The Most Reverend
|5th Roman Catholic Archbishop|
|Diocese||Canberra – Goulburn|
|In office||25 June 1983 – 19 June 2006|
|Predecessor||Edward Bede Clancy|
|Other posts||Bishop of Wagga Wagga (1968 – 1983)|
|Ordination||27 July 1954 (Priest) in St Brendan's Church, Ganmain|
|Consecration||5 September 1967 (Bishop)|
|Birth name||Francis Patrick Carroll|
|Born||9 September 1930|
Ganmain, New South Wales
|Denomination||Roman Catholic Church|
|Parents||Patrick and Rose Carroll|
|Occupation||Roman Catholic bishop|
|Motto||Nova et Vetera (Old and New)|
|Reference style||His Grace|
|Spoken style||Your Grace|
Francis Patrick Carroll (born 9 September 1930 in Ganmain, New South Wales), a retired Australian metropolitan archbishop, was the fifth Roman Catholic Archbishop of Canberra – Goulburn, serving between 1983 until his retirement in 2006. Upon retiring, Carroll was appointed Archbishop Emeritus of Canberra – Goulburn. Prior to his election as archbishop, Carroll served as Bishop of Wagga Wagga between 1968 and 1983.
Carroll was the second of seven children of Patrick and Rose Carroll. He was ordained a priest in 1954 in St Brendan's Church, Ganmain. After service in Griffith and Albury, Carroll was appointed to the role of Assistant Diocesan Inspector of Schools and became Director of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Wagga Wagga in 1965.
In 1968 he was appointed Bishop of Wagga Wagga by Paul VI. He has been a spiritual director to the Cursillo movement and was a member of the first National Catholic Education Commission (from 1969 to 1971). In 1974, he was appointed to the International Catechetical Commission, an appointment he held for 18 years. He was the Australian representative at the Synod of Bishops on Catechesis in 1977 and was the first chairperson of the National Catholic Education Commission from 1974 to 1978, remaining a member until 1988.
Popularly known as "Father Francis", he served the church in Canberra for 23 years. The development of Catholic schools in the archdiocese is a significant part of his legacy, in addition to his role in helping to bring about government aid to private schools in Australia.
He was also the first Australian bishop to call a diocesan synod since the Second Vatican Council. It was held in Canberra during 1989 with a subsequent synod in 2004. The synod's recommendations accepted by the archbishop were the formation of a commission for women, a commitment to resource and support the Catholic youth ministry team for a period of five years, the embracing of the concept of encouraging parishes to implement family-based sacramental programs and calling on parishes to consider the employment of pastoral associates possibly in conjunction with neighbouring parishes. However, the synod's proposals were not without their detractors.
As president of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference he sought to find ways to meet the church's challenge of a decline in priestly vocations, including considering married priests:
"Personally I, and I believe every Bishop, would value very, very highly the gift of celibacy, but I think some would be prepared to look at some relaxation of that discipline if that were to help."
He also advocated for the extension of Australian visas for assulym seekers, particularly from Timor Leste. For over ten years, Carroll sought the creation of a special visa category for the East Timorese asylum seekers, most of whom are active members of the Catholic community and have lived in Australia. While this request was not approved by the Howard government, it triggered the personal intervention of the Minister for Immigration to grant permanent residency status to the assulym seekers where appropriate.
In August 2005, prior to attaining 75 years of age, Carroll submitted his resignation to Benedict XVI, which was accepted the following month, but he continued in the role until his replacement, Mark Coleridge, was appointed in June 2006. He now lives in retirement in Wagga Wagga.
He was awarded the Centenary Medal on 1 January 2001 for "Service to Australian Society through the Roman Catholic Church".
In February 2006, as a result if a public appeal, a scholarship was established to help students attend the Canberra campus of the Australian Catholic University. The Francis Carroll Scholarship provides financial support to students who relocate from rural or regional areas of the Archdiocese of Canberra – Goulburn or the Diocese of Wagga Wagga to undertake an Education course at the Canberra campus.
In May 2006, Carroll was awarded the Doctor of the University (Univ.D), honoris causa, the highest honour from the Australian Catholic University. The award recognised Carroll's contribution to Catholic education.
|Catholic Church titles|
Francis Augustin Henschke
| 3rd Bishop of Wagga Wagga
William John Brennan
Edward Bede Clancy
| 5th Archbishop of Canberra – Goulburn