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Monday, 16 June 2014 00:00

Bishop Michael Ernest Putney AM

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19 June 1946- 28 March 2014



The National Council of Churches in Australia recognises the outstanding ecumenical contribution made by Bishop Michael Ernest Putney. Bishop Putney was the sixth President of the NCCA serving 2009 -2013. He was diagnosed with cancer in December 2012 and died on 28 March 2014.

Michael Putney’s ecumenical journey began as a 16 year old when he entered Pius XII Seminary, Banyo. As a student he participated in an oratory competition where he spoke on the life and message of Paul Couturier who is the father of the modern form or the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Michael won the competition but he says more significantly he found ecumenism as a deep spiritual commitment for his life.

Throughout his ministry Bishop Michael Putney championed the importance of dialogue between churches both in Australia and internationally. His contribution as the Co-chair of the International Roman Catholic – World Methodist dialogue has been greatly valued for many years .Equally significant is his four years as President of the NCCA where he upheld the importance that the ecumenical space is the place where the real agenda of the churches was able to be discussed together.

Bishop Putney was highly respected for his wise contributions to the work of Christian unity, the recently published “My Ecumenical Journey” gathers together papers written and presented on a range of ecumenical topics over many years.

Bishop Michael E Putney will long be remembered for his contribution to his own church, the people of Townsville, the Australian churches and the wider ecumenical movement. His witness has inspired many to imagine in new ways what a healthy reconciled Church could look like.

The NCCA and the Australian Churches give thanks to God for his leadership and his tremendous contribution towards Christian Unity.

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