Very well analyzed and written with such enviable ease. From a thread at The American Conservative on the new Pope: Pope Francis, Class-Consciousness, and Catholic Consistency – by
Daniel McCarthy.

Robert (not Robert C) says:
August 10, 2013 at 12:38 am

Traditionally, Australian Catholicism has had the same social-class issues as American Catholicism, only in concentrated form. This is largely because the American tradition of college education for Catholics simply didn’t exist in Australia until the 1990s (when the disproportionately Catholic nursing profession started insisting on its members having university degrees) and to this day it is weak. Just as it remains impossible to imagine an Australian equivalent of the Kennedy tribe, so it remains impossible to imagine an Australian equivalent of Fulton Sheen, let alone Orestes Brownson.

Moreover, the 1954-1955 split in the Australian Labor Party, over the issue of how – or even whether – to fight against Communists, ensured that antipodean Catholicism, at one stroke, lost almost its entire working-class base. While local blue-collar Catholics didn’t like the Marxisant-Protestant Labor leader H.V. Evatt much, they liked the Action-Française-tinctured Catholic leader B. A. Santamaria still less, although the sheer prestige of Santamaria’s chief backer, the nonagenarian Archbishop Mannix, ensured that the lid was kept upon complaints for the first few post-split years.

From around 1970 Australia’s Catholic “leaders” decided that they could compensate for the hemorrhaging of their working-class support by facilitating an upper-middle-class, and foreign, influx. University education for Catholics (previously much distrusted, though not actively prohibited, by the episcopate) became the Next Big Thing. “If you build it, they will come.” This embourgeoisement basically meant open slather for (a) chip-on-shoulder women who lusted after basket-weaving courses with theological pretensions, (b and far more dangerously) “male” homosexuals with masters’ degrees and Bertie Wooster voices.

Which is where we came in. Blue-collar cultures overwhelmingly regard male homosexual antics with either disgust or, less often, with the cheerful cynicism to be found in certain “rent boys”. Only among members of the middle and ostensibly upper classes has sodomy become an Eighth Sacrament rendering obsolete the other seven.

Australian Catholic officialdom used to be routinely derided – with some justice – as “the ALP at prayer”. It is now, for all practical purposes, the Harvey Milk Fan Club at prayer. Surely not even the most insane optimist would regard this change as an improvement.


What a pity “Robert” above did not sign his full name, thus enabling us to find more of his writings.