This is not fake news
...None of this is fake news or leftist propaganda or politically-correct nonsense. It is fact...
Whether or not you subscribe to the argument that the date of Australia Day should be moved, as Catholics there must be some discomfort for us when celebrating liturgy on this day.
The date, 26th January commemorates the "arrival" of the First Fleet in Australia. There is some doubt about the date. The national holiday itself has only been celebrated Australia-wide since 1994. It really does not have a long Australian history, despite what some would have you believe. But for many ATSI people, the date represents the beginning of a forced separation from their traditional culture.
Since European settlement, the indigenous peoples of Australia have suffered. ATSI peoples are believed to have inhabited Australia some 50 000 years ago. In the last 200 years, Europeans decimated them through colonisation, sickness and documented massacres. The Australian Government did not even recognise Aborigines as people, only providing them with full voting rights after 1962. None of this is fake news or leftist propaganda or politically-correct nonsense. It is fact.
As we celebrate a date then that recognises European settlement in Australia, we must address the consequences of that settlement. The common good, the dignity of the human person made in the image of God is core to our identity as Catholics. "Catholic" literally means "universal". When one of us suffers, so do we all. It would be dualistic to pick and choose who we apply these planks of social justice to. If we are being authentically catholic, walking in the footsteps of Jesus-of-the-margins, then they apply to all.
We used to be the Church of the under-dog. Of late, it seems we are the Church of the Empire. It is time this changed. The dialogue around Australia Day is an opportunity to 'speak truth to power'. If liturgy is the source and summit of our existence as Catholics, then let it be known across Australia in every Mass that we stand with our indigenous brothers and sisters in saying that we no longer wish to celebrate our national holiday on a day that aligns with European "settlement".
James Robinson Education Officer Liturgy Brisbane
Permission is granted to reproduce this article with acknowledgements.
Ideas for liturgy
The Hottest 100 will not be heard this Australia Day. But there are still a few great pieces of music to be played in our Churches.