Academic journal article Journal of the Australian Catholic Historical Society

In This Edition

Academic journal article Journal of the Australian Catholic Historical Society

In This Edition

Article excerpt

Australians have been celebrating and reflecting on the birthday of their Commonwealth one hundred years ago. Our Catholic Bishops, at their meeting in May 2001, recalled the involvement of Catholics in the preparations for Federation, the celebrations of 1 January 1901 and the ceremonial opening of the first Parliament in Melbourne on 9 May 1901. They quoted the prayer composed by Cardinal Moran: 'May our Commonwealth be a great nation not in name only but in reality and truth, encircling in its wide domain a happy, brave, loyal and generous people ... and may this be the crowning mission of Australia's Commonwealth: to pull down the barriers that irreligious discord and racial strife would raise, and to erect on their ruins a glorious temple of abiding concord and long-enduring peace'.

We could reasonably surmise that most Catholics would have joined readily in this prayer, but we cannot assume that this meant their widespread agreement with the process. …

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