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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides a brief overview of the book Rome in Australia: The Papacy and Conflict in the Australian Catholic Missions, 1834-1884 and its chapters. The aim of the book is to cast further light on the nineteenth-century origins of the Catholic Church in Australia. The book addresses the deficiency and seeks to contribute to filling a gap in Australian historiography: the formulation of papal policy towards the Catholic missions in colonial times. It investigates how Catholicism in Australia fitted into the wider, international Catholic scene, how the evolution of the Australian Church was shaped by developments in its European heartland from where it sprang and was sustained in its infancy. The book also investigates a number of disputes that broke out among nineteenth-century Catholics and were sufficiently serious to be referred to the Pope for judgement.

Keywords:Australian historiography; Catholic Church; nineteenth-century Catholics; papal policy



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