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Critical moment for Church in Australia, says institute’s dean

Catholic World News - May 24, 2012

The dean of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Melbourne says that “Catholicism in Australia is in much the same state as Catholicism in America,” with “many suburban parishes still offer[ing] no alternative to 1970s-style sacro-pop.”

“Over the next two years there will be a large number of new bishops appointed to replace the retiring Vatican II generation,” says Tracey Rowland, author of Ratzinger’s Faith: The Theology of Benedict XVI. “The future of the Church in Australia strongly depends on the quality of those appointments.”

“While Church attendance numbers are still very bleak, and the Catholic schools’ curricula still in need of major reforms, at least at the level of Catholic [post-secondary] education there have been significant improvements in the past decade which should start to bear fruit over the next,” she added.

Rowland cited other signs of hope for the Church in Australia, including certain episcopal appointments, the provision for an Anglican ordinariate, and “communities of religious mov[ing] into the moribund suburban parishes,”

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