At a time when the Church is routinely portrayed as being irrelevant and unwelcoming, Christianity has in fact been the glue for what we call modern Australia and has always been open to sharing its treasures with everyone.
Older members may recall a scene from Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’, in which John Cleese plays Reg, a member of the People's Liberation Front of Judea. He asks, “What have the Romans ever done for us?”
To his frustration, his fellows respond to his rhetorical question, and they respond with example after example of the benefits of Roman civilisation.
“Alright, alright.” Reg concedes, “But apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a freshwater system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?”
Something similar might be said about the indebtedness Australian civilisation might have to another type of Roman, the Roman Catholic.
“Alright, alright. But apart from the sanity that sanctity brings to a world of sin; or the invention and maintenance of hospitals, hospices, and leprosaria; or the invention of the university and provision of the most comprehensive primary, secondary and tertiary school system in the world; or the endowment and staffing of orphanages, aged care facilities, feeding for the indigent and other welfare services; or the many supports for marriage, family and local neighbourhood; or the ending of human sacrifice, cannibalism, slavery, infanticide, and a chattel conception of women and children; or the explication of a sublime moral code and vision of the virtuous person that still inspires so many; or the promotion of literacy, libraries and printing; or the advent of the scientific method, and much subsequence science, medicine, and technology; or the heritage of Christian art, music, literature, and architecture including our great Cathedral; or the corpus of Western theological and philosophical thoughts that provided the metaphysical grounding for our politics and so much else, what has the Roman Catholic done for us?”
Catholics have made a great contribution to society, and we have a good story to share.
For 2000 years, Catholics have pioneered in faith, society and culture; instilled charity and self-giving love into communities; and have led in caring for the poor, sick and elderly. Today we continue this work through the many charitable works of the Church, including the Charitable Works Fund, the Priests’ Retirement Foundation and the St Mary’s Cathedral National Trust.
We invite you to continue this ministry today.
I hope you enjoy exploring this website, and come to learn more about our story, our faith and our works, and might be further moved to continuing our ministry in Sydney today.
Thank you in advance for your support.
Most Rev. Anthony Fisher OP, DD BA LLB BTheol DPhil
Archbishop of Sydney