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Max Leroy Davis

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The Most Reverend

Max Davis

SeeMilitary Ordinariate of Australia
Installed22 August 2003
Term ended24 May 2021
PredecessorGeoffrey Mayne
Ordination31 October 1971
Consecration22 August 2003
by Geoffrey Mayne
Personal details
Maxwell Leroy Davis

(1945-08-16) August 16, 1945 (age 78)

Maxwell Leroy Davis AM (born 16 August 1945) is a retired Catholic bishop who served as the bishop of the Catholic Military Ordinariate of Australia.[1]

Davis grew up in Perth. In his late teens, he served in the Royal Australian Navy in 1962–1964, later returning to Western Australia. Davis worked as a teacher at Saint Benedict's College in New Norcia in the late 1960s.[2] He was ordained in 1971. He worked as a chaplain in the Army reserves and as a priest in the Archdiocese of Perth.[3]

Davis was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1998 for service to the navy, particularly as Director General of Chaplaincy-Navy.[4]

On 16 July 2003, Davis was appointed bishop of the Australian Military Ordinariate. He was consecrated bishop on 22 August 2003 by Bishop Geoffrey Mayne with Archbishop Francis Patrick Carroll of Canberra and Goulburn and Archbishop Francesco Canalini, Apostolic Nuncio to Australia as co-consecratirs.[5]

In June 2014, Western Australian police charged Davis with having indecently assaulted a 13-year-old boy in 1969, before he had been ordained. Davis denied the charges and stood aside from his roles of office while the charges were heard.[6] On 7 August 2015, he pleaded not guilty, and a six-day trial was set down to start on 6 February 2016 in the District Court of Western Australia.[2] The six counts related to the period between December 1968 and October 1972 when Davis was dorm master at St Benedict's College at New Norcia. The Defence case accepted that the boys were abused, but denied that Davis was the culprit, identifying other (now dead) possible offenders.[7] He was acquitted of all charges on 15 February 2016. He returned to public ministry in December 2017.[8][1]

Pope Francis accepted his resignation on 24 May 2021.[9]


  1. ^ a b "I'll be home for Christmas" (PDF). Serving faithfully. Catholic Diocese of the Australian Defence Force. December 2017. p. 2. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b Joanna Menagh (7 August 2015). "Army bishop to face trial on child sex charges in WA". ABC News. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  3. ^ "From sailor to bishop". The Catholic Weekly. Archived from the original on 15 May 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  4. ^ "DAVIS, Max Leroy". It's an Honour. Government of Australia. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  5. ^ Catholic-Hierarchy website Accessed December 17, 2020
  6. ^ "Catholic Church's military diocese head bishop Max Davis charged with child sex". News Limited. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 11 June 2016.
  7. ^ "Bishop's New Norcia child sex allegations a 'mistake', court hears". WA Today. Fairfax Media. 8 February 2016. Retrieved 11 February 2016.
  8. ^ "WA bishop Max Leroy Davis acquitted of child sex abuse". WAtoday.com.au. Fairfax Media. 16 February 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  9. ^ "Rinunce e nomine, 24.05.2021" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 24 May 2021. Retrieved 24 May 2021.
Preceded by Military Ordinary of Australia Succeeded by