Archbishop Mark Coleridge, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, said Mr Fischer lived as a proud Catholic and a proud Australian.
Educated by the Jesuits at Xavier College in Melbourne, Mr Fischer had a long and distinguished career in the New South Wales and Australian Parliaments.
At the Federal level, he served as leader of the National Party of Australia during the 1990s and Deputy Prime Minister and Trade Minister under John Howard between 1996 and 1999.
He served in the Australian Army during the Vietnam War.
“Tim was a man of many interests and with many talents, but those of us who have known him will remember most his warmth, his humanity and his strong conviction to pursue what is right,” he said.
In 2009, the Labor Government appointed Mr Fischer Australia’s Ambassador to the Holy See, a position he held while the canonisation of Australia’s first saint, Mary MacKillop, took place.
In 2012 he was made a Knight Grand Cross in the Order of Pius X, one of the Church’s highest honours.
“Tim was very proud to be our man at the Vatican at the time and was a remarkable host and ‘ambassador’ for Church and country,” Archbishop Coleridge said.
The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher OP and the head of the Archdiocese’s Anti-Slavery Taskforce John McCarthy QC also paid tribute to Mr Fischer.
“We acknowledge the pivotal role he played in planning the canonisation ceremony for Mary MacKillop in 2010. He was also a man with a deep Catholic faith and strong integrity with a deep love for regional Australia. My prayers are with his wife, Judy and sons Harrison and Dominic at this sad time,” Archbishop Fisher said.Jump to next article