February 27th 2016

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY SSCA: Check out this inversion of the Parental Control system

CANBERRA OBSERVED Barnaby Joyce likely to give Cabinet a kick-along

ALCOHOL Studies confirm benefit of earlier nightclub closures

HISTORY OF TAIWAN Post-WWII Japan's loss is Chiang Kai-shek's gain

SPEECH IN PARLIAMENT Welfare of children at heart of surrogacy inquiry

EDITORIAL Syria agreement first step to ending the carnage

EDUCATION Discounting Christianity in schools denies history

WORLD CONGRESS OF FAMILIES Diversity's American dream: genderless parenthood and apple pie

ENVIRONMENT Harry Butler: a victim of deep-green politics

EUTHANASIA Legitimate denial of choice at end of life (Part I of two)

ACTIVISM Safer schools or a radical Marxist sexual revolution?

UNITED STATES Big Brother v the Little Sisters: Obama takes nuns to Supreme Court

MUSIC Oppositions reconciled in logical harmony

CINEMA Of heists and hedge funds: The Big Short

BOOK REVIEW Alarms and arms

BOOK REVIEW The human factor


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News Weekly, February 27, 2016

More to Mannix


Colin Jory’s review of Brenda Niall’s Mannix omits to ask why she interviewed two laicised priests, but not Cardinal Pell, about Archbishop Mannix’s life or why no reference was made to the Cardinal’s panegyric at the funeral Mass for Bob Santamaria.

It would have been interesting to know what Mannix would have made of a number of key Movement works – AD2000, the Thomas More Centre and the Australian Family Association. Some inkling of His Grace’s thinking could have been derived from his strong support for the Institute of Social Order (Belloc House), initially led by Fr Muirhead, who is mentioned in the book. Unfortunately there is no mention of his successor, Fr Smith, who was an intimate collaborator of Santamaria’s, as was the late Fr Paul Duffy SJ. As Ms Niall was given access to Fr Duffy’s papers on the history of Belloc House, the Mannix position should have been apparent.

Also indicative of His Grace’s inclination would have been reference to Santamaria’s 1957 paper, “The Mission of the Layman”, and the series of Bishops’ social-justice statements that Santamaria drafted. Did His Grace support this work?

As probably, at the time, the world’s leading expert on the Catholic Social Apostolate, Santamaria should indeed have been asked to attend Vatican II without having to display his credentials – an action Ms Niall criticises.

Two unfounded assertions detract from Ms Niall’s undoubted scholarship. “Many young women were pressured into the convent” (p.41); and “Nothing in Maynooth’s written charter spelt out sexual transgressions; but in large all-male establishments there must have been homosexual acts and secret relationships” (p.43).

The biography mentions the Campion Society but does not quote the definitive study on it by Dr Colin Jory. As a result, the South Australian members, including the eminent Paul Maguire, are not mentioned.

It is incorrect to state that neither Mannix nor Santamaria was “able to foster a successor”. Archbishops are chosen by Rome irrespective of the views of the last incumbent; vide Archbishop Knox, who was brought back from Rome. In fact, Archbishop Justin Simmons was appointed Coadjutor to Dr Mannix in 1942, with right of succession. He succeeded Mannix in 1963.

Bob Santamaria groomed Peter Westmore as his successor, supported initially by three other men.

It is not quite accurate to say that Santamaria supported the banning of the Communist Party of Australia. He went along with the decision of the duly elected government but did not think a ban would work and that what was really needed to defeat the communists was the Industrial Groups.

Two singular achievements of the Mannix–Santamaria partnership were the defeat of communist influence in the labour movement and the gaining of state aid for Catholic schools. Ms Niall give neither sufficient attention.

John Barich,
Belmont, WA

Thorium myths


Tom King asks, “Why silent on thorium?” (News Weekly, Letters, January 30, 2016). A search on the internet for “Myths and misconceptions about thorium nuclear fuel” by Nick Touran PhD (nuclear engineering) may answer his question.

Errol Wiles,
Babinda, Qld.

SA coal a military matter


I was pleased to read Peter Westmore’s article on the decision to close South Australia’s coal-fired power station at Port Augusta and the associated coalmine closure at Leigh Creek (News Weekly, January 30, 2016).

Peter goes back some 70 years to the building of these power stations and he highlights the great economic benefits these ventures brought to the state. However, it should also be remembered that the reasoning was more to do with Axis attempts to disrupt Australia’s war effort in the 1940s.

A small number of German surface raiders and at least one U-boat operated in Australian waters, laying mines and attacking merchant ships, most notably sinking HMAS Sydney.

Later the Japanese sent 30 submarines to operate in Australian waters, resulting in ships crews refusing to put to sea without escorts. This let to delays of many shipments of urgently needed coal to South Australia, which impacted heavily on South Australia’s wartime industry.

The Railways across Australia had already been pushed to the limit and were unable to supply enough coal via the Broken Hill and the Silverton tramway lines; nor were they able to supply enough coal via Victoria.

Eventually a convoy system was put in place, but with far too few escort ships to defend the convoys should the Japanese have changed their tactics and used German-style wolf packs. However, enough ships and aeroplanes were found to start the convoys. Even so, many shortages remained until the threat had subsided.

I believe the national interest was at the heart of South Australia’s desire to become self-reliant, which was in line with the Commonwealth’s policy of the time of national self-reliance.

Michael Murray,
Junee, NSW

Turnbull values


Malcolm Turnbull’s sacking of Ian Macfarlane shows there is nothing small or narrow-minded about what must, for want of a more appropriate term, be called his values. He is ready in the most generous manner to betray and backstab friends as well as rivals and opponents. It will be interesting to see the response the day he needs to invoke that alien concept, loyalty.

Hal G.P. Colebatch,
Nedlands, WA

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