Scholarship at the Cathedral made its post-COVID return to a near capacity crowd last month.
A public lecture series delivered by eminent intellectuals in the sacred surrounds of St Mary’s Cathedral, the Scholarship at the Cathedral program was re-launched by the Most Rev. Anthony Fisher OP, Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, with an address titled: Loss of Trust and Crisis of Leadership: Responses with the Help of St Thomas Aquinas.
Scholarship at the Cathedral is a partnership between the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney and the Institute for Ethics & Society (IES), a national research institute of The University of Notre Dame Australia. IES Director Professor John Lippitt warmly welcomed the return of the series. “The IES takes seriously its role in helping to bring ethical ideas to life in the public square," said Professor Lippitt. “To that end, we are delighted to resume our participation in the Scholarship at the Cathedral initiative.”
Archbishop Fisher offered an insightful and heartfelt analysis of the widespread erosion of public trust in contemporary society for an audience that included Notre Dame’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Francis Campbell, distinguished members of the academic, legal and religious community, and attendees from the public at large.
With appeal to the teachings of Jesus, Thomas Aquinas, and Pope Francis, Archbishop Fisher suggested that “Christian fraternity, solidarity, and communion” offer a different path characterised by a commitment to “rebuild neighbourhoods, polities, markets, and international relations founded on trust rather than fear”. At the conclusion of the lecture, His Grace engaged in a lively Q&A with members of the audience, and stayed on afterwards to participate in many more informal discussions.
Notre Dame student interns working with the IES, Ms Fernanda Dedic and Ms Justina Abdel-Messih, assisted with the Q&A and offered important feedback to organisers about their experience. “It was very exciting to be here tonight”, said Ms Abdel-Messih. “Fernanda and I are keen to explore new ways to promote the event series to young people through social media. We think they would really like it.”
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