Barry Hickey

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The Most Reverend

Barry Hickey

8th Roman Catholic Archbishop
Archbishop Barry Hickey (cropped).jpg
Province Perth
Diocese Archdiocese of Perth
Installed 27 August 1991[1]
Term ended 20 February 2012[1]
Predecessor William Foley
Successor Timothy Costelloe
Other posts Bishop of Geraldton
(1984 – 1991)
Ordination 20 December 1958, (priest)[1] in Rome
Consecration 1 May 1984 (bishop)[1] in
Personal details
Birth name Barry James Hickey
Born (1936-04-16) 16 April 1936 (age 83)
Leonora, Western Australia[1]
Nationality Australian
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Occupation Roman Catholic bishop
Profession Cleric
Alma mater University of Western Australia
Pontifical Urbaniana University, Rome
Motto Umbram Fugat Veritas
("Truth puts the shadows to flight")
Styles of
Barry Hickey
Mitre plain 2.png
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Grace
Religious style Emeritus Archbishop
Posthumous style not applicable

Barry James Hickey OAM KC*HS[2] (born 16 April 1936 in Leonora, Western Australia[1]), an Australian metropolitan bishop, was the eighth Roman Catholic archbishop of the Archdiocese of Perth, Western Australia, serving from 1991 until his retirement in 2012.

Early career

Hickey was ordained as a priest in Rome by Cardinal Paolo Giobbe on 20 December 1958[3] He attained a Licentiate in Theology from the Pontifical Urbaniana University in 1959 and undergraduate and master's degrees in social work[4] from the University of Western Australia in 1973. He was parish priest of Sacred Heart Parish, Highgate, at the time of his consecration as Bishop of Geraldton in 1984.[5]

Archbishop of Perth

Hickey was installed as Archbishop of Perth on 27 August 1991.[6][7]

In 1994 he addressed the National Press Club, talking about the release of the new Catholic Catechism.[8]

During his tenure as archbishop, Hickey is credited with the significant physical change achieved through the re-building and completion of St Mary's Cathedral, Perth.[9]

On attaining retirement age of 75 years in April 2011, Hickey tendered his resignation as archbishop to Pope Benedict XVI,[9][10] which was accepted on 20 February 2012 when Hickey's successor, Timothy Costelloe, was announced.[11][12][13]

Hickey is Knight Commander with Star and Grand Prior of the Lieutenancy of Australia Western of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre.[14]

Public stances

Hickey has challenged secularisation tendencies in the community. As an example, in 2010 he publicly questioned the lack of religious orientation of Julia Gillard, not long after her appointment as Prime Minister of Australia. He claimed that her atheism may cost her votes.[15]

Stem cell research

On 5 June 2007 Hickey made a controversial statement by saying that if the Western Australian members of parliament who identified as Catholic did not oppose the Human Reproductive Technology Amendment Bill, which would allow expansion of stem cell research, then they could be refused holy communion or face excommunication as a last resort. Catholic and non-Catholic members of parliament criticised Hickey for this stance. Hickey reportedly said that he did not consider that he had made a threat. He also later said that he would not refuse communion.[16]

Catholics who vote for the cloning of embryos destined for destruction are acting against the teaching of the Church on a very serious matter and they should, in conscience, not vote that way, but if they do in conscience they should not go to communion. – Archbishop Hickey.[17]

Theological writing

After a holiday in Jerusalem in the mid-2000s Hickey authored a book, Living Biblically, that encouraged a return to the use and reading of the bible.[18] Hickey chose the title based on an article in The Tablet where the author had written about his experience of the charismatic movement in the United Kingdom.[19]

In separate writings, Hickey shows his support and encouragement of the charismatic movement.[20]


Hickey was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 1982 for service to the community.[2]

In 1998, Pope John Paul II named him Relator Generalis for the Oceania Synod in Rome. The government of Western Australia appointed Hickey to the Homeless Persons' Advisory Committee and the Western Australia Ethnic Affairs Advisory Committee. The Commonwealth government appointed him to the Board of the Institute of Family Studies and as a Member of the Australian Citizenship Council.[21]

Published works

  • Couples preparing for marriage. Northcote, Victoria: Desbooks. 1983. ISBN 0-949824-04-6.
  • Living Biblically – How to find answers to life's deepest question in God's Word. Leederville, Western Australia: Record Books. 2008. p. 96. ISBN 978-0-9802868-2-3.


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Archbishop Barry James Hickey". The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church. 20 February 2011. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  2. ^ a b "HICKEY, Barry James". It's an Honour. Commonwealth of Australia. 14 June 1982. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  3. ^ Reflecting on this some 50 years later in I always wanted to be a priest. Record (Perth, W.A.), 17 Dec 2008, p.10-11.
  4. ^ "The development of Catholic welfare services in Western Australia, 1846–1970" (M. Soc. Wk.)--University of Western Australia
  5. ^ "Barry Hickey – appointed Bishop of Geraldton". The West Australian. 5 April 1984. p. 49.
  6. ^ Barry Hickey – biography of Archbishop Hickey on his installation as Archbishop of Perth, Sower (Geraldton) Aug. 1991, p. 1.
  7. ^ See also reflections in 20 years as a successor of the Apostles. Barry Hickey reflects on his 20 years as a Bishop and Archbishop. The Record (Perth, W.A.), 29 April 2004, p.6-7
  8. ^ Hickey, Barry (22 June 1994). Address delivered at the Australian launch of the English edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (sound recording). Canberra, Australia: National Press Club.
  9. ^ a b Rickard, Jayne; Simpson, Gavin (8 April 2011). "Time's up for Perth Archbishop". The West Australian. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  10. ^ Rosengren, Peter (16 November 2011). "Brisbane's prelate is free to go! No word on Perth". The Record. Australia. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  11. ^ "Archdiocese of Perth" (PDF) (Press release). Apostolic Nunciature in Australia. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2012.
  12. ^ "Bishop Timothy Costelloe SDB". Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. Archived from the original on 22 February 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  13. ^ Cardy, Todd (20 February 2012). "Pope appoints new head of Catholic Church in WA". PerthNow. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
  14. ^ "Archbishop Barry James Hickey KC*HS". Order of the Holy Sepulchre. 15 April 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
  15. ^ O'Brien, Amanda (30 July 2010). "Perth's Catholic Archbishop stirs fears about atheism". The Australian. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  16. ^ "MPs to probe Archbishop stem cell threat". The Brisbane Times. Australia. AAP. 7 June 2007. Archived from the original on 9 June 2007. Retrieved 8 June 2007.
  17. ^ "Hickey's stem cell threat to be investigated". The West Australian. AAP. 7 June 2007. Retrieved 8 June 2007.
  18. ^ Gilchrist, Michael (April 2009). "Book review: Living Biblically by Archbishop Barry Hickey". AD2000. 22 (3). Archived from the original on 17 January 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  19. ^ Living Biblically. p. iii.
  20. ^ Russell, Eddie (1997). 12 steps to divine healing (paperback). Foreword by Barry James Hickey. Subiaco, Western Australia: Flame Ministries International. ISBN 0-646-30706-1.
  21. ^ "Archbishop Hickey". Catholic Archdiocese of Perth. 2008. Archived from the original on 29 January 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2011.

External links

  • Profile on the John Paul II Institute website
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
William Foley
8th Catholic Archbishop of Perth
1991 – 2012
Succeeded by
Timothy Costelloe
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