The marriage of Joseph and Mary

Super Flumina

under the patronage of St Joseph and St Dominic

By the rivers of Babylon there we sat and wept, remembering Zion;
on the poplars that grew there we hung up our harps. . . Ps 136

St Dominic


Philosophy behind this website

Professor Solomon's Introduction to Philosophy

11th September 2001


Australia's Catholic Bishops

Australian Catholic Bishops should say

Australia's Support for Legislation Worthy of Adolf Hitler


Bill of Rights




Church's Fathers & Doctors

Church's Teaching on Divorce, Contraception and Human Sexuality

Compatible sites


David Attenborough

Defamation of Catholicism

Discipline & the Child

Dismissal of the Whitlam Government

Economic Problems

Evangelium Vitae 73



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God is not Material

Harry Potter



Letter of St Paul to the Hebrews

Mary MacKillop

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Questions for Catholic Parents in Parramatta

Research Involving Embryos Bill - Letter to the Prime Minister

Sts John Fisher & Thomas More

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Subversion of Catholic Education


Thomas Merton

Vatican II

For young readers:

Myall Lakes Adventure

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Their Duty To All Australians

Download this document as a NAword document.

The Catholic Church gave to the people of Australia a saint, Mother Mary McKillop--Blessed Mary of the Cross.  That is the same as saying that Almighty God gave this country a saint, because the Catholic Church is God's Church.  He founded it, he is the head of it, he is its enlivening spirit, he its reason for existence.  Mother Mary spent her life in the most noble occupation of educating children in the Catholic faith.  She founded, established and administered an institute of holy nuns, the Sisters of St Joseph, to teach them.  Her life was rooted in poverty and in trust in the providence of God.  Her Institute imitated her in this.  She succeeded in establishing the Institute despite the best efforts of those upon whom she ought to have been able to rely--the Catholic bishops.

That is exaggeration.  Not all the bishops were against her.  She was supported (successively) by Archbishop Vaughan and Cardinal Moran in Sydney; by Archbishops Goold, then Carr, in Melbourne, Bishops Torreggiani of Armidale and O'Reily of Port Augusta.

The bishops who did their best to frustrate her were those with whom she had most to do, Bishops Sheil and, after him, Reynolds of Adelaide and the brothers Quinn, Matthew, Bishop of Bathurst, and James, Archbishop of Brisbane.  Working under the rule they had adopted, Mother Mary and her nuns laboured mightily to found and establish schools for the education of the very poorest of Catholic children in the dioceses of these men.  Each sought in return to impose his own rule on Mother Mary's nuns so as to bring them under his control.  Spurred on by the priest, Charles Horan, Bishop Sheil excommunicated her for failing to submit to his alterations to their rule.  Later he was to repent of his folly in tears.  There was no repentance by any of the others.  On 25th July 1888 the consistory for the Propagation of the Faith issued a decree which settled the matter.  It confirmed that no bishop could subsume the Institute into his diocese but, if he chose to establish his own diocesan institute, Mother Mary's nuns were free to join--or not to join--it as they chose.  Reynolds ignored the decree.  Moran pressed him to make a decision as the decree required him to, but for months he refrained from doing so.

Mother Mary dealt with the recalcitrant bishops with the greatest charity.  She was rewarded with their contempt.  Reynolds described a letter of hers asking for his forgiveness for anything in which she had pained or disappointed him as 'insolent'.

*                                                         *

There is no office more noble among the offices of all the institutions of the world than that of bishop of the Catholic Church.  He who holds that office can count his descent from the Apostles.  Just as his very life and existence is the consequence of an unbroken line of generation from Adam, he has his priesthood in an unbroken line of ordination from Jesus Christ.  Moreover, whereas earthly offices have as their end only something earthly, that is, something limited and material, the office of bishop has as its end the infinite and the immaterial--Almighty God Himself and His Kingdom.

But there is a peril that goes with the office of bishop which the experiences of Blessed Mary McKillop serve to illustrate--an immense temptation to pride and to disobedience toward the very institution he has been appointed to serve, God's Holy Church. St Pius X remarked:  "In order to command, it is necessary to have learned to obey."[1]

Australian Society Today
Society is a means: each of its members is an end.  Society only exists for the sake of its members.  Marx and Lenin thought the reverse was true with the consequence that their successors enslaved millions for more than seventy years.  Notwithstanding the overthrow of Communism in Russia[2], the errors generated there continue.  They have permeated the western world.  They flourish in Australia today in the form of secular humanism and feminism, ideologies which are utterly inimical to religion.  Just as those errors served to destroy society amongst the Russian people they operate to the destruction of Australian society today.  Whatever their proponents may profess, the ground--the foundation--of these ideologies is a hatred of God.

In the sequence for Pentecost, Veni Sancte Spiritus, these words appear--

Sine tuo numine nihil est in homine, nihil est innoxium.

'Without your divine power there is nothing in man, nor is there anything harmless.'  This calls to mind the axiom G.K. Chesterton was wont to repeat--There is nothing natural without the supernatural.  Any man who thinks he can do without God is a fool.  Any nation that thinks it can do without God is condemned by its folly.  It is headed for destruction.

What do we observe of Australian society under the influence of these two ideologies?  More than 100,000 unborn infants are aborted each year.  Human embryos are created in their thousands to meet the convenience of their blind and foolish parents and the demands of irresponsible scientists.  These tiny humans are treated as slaves having no rights.  The elderly, having lost any attitude of respect for God, are invited to commit suicide because they are a burden on society; their lives considered no longer worth living.  The same inversion of values that applied in Communist Russia is being practised here--that which is an end, the person, is treated as a means.  In a poem which foresaw his death from cancer, James McAuley wrote truly when he said--

No worse age has ever been--
Murderous, lying and obscene;
Devils worked while gods connived:
Somehow the human has survived.

But the continuation of that survival is not guaranteed.  Any society that kills its weakest members is doomed.  Notwithstanding the promise that may appear from a relative prosperity, from a growing balance of payments, from success in national achievements, it is doomed.  The murders, the senseless acts of destruction, the acts of hatred that break forth episodically, the numerous failures in charity--are signs of what lies beneath the surface of an apparently civilised society.  One only has to protest outside an abortion clinic for a couple of hours to experience the deep seated hatred in many of the citizens of this apparently civilised country.  Australia is doomed--unless the attitude of the nation can be turned about.

How shall that occur?  How could it possibly occur?  There is only one way.  That institution founded by Almighty God for the salvation of men must assume its rightful authority over the hearts and minds, the souls and consciences of Australia's citizens.

The Catholic Church
Every man is created by God.  Whether he acknowledges it or not is not to the point.  We do not give ourselves life or existence.  These are given to us by the author of our being, Almighty God.  Christ said, Can any of you for all his worrying add a single cubit to his span of life?  We do not even give ourselves the air we breathe.  What have you that you have not received? St Paul asks rhetorically.  'Nothing,' is the answer.  It is in God that we live and move and have our being.  And just as God has given each of us the life he enjoys, he will take it back at the time that he has appointed.

Just as Almighty God created each Australian, so did he establish the Catholic Church for their salvation.  He wills all of them, not just Catholics, but all Australians to be saved.  And the means he has chosen is that Church.  It follows that Australians must be drawn to that Church.  How shall that occur?  By the actions of its priests and, in particular, by the actions of its bishops.

The Bishops
The first concern of a bishop is his flock, those baptised Catholics in his diocese.  But his responsibilities do not cease there.  He is bound to preach the Gospel to all men, just as the Apostles were sent out to all the world.  If his influence over his own is powerful, that will be carried through to those with whom the members of his flock come in contact.  This is the first and most effective means of the conversion of the hearts of those outside the Church.  But the bishop has a further duty, and that is to proclaim to non-Catholics--to the pagans--the truths that God has revealed.

But there is a problem.  The errors which have infected Australian society have also had their influence on the bishops and priests of the Catholic Church.  There are weeds--tares amidst the wheat of the true faith--which have grown up in the midst of the faith and which provide a host in which these errors flourish.  The weeds are constituted by a heresy called Modernism.  According to Modernism the Catholic Church's teachings and practice must conform themselves to the mores of the modern world.  Secular humanism and feminism are part of those mores.

How, then, shall the bishops be brought to confront the evils that infect Australian society when they are themselves, in varying degrees, infected with them?  How shall they be brought to an understanding--and more importantly the realisation--of these evils and to perform the acts of will necessary to throw them off?

These issues will be the focus of articles to be published on this website.  First, however, it is necessary to have some idea of the evils that afflict Australia's Catholic bishops, and their extent.

Michael Baker

[1]  Pope St Pius X, F.A. Forbes, 1918; republished, Tan Books, Illinois, 1987, p.6.

[2]  Sir Owen Dixon, this country's greatest Judge, foresaw that overthrow in the early 1960s.  He was a classicist and understood the force of the maxim of Horace: Naturam expelles furca, tamen usque recurret--You may drive out nature with a pitchfork, she will always return.  Cf, Owen Dixon, Phillip Ayres, Melbourne, 2003, p.269.