Reverend Emeritus Professor Peter Daniel Steele SJ and Reverend Emeritus Professor Francis Moloney SDB AM are being awarded Australian Catholic University’s (ACU) highest honour, Doctor of the University, this week.
Other honorary doctorates to be conferred include Melbourne Football Club president Jim Stynes OAM and prominent Chinese religious artist, Dr He Qi.Leading biblical scholar, Fr Frank Moloney SDB AM, was yesterday recognised for his service to the Church through scholarship and publications in the field of biblical matters.
Fr Moloney demonstrated a keen aptitude for learning at an early age. As a young Salesian priest, he was sent to Rome in 1966 to pursue his theological studies, and a brilliant mind was quickly revealed. Awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy from Oxford University, in 1984 Blessed John Paul II appointed Fr Moloney to the International Theological Commission to the Holy See – an important advisory body – where he was to serve a record 18 years.
Fr Moloney became the first theologian elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities in 1992, and two years later was made a member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his services to Australian religion and culture. In 1994 he joined Australian Catholic University as Foundation Professor of Theology, where he made an invaluable contribution to the first few years of the University’s growth. After an international search in 1999, Fr Moloney was appointed the Professor of New Testament at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Two years later he became the first non-United States citizen to be elected President of the Catholic Biblical Association of America.
An internationally acclaimed theologian, Fr Moloney has held many academic positions including the endowed Chair at the Catholic University of America: the Katherine Drexel Chair of Religious Studies, and Dean of the School of Theology and Religious Studies. In 2006 he was appointed Provincial Superior of the Salesians of Don Bosco.
Fr Moloney is a founding editor of the Australian theological journal Pacifica, an associate editor of The Catholic Biblical Quarterly, and the author of more than 40 books and a huge number of articles in journals all over the world. In 2007 he collaborated with popular novelist Jeffrey Archer on The Gospel According to Judas, by Benjamin Iscariot. Fr Moloney is one of the world’s leading biblical scholars, and his contributions to our understanding of the gospels, their messages and meaning, are undeniable.
Source: Archdiocese of Melbourne