Melbourne's new Archbishop installed

A former NSW Bishop, Peter Comensoli replaces Archbishop Denis Hart, who is retiring. (AAP)

Melbourne's new Archbishop Peter Comensoli has given a city-centric address during his installation mass at St Patrick's Cathedral.

New Catholic Archbishop Peter Comensoli has called his Melbourne flock "saint whisperers" at an installation address filled with city-centric references.

Melbourne's ninth archbishop was welcomed during a special mass at St Patrick's Cathedral on Wednesday evening.

In his homily to a packed cathedral, Archbishop Comensoli asked the congregation to "barrack for gospel joy, not just your footy team" and asked them to take "the first step" in proclaiming Christ.

"Here in Melbourne we have a homegrown example of one such first-stepper, Mary 'The Cross' MacKillop," he said.

"You are the church that produced Australia's first saint and as Mary sits eager and expectant to what lay before her, I now join you on this same threshold, poised in anticipation of what we can do.

"May I claim a newbie's boldness and remind you what I already know about you - you are a church that can produce great fruit. You have it in you already to do this, for you are saint whisperers here."

Archbishop Comensoli's mass was the largest gathering of bishops in Australia ever, according to the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.

The crowd applauded after Pope Francis' letter of the archbishop's appointment was read out early in proceedings.

A former NSW bishop, he replaces Denis Hart, who is retiring.

When he was appointed back in June, Archbishop Comensoli said in a statement he was "deeply aware" and shared "bewilderment and anger" over the painful legacy of the child sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church.

"It is our solemn shared duty to right the grievous wrongs of the past and ensure that the future is very different," he said at the time.

"I pledge myself without reserve to that task, and I ask you to join me in building on the work already underway in the Archdiocese to create safe communities of faith, where trust is earned and care is offered."

Source AAP

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