Cardinal Edward Bede Clancy, Archbishop emeritus of Sydney, Australia, was born on December 13, 1923, at Lithgow, in the diocese of Bathurst. He studied at St. Monica's School at Richmond, and then at the Marist College at Parramatta. At age sixteen he entered the College of St. Colomba in Springwood to prepare for the priesthood.
He was ordained July 23, 1949 by Cardinal Gilroy. In 1952 he was sent to Rome to the ‘Collegio San Pietro’ to continue his studies. He received a degree in theology from the Pontifical Urban University and in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute. In 1955 he returned to Australia to the parishes of Elizabeth Bay and Liverpool.
In February 1958, he was appointed professor of Sacred Scripture at the College of St. Colomba in Springfield. In 1961 he left Australia again to continue his studies. He earned a doctorate degree in theology, and was named chaplain of the University of Sydney and professor of Sacred Scripture at St. Patrick's College in Manly. During his teaching years he wrote and published an essay entitled, The Bible: the Church's Book and God's Living Word to Man.
He was elected on October 25, 1973 to the titular Church of Árd Carna and named Auxiliary Bishop of Sydney. He received episcopal ordination on January 19, 1974 during a solemn Mass in St. Mary’s Cathedral presided over by the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal Freeman.
On November 24, 1978 he was made Archbishop of Canberra until February 12, 1983, when John Paul II transferred him to the see of Sydney.
He served as President of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference from 1986 to 2000.
President Delegate to the 9th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on Consecrated Life, 1994.
Archbishop emeritus of Sydney, March 26, 2001.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by John Paul II in the consistory of June 28, 1988, of the Title of Santa Maria in Vallicella (St. Mary in Vallicella).