Frank Little

Frank Little (1925 – 2008) Catholic archbishop
Archbishop Frank Little intervened relatively infrequently in public affairs, but he spoke out on issues such as euthanasia, gambling, in-vitro fertilisation, pornography and racial and religious vilification when he felt compelled to do so.

Frank Little rose to the purple in his church and became a knight of the realm but never strayed far from the parish pump.

Sir Frank often found the burdens of office as archbishop of Melbourne from 1974-96 heavy, as he tried to steer a sometimes fractious flock through the wake of the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s as old ways vanished, priests left the ministry, pews emptied and social attitudes were transformed. Then the first stirrings of the clerical sexual abuse crisis that has shaken the Church came towards the end of his time as archbishop.

What Little relished, and perhaps was best at, was personal contact with priests and parishioners. In contrast to Cardinal George Pell, now in Sydney, Archbishop Little intervened relatively infrequently in public affairs, but he spoke out on issues such as euthanasia, gambling, in-vitro fertilisation, pornography and racial and religious vilification when he felt compelled to do so.

Although there was always a sense that he abhorred conflict and division, particularly within the Church, it would be inaccurate to dismiss him, as did some critics, as “Dr Dolittle”. The first Victorian-born leader of Melbourne’s Catholics established strong ecumenical ties with other Christians, updated guidelines for religious education, established deaneries (groups of parishes) to foster co-operation in the sprawling archdiocese of Melbourne and tried to prepare Catholics for a very different style of Church through the “Tomorrow’s Church” process.

Thomas Francis Little, who died at age 82, was born in Werribee to Gerald, a World War I veteran who became a civil engineer and surveyor, and Kathleen (nee McCormack).

His family settled in Essendon when Frank was still an infant, an area with which he was to have lifelong associations through his devotion to the “state religion”, Australian rules football.

Little was educated in Essendon, Moonee Ponds and at St Patrick’s College, Ballarat, before entering Corpus Christi College and continuing his studies in Rome, where he was ordained a priest in 1950. He completed his doctorate there.

Complete article : http://www.smh.com.au/news/obituaries/a-gentle-guide-for-tough-times/2008/04/09/1207420480965.html

also : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Little_%28priest%29
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