Religion: Two Worlds of Catholicism

HOPE PAUL'S trip was a journey to not one world but two. Australia and Asia are divided by more than the geographers' distinction of continents. They are antipodal cultures, the polar extremes that Roman Catholicism must somehow embrace under the same mantle. Australia is the Eastern archetype of much that is new, aggressive and materialistic in Western culture. Asia, comfortable with its own ancient religions, is the far older challenge. It is also an opportunity that Roman Catholicism—ritually more attractive to Asians than Protestantism—has in the past seriously bungled. Of the continent's estimated...

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