Eric D'Arcy

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The Most Reverend

Eric D'Arcy
9th Catholic Archbishop
Installed24 October 1988
Term ended26 July 1999
PredecessorGuilford Clyde Young
SuccessorAdrian Leo Doyle
Other post(s)Bishop of Sale (1981 to 1988)
Ordination24 July 1949 (priest) in Melbourne
Consecration1 July 1981 (bishop)
Personal details
Birth nameJoseph Eric D'Arcy
Born(1924-04-25)25 April 1924
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Died12 December 2005(2005-12-12) (aged 81)
DenominationRoman Catholic Church
OccupationCatholic bishop
Alma materCorpus Christi College, Melbourne
University of Melbourne (BA Hons, MA)
University of Oxford (DPhil)
Pontifical Gregorian University (PhD)

Joseph Eric D'Arcy (25 April 1924 – 12 December 2005) was the ninth Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Hobart, Tasmania, Australia from 1988 to 1999. Immediately prior to his appointment to Hobart, D'Arcy served as the sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Sale from 1981 to 1988.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

D'Arcy was born in Melbourne, and grew up in the suburb of Brighton. He was educated at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish School, Armadale; De La Salle College, Malvern; Corpus Christi College, Werribee; and the University of Melbourne, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with First Class Honours and an Exhibition in Philosophy, and a Master of Arts in Philosophy. He later pursued doctoral studies in philosophy at the University of Oxford, where he was the first Australian-born philosopher to receive an Oxford doctorate, and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

He was ordained as a priest in 1949, and also taught in the Philosophy Department at University of Melbourne, eventually becoming its head, and was the author of Conscience and its Right to Freedom (Sheed and Ward, 1961) and Human Acts: an essay in their moral evaluation (Clarendon Press, 1963). He also participated as translator and commentator on the 60 volume English version of Thomas Aquinas' Summa.

He garnered unwanted notoriety in 1955, when a letter undersigned by him was leaked to the press confirming the existence of 'The Movement' (modelled on Catholic Action groups in Europe) within the Australian Labor Party. The resulting furore contributed to the Labor Split.[2]

Bishop of Sale and Archbishop of Hobart[edit]

He became Bishop of Sale, Victoria, in 1981 before his appointment to Hobart in 1988, and was Archbishop Emeritus of Hobart from his retirement in 1999 until his death in Melbourne in 2005, aged 81.


  1. ^ "Archbishop Joseph Eric D'Arcy". The Catholic Hierarchy. 19 February 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2011.
  2. ^ Franklin, James (2003). Corrupting the Youth: A History of Philosophy in Australia. Macleay. p. 151.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
6th Bishop of Sale
1981 —1988
Succeeded by
Preceded by
9th Archbishop of Hobart
1988 —1999
Succeeded by