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Edward Clancy (cardinal)

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His Eminence

Edward Clancy

Cardinal-Archbishop Emeritus of Sydney
ArchdioceseRoman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney
Appointed12 April 1983
Installed27 April 1983
Term ended26 March 2001
PredecessorJames Darcy Freeman
SuccessorGeorge Pell
Other post(s)Cardinal-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
Edward Bede Clancy

(1923-12-13)13 December 1923
Died3 August 2014(2014-08-03) (aged 90)
Randwick, Sydney, Australia
DenominationRoman Catholic
Previous post(s)
MottoFides mundum vincit ("Faith conquers the world")
Coat of armsEdward Clancy's coat of arms
Styles of
Edward Clancy
Reference styleHis Eminence
Spoken styleYour Eminence
Informal styleCardinal
SeeSydney (emeritus)

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

Early life and ordination


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


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


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.

A notable event in the life of his tenure was the beatification of Mother Mary MacKillop, conducted at the Royal Randwick Racecourse on January 15, 1995. Pope John Paul II referenced Clancy in his homily when he said: "We are celebrating an extraordinary event in the life of the Church in this land: the beatification of Mother Mary MacKillop, the first Australian formally declared to be among the Blessed in heaven. I rejoice with all of you: with Cardinal Clancy and my Brother Bishops, with the priests, Religious, all of you, lay men and women, families, young people and children, who offer a radiant and authentic sign of the Church's vitality. I give thanks to God for being able to celebrate this Beatification right here on Australian soil." The Pontiff ended his homily by saying: "The Pope for today, Cardinal Clancy for tomorrow. Praise be the Lord!"[2]

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.[3] In the year 2000 the spires of the cathedral were finally completed.[4]

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.[5] A new seminary, the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, was opened in the inner-western Sydney suburb of Homebush.[6]

Clancy was a fellow of Warrane College, University of New South Wales.

Retirement and death


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.[7][8]

Further reading

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


  1. ^ "About Us – Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney". Accessed 2 December 2014
  2. ^ "Apostolic Journey to Australia: Beatification of Mother Mary MacKillop at Randwick Racecourse in Sydney (19 January 1995) | John Paul II".
  3. ^ "Orgues Létourneau Limited – St. Mary's Cathedral – West Organ". Letourneauorgans.com. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  4. ^ The Catholic Leader (26 August 2000). "St Mary's Cathedral Finally Completed". The Catholic Leader. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ "sgs.org.au". Sgs.org.au. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  7. ^ Kerry Myers (3 August 2014). "A faithful son of the church: former Sydney Archbishop Edward Clancy dies". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  8. ^ Archbishop Edward Clancy dead at 90 The Australian Archived 11 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Archbishop of Canberra–Goulburn
Succeeded by
Preceded by Archbishop of Sydney
Succeeded by