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Bishop Robinson returns to the Father at 83


Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, a former auxiliary bishop of Sydney, died on December 29 after a long battle with terminal illness. He was 83.

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Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP paid tribute to the late Bishop, who recently marked 60 years of priesthood and had been a bishop for 36 years.

“I saw Bishop Robinson before his death and he was impressively peaceful, prayerful and looking forward to going to the Father,” Archbishop Fisher said in a statement issued after Bishop Robinson’s death.

“In this life he served in parishes, as a canon lawyer and law lecturer, and as an auxiliary bishop of Sydney. In the latter role he was very helpful to me when I was first appointed as an auxiliary bishop alongside him. He long contributed to the governance of Catholic education in NSW and, again, graciously helped with the ‘handover’ to me of the Catholic schools portfolio in Sydney and statewide.

“Bishop Robinson was an outspoken voice for the victims of child sexual abuse within the Church and the need for just redress and effective child protection going forward. He was undoubtedly one of the most influential figures in moving the Church forward on these matters,” the Archbishop said.

“Whether or not one agreed with all his proposals for Church reform, there was no gainsaying Bishop Robinson’s insistence that in the ‘Professional Standards’ area we can never ‘tick the box’ but must always be vigilant and improving our systems.

“A scholar of canon law and scripture, Bishop Robinson continued to write and give public talks in his retirement. He battled cancer bravely through his last years. May he Rest In Peace,” the Archbishop said.

The funeral Mass for Bishop Robinson was held on Wednesday January 6 at St Joseph’s Parish in Enfield, where the Bishop lived in retirement.

Republished with permission from the Archdiocese of Sydney publication, The Catholic Weekly.


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