Vol 19, No 2, 2012

Eastern Christians in Australia since Vatican II

Lawrence Cross

Abstract

Deep in their saddlebags, whether they know it or not, the Eastern Catholic Churches in Australia, are carrying the precious wisdom of the ancient Church and its patristic inheritance, gifts crucial to the re-evangelisation of modern Australia. But are they up to the task? There is every reason to think that they are not. The Latinising of these communities goes on apace, such that the calls from Rome to return to their traditions fall on deaf ears. John Paul II´s Orientale Lumen may very well be just beautiful words built on forlorn hopes. Are these Churches heirs of that choir of bishop-theologians led by Patriarch Maximos IV who so enriched the whole Church at Vatican II? The Eastern Catholics in Australia may look more or less Byzantine, but do they possess the mind, the phronema of Orthodoxy within? This article argues that the turning point has been reached and that a now or never situation faces eastern Catholic Churches in Australia. Assert your irreducible identity. Be yourselves, or perish.