Leo Clarke (bishop)

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The Right Reverend

Leo Clarke
6th bishop of Maitland
DioceseRoman Catholic Diocese of Maitland
Appointed10 April 1976 (1976-04-10)
Term ended3 November 1995 (1995-11-03)
PredecessorJohn Toohey
Ordination24 July 1949 (1949-07-24)
by Archbishop Daniel Mannix
Consecration2 June 1976 (1976-06-02)
by James Darcy Freeman, Catholic Archbishop of Sydney
Personal details
Born(1923-08-29)29 August 1923
Died3 June 2006(2006-06-03) (aged 82)
DenominationRoman Catholic

Leo Clarke (29 August 1923 – 3 June 2006) was an Australian bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle in New South Wales from 1976 to 1995.

Clarke was ordained the sixth bishop of the Newcastle diocese in June 1976 after 27 years in the Archdiocese of Melbourne, where he served as a priest and the Master of Ceremonies at St Patrick's Cathedral under Archbishop Daniel Mannix.

As bishop, he was instrumental in implementing a program of renewal the diocesan community. He initiated the synod of 1992-93, a sustained consultation process involving clergy and laity coming to grips with the issues raised by the Second Vatican Council. His major rationalisation of Newcastle's Catholic secondary schools was controversial at the time and caused him enormous pain.

After his retirement due to ill health in 1995, he became Bishop Emeritus of Maitland-Newcastle.


  • Clarke, Leo M. (June 2003). "Archbishop Mannix : what was he like?". Footprints : Journal of the Melbourne Diocesan Historical Commission: 28–48.

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