AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENSE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS - D.O.G.S.
PRESS RELEASE 102#.
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OPUS DEI AND PUBLIC EDUCATION:
IS THERE A LINK IN AUSTRALIA?
Supporters of State Education in the UK are concerned at the recent exposure of the connection between Ruth Kelly, the new education secretary and Opus Dei movement. Opus Dei is a highly conservative and controversial Roman Catholic body. DOGS note a recent report in the Guardian ( 24 January 2005) as follows:
"The new education secretary, Ruth Kelly, said yesterday ( January 23 2005) that she received 'spiritual support' from the controversial Roman Catholic Opus Dei movement,....There had been speculation that the newest member of the cabinet had ruled out a move to the departments of health or international development because of her opposition to abortion and contraception."
Her opinions on education are of interest.
"She hinted that headteacher could receive stronger powers to remove unruly pupils from classes, with both teachers and parents concerned about 'lower level disruption' in the classroom. ....We have made huge progress on the really difficult cases, the pupils who have severely disruptive behaviour. But quite rightly what teachers are concerned about and what parents are concerned about is that this lower level disruption that goes on in the classroom now is tackled."
DOGS are interested in both her connection with Opus Dei and her desire to deny children with "low level disruption" possibilities from the classroom of the UK.
In an interview with a disgruntled parent from parent controlled Christian schools in Australia on the 3CR DOGS program earlier in January 2005, we discovered that "Christian" principals in these schools felt free to deny education to "low level disruption" children, particularly boys or those did not accept totally the particular version of "Christian values" taught in the schools alongside meek, docile behaviour.
The essence of denominational, faith based schools is the denial of education to children of the wrong religious, social and economic background. It seems that in Australian fundamentalist schools, if boys are not sufficiently docile they too can be discriminated against on the basis of their sex.
Current preferential funding treatment of selective, sectarian denominational systems of education as opposed to a free, secular and universal public system in John Howard's and Brendan Nelson's "values oriented" Australia parallels the UK policy initiative flagged by Education Secretary Kelly.
Opus Dei is active in Australia: at university Colleges at the University of New South Wales as well as Tasmania. Before he left Melbourne for Sydney, Archbishop Pell provided a home for Opus Dei at Mannix's old rectory and the largest parish church in Victoria situated in West Melbourne.
Recent reports on the activities of Cardinal Pell and Professor Peter Tannock with the entry into Sydney of the Conservative Notre Dame University is of interest.
Those who believe in a separation of Church and State and a strong public education system open to all children should be asking John Howard and Brendan Nelson the following question:
In the UK there is a connection between the Secretary of Education and Opus Dei. Is there any connection in Australia between Opus Dei and our political system?
Readers who are interested in the background and activities of Opus Dei should peruse the following website:
For organisation. schools etc. linked to Opus Dei in Australia see
If you have a message for supporters of public education:
Ray Nilsen on
(03) 9326 9277 or Fax: (03) 9326 9180
P.O. BOX 4869
Melbourne Victoria Australia 3001
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|Last modified:Monday, 25 April 2005|