Edward Clancy (cardinal)

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His Eminence

Edward Clancy

Cardinal-Archbishop Emeritus of Sydney
Edward Clancy.jpg
ArchdioceseRoman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney
Appointed12 April 1983
Installed27 April 1983
Term ended26 March 2001
PredecessorJames Darcy Freeman
SuccessorGeorge Pell
Other postsCardinal-Priest of Santa Maria in Vallicella
Ordination23 July 1949
by Norman Thomas Gilroy
Consecration19 January 1974
by James Darcy Freeman
Created cardinal28 June 1988
by Pope John Paul II
Personal details
Birth nameEdward Bede Clancy
Born(1923-12-13)13 December 1923
Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia
Died3 August 2014(2014-08-03) (aged 90)
Randwick, New South Wales, Australia
DenominationRoman Catholic
Previous post
MottoFides mundum vincit ("Faith conquers the world")
Coat of armsEdward Clancy's coat of arms
Styles of
Edward Clancy
Coat of arms of Edward Bede Clancy.svg
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal
SeeSydney (emeritus)

Edward Bede Clancy AC (13 December 1923 – 3 August 2014) was an Australian Roman Catholic bishop and cardinal. He was the seventh Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sydney from 1983 to 2001. He was made Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria in Vallicella in 1988.

Early life and ordination[edit]

Clancy was born in Lithgow, New South Wales, on 13 December 1923. He said that he wanted to be a priest from an early age and pretended to celebrate his first Mass while still a child, to the amusement of his brother and sisters.[citation needed] After completing his studies at Marist Brothers College, Parramatta, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1949, on the same day as the future Australian cardinal Edward Cassidy.

Priest and bishop[edit]

In 1953 Clancy earned a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum).[1] Clancy continued his education, eventually earning his doctorate in theology in 1965. He then started as a teacher and later accepting the position of chaplain at the University of Sydney. He also served as the official spokesperson for the archdiocese at this time and became very well known on that basis.

On 19 January 1974, Clancy was consecrated titular Bishop of Árd Carna and Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney.

Archbishop and cardinal[edit]

On 24 November 1978, he was appointed Archbishop of Canberra (and Goulburn). In the little over four years that he was Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn, Clancy was respected by the people of Canberra Goulburn as a very friendly and approachable archbishop who was also very supportive of his people and his priests. He had a great rapport with young people in the archdiocese.

On 12 February 1983 he was appointed Archbishop of Sydney and on 28 June 1988 he was elevated to Cardinal-Priest of Santa Maria in Vallicella. He also continued his education career throughout this time, becoming the Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University in 1992.

Major work on St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney took place under his episcopacy. In 1999 a substantial new pipe organ was built by Orgues Létourneau Ltée of Montreal, Québec.[2] In the year 2000 the spires of the cathedral were finally completed.[3]

During his term as archbishop the neo-Gothic diocesan seminary of St Patrick's at Manly (founded by Cardinal Patrick Moran in 1889) was closed and the heritage listed building leased to an international hospitality school.[4] A new seminary, the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, was opened in the inner-western Sydney suburb of Homebush.[5]

Cardinal Clancy was a Fellow of Warrane College, UNSW.

Abuse scandal[edit]

His tenure was not without controversy because of allegations surrounding the abuse scandal within his diocese.[citation needed]

Retirement and death[edit]

Clancy retired as Archbishop of Sydney in 2001 and was succeeded by Archbishop George Pell. In the period from 21 October 2003 (when Pell was made cardinal) until Clancy's own 80th birthday on 13 December 2003, there were three Australian cardinal electors (had a papal conclave become necessary); Clancy, Pell and Edward Cassidy.

Clancy's health began to decline after his retirement and he died on 3 August 2014, aged 90, at the Little Sisters of the Poor nursing home in the Sydney suburb of Randwick.[6][7]

Further reading[edit]

  • "Edward Bede Clancy", Biography Resource Center Online, Gale Group, 2001.


  1. ^ https://www.sydneycatholic.org/about/history/Clancy.shtml Accessed Dec. 2, 2014
  2. ^ "Orgues Létourneau Limited – St. Mary's Cathedral – West Organ". Letourneauorgans.com. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  3. ^ The Catholic Leader. "St Mary's Cathedral Finally Completed". The Catholic Leader. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  4. ^ Tony Abbott. "St Patrick's College, Manly, seminary becomes a hotel school!". Ad2000.com.au. Archived from the original on 18 March 2015. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  5. ^ "sgs.org.au". Sgs.org.au. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  6. ^ Kerry Myers. "A faithful son of the church: former Sydney Archbishop Edward Clancy dies". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  7. ^ http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/former-sydney-archbishop-edward-clancy-dead-at-90/story-e6frg6nf-1227011865198

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Thomas Cahill
Archbishop of Canberra–Goulburn
Succeeded by
Francis Carroll
Preceded by
James Darcy Freeman
Archbishop of Sydney
Succeeded by
George Pell