21 JUNE 2006


The Weekend Australian Magazine of May 27-28 2006 page 44, in an article entitled "Next in Line" gave a potted biography of the latest prime ministerial aspirant, Bill Shorten. In the article DOGS discovered a significant statement attributed to Bill Shorten himself when his schooling with the Jesuits at Xavier, the "breeding ground of Melbourne's intelligentsia" was mentioned. He was quoted as saying:

"The Catholic faith - that's my tribe"

It is very rare to find such an overt acknowledgement of the Roman Catholic "tribe" in the Australian Press.

One of the rare times when it has surfaced was when Ted Myers, the person in charge of the marketing team for the Sydney Catholic Education Office, stated in the Catholic Weekly of April 11, 2004, p. 23, when he was quoted as saying:

       "One of the reasons Catholic schools are doing so well - in the Sydney Archdiocese this year we have 63,000 students -  is that the Catholic system is very good at community, very good at relationships. You've got that common faith, that common background, and so the partnerships between the parish and the school and the parents and the families and the communities are there. It is sometimes called the Catholic tribe. There is that cohesion. It makes the relationships a bit easier to form, and stronger."

It is this "tribal" factor that has assisted in the breakdown in Australia of accountability for expenditure of public money and the corruption of the three arms of government as well as the corrosion of our free press and other media.


There were some revealing statements in the first issue of the Catholic Weekly dated 9 January 2000. Brother Kelvin Canavan noted that

"In order to maintain widespread community support for non-government school funding, the leadership of Catholic education has to manage skillfully the occasional debate in the press on the funding of non-government schools."

In the same  edition, a Professor Patrick O'Farrell, described as an historian and expert on the Catholic Church and politics, in an article entitled A Time to Talk, a Time for Quiet: Political Lessons for the Australian Church said:

"There are times to shut up. Times to decline to speak....the lesson, at least in part of the republic defeat is clear.....the precondition of successful politics, is a style appropriate to the political environment."

O'Farrell knew about the role of self imposed censorship in the protection of church interests. He knew from the inside about the censorship and manipulation of information by a closed bureaucratic system. The church bureaucracy can control information for public consumption while controlling other levels closed to outsiders.


Consider the following statements:

"The Catholic school is at the very heart of the church": Pope John Paul II

"More than ever it seems that the Catholic school is a powerful instrument, ... for preserving the faith" :Archbishop Jim Carroll

"I do not need to recall here the importance the Holy See places on the Catholic school and its role in the formation and education of loyal Catholics.."  Apostolic Pro-Nuncio Archbishop Luigi Barbarito.

"Our schools aim to produce balanced, mature Catholic people": Bishop Mulkearns

"The school aims to produce an educated Catholic person." Dennis Doherty, Catholic Education Office Toowoomba.

One cannot underestimate the  effect of separating children from pre-school age to the age of 25 in a peculiarly tribal atmosphere. It is natural that such children take into the rest of their life this imparted tribalism. They need no specific instructions about when to act in the best interests of the church. (the tribe). They have been inducted into this "tribe", a separate, undemocratic power structure within the society.

Unfortunately for the public good, other theocratic tribes are cashing in as a result of the success achieved by the Roman Catholic Church.


Paedophile priests in Australia and elsewhere have been protected by the tribal networks. A classic example of this was described in at least two articles in the Herald Sun ( Saturday October 15, 2005 pp 21 and 22 ) and the Sunday Herald Sun  (September 29, 2002 p.73) These articles dealt with a former policeman Denis Ryan and a Monsignor John Day who died in 1978. For the purposes of this news release we quote from these articles:

In 2002 Ryan is reported as saying,

"Day cost me a job I loved, my first marriage and tens of thousands of dollars in superannuation."

In 2005 Ryan added:

'The truth has yet to surface. It cost me my career and my happiness but it saved kids from being molested."

As a young constable, Ryan arrested Day after finding him rotten drunk in a car with the prostitutes at 2 a.m. in a St. Kilda side street. Nothing happened to Day because a Catholic in the police hierarchy heard he was in custody and alerted church authorities who secured his release without charge. .....The 2002 reporter wrote:

"Day had a knack for that sort of thing. There was always someone within the church or the police force prepared to pull strings for him when his deviant appetites led him astray."

The 2005 report was more colorful, but added:

"The cathedral was contacted and two priests came to collect him".

After the above events, Ryan applied to be posted to Mildura because of his son's chronic asthma. He met Monsignor Day again. This was where full blown  "tribalism" really took over.

Ryan  discovered that Day's crimes "had long been an open secret within the Mildura community, seemingly condoned by the church and swept under the carpet by some police. The 2005 report includes the following:

"In 1971 the deputy principal of St. Joseph's College approached Ryan about complaints by two 12-year-old girls that they'd been indecently assaulted by Day....Ryan's investigations always drew a blank when he approached Day's clerical colleagues.

One priest even drove to the Mildura police watch-house where he sent word that he wanted to meet Ryan privately. 'I ambled up to his car and this priest, who I knew quite well, said to me 'Listen to me. Leave this alone or you'll be out of a job.'..

At that time, the Mildura police station command was roughly dominated by Catholic officers but Denis Tyan says he cared little about the religious affiliations back then.

"Our kids went to a Catholic school and we went to church. At that time (at the police station) I couldn't have cared if they were Catholic, Methodist, or Presbyterian,'he said.

'It didn't matter who you were. I didn't become involved in anything to do with the church, because that singled you out. I joined the Knights of the Southern Cross (Catholicism's answer to the Masonic movement) for three weeks. Every bastard I detested were there. What a gimmick!'

Ryan and the principle from the school believed it necessary to officially advise Day's bishop Ronald Mulkearns, of the allegations. We asked him to remove Day before he could add more victims,' Ryan, now 74 said.

'I guess was was naive about the working of the church. Mulkearns didn't even reply to our letter. Instead, he sent out his own letter to all parishioners urging them to stick by their priests and any rumours they've heard were all wrong. He didn't even come back to us. '"

DOGS note that this is the Bishop Mulkearns who is quoted above as saying "Our schools aim to produce balanced, mature Catholic people"

Ryan was taken off the case by his superiors and given strict instruction not to make any more inquiries. He was later hounded out of the police force.

Day's superiors were more accommodating:

"They whisked him off on an overseas holiday until the dust settled, and then found him a new parish at Timboon where he ministered from 1973 until his death ."

The above story illustrates power of the "tribe" to protect the church  from the exposure of deviant priests, and the resulting damage to its image. The story could be repeated countless times here and overseas.


DOGS note that the major political purpose of the public education system set up and protected by founding fathers such as Barton, Parkes, Clark and public servants such as William Wilkins and Frank Tate, was to cut across "tribalism" and create an educated, united  citizenry for a liberal democracy. With the growth of church schools and their tribal culture with the granting of State Aid in the 1960s, our liberal democracy has been slowly but surely undermined.

The founding fathers were not fools. It is a pity that our current leaders lack both their insight, foresight and courage.

Public schools are the only way forward out of tribalism into a fair, just, equitable, and democratic society.

Public schools differ from private church schools as much as iron differs from butter. The aim and outcome of public schools is not tribalism, but as the above indicates, the aim and outcome of the major private church school systems is tribalism.



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Last modified:Friday, 21 July 2006