IN 2003, religious writer Chris
McGillion authored a book on the Australian Catholic Church called A
Long Way from Rome in which he argued that while the church in Australia
had changed radically, Rome had not.
Ironically, McGillion's liberal analysis was published just before a
stern warning from Pope Benedict that Australia was one of the few
countries in the world where true secularism had taken hold, the church
being pushed out of the "public square", and possibly in danger of
extinction. Either way, the events of the past few years, and
particularly in the Queensland diocese of Toowoomba this month, would
seem to confirm it is more than the tyranny of distance that separates
the Australian Catholic Church from Rome.
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