturgy. He is also vice chairman of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy.