Vale Rev Dr Walter Black MSC
25 Aug 2021
St John of God Health Care was deeply saddened to hear the news of the death of Rev Dr Walter Black MSC, who passed away peacefully on Friday 20 August at the Little Sisters of the Poor Aged Care facility in Glendalough, aged 87 years.
Fr Black was one of the pioneers of Catholic bioethics in Australia who helped manage the transition of many ministries from religious congregations to lay leadership. He was highly regarded as an outstanding ethicist among Australia’s religious institutes and a deeply loved member of the Catholic community in Perth.
As a former Director of the LJ Goody Bioethics Centre (1988-2002) he provided great support, service and guidance to St John of God Health Care in clinical and research ethics, and ethics education. He was founding chaplain to the Catholic Doctors Association and for many years worked alongside the late Prof Michael Quinlan, Prof Con Michael and numerous others who practised at St John of God Health Care facilities.
In a long and distinguished career, he was also a Consultor to the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, a member of the Board of Theology at Notre Dame University Western Australia, and sat on numerous Ethics Committees for various Catholic Hospitals in Australia.
He will be remembered also for the groundbreaking work he did in assisting religious institutes and other organisations in Australia and the Pacific to adjust to changes arising from Vatican II, and for his wise mentorship of many other groups and individuals in WA.
We pray for the peaceful repose of his soul.