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Long Way from Rome

Why the Australian Catholic Church is in crisis

Long Way from Rome by Chris McGillion
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'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 broadcaster

Many 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 Rome argues 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.
Allen & Unwin; February 2003
239 pages; ISBN 9781741150957
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Title: Long Way from Rome
Author: Chris McGillion