(Vatican Radio) Australia’s new ambassador to the Holy See, John McCarthy presented
his credentials to Pope Benedict in the Vatican on Monday. As he officially takes
up his post as the country’s second resident ambassador to the Holy See, he tells
Vatican Radio he’ll continue in his predecessor’s footsteps, "putting Australia on
the map" and raising shared concerns around human rights, food security, human trafficking,
reconciliation and religious freedom. Ambassador McCarthy is a lawyer who was
appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Gregory the Great in 2006 for services
to the Catholic Church and to the wider Australian community. He spoke with Vatican
Radio’s Philippa Hitchen about his past experience, about the challenges that lie
ahead and about a very special gift that he’s brought to the Vatican from his native
"On my watch,
we’ll celebrate the 40th anniversary of commencement of diplomatic relations between
Australia and the Holy See, but it’s only since 2009 that there’s been a resident
ambassador in Rome....
In respect of representations about human rights, about
religious freedom, about food security, anti trafficking, or peace and reconciliation
between cultures and peoples, then I’ll be as assiduous in my representations as Tim
Fisher was on his watch...
I had the honour to be the Senior Counsel for the
native title or land rights claim which was the first to succeed on the mainland under
the Native Title Act, after the famous Mabo case, which involved the recognition of
native title in the Torres Straits....
...there is a map which depicts what
Australia was like before white settlement, before 1788. A map of that era has been
prepared and I’ve brought copies of it to Rome and I propose that these will be presented
to the Holy Father and to the Holy See....."