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Bishop Brian honours the passing of Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy

April 10, 2021

It is with sadness that I recognise the death of Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy. Cardinal Cassidy was a true gentleman. He was a man of faith and was faithful to the mission that God asked of him. He worked for the Lord across the world.

I had the privilege of knowing him throughout the years, but especially during his years of retirement in Newcastle. His death brings a real sense of loss for all those who knew and loved him. I can attest that he was a man of great faith, dedication and humour.

The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference have released a statement that summarises the remarkable life and achievements of this wonderful man: “After being ordained to the priesthood, Cardinal Cassidy served in parish ministry in Wagga Wagga Diocese before heading to Rome for ongoing study. Once he completed his additional training, he spent nearly 30 years serving as a Vatican diplomat in Asia, Europe, Latin America and Africa.

“He was later appointed to the Secretariat of State, where he served for almost two years in a role equivalent to the Pope’s chief of staff.

“He was named president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity in 1989 and elevated to the rank of cardinal in 1991. He retired from the Pontifical Council in 2001 at the age of 76.

“Cardinal Cassidy was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 1990 in ‘recognition of service to religion and to international affairs’.

“Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president Archbishop Mark Coleridge said Cardinal Cassidy’s friendly and down-to-earth style were among his hallmarks while serving at the Vatican. ‘Cardinal Cassidy showed not only diplomatic skill and political astuteness, but also human authenticity and common sense,’ he said. ‘There was a simplicity in it all – the simplicity of a man called to high office in the Church but with his eyes firmly on Jesus Christ.’”

My he Rest In Peace and know the loving embrace of the God he so faithfully served.

Most Rev Brian G Mascord DD
Bishop of Wollongong
10 April 2021
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