Honour shared by all
Cardinal James Freeman
Archbishop Carroll said the announcement by Pope John Paul II of the new cardinal was not only a personal honour for the archbishop, but one shared by the whole Church in Australia.
“I have conveyed my congratulations and very best wishes to the cardinal-elect on his appointment,” Archbishop Carroll said.
“The College of Cardinals fulfils an important role of leadership and service in the life of the Catholic Church.
“The Church in Australia offers prayerful support to Cardinal Pell as he begins this new phase of his ministry.”
Archbishop Carroll said he looked forward to being in Rome this month for the Pope’s silver jubilee celebrations, at the conclusion of which the new cardinals would be installed.
Our report last week on the elevation of Dr Pell to cardinal referred to him as Australia’s sixth cardinal and inadvertently omitted Cardinal James Darcy Freeman, Archbishop of Sydney from 1971-83.
Cardinal Freeman, who was elevated to cardinal in 1973, is remembered as being a warm, affectionate man of God who had a special concern for the poor.
James Darcy Freeman, who was born in Annandale in 1907, was educated by the Christian Brothers at
St Mary’s Cathedral. He obtained special permission from Rome to be ordained a priest at the tender age of 22.
Pope Paul VI appointed him Sydney’s sixth archbishop in 1971 on the retirement of Cardinal Sir Norman Gilroy.
By that time he already had a long association with The Catholic Weekly as a board member and as a regular contributor.
Cardinal Freeman gave permission in 1974 for Masses to be celebrated on Saturday evenings, at which Catholics could fulfil their Sunday obligation.
He had a special fondness for and was a great supporter of the work of the St Vincent de Paul Society.
Cardinal Freeman retired as Archbishop of Sydney in 1983 and died at St Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst, on March 16, 1991. He was 83.
Australia has had six cardinals so far: Cardinal Patrick Francis Moran, Archbishop of Sydney (1884-1911); Cardinal Gilroy, Archbishop of Sydney (1940-71); Cardinal James Knox, Archbishop of Melbourne (1967-74); Cardinal Freeman, Archbishop of Sydney (1971-1983); Cardinal Edward Clancy, retired Archbishop of Sydney (1983-2001); and Cardinal Edward Cassidy, retired former president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity (1989-2001).