An Analysis of the Australasian Catholic Congresses of 1900, 1904 and 1909 in Relation to Public Policy from the Perspective of Gender

Sophie McGrath

Abstract


This article provides an analysis of the Australasian Catholic Congresses of 1900, 1904 and 1909 in relation to public policy from the perspective of gender. This involves a recognition of the long history of the Church's engagement with public policy and a consideration of the genesis of the Congresses as the fruit of Cardinal Moran's broad vision and high aspirations for federated Australia in general and for the Australian Catholic Church in particular. Also primary to the agendas of the Congresses was the strong conviction of the rightness of the Catholic tradition that religion is integral to the life of the human person and therefore central to education. Within this context the participation of men and women in the Congresses is discussed against the background of gender norms within the Church and the wider community.


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