Rome in Australia: The Papacy and Conflict in the Australian Catholic Missions, 1834-1884 (set 2 volumes)


The founding of the Catholic missions in Australia coincided with the defining drift of power and prestige within the nineteenth-century Church. This was a period of chronic dissension among Australia's Catholic communities, powerfully drawn by the ultramontane impulse and political manoeuvring to refer their problems to the Pope. Roman bureaucratic control, exercised through the Sacred Congregation de Propaganda Fide, was the single most important factor in the resolution of these problems and, consequently, in the determinative shaping of the colonial Australian Church. Based on extensive archival research, this study explores issues of process, politics and personality in the formulation of papal policy towards a part of the world that could not be more distant from Rome.
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Biographical Note

Christopher Dowd, PhD (1996) in History, Australian National University, is the Provincial Archivist and Historian of the Australasian Dominicans and the Moderator of the Dominican Centre of Studies in Melbourne. He has lectured in modern church history with the Melbourne College of Divinity.

Review Quotes

" Rome in Australia is an archival tour de force which makes an invaluable contribution to the scholarly study of the Catholic Church in Australia and to the religious history of Christianity in the age of empires."
Hilary Carey, University of Newcastle, Australia. In: Church History and Religious Culture, Vol. 91, No. 1-2 (2011), pp. 304-306.

‘’Fondée sur une abundance de sources d’archives, cette étude est un modèle du genre.’’
Philippe Denis, University of KwaZulu Natal. In: Revue D’Histoire Ecclesiastique.

Table of contents

List of Illustrations


I. Conflict and Ultramontanism in Colonial Catholic Australia
II. The Sacred Congregation de Propaganda Fide and its Australian Dependency in the Nineteenth Century
III. The Roman Rise of John Bede Polding, 1834-1843
IV. An Horizon of Troubles, 1843-1852
V. Ecclesiastical Civil War in the Swan River Colony, 1843-1853
VI. The Benedictine Nightmare, 1851-1860
VII. The Exile of Abbot Henry Gregory Gregory, 1859-1877
VIII. Bishop James Alipius Goold of Melbourne and his Critics, 1856-1864
IX. Division of the Archdiocese of Sydney, 1858-1865
X. Archbishop Polding's last Visit to Rome, 1865-67
XI. Destruction of the Titular Bishop-elect of Bethsaida in partibus infidelium, 1866-1868
XII. Bishop James Quinn Imperilled and Rescued, 1861-1870
XIII. The Agony of Archbishop Polding, 1867-1874
XIV. Division of the Diocese of Melbourne, 1856-1874
XV. Quest for a Successor: The Triumph of Archbishop Polding, 1842-1874
XVI. End of an Era, 1874
XVII. The Ordeal of Bishop Timothy O'Mahony, 1871-1879
XVIII. Battle for Queensland, 1870-1883
XIX. The Succession of Archbishop Patrick Moran, 1882-1884




University teachers, students and the reading public interested in modern religious history, nineteenth-century Catholic history; the ultramontane movement; mission history; Australian social history; bureaucracy in historical context; conflict and its resolution.


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