Father Bob Maguire’s family is being offered a state funeral in honor of the charity activist and religious nonconformist.
Father Bob died on Wednesday at the age of 88 at Cabrini Hospital in south-east Melbourne.
Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews will speak with Father Bob’s family on Thursday morning to discuss ways to mark his contribution to the state, including the possibility of a state funeral.
“I’ll have a little more to say about a state funeral and how we can celebrate his rich life, a very generous life, a life of compassion and faith and so much more,” Andrews told reporters.
Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews will offer a state funeral to the family of Father Bob Maguire who died in hospital aged 88 on Wednesday (pictured, Tim Minchin (R) and Father Bob Maguire (L) at Matilda, the musical at the Princess Theater in Melbourne in 2016)
‘It’s a sad day today. He was just a wonderful, wonderful person.”
He said the Victorian government would be guided by the wishes of the family.
Mr. Andrews remembered Father Bob as a man of faith, integrity and good humour, whose approach sometimes put him at odds with the Catholic Church.
“I enjoyed his company very much and I think, as so many Victorians do, we are poorer because of his passing,” he said.
Father Bob devoted his life to charitable work and earned a reputation as a candid commentator who was not afraid to speak his mind or call out church leaders.
The Catholic priest became known for his work with underprivileged people in his parish in South Melbourne, before appearing regularly in the national media.
Father Bob balanced his media duties and parish duties until he was forced to withdraw from the Catholic Church in 2012, accusing Cardinal George Pell of chasing him for being “open to all.”
Frank O’Connor, a board member of the Father Bob Maguire Foundation, said Father Bob had communicated his final wishes to his family over the past year, but did not know if they would accept an offer of a state funeral.
“Bob wasn’t always one to feel authorities as governments or what did you do best by the people he was concerned about,” Mr O’Connor said.
“But he’d probably be quite honored for that sort of thing.”
Two days before his death, the priest publicly lashed out at the charity in his own name, the Father Bob Maguire Foundation, after the board announced last week that he had voluntarily stepped down as chairman.
But Father Bob claimed he was blindsided by his dismissal, describing the situation as a “bloody mess.”
“It’s nasty… I’ve known these guys for years, but they’ve become treacherous,” he told the Herald Sun Monday in what would be his last interview.
“I’m not used to this, we used to run the show like a combat unit, I’m the commander in chief. We’re hurt, but we’re not out.’
The board of the foundation refuted in a lengthy statement on Tuesday that Father Bob had been fired.
They insisted that he had not been fired from the board, but was simply no longer eligible to serve on it.
Father Bob devoted his life to charitable work and gained a reputation as a candid commentator who was not afraid to speak his mind or call out Church leaders (left to right Michelle Ananda-Rajah, Father Bob Maguire, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Father and Labor- MP Josh Burns)
“There have been many grossly misinformed and blatantly false claims, often by people who have never met or worked with him, who say it’s all a conspiracy by the board to get rid of Father Bob,” it said. board in the announcement of the foundation. website.
Hours after the drama, Father Bob’s family confirmed he had died Wednesday morning at Cabrini Hospital in suburban Malvern.
“Father Bob was a dear and much loved member of our family and will be sorely missed for his energy and good humor,” the statement read.
“His physical and mental health had been deteriorating for some time, but he always preferred to help others rather than think about his own situation,” his family said.
‘Father Bob was not only a much-loved family member, but loved by all Australians for what he stood for. He has fought bravely all his life for the underprivileged and homeless. He represented the highest principles and he fought to live up to those principles actively.’
“Despite his high profile in the media, he was always working, especially for the underprivileged families and individuals for whom he had great love and compassion.
“He wanted no one to be left behind and always saw and believed in the good in people, but he knew there were many whom he referred to as unloved and unloved. These were his real passion.
“The past few months have been very difficult for both the family and those around Father Bob as we have dealt with his declining health. We thank all medical staff who have attended him in recent months and express our gratitude to them for their work and dedication.’