Is what is happening in Australia a pointer towards where the Church is heading everywhere?
The news coming out of Rome these days gets bleaker and bleaker by the day. The "smaller, purer Church" of the insecure, hysterically vocal remnant, utterly irrelevant to human civilization at large, comes closer with each passing day. The Catholica Forum has news of the latest developments in overtures to the extreme factions on the right of Catholicism and a crackdown proposed on religious sisters across the United States.
Our lead commentary on Catholica today is the first of a three-part series by Dr Graham English partly reviewing Dr Anne O'Brien's scholarly study of the history of the development of the modern Catholic Education system in Australia — a system described by a former international head of Catholic Education as the jewel in the crown of Catholic Education in the world. This history is important because it very nearly never came to be — and there continue to be fears amongst some who study these things that it could still be wrecked by the sort of people who endeavoured to prevent the present system coming into being. And they are now pretty powerful as they have a large measure of control over the Catholic agenda right across this nation and there is a dearth of talent in the leadership ranks of the institution to provide any opposition to their ambitions.
I have also included a glowing tribute to Bishop James Carroll which I found on the Catholic Education Commission of NSW website. It is probably telling that Graham English and myself and even the CEC-NSW website consistently refer to him as Archbishop Carroll. He in fact never made it to the ranks of Archbishop but died in 1995 still as an Auxiliary Bishop in Sydney. (The CEC-NSW webmaster might like to correct that.) I've had less success trying to track down a photo or any online tribute to Fr Frank Martin. As in the parables of George Orwell, Animal Farm and 1984, a new regime gained control of the Catholic Education system he was a major architect in establishing but that little bit of history it seems will be quietly dropped from the public record.
<Part I of Dr English's review and essay...>
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