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Is Tony Abbott a Christian or just a Catholic?

Image by theguardian.com

Image by theguardian.com

The article on the AIMN by Sean Stinson, May 25th entitled, “CATHOLIC SCHOOLBOYS RULE” was so well presented, I thought it deserved a follow up article to further articulate its message. Twistie 1, who was one of several who joined in the discussion captured the mood best for me when he wrote, “I have little doubt that Abbott is a psychopath who is incapable of empathy. He uses religion as a facade against his inherent wickedness. He is not the first, and will undoubtedly not be the last, to do so.”

As one who endured the cruelty of Catholic Church teaching in the 1950/60s, it doesn’t surprise me that so many like me still carry the psychological baggage Catholic teaching generated about Hell and Purgatory. It wasn’t until my late forties that I began to see through the facade of Catholic teaching and its inherent evil. I think I am one of the lucky ones who through education, logic and reasoning was able to extract myself from its tentacles. There are many people I know who, although they see the flaws in church teaching, are so entrapped by the fear of everlasting hellfire that even reason and logic won’t displace it.

Then there are people like Tony Abbott.

If Abbott actually believes in the teachings of the Church, as opposed to simply using them as a tool to further his political agenda, I would be surprised. I am similarly unimpressed by his mentor, George Pell. I suspect Abbott, like Pell, is so seduced by the power that such teachings offer to men in high places that it becomes a defining feature of their character. I suspect Abbott saw the priesthood as an avenue to that power but later realised there was still greater power in politics. I suspect he realised that in politics he could combine the notion of spiritual power, which he has cleverly crafted, with secular power, which he now has; using one to help achieve the other makes psychopaths very dangerous. Having a cabinet dominated by men who feel the same way makes such a government even more dangerous. Malcolm Fraser has tried to warn us of the danger he recognises in Abbott. Men who lust after power have no respect for democracy but will use it to advance their personal agenda.

My experience in the Catholic Church leads me to believe that it has no respect for democracy either and Abbott and many of his cabinet are a product of that environment. I think they are less interested in the parliament than they are in power. They are guided by the politics of opportunism. They seize upon moments of confusion and uncertainty to capture the hearts and minds of the weak-minded, the easily lead. This is how they were able to so skilfully convince that 4-6% of the electorate who changed their vote last September.

It may be that Abbott is more Catholic than Christian. His attitude to the poor, the downtrodden, the weak, the vulnerable, the dispossessed and the unemployed suggests so. The Princes of the Church have always pretended to champion these, the least of their brethren, while living the high life, strutting about the world preaching one message while practising another. I would like to know how many of the Catholic contingent of the current cabinet are also members of Opus Dei. As stated on the Opus Dei website, “The aim of Opus Dei is to contribute to that evangelising mission of the Church, by promoting among Christians of all social classes a life fully consistent with their faith, in the middle of the ordinary circumstances of their lives and especially through the sanctification of their work.” If one reads between the lines it is not hard to identify a sinister fundamentalist agenda in that statement. Opus Dei is a strong defender of the Catholic position on matters of social morality particularly in the realm of marriage, abortion and euthanasia and its members are expected to influence government policies in these areas. While professing the importance of faith in their agenda, their aim is overwhelmingly to further Catholic teaching. Faith is the smokescreen.

But it is in the field of science that the Catholic Church is the most vulnerable and it is no surprise to me that climate change, one of the most divisive issues we currently face, is where we find our present Catholic government resisting so vehemently. Without a minister for Science, what does that say about its true intent? The Catholic Church teaches Christianity but it does not practice it. Most of its priests, brothers and lay workers devote their lives to the Christian message but they are ruled by a bureaucracy that conveniently ignores it in favour of furthering its own wealth and influence. That bureaucracy rules under the principle, ‘Do as I say, not as I do.’ Do Abbott and his cabinet belong to this bureaucracy? We don’t know. We can only speculate. But we can make a considered judgement by their actions. Not in what they say, but in what they do. Their appalling betrayal of our trust with the recent federal budget is a good guide as to their intentions.

So where does that leave we, the people, whose trust has been so ruthlessly violated? As it was so eloquently articulated by a member of the audience on Q&A this week, when politicians promise something so deliberately before an election only to reverse their position within months of winning, there should be some mechanism where the people can call for a referendum on whether they want that government to continue its term in office. When company board members deliberately mislead shareholders there is a mechanism to have them removed. We the citizens of Australia are far more important than shareholders in a corporation yet, as matters stand, we are powerless to call our elected leaders to account other than every three years.

When one feels so deceived, so cheated by those who abuse our trust, there should be some form of redress to set right what is wrong.

59 comments

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  1. Carol Taylor

    Very timely John, it seems that the Abbott government has siphoned money away from the Royal Commission into child abuse.

    Child sexual abuse inquiry funding shifted to insulation scheme probe…

    ”At the last Senate estimates, Senator Brandis denied any funding for the home insulation program royal commission had come from any other royal commission. We now know that is completely untrue,” he said.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/child-sexual-abuse-inquiry-funding-shifted-to-insulation-scheme-probe-20140527-392hl.html#ixzz32xaA6goI

  2. M-R

    Excellent. I was raised in a totally catholic environment; but luckier than you in that I got out of it when I was 21. Mr Rabbit is a two-faced sleazebag who’s been driven by the search for personal power for æons: that’s what powered his Opposition’s relentless hate campaign against the then Government. I love the thought of that pack of bastards’ being stuck with him as their leader because they couldn’t do what the ALP had done – makes me laugh.
    The concept of redress for political lying is one that makes me go weak at the knees for love of it. And it is as unattainable as was Elvis when I was 13 …

  3. Möbius Ecko

    Posted on that elsewhere Carol and asked the right wing commentators to justify it.

    You will notice, as Brandis demonstrated, that the first recourse of the ministers in this government is to always lie when confronted with something unpalatable or underhanded they’ve done. When facts are presented they obfuscate, distort those facts or divert then hide behind the right wing MSM, or as Abbott often does, they go to ground and can’t be found for a while.

    How in anyway are these politicians Christian let alone moral in that they blatantly lied and deceived to gain government and continue to lie and deceive in government?

    From spending billions on cruelly and inhumanely treating asylum seekers to taking away millions from child abuse victims seeking justice, these people are far from Christian and far from being in any way moral human beings.

  4. John Kelly

    Reblogged this on THE VIEW FROM MY GARDEN and commented:

    The Catholic Church teaches Christianity but it does not practice it. Most of its priests, brothers and lay workers devote their lives to the Christian message but they are ruled by a bureaucracy that conveniently ignores it in favour of furthering its own wealth and influence.

  5. Murphy

    All is as it always has been.

    Threatening kids with the the hell monster was always about future investment in obedience to power. To this day I still find walking past a church worship gathering as creepy. I look at all those kids in toe wondering just how bad life is at home for those suffering behind the closed doors of catholicism.

    Lying to kids about invisible monsters is a form of torture takes a lifetime to unravel.

  6. Kevin Arnold

    I watched the swearing in of this term of government and was struck by the number of Coalition members who used their own bibles instead of the one provided by the House. It seemed to me that they were pledging loyalties to a higher authority than the one we expected they should. Bronwyn Bishop had a very large version and was reluctant to part with it and have it returned after the ceremony. An indication of what was to come?

  7. Matters Not

    I’m not a Catholic. I’m not a Sceptic. I am an Atheist. Nevertheless, I very interested in religion because of its profound influence on the way we are, broadly defined to include our history, our society and the like.

    I think it’s a big mistake to make sweeping generalisations about any religious ‘sect’, including Catholics. While many in the Catholic hierarchy are conservative reactionaries there are many examples of other Catholics leading the charge on issues such as ‘social justice’.

    Paulo Freire, for example drew on Catholic ‘liberation theology’ to develop a pedagogy that still is influential in education today. Locally we have Frank Brennan who also doesn’t fit some of the generalisations alluded to above.

    For those who might be interested, here’s a link.

    http://richgibson.com/freirecriticaledu.htm

  8. Sir ScotchMistery

    There is currently, within the commentariat, particularly sine Mr Pyne gave us the word “grub” to add to our thick-skinned abuse of the “politariat”, a move towards “play the man” in much the same way as Abbot did in his “mascubuse” of Julia Gillard, ably assisted as he was by his co-liars, in making it completely okay to abuse and belittle a prime minister.

    In doing so he has put so many more folk into the line of questioners of his “policies”, as to have become by his nature a catalyst of our nature. He has brought out the worst in us as commentators, and has neatly aligned himself with all misogynists, and has become rather than a prime minister, a target of the same hatred he dealt out to Ms Gillard.

    Abbott’s Catholicism, as opined, is his shield, rather than his raison d’etre. He hides behind it as a reason not to empower women, nor to accept them as being not all that capable. I believe the only reason for Julie Bishop being in the cabinet, as token woman, is that she threatened him with her famous stare.

    I suspect the nature of faith for all of these people, is that like any Asian businessman, who tells you he is a christian prior to doing business with you, as a westerner, to envelope you in a sense of trust because of his christianity, rather than because he is honest or much else.

    Reminds me of the thousands of mothers who allowed their children to go off for weekends with the priest, not because of who he is, but rather what he is (a priest), then to find years later, that her trust was somewhat misplaced, such as was the case with Tony Abbott’s extremely close friend and recipient of his reference in court, John Nestor.

    I don’t know what Abbott wants from us apart from our adoration, but he seems to be spending a lot of time selling christianity to the population, via the schools system, where he is paying people to go into the schools and recruit new victims for the likes of Nestor and more recently, Klep, in Victoria, via the school chaplaincy program.

    Please note, for the pedants, I choose not to capitalise the faith of others. Only Abbott can sell that one.

  9. Don Winther

    The Society of Jesus (Latin: Societas Iesu, S.J., SJ or SI) is a Christian male religious congregation of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits.

    Our Government and Opposition have a very high percentage and in very high positions.
    Are they Labor, Liberal or Jesuit?
    Abbott and Shorton are in the same club.
    Are they there for the good of Australia or for some greater purpose?

    There are a lot of similarities between Abbotts approach to the running of Australia and the Catholic Church pty ltd, a few very rich powerful people at the top living in luxury and secrecy ( the Vatican/ Canberra ) and millions living in poverty and fear paying for them. Fear is very important, The Mafia always go to Church on Sunday.

    Bill Shorton is the worst opposition leader I have ever seem and he is also a Jesuit, are they on the same side, is it a set up against the Australian people so Abbott and Hockey can do what ever they want?

    I think I have watched too many movies

  10. CMMC

    I contend they are motivated by the Jesuit dictum to ‘be a man for others’.

    They keep saying ‘the adults are in charge now’, meaning broad-shouldered men (Julie Bishop and Chrissy Pyne being the exceptions that prove the rule) who will turn the Welfare State into the Tough Love State.

    A good flogging will make the Passion of Christ known to you.

  11. Rob Alan

    ‘An indication of what was to come?’
    it would seem so Kevin.

    I have a friend who recently began health care work studies. She notes how homosexuality is being sited as a mental disability condition. I don’t remember any lnp franchise holder mentioning that fact. If it is indeed a fact we’re in much more trouble than I’d imagined.

  12. Don Winther

    Abbott, Shorton, Pyne and Hockey are all Jesuits not just Catlolics.

  13. dafid1

    Excellent article. As a non Church going Catholic, I am very mindful of the influence the Church had on my formative years. Priests and brothers were frequent visitors to our modest home, always served best food, good whiskey and treated generally as royalty. Us young ones were ushered to the bedroom immediately after the meal and that was that. Interestingly the visits ceased from the time we reached 10ish.
    I must add though, our Parish Head Priest was as far as I could tell and knew, a man who was highly respected, always treated me and my brothers when doing the obligatory Altar Boys duties, well.
    I learnt later in life he also assisted with our school fees ensuring we all attended Catholic Colleges going on to full Secondary educations.
    That being said I was aware of certain activities that, looking back with knowlege now gained, there was more to the friendly close relationships established with some of my former school mates, at Primary School.
    than met the casual observers eye. Personally I was never in that category, thankfully.

    I often wonder just what Ms Credlins ulterior motive is for doing the job she does as Abbotts closest advisor.
    Can’t be money, she has earned plenty, so am led to conclude its the power, the domination she holds over the PM. He hardly dare take a breath without first getting her approval, so whether she and her husband are running the country through him, whether there is something more in the relationship, who knows, its certainly a weird combination, which begs questions of it.
    Maybe she is a good Catholic girl, Nuns Convent educated and has the same religious fervour as her mate.That my friends is a dangerous combination.

  14. dafid1

    Don a very good point, there is a difference.

  15. Don Winther

    It is an exclusive club

  16. patsy

    WONDERFUL ARTICAL AGAIN….makes me sad as I too was bought up by the catholic system but I must say the principles I was taught are so above the abbott and co beliefs…….he is evil personified hiding behind a veil of religion…..which I lost faith in quite some time ago….but I was told to never lie as the one you lie to is the one that suffers…….his own mentor told him he was not fit to be a priest…… no humility or regard for his fellow man …..he is not in parliament for the people but for his own selfish and greedy self…

  17. Nuff Said

    I’m sorry, I don’t know what that difference is. Care to explain?

  18. Matters Not

    Abbott, Shorton, Pyne and Hockey are all Jesuits

    Not really. If you want real example of Jesuits (not those who merely went to Jesuit run schools) you should consider. Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Daniel Berrigan, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and the like.

    The only thing wrong with Jesuits is they aren’t atheists. Although I suspect there’s a few who probably are. Just sayin ..

  19. donwreford

    As you possible know Abbott, had embarked on a priesthood profession before going into politics, what made him change direction? he got a call from one of his mates on what fun and good times he was having in London, making deals and money in business, this prompted Abbott, into changing direction, he is just a weak simpleton, who cannot help himself, he is now the center star and power and money makes his life worth living, other than that he has no morals or ethics, and George Pell is the same type, hypocrisy reigns.

  20. kathysutherland2013

    Much as I abhor the attitudes and activities of Tony Abbott and his ilk, I must protest against the sweeping generalisation of Catholicism as “evil.” Yes, I am aware that many people were brought up in a Catholic church with an emphasis on hellfire and damnation, punishment, authoritarianism etc. many people were not. The Catholic churchin which I was brought up was caring and humble. My family lived their religion, unlike Abbott and co.

    I am no longer a member of the Catholic church, probably agnostic, verging on atheist. That change had nothing to do with baggage from my Catholic childhood, merely some hard thinking.

    I said that my family lived their religion – for example, we always had homeless people round for meals, we all did stints in refuges etc. Lots of people did, and still do, whatever their beliefs. Doing unto others and all that. It’s lots of fun.

    So don’t tell me that all Catholics are bad. I don’t think we should be saying that Abbott is a creep because he’s a Catholic, and therefore bad. My point is, he certainly doesn’t live his beliefs. That’s what I can’t forgive.

  21. Don Winther

    I wasn’t saying that there is anything wrong with Jesuit or Catholic or religion in general, I was just pointing out that many of our leaders on both sides also belong to the came club. Our police have spent millions of dollars hunting down and attempting to destroy people that ride a motor cycle because they belong to a motor cycle club, clubs that prefer to operate in some form of secrecy because …. I dont know. But our country is run by politicians that are members of a rather secret club and they seems to have more than one agenda. They lie to us and have many secrets from us. Whats going on? Major Social Engineering? I like Australia as it was.

  22. Stephen Tardrew

    Kathy I would not say that Catholicism is overall evil nevertheless it is full of contradictions, paradoxes, inaccuracies, magic and mythology and is completely open to interpretation. It can bee seen by the lay person as both supporting good and in some cases invoking so called evil. That’s why you can have many decent and honest Catholics who do believe in love, justice and equity while conversely the greed engendered madness of fundamentalist who blame victims and then reduce their lives to impoverishment can also claim to be Catholics. The church has a massive identity problem replete with contradictions and incredible hypocrisy. What do decent Catholics do about it? I don’t know but – do something they must or they will become irrelevant and mistrusted. I believe in democracy and If you are a good Catholic great but so much is being done by your religion that is not good and for that it must be accountable.

    Abbot, Hockey and the rest of the Catholic front bench of inhumane bullies are not a good image for any church. Catholicism has a huge dilemma it must either openly confront or become irrelevant. When religion leads to inhumane neoconservative victim-blame it has lost the ground of love and compassion it so readily propounds.

    If you cannot operate from Absolute Love and Forgiveness then you do not have a loving religion.

  23. kathysutherland2013

    I was referring to the main article, Don, not your post. Sorry, should have made that clear. John’s article contained many sweeping generalisations.

  24. Don Winther

    Yer thats Ok Kathy but I know I did also make a few sweeping generalisations myself. Dont like doing that but someone usually puts things right.

  25. kathysutherland2013

    Stephen,that’s the issue faced by many loving and devout Catholics. I’m not, but I came from a great Catholic family, as I said, so I know what the good Catholics are like! Yes, Catholicism has many contradictions, contradictions and so on. So do many, if not most, fundamentalist religions. (Now I’m the one making sweeping generalisations! Mea culpa.)

  26. donwreford

    I am not certain of how the catholic church became the official clearing house of religious doctrine? however I would think if God is in existence, that one could not define God to a place or a institute, if we are to look for God we would be obliged to think as God pervading the Universe, that is beyond the walls of our planet and throughout the galaxies of our Universe, and beyond.

  27. donwreford

    Yes, I understand.

  28. Stephen Tardrew

    Kath I know what you are saying and the generalization is fairly accurate which just goes to demonstrate that, in some fundamental way, all religions are fallible and not based upon absolute knowledge or absolute truth. What excites me are the deep and profound unknowns that will unfold over future millennia and to foreclose upon truth, religious or atheistic, is foolish. There may be other possibilities we are not yet proxy too.

    Science and physics leave the door wide open to innovative interpretation however they have a depth of complexity not suited to this blog. Why can’t we just accept the Kantian version of the “do unto others” imperative without judgement or blame and just follow the causal train of events that lead to poverty and injustice. Just good old logic would solve many of our so called moral dilemmas. Unfortunately sometimes the simplest solution is a threat to ideological dogmatism and undermines elitism of scientific minutia and complex theoretical modelling.

    We all have a lot to learn however I cannot accept injustice and inequality as a necessary part of our society. We are smart enough to solve this problem (Jeffery Sachs, Peter Singer, George Lakoff, Henry Giroux, Jeremy Rifkin and whole host of innovators) however conservative investment in a failed past is heading towards global catastrophe. We are the solution not our politicians or religions or philosophies what we do is what our society will become.

  29. Nuff Said

    The Jesuits are not a club, secret or otherwise. The Society of Jesus is just one of many Orders within the Catholic Church.

    http://www.shc.edu/theolibrary/orders.htm

    You are not a Jesuit just because you went to a Jesuit school or because you are a lay “companion”.

    http://www.jesuitvocation.org.au/what-is-a-jesuit-vocation
    http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/making-good-decisions/vocations/the-making-of-a-jesuit/

    The Jesuits are actually an interesting order with an historical emphasis on education. They heavily influenced the European Enlightenment by introducing eastern philosophy (Confucianism, mostly) to Europe. I’m all for bagging Catholicism and Xianity generally, but I think it should be done in an informed way.

  30. twistie1

    I’m chuffed to see my quote leading John Kelly’s article although I must add that “he” is a “she” 🙂

    I think that there may well be some truth in John’s assertion that Abbott’s foray into the priesthood was an attempt to obtain power. Having been found decidedly lacking in the skills required of a priest, particularly in respect of pastoral care, Abbott then turned his hand to politics, an area in which he’d previously engaged in at the university level.

    I’m concerned, however, that this article is yet another shot at Catholicism. As outlined in my responses to Sean Stinson’s post, I’m a practising Catholic who is more than mindful of the Church’s multiplicity of failings. Yes, the Church certainly isn’t democratic and this is condemned by many small “l” liberal Catholics, myself included. Christian Base Communities, such as those arising out of Liberation Theology in South America, are one means of bringing democracy to the Church. Needless to say, the priesthood must be opened to women and married men.

    As I was at pains to point out in Stinson’s article, Abbott and his cronies are neither Catholic or Christian in their actions. Nor are they representative of the Jesuits who are among the more progressive of the Catholic religious orders. Pope Francis is the first Jesuit pontiff and has been widely praised for his defence of the poor. Anne Summer’s SMH article in late December examined how Tony Abbott’s politics are wildly at variance to those of Pope Francis – http://www.smh.com.au/comment/pope-francis-hits-reset-and-its-tony-abbott-and-george-pell-who-must-adjust-20131227-2zz8t.html

  31. jimhaz

    Yes, it is all in the first known entire text in support of atheism, by Jean Meslier, a priest in 1732.

    CLXIX.—WHAT DOES THAT CHRISTIAN CHARITY AMOUNT TO, SUCH AS THEOLOGIANS TEACH AND PRACTICE?

    When we reproach the theologians with the sterility of their religious virtues, they praise, with emphasis, charity, that tender love of our neighbor which Christianity makes an essential duty for its disciples. But, alas! what becomes of this pretended charity as soon as we examine the actions of the Lord’s ministers? Ask if you must love your neighbor if he is impious, heretical, and incredulous, that is to say, if he does not think as they do? Ask them if you must tolerate opinions contrary to those which they profess? Ask them if the Lord can show indulgence to those who are in error? Immediately their charity disappears, and the dominating clergy will tell you that the prince carries the sword but to sustain the interests of the Most High; they will tell you that for love of the neighbor, you must persecute, imprison, exile, or burn him. You will find tolerance among a few priests who are persecuted themselves, but who put aside Christian charity as soon as they have the power to persecute in their turn.

    The Christian religion which was originally preached by beggars and by very wretched men, strongly recommends alms-giving under the name of charity; the faith of Mohammed equally makes it an indispensable duty. Nothing, no doubt, is better suited to humanity than to assist the unfortunate, to clothe the naked, to lend a charitable hand to whoever needs it. But would it not be more humane and more charitable to foresee the misery and to prevent the poor from increasing? If religion, instead of deifying princes, had but taught them to respect the property of their subjects, to be just, and to exercise but their legitimate rights, we should not see such a great number of mendicants in their realms. A greedy, unjust, tyrannical government multiplies misery; the rigor of taxes produces discouragement, idleness, indigence, which, on their part, produce robbery, murders, and all kinds of crime. If the sovereigns had more humanity, charity, and justice, their States would not be peopled by so many unfortunate ones whose misery becomes impossible to soothe.

    The Christian and Mohammedan States are filled with vast and richly endowed hospitals, in which we admire the pious charity of the kings and of the sultans who erected them. Would it not have been more humane to govern the people well, to procure them ease, to excite and to favor industry and trade, to permit them to enjoy in safety the fruits of their labors, than to oppress them under a despotic yoke, to impoverish them by senseless wars, to reduce them to mendicity in order to gratify an immoderate luxury, and afterward build sumptuous monuments which can contain but a very small portion of those whom they have rendered miserable? Religion, by its virtues, has but given a change to men; instead of foreseeing evils, it applies but insufficient remedies. The ministers of Heaven have always known how to benefit themselves by the calamities of others; public misery became their element; they made themselves the administrators of the goods of the poor, the distributors of alms, the depositaries of charities; thereby they extended and sustained at all times their power over the unfortunates who usually compose the most numerous, the most anxious, the most seditious part of society. Thus the greatest evils are made profitable to the ministers of the Lord.
    The Christian priests tell us that the goods which they possess are the goods of the poor, and pretend by this title that their possessions are sacred; consequently, the sovereigns and the people press themselves to accumulate lands, revenues, treasures for them; under pretext of charity, our spiritual guides have become very opulent, and enjoy, in the sight of the impoverished nations, goods which were destined but for the miserable; the latter, far from murmuring about it, applaud a deceitful generosity which enriches the Church, but which very rarely alleviates the sufferings of the poor.
    According to the principles of Christianity, poverty itself is a virtue, and it is this virtue which the sovereigns and the priests make their slaves observe the most. According to these ideas, a great number of pious Christians have renounced with good-will the perishable riches of the earth; have distributed their patrimony to the poor, and have retired into a desert to live a life of voluntary indigence. But very soon this enthusiasm, this supernatural taste for misery, must surrender to nature. The successors to these voluntary poor, sold to the religious people their prayers and their powerful intercession with the Deity; they became rich and powerful; thus, monks and hermits lived in idleness, and, under the pretext of charity, devoured insultingly the substance of the poor. Poverty of spirit was that of which religion made always the greatest use. The fundamental virtue of all religion, that is to say, the most useful one to its ministers, is faith. It consists in an unlimited credulity, which causes men to believe, without examination, all that which the interpreters of the Deity wish them to believe. With the aid of this wonderful virtue, the priests became the arbiters of justice and of injustice; of good and of evil; they found it easy to commit crimes when crimes became necessary to their interests. Implicit faith has been the source of the greatest outrages which have been committed upon the earth.

    Superstition In All Ages
    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/17607/17607-h/17607-h.htm#link2H_4_0203

  32. twistie1

    I concur with Nuff Said’s comments about the Jesuits being a religious order of the Catholic Church and not a club. Accordingly those who attended Jesuit schools are not Jesuits but merely persons educated by members of the Society of Jesus.

    Readers might care to consult Eureka Street, the Australian Jesuit online magazine which discusses issues of social justice, theology and the arts. You’ll be hard pressed to find any right wing or reactionary articles in it – http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/

    As I suggested in response to Stinson’s article, I’d encourage AIM to publish an article by a prominent Jesuit, such as Frank Brennan, which outlines Catholic Social Teaching (CST) and how the Abbott’s Government’s policies are contrary to CST. I’m sure that the opportunity to portray Christianity, and Catholicism particularly, in a positive light would be greatly appreciated.

  33. twistie1

    I might also add that Catholics are Christians, as much as some fundamentalist Christians might argue otherwise. Catholicism is a denomination of Christianity, as are the Orthodox Churches and the 30 odd thousand protestant churches that have splintered off since the Reformation. It is not an issue of whether Abbott is Catholic or Christian, but rather is Abbott a person who practices his Catholic (and therefore Christian) faith in an honest and authentic manner. Clearly he doesn’t and as I have previously stated, Christianity is but a facade for Abbott.

  34. FIG Woodworks

    Not only Opus Dei philosophy should also look at his Jesuit teachings

  35. Nuff Said

    Fig,

    What teachings would that be, exactly?

  36. Stephen Tardrew

    Fiona:

    The Sisters of Mercy had no mercy when they foisted Credlin on us.

    Didn’t seem to learn much did she?

  37. Tess

    John, very interesting discussion! Firstly, I am a practicing Catholic. I do not consider myself evil … or under some hold by ‘THE Church’. I grew up when the church did preach hell and brimstone as did every other brand of religion at that time. We know better now. Things have changed enormously and I should know as I am close to 70 now.

    I do not however, like Abbott because he appears to be deceitful and will use his religion to make himself look wholesome. The name for that is ‘hypocrite’ and all of us can be accused of it in various degrees at times. However, it does sadden me that Abbott uses the label ‘Catholic’ which gives a bad example ‘out there’ for a lot of us who are trying to be good people.

    Also John, be careful of generalisations about anything … not just the church. I’m afraid it makes your arguments about this government look a little shabby. It shows a not too pleasant side of yourself! Do some investigation and talk to some credible people. Thanks ‘Matters Not’ for putting some sanity into the argument about Catholics. In my arguments about the pros and cons of this government I try to be fair … not just bloody minded. It would be really nice to see others do the same.

  38. silkworm

    My belief that Jesus never existed as an historical person, that the gospels are entirely fictional, prevents me from being a Christian.

  39. Carol Taylor

    John, from your article:

    I suspect Abbott, like Pell, is so seduced by the power that such teachings offer to men in high places that it becomes a defining feature of their character. I suspect Abbott saw the priesthood as an avenue to that power but later realised there was still greater power in politics.

    This would be borne out by Abbott’s own statements and from his book. What we know from Abbott’s own opinion is that: 1. there was the expectation from his parents that he would become either Pope or Prime Minister. Proud parents one might say, but sad for a person to grow up with such unnatural expectations. Most of us grow up, and grow out of such. . .some develop personality disorders.

    2. based on the above, I would suspect that the ‘power’ in question is one of ego rather than one of money, holidays, flash car type of power. In fact I do note a small smattering of penance happening.

    3. Abbott himself states that the main reason that he left the seminary was that he couldn’t keep his hands of the ladies. A boast, another ego trip. If anyone remembers the B-grade movie Shallow Hal, then this is the level of emotional maturity…which is a consequence with thinking yourself ‘perfect’.

    4. I wish I could find the post, it’s somewhere here at the AIMN or on Michael’s other blog Cafe Whispers, but it’s about one of his priestly tutor’s estimation of the man (one of our authors might like to help me out with this one!)..with the conclusion from this priest being that Abbott lacked the empathy necessary for tending one’s flock (pastoral care) but rather was interested only in the power and control which the priesthood might endow.

  40. dafid1

    Thanks Fiona, I suspected so. Some ladies seem to have that particular look of a Convent education. Fortunately they are in a small minority, a couple of my former Marist School mates have a similar look

  41. twistie1

    Carol Taylor, it was Kaye Lee who commented on Abbott’s time at the seminary in response to Sean Stinson’s article. You can find Abbott’s original Bulletin article at http://nofibs.com.au/2013/03/28/tony-abbott-on-why-he-left-the-priesthood/

    Meanwhile, here’s what Kaye said in the aforementioned post:

    “l felt “had” by a seminary that so stressed ”empathy” with sinners and “dialogue” with the Church’s enemies that the priesthood seemed to have lost its point.” – Tony Abbott

    Tony’s lack of empathy was highlighted when he was given the role of infirmarian at the seminary, a job that involved supervising the medicine cabinet and ensuring that the ill were not forgotten in their rooms.

    “My view was that I knew nothing about medicine and that those too sick to eat in the dining room ought to be in hospital. Anyway, I thought, most were malingering. So I encouraged “self-service” of medicines and suggested that meals would be better fetched by the friends of the sick. Many deeply resented this disdain for college’s caring and communitarian ethos. And, I confess, I did not have the courage to refuse room service to members of the seminary staff.”

    Sound familiar?

    Inevitably, Tony fell out with seminary authority. Fr Brian Wright said

    “The study of theology did not capture Tony’s imagination. He did passably well; not as well as his academic background may have indicated. I do not recall that he ever talked about theology while at Manly. His concern was with churchmanship”

    Fr Wright goes on to say

    “Tony is inclined to score points, to skate over or hold back any reservations he might have about his case.”

    The Bishop of Broken Bay wrote to Tony

    “I admire several qualities which you obviously have shown. However, there are some radical attitudes about Church and priesthood … which will have to be worked through before you would be accepted for the diocese or profit from seminary formation.”

    Tony was asked to see a psychologist who concluded that “he had developed an inability to be really intimate and that without the warmth and trust of real intimacy he would find life in the celibate priesthood too frustrating and lacking in peace”. Rather than interpreting this to mean fellowship with his brothers and empathy for humanity, as it was intended, Tony’s mind turned to sex.

    “Lack of sensual intimacy is something that priests have always had to handle. In my case, this had become a heavy burden because I was not naturally drawn to the life of the priesthood and because the modern Church — by minimising its mystique and spiritual elan — had eroded any other basis for its undertaking.”

    But Tony didn’t want an analysis of his difficulties and especially not an analysis couched in the terms of psychology, saying “it was really the seminary staff who needed psychological investigation”.

    Father Wright suggests that

    “Once Tony had beaten the system and was no longer able to locate the ‘struggle’ as being between himself and authority, he had no-one much else blocking his path but himself.”

    Once again, the similarities are amazing. Tony loves to oppose but he has nothing to offer apart from that.

  42. Carol Taylor

    Twistie and,

    Carol Taylor, it was Kaye Lee who commented on Abbott’s time at the seminary in response to Sean Stinson’s article.

    Thank you for that. I knew that Kaye Lee as well as a number of our other authors here at the AIMN had written some exceptionally insightful stuff, on this occasion it was Kaye Lee (..might I say..again 🙂 )

  43. Maureen

    And now we hear that funding for the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sexual Abuse has been redirected to the home insulation politically motivated witch hunt. This deception and corruption by an Australian political party and Prime Minister is unprecedented in our political history. “When one feels so deceived, so cheated by those who abuse our trust, there should be some form of redress to set right what is wrong.” John Kelly I totally agree!!!

  44. Fiona

    Dafid,

    It’s interesting. Sacred Heart is a school we’ve worked at in recent years, and it struck me as one with a tremendous commitment to social justice.

    Obviously, some students manage to avoid the opening of their empathy glands.

  45. Bob Parker

    There is no difference between Christianity and Catholicism. You only need to look at the lunatic ultra right Christians in the USA to see that. In this day and age with science education as it is anyone who holds fast to these archaic beliefs is severely warped in some way. There are those who are in it for the power of course. Child molestation is an ultimate power trip I suppose and that IS the motivation of a significant number of these deluded fools.

  46. Trevor Vivian

    Is Abbott a Christian?
    How many wars have been declared under the moniker of “Christian”.
    Seems like the human race learns nothing from its past.
    My son recently attended a secondary catholic college in Joondalup WA for two fateful years.
    He was removed from that institution because of being bullied.
    On attempting to inform the said institution of the bullying i was repeatedly told that bullying did not exist.
    Later i learned that not only physical bullying is rife but also internet bullying is rampant at this catholic secondary college where the principals lie openly that it doesnt exist.
    My son is recovering from the lack of duty of care
    shown by these devout Christians.
    My view of catholic religion is that the joke about catholics in heaven protected behind a high fence so as to give the illusion they are alone in heaven is an analogy that proscibes the catholic church of the day to day.
    Abbott uses religion and anything else as it suits to deflect his addiction to power over.
    Abbott is a political thug who cares nought for anything other than maintaining his right to the entitlements of power.
    More fool anyone who believes Abbott will change or mellow. He loves power and thuggery.
    The catholic church is just one of many institutions alive in the world today who have outlived their usefulness and are corrupted beyond redemption and all for the pursuit pf power over.
    Export Abbott not Regugees!

  47. Don Winther

    I was the one that referred to the Jesuits as a club, obviously a bad choice of words. I have nothing against religion Catholic or Islam. They could all be into model aircraft or all be members of the Collingwood football club or just all shop at the same supermarket. I just thought it was odd that the men running our country and also in opposition have such a strong connection to one faith ( interest, club ).
    I ride a motor cycle and have a natural respect and admiration for anyone else that also rides a motor bike. If our government and opposition had a majority of motor bike enthusiasts at the top I think people would start to connect the dots and should be asking ” why are all the road laws changing, free government helmets if you ride a Harley Davidson etc” even I would be asking “Whats going On?”
    This is a Country and not a Church, why are all the laws changing, WHATS GOING ON?

  48. dafid1

    Carol much of that info used to be on Abbotts Wikipedia info, has all been deleted. He or Credlin must have decided too much ammo for his critics, millions of them 🙂

  49. kathysutherland2013

    Catholicism is just another “brand” of Christianity. I don’t care what your beliefs are, but I DO get miffed by hypocrisy. So if you claim to follow a religion that espouses justice, love and generousity, then act like it. Abbott and crew don’t act their religion. That, in my mind, makes them hypocrites and untrustworthy.

  50. hannahquinn

    Reblogged this on The Kettle Press and commented:
    I, too, was raised Catholic. I always had questions and doubts. It was the hypocrisy that I could not come to terms with. The Catholic Church is a cult, a ghoulish one at that, and it’s minions are controlled by men who crave power and are highly political in their use and wielding of that power. It is misogynistic, greedy and authoritarian to the point of zealotry. Some say there is no such thing as an ex catholic, only a lapsed catholic. This is not so. Like many cult children, ex catholics are just as capable of recognising and fighting the brainwashing. It takes time and deliberation and at times is both frightening and painful. However, it can be achieved and never do eyes see so clearly. The agenda of this current government, led by Abbott, is intense in its zealotry and political ideology and it is constantly and irrevocably underscored by their catholicism. Their method of behaviour and governance, their attitude to opposition from any quarter, and their long term aims and goals are as far from democracy as the church itself. As for their christianity, Gandhi could have been talking solely about them: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

  51. John.R.

    Funny about all of this.Before the last election the MSM blasted us with propaganda to instill within us that the previous Government was the worst anyone could imagine so like good little sheep they swallowed the message and voted as told.
    And just as you were thinking it could not get any worse of comes the mask and not only do you get a clown but he is drunk with power and drives with blinkers on ( the type horses have to stop them getting a bigger picture )
    Yes. the universe works in strange ways, but we also get what we want,whether we as or not..! !

  52. Don Winther

    I’m not a sheep I just didn’t vote for Labor but I would have voted for Jillia. I would never vote for Abbott. He is not a politicians arsehole and neither was Rudd.

  53. j

    He would not be in power unless he was a good puppet for the masters of this world to control, for those who rule this world they decide what happens in a country and the plan is to break up this nation, he will destroy this country this is evil and wicked, but he hides behind religion, and we all know how evil religions are.

    He will send many of the young to their deaths is wars made up and created, He is drunk with power. Julia and Rudd were from the same thinking as you saw them throw millions of dollars away, yet they get away with it.

    Wake up Australia you do not have and have never had a government that cared about you, they are self serving parasites who are pushing the agenda of the satanic world government soon to take over this world, that is why they do not want this country educated, keep you like mindless sheep which will be easier to control.

    Asia runs rings around this country.

    Bur the sheep of Australia may never wake up until it is too late by then you would have been killed off for speaking your mind, and micro chipped so they can control you, even kill you. How is it that these mindless satanic bastards, get into power, lie to us then do the reverse, because they are evil, they are put their, the voting system is a scam to make you believe you have some say, and the mindless media play it up.

    Now this evil government wants to cripple you by increasing GST

    There is only one way to build an country, that is create useful jobs, and offer education and health to it’s people, which is a human right.

    This monster does not want a thriving country his plan is to destroy, he is working for the devil.
    Soon no White person will have a job we will become slaves to those who have been allowed to undermine this country. Australia is finished and if you have money the pack your bags and leave for good.

  54. Erin Wooler

    The Jesuits (Society of Jesus) are not members of a male club, but an order of priests, also known as the ‘intelligentsia’ of the Church. Opus Dei (cited in another post) could be termed a ‘club’ – of fundamentalist Catholics – who follow the strict dogmas of the church, and act as spies, reporting breaches of dogma by priests or congregations.
    I’m posting this because one post named Hockey, Shorton and other pollies, as Jesuits, which was in conflict with the premise that they, and Abbot, are NOT Christian ( and so by definition can’t be ‘of Jesus’ , and are not priests).
    As a former strict Catholic I am familiar with the arrogant pedantics of the Church hierarchy, and can easily toss Abbot and Pell into the same ”do-as-I-do’ pot. The man at the top of that heirarchy, Pope Francis, could teach this duo (and possibly most politicians) a lesson in humility AND being Christian. A bit of trivia – the Pope was formerly a member of the Jesuit order.

  55. Michael Slater

    The Roman Catholic Church is run and controlled by Satan through evil men, as it was in the beginning so shall it be in the end, you can tell by their works, saying

  56. Aortic

    Still love the story of the trainee priest, still unsure of what he should give for absolution for all sinful episodes. As he sits alone in the confessional a young lady comes in and confesses to having sex outside of marriage. The young fellow tries to remember the precise penance when he spots a young altar boy passing by the left hand window of the confessional. He calls out and asks what Father Kelly gives for sex. A can of coke and a mars bar came the instant reply.

  57. Cool Pete

    Botty is one thing for sure, a bloody arsehole!

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