Coat of Arms



The Diocese of Broken Bay (Dioecesis Sinus Tortuosi) was erected out of the territory of the Archdiocese of Sydney on 8 April 1986. Bishop Peter Comensoli is the third Bishop to this Diocese and was preceded by Most Rev Patrick Laurence Murphy (8 April 1986- 9 July 1996) and Most Rev David Louis Walker (9 July 1996 – 13 November 2013).

The Coat of Arms of Bishop Peter Comensoli as Bishop of Broken Bay combines, by a heraldic process known as impalement, the Arms of the Diocese of Broken Bay with the personal arms of the Bishop which were assumed on his ordination as a bishop as Auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Sydney in 2011. The Diocesan arms are displayed in the senior dexter side (to the viewer’s left) with the Bishop’s personal arms on the sinister side (to the viewer’s right).

The Diocesan Arms display a lighthouse spreading the light of the gospel over the Diocese. The detail echoes the detail of the Barrenjoey lighthouse which unites the two main land masses that comprise the regions of the Diocese.

The surname ‘Comensoli’ originates from the Val Camonica region of northern Italy, from where Bishop Comensoli’s father originated, before his family moved to Australia when he was a young child. The maiden name of Bishop Comensoli’s mother is ‘Kauter’, which originates from Germany. No arms are known to be associated with either name.

The arms and motto which Bishop Comensoli has adopted are of a personal character and are blazoned, in the language of heraldry, as follows:

Azure, on a Latin cross inverted Or four seven-pointed mullets (or Commonwealth stars) Gules, in the first quarter a lion’s head erased Argent crined and langued Or and in the second a unicorn’s head erased Argent crined and armed Or respectant.

In plain English, the arms may be described as follows:

On a blue field, a gold cross inverted with a red seven-pointed (or Commonwealth) star at each extremity, in the upper left quarter, a silver lion’s head erased at the neck with gold mane and tongue and in the upper right quarter a silver unicorn’s head erased at the neck with gold mane and horn:
The motto ‘Praedicamus Christum Crucifixum’ is a quotation from the Apostle Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians (1Cor1.23), and can be translated as ‘We proclaim a crucified Christ.’

The inverted Latin Cross symbolises the Bishop’s nominal patron, the Apostle Peter and the stars reflect the Southern Cross, which shines out over the Great South Land of the Holy Spirit.

The lion and the unicorn respectively symbolise the mind and the heart of love. The meaning of these symbols, while of medieval provenance, is especially associated with the seminal work on Christian love by the English Jesuit, Martin C D’Arcy SJ, The Mind and Heart of Love: Lion and Unicorn: A Study in Eros and Agape.

The arms were designed by Mr Richard d’Apice and Mr Sandy Turnbull of the Australian Heraldry Society and Fr Guy Selvester and illustrated by Mr Sandy Turnbull.

Catholic Diocese of
Broken Bay

Building 2, 423 Pennant Hills Road
Pennant Hills NSW 2120

PO Box 340
Pennant Hills NSW 1715

Phone 02 9847 0000
Fax 02 9847 0001

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