A Long Way From Rome
Despite a new hunger for meaning, values and a sense of community in Australia, it is clear that the established churches have failed to capture the public imagination. This collection casts a critical eye on Catholicism in Australia today, arguing...
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Despite a new hunger for meaning, values and a sense of community in Australia, it is clear that the established churches have failed to capture the public imagination. This collection casts a critical eye on Catholicism in Australia today, arguing that the richness of the Catholic tradition has become constrained by its own organizational imperatives.;Chris McGillion has gathered some of the most influential and innovative writers on religion in Australia* Morag Fraser, Paul Collins, Michael McGirr, Michael Whelan, Damian Grace and Katharine Massam. They argue that Catholicism has become self-absorbed, unwilling to engage with the world. Looking beyond the statistics, they examine how ordinary Catholics express their faith, and why so many of them don't care what the Pope says. They also explore ways in which the Church could reconnect with the community.;This provocative analysis should appeal to readers concerned about the state of the Catholic Church, and may also be used as a student text.
This insiders' examination on the deep crisis facing the Australian Catholic church asks why Catholicism in Australia has failed to maintain its relevance despite widespread evidence of a hunger for meaning, values, and a renewed sense of community. High profile commentators including Morag Fraser, Paul Collins, and Damian Grace explore the crisis at the heart of Australian Catholicism. They offer a confrontational analysis of the direction for the church set by Rome and of the way in which this is stifling local initiative and alienating large numbers of Catholics from the institutional life of the church.
'Why is it so hard for Church people to find the appropriate words that tap into Australians' search for something more? Why, too, would their words not be listened to, if they were game enough to try?'from the foreword by Geraldine Doogue, journalist and broadcasterMany Catholics today described themselves as 'lapsed'. Despite a new hunger for meaning and community, it is clear that over the last decade the Australian Catholic Church has become a marginal influence on society. Repeated accusations of child sexual abuse by priests is taken as a sign of moral bankruptcy, the ongoing refusal to include women in more active roles has left many disenchanted, and attendance at Mass continues to decline.Leading commentators including Morag Fraser, Paul Collins and Damian Grace explore the crisis at the heart of Australian Catholicism. They offer a confronting analysis of the direction for the Church set by Rome, and the way in which this is stifling local initiative and alienating large numbers of Catholics from the institutional life of the Church. A Long Way from Romeargues that the problem goes beyond the headlines of sexual abuse and internal dissent to issues of Vatican intervention, the abuse of authority, the decline of ritual, the development of a Catholic cultural ghetto, and the loss of a distinctive Catholic imagination.
Chris McGillionis the religious affairs columnist for theSydney Morning Heraldand a senior lecturer in print journalism at Charles Sturt University. He has written on religious and political issues for numerous newspapers and magazines including theBaltimore Sun, Christian Science Monitor, Miami Herald,andNational Catholic Reporter,and was the editor ofA Long Way From Home.
- Acknowledgementsforewordintroduction1. Visions Revisions And Scandal: A Church In Crisis Chris Mcgillion2. Why People Don't Listen To The Pope Damian Grace3. The Silenced Majoritymorag Fraser4. The Lost Art Of Catholic Ritualjohn Carmody5. Popular Culture's New High Priestsjuliette Hughes6. Has The Church A Future? The Generational Dividemichael Mullins7. Imagination Abandonedpaul Collinsbibliographycontributorsindex