The Catholic Right in SA Labor

Gary Lockwood


A speech delivered by Mr Gary Lockwood – (President of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History – Adelaide Branch) at a meeting of the Florey Sub Branch of the ALP on Monday 21st February 2011.

Ladies and Gentleman fellow members of the ALP …Comrades

Thank you your introduction and I must say I am very proud to be the President of the Australian Society for the Study of Labour History (Adelaide Branch)  and I would have greatly appreciated the opportunity to tell you more about a very fine Labour Organisation/History Organisation – how important it is, and what it does. But contemporary political times has led me to take on another subject.

In November 2010 I attended the Annual General Meeting at Sydney University of what is quite an academically orientated organisation – it is the peak history recording body of its type in Australia – highly held on an International base and historians long to have their works published in ‘Labour History’ – a publication that is produced twice yearly and this year on the organisation’s 50th Anniversary…issue number 100 will be released.

But it is about issue number 99 that I want to talk to you about …because I have chosen an article in this issue to highlight the subject matter that I hope will be of interest to you all.

I was at the Annual General Meeting of Labour History at Sydney University and just before the meeting commenced this  ‘freshly off the press’ edition of Labour History arrived – someone handed me a copy and said ‘Oh Gary – you might just as well have your SA copy – it will save postage’ – I took it and sat down.

Have you ever flicked through a book …I did just that and as I did my fingers …somehow opened at page 184 and looking down I saw my name … I could not believe it …my name ….right there in a Labour History book …What was this all about? Then I saw that it was a paper ….submitted by Malcolm Saunders, it was headed ‘Research note – A note on the Files of ‘The Movement’ in South Australia’. (1) It is a paper that bemoans the lack of paper evidence and the loss of written records, so sought by historians – re the Beovich years – but more about that later.

On Thursday January 13 an article appeared in the Advertiser by Sarah Martin called ‘OUT OF THE SHADOWS’ (2) – not a bad breakdown. It listed 18 members of the ALP Parliamentary Party in SA as  Labor Unity…it should have gone further …broken this down again to who belonged to the Religious Right and who amongst the 18 were in Labor Unity as the Pragmatic Right.

In my opinion Rau, Breuer, Geraghty, Wortley, Wright and possibly Sibbons are pragmatic right members –at times may not be too comfortable in the group – but this then leaves 12 who are loosely of the Religious Right.

It is possible that Foley, Holloway, Fox, Odenwalder and Vlahos* are religious right pragmatics but Finnigan, Snelling, Kenyon, possibly O’Brien and Zollo, are true products of the religious right with Atkinson and Koutsantonis as back up enforcers.  This is the core Catholic Right – they may not all be Catholic but this group are there because of Farrell and Malinauskas – the so called power of the SDA.
* Vlahos is believed to be a member of Emily’s list.

On Wednesday 9 February an article by Kevin Naughton featured in ‘INDAILY’ with the strange heading ‘DLP Victory in SA’ (3) with comments from former DLP State Secretary and NCC operative Mark Posa, former ALP Member Ralph Clarke and previously mentioned historian Malcolm Saunders of Queensland.

As a historian, Saunders in his note on The Movement talks of the period 1946 to 1953 and I get a mention regarding attending Todd Building in Victoria Square and seeing on the wall of the room a large map of Greater Adelaide where red pins in the map indicated the location of every known Communist at that time.

Todd bldg Adelaide

Todd building on the corner of Wakefield Street and Victoria Square next to the Cathedral. I was detained or interviewed in a small room between ground and first floor on the left side of the building (somewhere below the chimney location) – in earlier times we would meet in the office (centre of picture) on the ground floor below the Viceroy Tea Ad.

I think the appearance of both of these articles perhaps led to me speaking to you tonight. In both articles the dominance and power play of Senator Don Farrell (4) is the major issue. Surely you must be asking – How did Farrell get so much power?  Why is this so?            

It would be wrong for me to keep you in suspense – it is my view that Don Farrell is not the absolute power – his power – the overall philosophy and final instructions come from elsewhere…my talk to you tonight is designed to take you on a journey…a very fast journey that covers 55 years and at the end of it, I am sure you will be able to make up your own mind…Is the Labor Government of South Australia controlled by the Catholic Right?

In a way – the Labour History story about ‘The Movement’ is the beginning… all part of yesteryear but the two media articles suggesting that the Labour Party in South Australia is a captured product of what was the Movement or politically, the Democratic Labor Party, is an interesting question. Could this be so?

We can ask the broader question…have the 1940’s shadows of ‘The Movement’ reached into 2011, with a Bernie Finnigan, (5) Jack Snelling (6) and Tom Kenyon (7) all becoming Ministers in the Rann Labor Government?

In some ways – this journey starts with 3 men – an obscure Irish Jesuit Priest Father William Hackett SJ, controversial Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne Most Rev Dr Daniel Mannix and a young lawyer of Italian background Mr B A Santamaria LLB.

Fr Hackett SJMannix

Fr Hackett was a Jesuit Priest, an Irish revolutionary, was active against the British and when Home Rule came to Ireland opposed Michael Collins and was a Sinn Fein/DeValera supporter. For various reasons – possibly to save his life and curtail his non religious activities Hackett was sent to Australia and came to Melbourne in 1922 under the safe protection of controversial Catholic Archbishop Dr Daniel Mannix. Many years later Mannix would describe Fr Hackett as the ‘father of Catholic Action’.

Catholics in those days were in the main poorly educated – the wealthy and powerful of the country were in the main Protestant and well educated. Catholics tended to be amongst the poorest families of the poor. Most were of Irish in origin and politically the ALP was their home – the political party of the Labour Class.

Both Mannix and Hackett recognised that the future for the Catholic Community rested in Higher Education – the colleges were there – the Jesuits were there – the Christian Brothers were there also…they knew the key was to Educate and educate enough to get into the higher professions …this was going well. But the challenge in higher education was also to lift up the standards of the working class Catholics – Hackett was appointed by the Jesuits to become the rector of the prestigious Xavier College Melbourne from 1935 to 1940.

Hackett with Mannix’s support and input changed our society with the formation of the Campion Society, Catholic Action, Catholic Evidence Guild, Central Catholic Library in Melbourne, and papers like the Catholic Worker.

Bob Santamaria was the eldest son of an Italian immigrant from the Lipari Island off the coast of Sicily. At the age of 12 caught the attention of teachers at the Brunswick Christian Brothers College.
BA SantamariaWhen the Christian Brothers came across what they considered the most talented of students – they were directed into or scholarships were found to ensure they went to St Kevin’s College.

At the early age of 15 he qualified for University Entrance and eventually obtained in 1932 a double Honours Degree in Arts/Law with ease.

Santamaria was called to become the Director of the National Catholic Rural Movement.

At 19 he organised a newspaper that carried the name of ‘The Catholic Worker’ and in 1936 when issues of Communism and the Spanish Civil War were very topical the Campion Society saw the Social Justice Encyclicals of the Popes as the answer.  3000 copies of the paper were sold in a few days…another 8000 were printed and distributed but not before the group sent the first copy to the Pope and the second one to Stalin.

Santamaria intended to  practise law but in 1937 Mannix invited this young man to  join the staff of the newly formed Australian Secretariat of Catholic Action – a fellow called Frank Maher became the Director and the young Santamaria became Deputy – Catholic Action was always described as being non political.

As early as 1941 concern was being expressed in both political and church circles over various union officials being defeated and replaced by Communist activists. These concerns led to a group of people setting up an unknown group to take the Communists on… nameless … it in time secured the name ‘The Movement’. The model for combat would be the model used by the Communists themselves – the cell system.  Joining the movement involved taking a pledge.

Each Parish Priest involved, under the direction of his Bishop, became the ‘cadre’ – each cell was secret – each group had a specific direction and goal – it was all very serious. Not even wives were informed of what their ‘men folk’ were doing – in some cases women were also recruited.

So concerned was Prime Minister Chifley about the gaining influence of the Communist Party that he apparently made contact with senior leaders of the Catholic Hierarchy – and it was Chifley himself who sought the assistance of the Catholic Church to curtail this threat to the Party and to the Nation.

Things improved in some unions for Chifley but sadly at a time when the Nation was being brought to its knees by the 1949 Communist inspired Miners Union strike he was forced to use the troops against Australian Unionists – something he probably never recovered from.

In an effort to deal with the Communist elements in 1949 Chifley most significantly introduced ‘clean ballot’ legislation – a move that certainly assisted right wing unions to stay in power – even more so when enforced by Menzies. The defeat of Chifley and the action of the Communist Unions only assisted ‘The Movement’ in making further ground but it had one great problem.

It had always been said -‘whoever controls the Unions – controls also the Labor Party’ – this soon became the problem.

Dr Herbert Vere Evatt replaced Opposition Leader Ben Chifley when the loved Chifley died. None of the three key people mentioned were in support of Evatt. By this time Fr Hackett had made friends in high places and with the assistance of Ambassador Paul McGuire had become a friend and confident of Bob Menzies – was in fact the person that encouraged Menzies to see that the Federal Liberal Party provide an opening for Catholics to be accepted into that conservative- non Labour Party.

four politicians

Santamaria and Mannix both had great doubts about Arthur Calwell but it was this United Nations great, former Judge Evatt who was to lead Labor, yet can you believe it, Evatt went to Santamaria to seek his assistance in writing his Labor Policy document, a request that Santamaria declined.

At this point I want to emphasise that ‘The Movement’ was co-ordinated by people like Maher and Santamaria but up to this point – from 1946 to 1955 the activities of this group came under the control of each local Bishop – this is a very important point.

Not unlike what we saw in Federal Labor last year the right forces of New South Wales undermined Evatt (primarily due to his loss of the May 1954 Federal Election) but the NSW right kept the pressure on to the point where Evatt felt his endorsement for the seat of Balmain was in jeopardy – this led to Evatt attacking ‘this insidious Movement’ in an attack launched in October 1954.

By 1955 the Great Australian Labor Party was beginning to Split apart.

As a sideline – you will have noted that Kevin Naughton was the author of the In Daily – ‘DLP Victory in SA’ article. Naughton was previously an announcer on ABC Radio – then became an operative advisor to the SA Liberal Leader Hamilton-Smith…may well have worn the butt of criticism re the ‘dodgy documents’ affair  – the issue that saw the fall of Hamilton-Smith but let me tell you that Naughton was closer to things than might otherwise be known.

He would quite clearly have known how to contact Mark Posa – how to get the headline he needed.

In 1954 five members of ‘The Movement’ in South Australia refused to work for the endorsed Labor Candidate for Boothby Rex Matthews and they were charged and expelled from the party – they were all friends of mine. They were Spencer Killicoat of the Shop Assistants Union, Jack Ryan, Brian Nash, Mary Graves and Cyril Naughton – the last 3 were employees of the Archbishop of Adelaide Beovich. The Cyril Naughton mentioned above was the Uncle of Kevin Naughton – he certainly knew all about that era – knew how to contact Posa.

Obviously in 1954 the DLP did not exit. Cyril Naughton knew O’Sullivan, Moran, Crowe and Lockwood along with later appointments Baylon Ryan and Brian Nash.

Mark Posa did not come to South Australia from WA until around 1963 – was believed to have been an NCC appointment.  In time he would become the face of the DLP in South Australia (assisted by his SANFL Football umpiring profile). Posa however, was very personable and on his arrival in South Australia made good connections with former members of the Party.

I hope you have soaked up the situation in the early 1950’s – The Catholic church was engaged in educating its adult people in Catholic Social Teachings, the Divine Law, the Natural law, elements of Canon Law and especially the Papal Encyclicals Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum (on the conditions of the working class) and Pius XI’s Quadragesimo Anno (social reconstruction) – a work that contributed greatly to the establishment and promotion of what we would today call ‘Labour Laws’.

This was not just a front group – we were learning and maturing – we were part of what came to be known in South Australia as the ‘Newman Institute’.

My family had always been Labor – I refused to go to school when Ben Chifley’s funeral was held and stayed home to listen to the Radio Broadcast.

 In 1953, I started work at John Martins and Co Ltd Rundle Street City. I joined the Shop Assistants Union at the age of 15 – signed up in secret. Within months I had also joined the Shop Assistants’ Industry Group becoming its Secretary and thereby unknown to me had become a ‘grouper’.

I survived an attempt on my life whilst walking through the streets of Bowden… I had been followed after a Union meeting – it was all very serious.

About the same time…someone in the Church encouraged me to join the Labor Party – I joined Clyde Cameron, Cyril Hutchens, Ernie Crimes and a fellow called Noel Dundon, a Chemist of Croydon. Little did I know he was ‘The Movements’ operative for that sub-branch – he was President of ‘St Lukes Guild (a group opposed to the sale of condoms) but that was not an issue for me  – I did not know what a condom was at the time and in this innocent state I soon became the Minute Secretary of the Hindmarsh Sub Branch of the ALP.

Some Catholics were also involved in secret work for ‘The Movement’ – I was not aware of its existence but looking back I now realise I was doing just that. young Gary Lockwood

Following the Hobart Conference in 1955 and the walkout against Evatt, most Labor State Governments fell and a group of House of Representative members broke away to form the Anti Communist Labor Party in the National Parliament – led by Military Cross winner and Member for Ballarat Robert Joshua MHR MC (A person I greatly admired)* – Stan Keon Member for Yarra and a well known right winger became Deputy Leader.

(Photo: Gary Lockwood at time of DLP)
*I held him in such zeal that (almost in a trance) I did a portrait of him in oil – set it in a gold frame and at auction for fundraising secured 200 pounds for same).

Almost every Bishop in Australia went against the Evatt Labor Party but importantly 2 senior Metropolitan bishops went the other way…Cardinal Gilroy of Sydney and Matthew Beovich of Adelaide…they became known as the bishops who opted to keep their ‘Movement’ members inside the Labor Party…the stay in and fight option.  They would tolerate the campaign against Evatt in 1955 but no way did Gilroy or Mannix want a permanent Catholic Confessional Party – for them the Anti Communist Labor Party would be a one day wonder.

The other Bishops and Santamaria saw it differently and in time ‘The Movement’ as operated by Santamaria and his allies – the other Catholic Bishops – formed and supported what came to be known as the NCC – The National Civic Council.(13)

With this split in the Church … even families split – a father might have stayed in the old ALP branch (later to be known as the DLP) as President whilst a son who had been Secretary of the branch may have moved over to become the Secretary of the ‘Vic Stout – Evatt Labor Party’. Mothers and daughters even disagreed.

Long lasting friendships ended and at the Communion table many Priests refused to give Holy Communion to Evatt Labor supporters in Victoria. In South Australia it was much calmer- but I was challenged after Mass at Hindmarsh one Sunday Morning – this member of the Legion of Mary (probably a member of the local branch of ‘The Movement’)* accosted me and said ‘ I had no right to receive Communion because I was going against my own bishop’s (Beovich) decision.
* Patrick Morley.

Though I was never a member of ‘The Movement’ or the NCC Malcolm Saunders in his discussions with me, is convinced that Beovich and his operators considered Gary Lockwood as a fringe member – part of the Industry Groups and a person in a strategic position in the Industrial arena – let alone being a member of the Hindmarsh Sub-Branch of the ALP – they wanted me to stay in this arena – not get involved with the new political group ‘The Anti Communist Labor Party’.

I knew nothing about ‘The Movement’ – my usage at the Hindmarsh sub-branch by Noel Dundon…seconding motions etc, did not seem extraordinary but when I joined the new party I had no idea it went against the wishes of Archbishop Beovich. At this time I was seen by Beovich’s people at several early rallies of the new Party.

In November 1955, I received at work a phone call to meet a member of the Industrial Groups at lunch time.* As I came out of John Martin’s Charles Street Door – I was near bundled into a car and detained by the Archbishop’s men …eventually taken to a small office… located mid way between the ground and 1st floor of Todd Buildings.
*Shortened version of events.

I was told the Archbishop considered my role in the Industrial front  as vital – I was told to tear up the political material I had been given – I was railed against. Perhaps it was my age grouping but I was incensed…quite outraged and beside I had already signed up several new members of the new party and riding my bike around Hindmarsh, Bowden and Croydon had collected over 200 pounds…I was not going to be told by an Archbishop what I would do or not do.

This same view was why I was never invited to be a NCC Member – I could never surrender my soul over to the direction of another…neither Beovich or as it turned out to a B A Santamaria.

I just did not agree with the Archbishop’s views – went my own way…became the first full time official of the new party and played a major role in that first election and eventually organised the branch structure of what came to be known as the DLP…I think I was only 17 years old…not even old enough to vote.


I am not going to spend any more time on the split – Most of you know that because of our preference voting system – hard core Irish Catholic Labor voters saw fit to move their vote over to the new Labor Party.

Through preference distribution, this previous Labor Vote slipped over to elect Liberal Party candidates, keeping Menzies in power for near on 25 years or until Labor had revised its ‘Aid to Independent Schools Policy’ and replaced Arthur Calwell with new leader Gough Whitlam. It was time.

During the Menzies era the National Civic Council consolidated its power especially in the Eastern States. I am convinced they worked closely with the CIA – were involved in setting up front organisations like the Australian Defence Organisation, Aust Family Association and it is known various right members of the ALP went overseas on trips and came back fully charged as right wing members of the Party. Bob Catley was rumoured to be one of these.

Even recent leaks can show how some members of the right of the Party can be willing ‘informants’ to the USA of what is going on in the ALP – what the leader is thinking etc.

I am convinced that the CIA  had much to do with the overthrow of several Governments like the Allende Government  – I also think they played a part in the Whitlam dismissal and almost certainly the NCC and their various front organisations were surely involved.

Never underestimate the involvement of the NCC – they have infiltrated into many areas of our Social and Political life, however we cannot conclude this review without touching on some other things that were happening in the world and especially within Catholicism and the Papacy.

I went down a path that led me away from the Labor Party for almost 40 years but having never been a supporter of Santamaria or a member of ‘The Movements’ lay replacement, called the National Civic Council.

It was whilst I was involved in the DLP in the early 1970’s that I became associated with some interesting names – Mark Posa became Secretary of the Party, Mark Bishop (the father of WA Senator of the same name) replaced me as President and Ted Farrell (the father of Senator Don Farrell) became the Treasurer of the DLP in South Australia  – This is not the Edward (Ted) Farrell who was the mainstay of the movement in SA under Beovich.

There was no Finnigan, Snelling or Kenyon at that time – but Young Democrat and eventual President of the DLP David Le Cornu, later rejoined the ALP and the right faction, becoming State President of the SA Branch of the ALP.

I left the DLP and became an ALP supporter from the time of the Whitlam dismissal – I thought being readmitted would be too difficult. (I did rejoin the SDA as President of the Retail Managers section of the Union).

sda leaflet 1

sda leaflet 2






Over the years I supported Chris Hurford, Catley and eventually even Peter Duncan (someone I had avoided for some time). It was at this time that I met Frances Bedford (later to be the State Member for Florey). On a State level I supported Gill Langley, Terry McRae, Robyn Geraghty, Ralph Clarke and even John Quirke.  

It was not until the Patrick’s wharf issue that I felt compelled to make an application to rejoin the Party again – my beloved ALP.  Yes I rejoined and with a wink and a nod John Boag at Party Head Office took my application – it was processed – I became a member of the Enfield Sub Branch – Ralph Clarke’s domain and eventually was elected to be the President.

It was then that I met Bernie Finnigan. Of course Finnigan and I clashed on the sub- branch floor and when the right realised that I had been admitted into Party membership of the ALP and had turned out to be a person who was not a friend of the right…they moved against me. Finnigan charged me with being a non member – I was in a way expelled again and forced to reapply…go before State Convention and do my required Mea Culpa regrets. Michael Atkinson then rushed to the microphone to propose my re-admittance.

In the Catholic world – Pope Pius XII went to his eternal reward in 1959 and he was refreshingly replaced by John XX111. 

Pope Pius XII

Pope John XXIIIWith Vatican II the Church changed greatly and about the same time Catholic theologians and reformists opened up the possibility of ‘Liberation Theology.’ It took off like a storm in South America …reform was on its way.

Much could be said about his replacement Paul VI but he had a difficult time seeing the reforms through – in the background he had other problems like the Vatican Bank, the reaction of the conservative right Cardinals, the rumblings of some of the Charism groups…let alone the Pill issue and the call for an end of celibacy.

Pope Paul VIThe way Pope Paul handled the issue of contraception led to millions of child bearing catholic women turning their back on the church. In some ways it was the end of near unquestioned authority of the Pope – Papal Infallibility and the standing of the Church in the Western World took an enormous dive.

Then came the Pope of one month, John Paul I and what was going on within the Church at this time would require a speech all of its own and probably to another audience.

In Adelaide the Beovich reign over the Adelaide Church came to an end on the 1st May 1971, living in retirement until he died on the 24th October 1981. James Gleeson took over as Archbishop and many years later his replacement was Leonard Faulkner.

Archbishop BeovichArchbishop FaulknerAll of these bishops had a singular ‘Anti NCC Santamaria policy’ within the Diocese – if anything they reflected polices of reform that could be described as left of centre – not quite the full on Liberation Theology line but far from being conservative.  Ultra conservative elements of the Universal Catholic Church – some insidious right wing organisations (like Opus Dei) were banned from participation in South Australia.
Archbishop Beovich                                                                                        Archbishop Faulkner

With the death of Mannix in Melbourne the influence of the NCC over the Church in Victoria was dented for a time – society was changing – the mid 1970’s through into the mid eighties saw the demise of the DLP –people did not want the Gair/McManus/Kane DLP Senators in their bedrooms at a time when most bishops in Australia appeared more liberal than that political Party.

The Church in Adelaide was refreshing – socially minded – especially so in the Faulkner years when he appointed a chaplain to the Gay and Lesbian Community, opened up support areas for those affected with Aids – was believed to have turned a blind eye to condom distribution along with needle exchange.

Archbishop Leonard Faulkner attracted attention by not appointing any Assistant Bishop but developed a radical new structure of local church model that saw women on his pastoral team – a woman* could be in charge of the Archdiocese in his absence – not something enthusiastically embraced by some Priests and certainly not the Vatican.
* Although women on the Archbishop’s team could be influential – in his absence, the Vicar General was the person in charge.

Gleeson and Faulkner had also embraced the general use of the 3rd form of the Rite of Reconciliation – Confession – something that saw the near end of Individual confession.

After the showing of a TV series called ‘Brides of Christ’ Faulkner showed his reformist qualities by sponsoring a coming together of women at Stanley Street North Adelaide – women who had endured failed marriages, were divorced and many women who felt lost from the church over the pill issue or may have in earlier years had an abortion – he offered them a non judgemental hand of friendship. He sat with them, hugged them –offered himself to them as a spiritual father – invited them back… he was being pastoral – being Christ like.

At the same meeting there were spies – almost certainly a combination of Opus Dei, NCC & Australian Catholic Advocacy operatives asking questions of the Archbishop, also of a priest called Michael Trainer and a former nun – all questions designed at entrapment – this lot had recorders – you could in a way imagine them despatching courier pigeons on the way to Rome even before the meeting ended – just to dob this bishop in.

Students of Vatican history are aware of the split inside the Vatican between the Cardinal Ottivani old guard and the reformist Pope John XXIII. John was almost a prisoner inside the Vatican and had to smuggle out his last encyclical to bypass the concerns of the American CIA, the conservative Cardinals and groups like Opus Dei – they all thought he had moved papal policy over – too close to the Communists.

Pope John Paul IPope John Paul IIAfter Paul VI…came the Pope of one month and I do not have time to tell you why I think he died so quickly…but on his death – the split between the then leader of the Conservatives Cardinal Siri and former Secretary of State Cardinal Binelli was so dreadful that there was no hope of an Italian being selected and to the blessed relief of many …along came a foreigner – not an Italian but a man from Poland – he was to become known in history as John Paul II.

The Freedom Years.  Earlier I spoke of the rejection of the DLP in the mid 1970’s – we saw the demise of the DLP Senate Team – for a time we politically endured the Fraser years but in looking back – apart from the dismissal factor – Fraser, compared with Howard was quite the small L Liberal.  Within religion – there was a period of considerable freedom – much experimentation – considerable progress in the Ecumenical sphere *  In a way we had a period of sparkling liberty – we thought Unity with other churches was seriously possible – especially with the Anglicans.
* I became the Moderator of the SA Council of Churches Local Ecumenism Commission, a member of Archbishop Faulkner’s Diocesan Commission for Ecumenism and President of the Prospect, Enfield, Adelphos Inter-Church Council and representative of the Clearview Catholic Parish of the Good Shepherd re Ecumenism.

In the Australian Church many of its bishops were progressive – many fine statements on Social Justice came out of the Australian Bishops’ conference and good work was carried out by the Catholic Secretariat in Canberra. Another familiar name to South Australians the more recently ordained Fr David Cappo was employed by the Bishops in this very important developmental Office.

But this would all change and in the Keating years (not because of Keating – but Rome) the progressives would be replaced – people employed at the Catholic Secretariat in Canberra would need to get in line quickly – Rome would be demanding a much more compliant conservative church in Australia.

Now why would I bring this pope into our story about the Labor Party in South Australia and its influence on the Catholic Right?

The election of John Paul II in some ways totally changed the Catholic Church – I will just in passing give you a sample of the rule of this Pontiff  that many call great – and  whom in death is within a few weeks (early May 2011) to be declared Blessed – on the road to Sanctification.

Organisation like Opus Dei (8) had their ‘Golden Years’ under this Pope – a pope who changed Europe – was perhaps the greatest factor in the demise of the Soviet Union – he was a pope who had his own secret army…five organisations that I personally abhor and just do not see how they fit with a church that claims to represent Christ its founder.

The Polish Pope soon emerged as a man with a set agenda – he wanted to somehow bring the Church back from the dangerous modernist trends that engulfed the church in the late 1960’s and throughout the 1970’s – he wanted to put the Genie back into the bottle after Vatican II.

Pope Benedict XVIHe needed help to do this task and he appointed Cardinal Josef Ratzinger as controller of the Holy Office (previously known in history as the office in charge of the Inquisition)…but he would also need his troops – some would say storm troopers to implement his policies. Cardinal Ratzinger later became Benedict XVI – for me he emerged as a softer more gentle and agreeable pontiff than John Paul II.

During this regime so called dissidents would be picked up in little cars when in Rome and driven to the Holy Office, taken to interview rooms for questioning and further interrogation. The KGB style tactics, of pick-up and arrest was well established by the Holy Office as early as 1984, when the Franciscan Leonardo Boff was collected for interview and after a very harsh review of his writings and teachings, was condemned to a year of silence in 1985. By 1992 however, the Church had rid itself of this difficult Priest.

Among the many people treated severely by the defenders of the true Faith were the French Theologian Jacques Pohier, Swiss Theologian of great renown, Hans Kung, Flemish Dogmatic Theologian, Dominican Edward Schillebeeckx, American Teacher and author Charles Curren.

Many of these were under review even before the election of John Paul.  In more recent times, Sri Lankin Priest and Theologian Tissa Balasuriya, Sr Livinia Byrne author of ‘Woman at the Altar’ and Papal Power author, Australian, Paul Collins had all been asked to explain themselves.

From 1981 the Jesuit Order was placed under Roman appointed control. The list of Theologians, Bishops, Priests and Religious who were dealt with by the Holy Office in the 1980’s and the 1990’s is worthy of a singular book. The sad thing about this matter is that most of the victims have been people of great intellectual credibility, possessing a great love of Christ and dedication to members of the Church.

 For those of you from the Left – the treatment by Rome of the South American ‘Liberation Theology’ was the most tragic. For some reason if you were a Polish religious in Europe and wanted to challenge the Communists you were supported by Rome. However, if you were committed to Liberation Theology or in any way took on the right wing dictators of South America or exposed the policies of the CIA and the USA you were attacked by Rome …defrocked and driven out of the Church. The coolness of Rome when Archbishop Romero was assassinated is an indication of culpability. It took the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury to set up a shrine to the slaughtered martyr – no early canonisation for Romero.

To give you the fuller picture – you need to know that John Paul had his own special army – he had his safe supporters to spy on radical bishops – his own storm troopers to pull the liberal side of the Catholic Church back under conservative Papal Control. There were and are 5 groups

  • Communion and Liberation
  • Neo Catechumenate
  • Focolare
  • Legionaries of Christ
  • Opus Dei

You might be surprised to hear that the Pope could call on 45 million people to carry out this work – all members of these 5 groups.

Communion and Liberation emerged in Italy in early 1970. They have their own mini pope in the person of their founder, Don Giussani of Milan – came out of a reorganised structured group during the pontificate of Pope Paul VI in 1970 following the Student Revolts in Italy in the 1960’s. This group had a basic political/religious foundation and was very much involved in the political life of Italy especially within the Student structure at schools.

The organisation was called Student Youth but it was very restricted and controlled by the Italian Youth Association within Catholic Action called G.I.A.C. In my opinion I think the basics of the NCC came from this earlier structure of Catholic Action – something developed by the Montini family during World War II and eventually paving the way for the Italian Christian Democrats.

Some claim Giussani was a fanatical dictator who ruled the lives of organisational members. Apparently he would attack Bishops and Priests who got in his way, not unlike the ACAC group that hounded Archbishop Faulkner of Adelaide, Bishop Pat Power, Asst Bishop of Canberra/Goulburn and other liberal minded bishops of the Australian Church.

This group were known as ‘The Australian Catholic Advocacy Centre’ and their key spokesperson was a lawyer called Paul Brazier. This group would go into churches –spy on and tape the sermons of liberal minded priests – record the orthodoxy of services being held and report their findings to the Papal Nuncio and sometimes direct to Rome. Very often the Bishop would be summoned in a few days to explain himself to the Papal Nuncia.

Neo Catechumenate was established in 1964 by Kiko Arquello. This organisation called on its new members to commit themselves to God by turning their back on their old family by embracing their newly discovered ‘spiritual family’. This group has a program that can cover most of one’s remaining life and the organisation begins by training you for the first stage, of what is to be lived out and experienced, over a 20 year period.

Focolare perhaps the oldest of this type of organisation was established during the war in 1943 by a woman called Chiara Lubich in  Trento Italy  – dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the members of the ‘focalare movement’, ‘are the smiling Moonies of the Catholic Church.’

Brainwashing comes very much later, they don’t kidnap them, they just lure them, by various friendship methods. “It’s a bit like the ‘Children of God’, when they have hooked their candidates by various inducements, they take them through an assessment method a bit like the Scientology surveys.

Legionaries of Christ.(9) This organisation is a congregation of the pontifical right founded by Marcial Maciel who was its General Superior until 2004 – they have Priests working in 22 countries and in 2010 had over 800 Priests and 2500 Seminarians. The organisation operates 21 Prep Schools, a start up University in Sacramento USA and 3 Seminaries for teenage boys. The organisation has been recently under review – its founder is suspected of having lived a double life, been involved in sexual crimes – The legion has assets worth $25 Billion.

Its Lay organisation ‘Regnum Christi’ has 70,000 members and let me tell you that some operate right here in Adelaide – I have to avoid naming them – but during the Faulkner years some of their members organised and held rallies against the Archbishop – they opposed and protested against inclusive language – women in positions of authority –often they were also pro Latin Mass Catholics – but some were active members of the Labor Party- almost certainly members of Labor Unity.

But the organisation of most interest to us is OPUS DEI

At about the time Santamaria and his Campion mates were sending copies of their new paper to the Pope and Comrade Stalin an organisation called Opus Dei was being set up in Franco’s Spain by Josemaria Escriva – he died in 1975.  Opus Dei – has lay members who take vows…based in Rome it also has its own University Navarra in Pamplona Spain.

There was no denying that the Opus Dei had its very soul born within the Fascist movement of General Franco and it still basically favours Governments of the right.

The organisation is much older than the other three Charism groups. Spaniard Josemaria Escriva founded Opus Dei in 1928, long before the time of Pope Pius XII.  Escriva set out to infiltrate into Universities and places of higher learning.

This organisation concentrates on capturing people of a higher intellectual level, works very hard to win over professional people. It is said that they whip themselves three times a day and wear torture clamps to mortify the flesh, obviously a true carry over from Spanish Inquisition days.

OPUS DEI came to Australia in 1963 and by 1971 it had established 2 residential colleges – Warrane College on the Campus of the University of NSW and Creston College in Randwick along with a tourism and hospitality management training facility called Kenville College.(8)

These days they have influence in Melbourne through the parish administration of ‘Star of the Sea – West Melbourne’ – they have retreat training centres out of Sydney. They have over the years made presentations to most cities in Australia.

They were never welcomed in South Australia up to the end of the Faulkner years but since Archbishop Wilson took over Adelaide they are sure to have found life more relaxing. It is believed that Opus Dei has 16 Priests in Australia and at least 500 members and certainly there are members of the organisation in South Australia. There are many supporters of the organisation who are not members proper, they have a Vicar in Australia and New Zealand – his name is Fr Victor Martinez.

My assertion is (and I admit it is more of a hunch than a proven fact) that Opus Dei is alive and well in Australia – very active in Sydney and has the full support of Cardinal George Pell. As with all secret societies it is difficult to know who are members of Opus Dei unless they reveal it themselves as has Liberal member of the Legislative Council David Clarke MLC.

I am almost certain that within the circles of the University of Sydney Catholic Chaplaincy/Campion College (10) and the NCC – that the National Secretary and Treasurer of the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association (SDA) Joe de Bruyn, (11) is strongly involved. De Bruyn is the Chairman of  Campion College governing body. This College confers its degrees on each graduate in the name of the Holy Trinity – an action that strongly suggests that the college is very much linked with Opus Dei. (14)

Mr Joe de Bruyn may well be the most powerful political force in Australia – despite the efforts of Paul Howes, the AWU and Bill Ludwig of Queensland.

Irrespective of actual membership of Opus Dei or not – this is where the power lies – primarily within the power of the SDA but who has the influence there? There is no doubt that it is the National Civic Council who has the power and influence – ‘You could stretch it a bit and say the old DLP’ – There is very little doubt in my mind that Opus Dei is certainly also in the mix.

Let me tell you…the Liberal minded and progressive bishops of Australia were in time summoned to Rome in November 1998 as part of the Synod for Oceania. Hours before the Australian Bishops were to leave Rome (thinking their presentation was successful) they were nobbled – king hit in a way and pulled into line. The Vatican/Conservative forces imposed a statement of Conclusions on the seven metropolitan archbishops and others present – they were virtually told ‘they were running a sloppy ship – the Aussie way would not be tolerated by Rome.’

The 3rd Rite of Confession was banned – The Adelaide Church hung out to the end – thousands attended a support for Faulkner meeting in the City of Churches but to no avail.  In Adelaide, Faulkner’s replacement Phillip Wilson was a safe import from Wollongong NSW – the flirting with democracy in the Adelaide Church / the Dutch or Liberation Theology experiment in South Australia…was at an end.

No South Australian cleric was considered safe after all the years of ‘leftist pro ALP Bishops’ – John Paul II, his future replacement Benedict XVI, along with Opus Dei would be well pleased.

In Australia – Bishops on their return from Rome wept on TV but soon fell into line – Liberal minded bishops like Bishop Geoffrey Robinson were kept under control – in time they would be gone – retired – left to write books and give unwanted advice. Somehow Bishop Patrick Power of Canberra has survived as did Fr David Cappo.

Many years earlier when the conservative bishops gained ascendency at the Australian Bishops conference both Cappo and Bishop Pat Power survived – they played an outstanding role in trying to sort out new guidelines in dealing with the sexual abuse by the Clergy.

In politics the Left would lose its way and as time went on the Greens would gain some respectability whilst the left stood motionless, looking on whilst the right of the Labor Party just consolidated themselves in control in most States.

But in South Australia they were, through Senator Don Farrell’s remarkable efforts to take absolute control.

To conclude this story we need to recognise that Joe de Bruyn is top of this story, followed by his deputy in South Australia Don Farrell and future up and coming star Peter Malinauskas to follow.

Now is the time to tell you of my personal observation of Bernard Finnigan, a person who appears to me to be all that would be expected of an Opus Dei member. I can only concede that they would consider him of a high intellectual standard.

At some time after being charged within the ALP by Finnigan – I noticed that he was selling his home in Clearview.  One of my daughters was looking for a property in the area at that time so both my wife Marie and I went to inspect the house. It was like going into a monastery – austere, religious tapestries on the wall, prayer kneelers – praying areas but I have to admit I did not see any flogging chambers.

Now I am not being critical of Bernard and his religious activities – that is his right and his business – but it does give me reason to believe he is a member of either the Legionaries of Christ, Opus Dei, or both.

Jack Snelling’s grand father Ivan Oswald lived in the same Parish as me – he was a very important member of the Hindmarsh / Beverly / Flinders Park Parish – almost certainly involved in the Movement. One of the problems associated with all these types of organisations relate to just how secretive they can be – it is difficult to confirm membership. It upholds the theme of Malcolm Saunders ‘note on the movement’ that opened this speech.

Jack himself went to Blackfriars College (as did Farrell) and let me assure you that within people closely associated with that college a formation group of the right – possibly the National Civic Council was in full operation. One of the Principals of the College was Father Martin Wallace  – his dad was indeed the only DLP person ever elected to the NSW Parliament.

Jack Snelling often entertained Fr Chifley of the Dominicans in his office in Parliament House – Dominican Chifley, Jack Snelling and Michael Atkinson were indeed a cosy little group.

Tom Kenyon appears to have a very strong commitment to Catholic Social Justice Principles and seems to express strong views on issues such as Abortion, Prostitution Reform, Euthanasia and birth control.

He is believed to hold very firm to Catholic teachings on these issues (could well be a lay theologian) and make of him what you like – make of his rapid promotion what you like but …ladies and gentleman it is hard not to believe that the old DLP of the 1970’s (the DLP that eventually came fully under the control of the National Civic Council) is not alive and well.

In looking at the power grab in South Australia we should not overlook the great Australia Day branch stack within the ALP in 1999, when on one day the SA branch of the ALP’s grassroots membership grew from 3,500 to 5,500. Almost all of the new members were concession members, i.e. paid less than the full membership fee and the $47,000 paid in fees were paid by 5 or 6 cheques to the ALP State Office.

In my * Enfield sub branch the membership grew by more than 70 with almost two thirds of the new members being Vietnamese Australians. Most when spoken to admitted they had not paid their membership fees themselves, the money had been paid for by a right wing factional operative, they also didn’t realise in the main they were joining a political party, in some cases they were in fact Liberal Party supporters and some also had had their signature forged on the membership application form.
* Words of Ralph Clarke MP for Ross Smith – I was also a member of that sub-branch.

In Port Lincoln for example, a large country town on SA West Coast, the local ALP membership grew from 20 to 130 on that Australia Day in 1999, and you would be sickened to know what went on at Cooper Pedy.

It saddens me to tell you that the people who initiated this little deal have never been exposed – never found but be assured some of those who have been running our State, have been part of Government and still remain within the factional control of the Party were up to their neck in this dirty grubby little power grab back in 1999.

The Machine

It seems to me that the cosy arrangement between the Right and the Left at least had one advantage – no one group had total control of the ALP in South Australia. At least Farrell and Butler (of the left) had to meet – reach agreement on issues and then they had their way…but no one person had absolute control.

Then came the sell out of sections of what was called at one time SA Labour Left – media people wrongly called it ‘the Duncan Left’…and within ALP circles some called it ‘The Geraghty Left’.

Committed left unions like the Australian Manufacturing  Workers Union/ The Electrical Trades and Postal Unions somehow made a deal to move over to the right– some would say it was ‘sell out by members of the Left’ to the Right but to most observers the deal is still incomprehensible to this day – surely there must have been some beneficiaries from this deal?

When the brilliant Farrell pulled that one off – the job had been done – 53% control was just a brilliant achievement – only time was required for the Catholic Right as some called it – to wrap it all up.

Does Farrell make all the decisions? That is not my belief. I believe the power of the Shop Assistant’s Union comes from the National Executive of the SDA – that is most likely controlled by the National Civic Council and that real power rests with its National Secretary Joe de Bruyn who is believed to be very closely associated with Cardinal George Pell and the Catholic University.

Do I think that Joe de Bruyn is a member of Opus Dei? Yes I do but who can really know when secret organisations swirl around us as is happening in our modern Society. There are many in the Religious Right of the Party who just continue on and I have generously run out of time to talk of Atkinson, Koutsantonis, O’Brien and Zollo.

So for those of you that say prayers at night, just know…we in South Australia will not be on our own – in a few weeks time in NSW we could see a Liberal Government in that State – one that also has strange connections.

The irony is that the person who has the most influence in the NSW Liberal Party is a person by the name of Hon David John Clarke MLC (12) – he is Co-operator of the Opus Dei Prelature in Sydney and his wife is a full member of Opus Dei proper.  He is involved with the Cardinal and Sydney University.

When the Liberals replace the current Labor Government with Barrie O’Farrell – not much, Ladies and Gentleman, would have changed…the control of the right of the Labor Party in NSW will only be replaced by the right of the Liberal side of politics…I suspect just controlled by the same organisation – OPUS DEI.

So back to South Australia – I have to leave it to you to give the answer to the question –‘Is the South Australian Labor Government controlled by the Catholic Right?’


Reference 1 See issue 99 November 2010 Labour History page 179, A Note on the Files of ‘The Movement’ in South Australia – by Malcolm Saunders – especially page 184 re Gary Lockwood.

Reference 2The Advertiser’ Thursday January 13th 2011- page 21 ‘Out of the Shadows’ by Sarah Martin. 

Reference 3INDAILY’ – Wednesday, 9 February 2011 – ‘DLP Victory in SA’ by Kevin Naughton.

Reference 4 – Senator Don Farrell Farrell 

Reference 5 – Hon Bernard Finnigan MLC Finnigan 

Reference 6 – Hon Jack Snelling MP 

Reference 7 – Hon Tom Kenyon MP 

Reference 8 – OPUS DEI 

Reference 9 – LEGION OF CHRIST

 Letter from Cardinal George Pell 

Reference 11 – Joe de BRUYN 

Reference 12 – Hon David CLARKE MLC 


Reference 14 – CAMPION COLLEGE –
Mr Joe de Bruyn – Chairman of College Governing Body. Campion’s Brag Summer 2011