By Chris McGillion, Geraldine Doogue

Why Catholicism in Australia has didn't retain its relevance regardless of common proof of a starvation for which means, values and a renewed feel of group.

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Extra resources for A Long Way from Rome: Why the Australian Catholic Church Is in Crisis

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But this was not to be because the fate of the local Church had been decided before the Synod for Oceania had even begun. ROME’S ALTERNATIVE VIEW The other meeting held in Rome that November was not advertised in advance, not even among the local hierarchy. QXD 16/6/03 11:44 AM Page 5 VISIONS, REVISIONS AND SCANDAL: A CHURCH IN CRISIS would produce a vision for the local Church completely at odds with the one that began to take form during the synod and, on Rome’s insistence, would be imposed on the faithful.

Morality, in other words, loses all meaning. This presents a ‘grave danger’, he had written. It is that democracy, allied with ethical relativism, that will forever ‘remove any sure moral reference point from political and social life and on a deeper level make the acknowledgement of truth impossible’. It was a warning he would issue even more forcefully two years later in Evangelium Vitae (The Gospel of Life), where he charged that a ‘culture of death’ had overtaken the 20th century. QXD 16/6/03 11:44 AM Page 16 A LONG WAY FROM ROME head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had made in an article in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s official newspaper, earlier in 1998.

In its section on consecrated life, the Statement argued that it ‘is not enough that religious [brothers and sisters] engage in any work whatsoever, even if they do this “in the spirit of the Founder”’. It had also warned that because priests and religious brothers and sisters had a public profile, ‘a more evident fidelity to [Church teaching]’ was expected of them. Whatever the pastoral needs the Sisters of Charity had identified and chosen to respond to in terms of the victims of drug abuse, managing a heroin-injecting room was far too removed from the traditional role of nuns for the Vatican’s comfort.

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