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  • Anthony Reid 3 years

    A Laudato Si Centre? The planners of Canberra had by 1946 allocated two spectacular sites for what were envisaged as two mighty cathedrals for the national capital – the Anglican at the southern end of King’s Avenue Bridge and the Catholic at the northern end of Commonwealth Avenue Bridge. The Cathedrals were never built, and the two sites are now both somewhat underwhelming in their contribution to the city’s identity. The Anglicans developed some of their large site into an ecological space intended to be reverent towards the environment, while placing St Marks College, then the Theological Faculty of Sturt University, and the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture there as ‘national’ institutions.

    The Catholics only put the Archbishop’s house there, as if waiting for some timely opportunity to make a real contribution to the city and the nation. Could that time be now, and could a conversation begin about a national monument to Laudato si in the Australian context, with due reverence to the indigenous inheritance of this sacred land and to the urgency of action to protect it?