Bishop Bill Wright, the eighth bishop of Maitland-Newcastle Diocese, died on Saturday in Maitland Hospital having succumbed to lung cancer at the age of 69. Source: MNnews.Today.
Bishop Wright announced his ill health in September and confirmed he had submitted his resignation as Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle to Pope Francis. He had been bishop of the diocese since June 2011.
Fr Andrew Doohan, vicar general of the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese, said Bishop Wright was “a warm, considered and deeply faithful man” who was “always dedicated to the people of the diocese”.
Fr Doohan said Bishop Wright “served as an inspiration, not only for many of our clergy but also those in the places he served” and would be greatly missed.
“Bishop Bill was an active and respected member of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference. He made major contributions to the Church and the wider communities in which he ministered,” Fr Doohan said.
Bishop Wright led the diocese during a period when it faced ongoing revelations of historical child sexual abuse that occurred within the diocese and the failures of some of its past leaders to protect children from abuse.
Fr Doohan said the bishop was recognised as an important figure in supporting survivors and introducing reforms to help the Church respond to child sexual abuse.
“Bishop Bill recognised the pain of the victims and their families, he acknowledged this and made an abiding commitment to promote the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults. Bishop Bill’s work to support survivors is part of his legacy,” he said.
Funeral details have not yet been finalised.
Death of Bishop Bill Wright (MNnews.Today)
Lung cancer claims Newcastle's Bishop Bill Wright (Newcastle Herald)