Denis Hart bigraphy, stories - Catholic bishop

Denis Hart : biography

16 May 1941 -

Denis James Hart, DD (born 16 May 1941) is a Roman Catholic bishop, elected as the 8th Archbishop of Archdiocese of Melbourne, since 2001.

Early years and background

Hart was born in East Melbourne, Victoria, the eldest of the three children of Kevin and Annie Hart. Educated at St John's Marist Brothers, in Hawthorn and at Xavier College, in Kew, he commenced study for the priesthood at Corpus Christi College between 1960 and 1967.

Ordained at St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne on 22 July 1967, Hart served as a hospital chaplain, an assistant parish priest and then Master of Ceremonies at St Patrick's Cathedral. He supervised the preparation of the books used in worship, including the lectionary for liturgical mass. He was Liturgy Director and Assistant Master of Ceremonies for the 1986 Papal Visit to Australia. In 1987 Hart became a parish priest and in 1996 he became Vicar General and Moderator of the curia. He has served in the parishes of North Balwyn, North Richmond and West Brunswick. In 1997, he was consecrated a bishop and made an auxiliary bishop to the Archdiocese of Melbourne.


In a 2009 court case, Hart was accused of having told a woman to "Go to hell, bitch" after she had knocked on his door in middle of the night in 2004.

In May 2013 Denis Hart appeared at a Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse. He commented, in regard to why it took eighteen years to have a Priest laicised for sexually abusing children, "Better late than never."

Archbishop of Melbourne

In 2001 Hart was appointed Archbishop of Melbourne, replacing George Pell, who became Archbishop of Sydney. On 29 June 2001, he received the pallium from Pope John Paul II in St Peter's Square.

Within the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, he has been a member of the Permanent Committee since 2002, and was chairman of the Bishops' Commission for Administration and Information (2002-2012),and a member of the Bishops' Commission for Liturgy(1998-2012), and Vice President of the Conference (2010-2012). He has been Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee for the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross since 2010.

In May 2012, he was elected President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for two years.

He has been a member of the International Commission on English in the Liturgy since 2003 and its Vice President (2010-2014).

He took part in the Oceania Synod and Ad Limina visit in 1998, and in Ad Limina Visits in 2004 and 2011.

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