Renaissance of Marriage Talk:
Archbishop Anthony Fisher
Born in Sydney in 1960 to Colin and Gloria Fisher, he was baptised Anthony Colin Joseph at St Thérèse Church, Lakemba, and attended the parish school in 1965 and 1966.
Thereafter, he attended St Michael’s School Lane Cove, Holy Cross College Ryde, and St Ignatius’ College Riverview.
At the University of Sydney he received degrees in History and Law before practising law in a city firm.
In 1985 Bishop Anthony entered the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), a religious congregation dedicated to preaching the Catholic faith in the context of a life of study, prayer and community. He studied for the priesthood in Melbourne, receiving an honours degree in Theology.
He worked for a time on immigration and refugee issues at Uniya, a centre for social research in Kings Cross, and was ordained a priest at Holy Name Parish, Wahroonga, on 14 September 1991.
Thereafter, Bishop Anthony completed a Doctorate in Bioethics at the University of Oxford. From 1995 to 2000 he was a lecturer in the Australian Catholic University.
From 2000 to 2003 he was foundation Director of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family, Melbourne. Bishop Anthony remains Professor of Moral Theology and Bioethics in the Institute.
During this time he was also Master of Students (seminarians) in the Dominican Order and Socius (deputy) to the Provincial.
His community involvements included being Chaplain to the Parliament of Victoria; member of the Infertility Treatment Authority of Victoria; chair or member of several hospital ethics committees; and chaplain to various organisations such as the Order of Malta. He has published extensively in bioethics and moral theology.
Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney
In 2003, Pope John Paul II appointed him Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney. In that archdiocese he was Episcopal Vicar for Life and Health and Chairman of the Catholic Schools Board.
From 2003-2010 Bishop Anthony was Parish Priest of Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish, Watsons Bay. Since that time he has also been Deputy-Chancellor of the Catholic Institute of Sydney, Adjunct Professor in The University of Notre Dame Australia, and a member of the Company of the Australian Catholic University.
He was Co-ordinator of World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney. He was also Chair of the Catholic Education Commission of New South Wales from 2005 to 2015.
Bishop of Parramatta
On 8 January 2010, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop Anthony the third Bishop of Parramatta. As Bishop he oversaw the consultations, publication and implementation of the Diocesan Pastoral Plan, Faith in Our Future. This sets two basic goals for the Diocese: to grow our faith and to share our faith, focusing on five areas of greatest need and potential: families, youth, ethnicity, vocations and evangelisation.
Bishop Anthony worked extensively with the Catholic Education Office, principals and staff on the mission and identity of Catholic schools today, and with youth ministers and groups in promoting the connection of young people with the Church.
He addressed pastoral letters to the priests and people of Parramatta on Confession (Come back to Me with all your heart, Lent 2011), Pastoral Planning (Faith in Our Future, Lent 2012), the Child Abuse Crisis (with the NSW Bishops, Sowing in Tears, Lent 2013) Personal Vocation (Thy Kingdom Come, Christ the King 2013) and the Eucharist (This Wonderful Sacrament, Corpus Christi 2014).
Through letters, lectures, preaching and diocesan projects he addressed a range of questions such as refugees, homelessness, the Blue Mountains fires, the persecution of Christians, same-sex ‘marriage’, the family and social justice, euthanasia, the existence of God, faith and divine revelation, Christ and the saints, asceticism, the liturgy, vocations and preaching.
Following a significant increase in vocations to the priesthood in the Diocese of Parramatta, he directed the building of the new Seminary of the Holy Spirit at Harris Park. He also modernised the chancery, communications, professional standards and other aspects of the Diocese.
Since 2004, he has been an ordinary Member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, the body that advises the Church on bioethics. He recently published Catholic Bioethics for a New Millennium (Cambridge University Press). In 2011, Bishop Anthony received the honorary degree Doctor of Laws from the University of Notre Dame Australia.
Archbishop of Sydney
On 18 September 2014, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Anthony the ninth Archbishop of Sydney. His installation took place at St Mary’s Cathedral on Wednesday, 12th November.
On 6 May 2015 the Vatican announced Archbishop Anthony’s appointment to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the body responsible for promulgating and defending Catholic doctrine.
Also in May the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) elected Archbishop Fisher to chair the new Bishops Commission for Family, Youth and Life; member of the Permanent Committee of the ACBC (the Executive); member of the Supervisory Group of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council; and member of the Bishops Commission for Catholic Education. He remains the Bishops Delegate for Youth.