Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Catholics and Civic Honours

One of the headline stories carried by the Catholic Leader includes a listing of Catholics who received honours in the Australia Day awards.

Many of those listed are religious who I believe have made extraordinary contributions to health, education and community in their ministry. A number of recipients this year have contributed to Government.

My question is whether this celebration of "Catholics" in the honours list is just a remnant of the old sectarian days. Should we have some special sense of pride that members of the tribe have been recognized by the Empire?

The list is also based on high profile people who either serve in the Catholic institutions or whose public life includes religious affiliation. 

For example those missing from the list include Cait McMahon, awarded for 'service to community health, particularly through traumatic stress services for journalists' and Sev Ozdowski whose award acknowledges "significant service to the community, particularly to human rights education, social justice and multiculturalism, and as an academic"

As far as I can see no other faith group publishes such a listing.I have no doubt that recognition for extraordinary service is part of our public life and acknowledgement. I really question whether getting a gong for just doing your job, particularly in the religious sphere is a value we should be celebrating.

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