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Australian citizens have been entertained in the recent weeks by moralising churchmen flexing their political muscles on the abortion issue. It did not take long for the issue to flag and sink underwater - until the next time Abbott and his Churchmen friends test the political waters again.

But DOGS were interested to see the following comments from the leader of the opposition, Mr Latham, in the Sydney Morning Herald of Tuesday November 16. 2004. He appears to be wandering in some strange wonderland.

        "Mr Latham said Labor would promote the need for continued separation of church and state amid the growing influence of evangelical churches in federal politics.

"Whilst we are respectful and welcoming of the role [the churches] play in community building and developing social capital, our view remains that there is a difference between church and state, between what the government does and what churches do," the caucus spokeswoman said.

We did not see it as appropriate for the values of any one church to become the political policy of a party or of the Parliament."

This press release is not about the abortion issue as such. But it is about the separation of Church and State.

DOGS wonder where Mr Latham and other politicians who refer sanctimoniously to "separation of Church and State" have been for the last forty years.

Consider the following report from the Catholic Leader, October 31, 2004 in relation to the new, conservative, Catholic University designed to duplicate facilities of the Sydney University on valuable Roman Catholic real estate in the inner suburbs of Sydney. Mr Howard, not surprisingly, was only too happy to promise funds from the Federal treasury for this religious enterprise.

When this new University was announced and the conservative, Roman Catholic Notre Dame University  in Western Australia entered the Sydney diocese to set up a University in Sydney more to the liking of Cardinal Pell than existing Catholic University campuses,  the parish community and priest of the inner city church  taken over as a site for this university, protested. The practical response of the Vice Chancellor of Notre Dame makes a mockery of any pretense at separation of Church and State. Consider the following:

" Dr. Tannock said the university was conscious that the needs of the parish community should be considered in any redevelopment.

Under an agreement with the archdiocese, the university will provide a stipend for the parish priest and parish access to the restored and upgraded meeting rooms and social facilities for its pastoral and outreach work.

The university will also provide an office and secretarial services for the parish priest. "

Given heavy public funding of this University, it is Alice in wonderland thinking to claim that there is separation of Church and State when State Aid is provided for religious educational institutions in Australia.


The above is the obverse of the separation principle. It is a further instance of the blatant entanglement of Church and State, the endowment of the Church by the State, and  direct subsidisation of religion by the State. As such it is unconstitutional.


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Last modified:Monday, 25 April 2005