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The Age June 7, 2004 reports that Australia's Roman Catholic bishops have "entered the election debate in an unprecedented move".

They have identified health-care, immigration and the widening gap between rich and poor as the key issues. Yet they emphasize that they "did not wish to be politically partisan nor to compromise the freedom of Catholic voters". The Conference chairman, Canberra Goulburn's Archbishop Francis Carroll said he did not think the bishops had ever put out such a statement before.

Archbishop Carroll appears to think that Australian political history of the last fifty years is a dream or an illusion. But DOGS not only have the memory. They have the evidence that he is mistaken.

It was further reported that

"The Church has generally avoided direct political debate."

The DOGS wish to note that this "apolitical" posturing of the Roman Catholic bishops merely proves that

    1.    They wish to present themselves as interested in the "poor". But in fact it is their publicly funded, wealthy, private, sectarian schools which discriminate on the basis of religion and which time and time again at Budget and election time have elbowed the poor, the sick and the genuinely needy out of their road to gain ever greater taxpayer dollars!.

    2.    They  wish to posture as "apolitical" when in fact they have been attempting to interfere and have interfered in elections in Australia   since         the 1850s.

DOGS note that the Roman Catholic Bishops and/or their agents have both directly and indirectly assisted in the election of:

    1.    The first Whitlam Government in 1972 ( and were rewarded with the opening of the State Aid floodgates under the aegis of the

          "Needs "policy

    2.    The first Hawke Government in 1983 ( and were again rewarded with every increasing State Aid handouts)

    3.    The first Howard Government in 1996 ( and were rewarded with increasing State Aid billions and special treatment)

    4.    The Howard Government in 2001 (and were rewarded with ongoing special deals with the SES funding model)

Evidence of the wheeling and dealing behind the scenes has leaked out into the Press from time to time and been noted by the DOGS in their Press Releases.

Archbishop Frank Carroll should have talked to  Archbishop Jim Carroll before he died. He  told Bob Hawke and others that "nobody would believe his biography if he wrote it. DOGS would believe it.

One of the most interesting example of  recent interference of  Roman Catholic Church clerics in Australian politics is the defeat of the 1988 Religious Freedom Referendum for the extension of Section 116 - the religious freedom clause in the Australian Constitution to the States.

When the Roman Catholic hierarchy realized that this might mean a potential repetition of the DOGS High Court case, they exhorted their flocks, directly, through their pulpits, and internal communication channels to vote NO.  The result was the biggest defeat of any referendum since Federation.

There is nothing new for the DOGS in clerical double talk.

The Catholic hierarchy and their agents interfered directly and indirectly with the challenge to State Aid to Church Schools from 1957 to 1980. For instance, on many occasions they opposed and were successful in denying citizens in various states the right to take the case to the High Court .

Then, when it was over, their various spokespersons said that they had never opposed citizens going to the High Court on this matter!

To quote a notable (recently deceased) historian and  Roman Catholic layman, Professor O'Farrell , commenting on the relationship between the Roman Catholic hierarchy and "The Movement" particularly in NSW: 

"..the lay leaders of the 'movement' were naively unprepared for the ecclesiastical unscrupulousness, which they encounters...political ploys, pre-arranged motions, secret arrangements, disinformation, deviousness generally."

It is blatantly obvious that if the hierarchy uses these approaches against their own members, then they will use it for their own benefit anywhere and against anyone. Any outsider who contest with them should expect no less.



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Last modified:Monday, 25 April 2005