On Friday 13 November, Bishop Peter Elliott, retired auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne, was admitted to hospital following a serious heart episode. By Saturday evening, his condition had worsened and Archbishop Peter A Comensoli asked the community to pray for the retired bishop:
Friends, especially in Melbourne, I ask for your prayers for our retired Auxiliary Bishop, Peter Elliott, who is fighting for his life after suffering a heart episode yesterday. May the tender Lord hold him close, may our Blessed Mother accompany him.'
The bishop remains in hospital but Archbishop Comensoli today shared that his condition had slightly improved.
Thank you for your ongoing prayers for Bishop Peter Elliott ... he would be humbled to know how cared for and valued he is across the community.
He has had a comfortable couple of days and has been stable though remains in a serious condition. The episodes he experienced have taken a great toll on his health, and we can only wait, in prayer, to see how things progress.'
Since the weekend, prayers and messages of support flowed in from around the country for Bishop Elliott, who retired in 2018 after decades of priestly ministry and 11 years as bishop.
At the time of his retirement, he shared that one of the great joys of his role as bishop was administering the sacrament of Confirmation.
'Confirmations were an important part of my ministry as a regional bishop,' he said. 'They provided a great opportunity to catechise and to evangelise the candidates for Confirmation, and particularly their families.'
Over the years, Bishop Elliott has served in various roles both locally and overseas, including as an Official of the Pontifical Council for the Family and Chaplain to His Holiness Pope John Paul II. During his decade of service at the Vatican, he travelled extensively and was involved in international courses and conferences on the family and marriage. In 2004 he was named Director of the Melbourne Session of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family and in 2005 he was appointed a Prelate of Honour and subsequently an Auditor at the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist in October of that year.
Pope Benedict XVI appointed him as Titular Bishop of Manaccenser and Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne in 2007. He has been a consultor to the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship, a member of the Australian Catholic Bishops Liturgical Commission and the Vatican Commission that prepared the Anglican Use for the Personal Ordinariates.
He is the General Editor of the Archdiocesan Religious Education Texts, To Know, Worship and Love, and has authored a number of books and articles in the fields of theology, Church history, catechetics, liturgy, marriage and the family, apologetics and demography.
Melbourne Catholic28 November 2023
VMCH28 November 2023