There Goes Australia’s Image17 October 2010
Today is a great day in Australia’s history . . . or so we’ve been told all week. Banners flying around the city, pictures projected onto the Harbour Bridge, newspapers packed full of stories every day.
I hate to be a party-pooper (well, no, actually. I don’t). But I think it’s a very sad day in Australia’s history. The day we turned our backs on our image of being a young, laid-back and modern country and chose to show the world we’re just as steeped in medieval European superstitions as the countries most people here left behind.
Yes, today Australia gets its first Saint. Mary MacKillop (Saint Mary of the Cross, I believe she’ll be called).
I have no doubt that Mary was a good and kind woman – and well ahead of her time in terms of social justice and equality. In fact, so far ahead of her time that at one point she was excommunicated. Everything I’ve read tells me that and I’m sure if I’m wrong, someone out there will point this out. But a woman performing miracles after her death? I think not.
And I’ve no idea how the Catholic Church decides that when a woman is cured of a terminal illness, it was definitely Mary who performed the miracle. If you’re a devout Catholic and dying, I presume you would pray to anyone who you think would listen – to God, to Jesus and to every Saint you can think of. But would you leave out all those and just devote all your prayers to a woman who isn’t even a Saint? Surely not. So how do you know that SHE was the one who did it for you, and God, Jesus and the rest of them ignored your request?
If the Catholic Church wishes to honour one of its own, that is entirely the affair of the Catholic Church and its members. Why the State and Federal Governments think this is something ALL Australians take pride in, I’ve no idea. .
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