A Long Way from Rome: Why the Australian Catholic Church is in Crisis
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 Home 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.
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