Bishop Robinson returns to the Father at 83

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

    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.

    Bishop Robinson, centre, stands with brother priests Monsignor Vince Redden and Fr Bob Brogan in 2009. Photo: The Catholic Weekly

    “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.

    An outspoken voice

    “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.

    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.

    Funeral Mass details

    The funeral Mass for Bishop Robinson will be held on Wednesday 6 January at 11am at St Joseph’s Parish in Enfield, where the Bishop lived in retirement.

    The Mass will be livestreamed via the parish website. After reserved seating for clergy, families and dignitaries, limited seating will be available for parishioners and visitors. There will be seating outdoors and in the parish hall due to COVID social distancing requirements. Refreshments will be provided.

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