John Menadue, now approaching his 81st year, is the son of an Australian Methodist minister and of stout Cornish mining stock on both parental sides. He was the permanent head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet under two Australian prime ministers, a diplomat and also the head of major corporations and other government departments and authorities. Let us not be too severe in holding that against him.
Before I speak of the two main reasons why I am still a Catholic, I would like to give a few impressions as a relative newcomer to the Catholic Church. Newcomers have some disadvantages, but newcomers sometimes see things with clarity and freshness. The Polish have a proverb that the guest to the house sees in one hour what the host fails to see in a lifetime.
Since I joined the Catholic Church, I am more conscious of its failings, but I understand and respect it more. It doesn’t indolently occupy the ground like ‘national’ churches. It is not a sect that like an oasis gives life for a period and then disappears in the sand. It is like a great and wide river flowing to the sea, touching the life of all people. It is not an abstract or a set of values. It cannot be ignored or dismissed. It is taken seriously by friend and foe. It is a working religion of heart and mind. It is the carrier of the unique incarnation of salvation for all humankind that traces its origins to Christ and the apostles. Despite its shortcomings, the Catholic Church remains, by far, the greatest influence for good in the world.
Please read further John Menadue’s apologia (he’s a bit of a fan and kindred spirit, to an extent, of Cardinal Newman) here.
Many of us will not agree with all that he says, but with a very great part of it indeed, especially his love of the Mass.