The Voice

What the Votaress Said to the Bishop

Dear Archbishop Costelloe,

I write to you in your capacity as President of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference. I am a Canberra mother, grandmother and great grandmother and throughout my life have been active in Church affairs and in movements of Christian inspiration in the broader community. At present, I am the President of the ACT Right to Life Association.

The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference has released, two official documents bearing on the current debate over the Voice referendum. The first was a direct call for support for the Voice by the ACBC, issued on May 11. The second was this year’s Social Justice Statement, “Listen, Learn, Love”, released on August 27.

I am afraid I must express my strong objections to both documents. I consider them to be abuses of episcopal power, and violations of the rights of ordinary Australian Catholics to have their bishops act in accordance with their proper sacred responsibilities and sacred priorities.

Even if it is allowed that it is appropriate for the Australian bishops to issue official statements on the Voice, those statements should transcend the political fray and have a perspective which reasonable people on both sides of the debate will recognise as wise, rational, appreciative of the complexities involved, and rooted in a deeply Catholic understanding of human nature and human destiny. Unfortunately, the two documents are sorely deficient in these regards.

Space does not permit me to give a detailed critique of the documents and so I will confine myself to the following points.

Both documents are pervasively politically partisan; they are one-eyed propaganda of the most derivative, facile, ignorant, and inept kind. They offend not merely because they are partisan, but because they are so simplistically partisan. It is in no exaggeration to say that in the level of analytical thought, stylistic skill, and argumentative persuasiveness, the documents are far below the standard the faithful and the general public may expect of the ACBC.

From start to finish, both documents are tedious exercises in sloganeering, with the slogans being parroted from the stock repertoire devised by the politicians and activists behind the “Yes” campaign.

Traditional Australian Aboriginal culture is presented in an absurdly romanticised and sanitised fashion, in keeping with the tactics of the “Yes” master-manipulators. European settlement of this continent is represented as intrinsically unjust and unjustified, and as having engendered never-ending oppression of Aboriginal people, with perpetual atonement and compensation for this being morally required.

There is no acknowledgment of the vast benefits that Australian Aboriginal people have accrued from European settlement; and above all from the exertions of very many great and good people who dedicated themselves to Aboriginal welfare. Especially deplorable is the absence from either statement of any acknowledgment or honouring of the Catholic Aboriginal missions of the past, and the considerable number of priests, brothers and nuns who selflessly gave their lives to advancing the spiritual and material welfare of the Aboriginal people.

Equally deplorable is the absence of any acknowledgment that a major reason for the crime, lawlessness, drunkenness, unemployment, despair, ill-health and violence against women which characterise very many Aboriginal communities today has been the collapse of Catholic and other Christian educational, spiritual and cultural influences and enterprises, and their replacement by secularist welfarism which has proved disastrously counter-productive. Aboriginal communities have utterly lost their moral and ethical moorings, and are learning by catastrophic experience the truth of Dostoyevsky’s observation: “If God does not exist, everything is permitted.”

To be more specific: Ever since most Christian churches which were involved in missionary activities among the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders have left or been forced to leave, the conditions for Aborigines in the communities in which they worked have invariably declined, often drastically. An exacerbating factor was the granting of full welfare benefits to all members of the communities, with little or no scrutiny of the consequences. We now see risible efforts to fill the gap left by the receding of Christianity in the form of attempted revivals of Rainbow Serpent mythology and rituals, and various other quaint and colourful myths and practices. Some of these might genuinely have their roots in traditional Aboriginal culture, but some are modern concoctions — for instance, Welcome to Country ceremonies were invented by Ernie Dingo, a TV presenter!

As regards the “No” side of the Voice debate, total absent from both episcopal documents is any account of the arguments and evidence which the leading proponents of a “No” vote have advanced, let alone any acknowledgment that these arguments are founded on good-will towards Aboriginal Australians, and are worthy of consideration and respect.

On a more personal note — the wedding celebrations following my husband’s and my marriage in 1968 in Cairns included an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island dance band. I played sport and worked with Aborigines and Islanders who benefited greatly from the work of the Christian churches, and were a fully accepted part of the local community. However, now my relations and friends in the North have to be perpetually wary of Aboriginal youths who are not working nor seeking work, and who cause continuous problems -for instance, burglary, fighting, car theft, and gratuitous car destruction. Problems with school attendance, although not new, have escalated greatly. Tradesmen tell of the measures they have to take to ensure their own safety; the safety of young Aborigines whom they continually try to take on to give them work experience and training; and the safety from theft and vandalism of their sites and equipment.

Government and private financial assistance intended for Aboriginal welfare very often does not filter down to those in need -a situation which appals and scandalises not merely whites but ordinary aborigines. The high-profile “elders” who control the allocation of the finances have often become fabulously wealthy; and their relatives and friends are given highly-paid positions for which they are poorly qualified and other perks.

Will the establishment of a constitutionally-mandated Voice result in improvements to this situation — or simply in an expansion and exacerbation of the rackets and rorts which have caused the situation? This is a key consideration of those who have decided that the proposed Voice would not be in the interests of the Australian community. It is a consideration which should have been recognised, and acknowledged as reasonable, in the two ACBC documents, instead of being totally ignored.

I respectfully ask you to give consideration to what I have said.

Yours sincerely,
(Mrs) Bev Cains

27 thoughts on “What the Votaress Said to the Bishop

  • Surftilidie says:

    I think it was Churchill who coined the aphorism “an appeaser is the person who feeds the crocodile hoping it will eat him last”. Under the leadership of Pope Francis the Roman Catholic clergy has become a bunch of appeasers. They have lost me!

  • Botswana O'Hooligan says:

    With apologies, I recently wrote to all and sundry about the PM as is written about the R.C. clergy with mixed results for replies.
    When I see Prime Minister Anthony Albenese wandering to an fro with all the “yes” proponents and wearing T shirts bearing “yes” and like slogans I think to myself that the Prime Minister of Australia should be above all that, at least publicly for he is the leader of our Nation and not a dictator who directs we Australians about who we must vote for since that is what our democracy is about, our freedom to cast a ballot paper, a secret one at that for I think that we were the first country in the World to introduce a “secret” ballot for elections. He must remember that this is not a football match where he is barracking for his favourite football team but an extremely serious affair to alter our constitution if it is successful.

    The parliament ruled by the numbers on the referendum business, a referendum Mr. Albenese promised along with many other things he promised as in lower electricity prices by $275 and a lower cost of living etc. before he was elected, but at least his promise of a referendum held true and that should be the end of the matter for the leader of our country, the Prime Minister, represents all we Australians and many of us do not vote Labor, many of us do not want a referendum to have a multi tiered country where advantage depends on skin colour either real or imagined, so he should stand back and be impartial and allow our democratic system to decide if the referendum is successful or not and he should most certainly remain impartial, at least in his public appearances for he, Mr. Albenese, is the leader of our country and the leader of us all, those who will use the ballot box to decide yes or no in the referendum, and not at the direction of a dictator.

    • john mac says:

      Yes Botswana.the wearing of activist T shirts has long been the Labor/greens habit, and it has always rankled me. One of the many reasons I’ve never voted for them – perpetual children, petulant and vindictive. Albo’s raison d’etre is “fighting Tories ” . One trick pony indeed!

  • Helen Armstrong says:

    Well argued, Bev. All my aboriginal friends and family are voting No, because they don’t want some flash rat Aborigine in Canberra playing the paternal hand in telling them what when how because they know best, after all.
    I’m so glad you spoke up. It is though brave people of common sense, like you, that the trickle will become a flood and take with it not only the celebratory bunting of the In-voice, but also other requirements of compliance, in transgender mutilation of children, worship at the global warming alter and the erosion of freedom of speech in the name of dis and mis information.

  • Daffy says:

    Similar correspondence could well be directed to every mainstream church organization in Australia. These people seem to be bereft of the wisdom the Christian scriptures extol, bereft of and understanding of the Christian teaching of the fallen and corrupt nature of humanity, and by extension, its institutions (including government and political parties), and completely blind to the politics of maneuver that this cabal of Marxists promoting ‘the Voice’ is engaged with!

  • Patrick McCauley says:

    Yes Mrs Cains very well said and clearly argued – I wonder what George Pell would have said about the voice ? I’m sure only he amongst the Church hierarchy of the last fifty years ( perhaps Mannix would have had the gonads ?) .. was capable of standing up to the woke swamp Catholics who have taken over our Church. He would have provided Quadrant essays galore persuading our thought toward true love and compassion as the Aboriginal peoples came in from the dark. Pell would also have kept the Churches open during the pandemic (somehow) and refused to pay either Caesar or Dan Andrews or any State lockdown police – any more than they were due. It is a time for the quiet Christians to remind the proud of the price of their pride – as does Mrs Cains by pointing to the vacuous laziness of their thought and their empty arguments fly like the white flags of surrender (virtue signals – blinking in the stormy seas of human corruption and despair)

  • call it out says:

    Brave Mrs Cains. A woman who sees it as it is.

  • Blair says:

    “”The injustice of the policy of removing children from their families continues today and is one of many injustices that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people want to be addressed.”
    Yes, Torres Strait Islander children are still being removed from their families…by their parents. Adopting out (and in) children is a traditional part of Torres Islander life .and is recognised by special legislation in Qld.

    ” …Bringing Them Home Report into the history of the forcible removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait
    Islander children from their families and communities”
    The Report could not provide one example of a Torres Strait Islander child being forcibly removed from families and communities for any reason.

    “Our traditional lands were taken from us and we were moved to other places. Many of us were killed. We were forced to abandon our own cultures and languages and to accept the ways of the white colonisers. Children were taken away from their parents and placed in orphanages, missions and foster homes. ”
    No traditional lands were taken from Torres Strait Islanders, few were killed, they were not forced to abandon their culture, although they did abandon inter-island head-hunting raids with the Coming of the Light, (the adoption of Christianity by the Islanders) and the annexation of the islands by the Qld colonial government in the 1870s .They retained their traditional language though today speaking traditional languages is waning, being replaced by a creole pidgin. English is widely spoken.
    Children were not taken away from their parents and placed in orphanages or missions.

    • Botswana O'Hooligan says:

      Yairs Blair, the Torres Strait Island people are streets ahead of our mainland lot in many ways and yr right with their practice of a childless couple being given a child from another family member. They are past masters at working the system and without outlining some of the perks concerning air travel etc. and schooling in say The Alice or somewhere else instead of locally, for no one would believe me, they can get a child allowance and perks for a child under a clan name, an anglicised name, and in the swap over, another name.

  • sabena says:

    I hope you will get the courtesy of a reply,but I doubt it.

  • Brian Boru says:

    Reconciliation requires knowledge, forgiveness and acceptance. We have plenty of knowledge of our history. Lacking are forgiveness and acceptance and without them reconciliation will not be achieved.
    The Lord’s Prayer includes, “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors”. Then, “if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Sermon on the Mount). Why have the Catholic Bishops not followed the Lord’s teaching on forgiveness?
    “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord” (Leviticus 18:19). Why have the Catholic Bishops not followed the lesson of not seeking revenge but have fanned the flames of revenge cloaked in the “justice” word?
    The greatest commandment is to love your neighbour as yourself. That is why we want an egalitarian society where all have equal opportunity and support when needed but no privilege for any on the basis of race, ancestry or any other factors beyond our shared humanity.
    It is to be deplored but not surprising that the Catholic Bishops have chosen to be proponents of a privileged Voice for some whilst ignoring the basic tenets of their supposed faith. I salute those Catholics like Bev Cains who struggle on to follow Christ’s teachings.


  • glenda ellis says:

    I have stopped attending any church. Last year it was Climate Change, this year the Voice. It was assumed that I thought as the leader of my church thought. Wrong. I went to church for spiritual support not political direction. Thank you, Bev.

    • norsaint says:

      See if you can find a Traditional Latin Mass, Glenda. Some complain they can’t understand it, but that is preferable to listening to homosexual infiltrators banging on with their nonsense. It also exudes a sense of reverence which the Novo Ordo (instigated by atheistic modernists) palpably fails to do.

  • Searcher says:

    A good letter to the morally superior and highly educated out-of-touch bishops.

  • johno says:

    Bev Cairns polite and respectful letter will probably be completely lost on the feel-good mealy-mouthed appeasers who don’t or won’t fight for the Faith while falling over themselves to be left-wing mitred virtue signallers.

  • Max Rawnsley says:

    I always think of the biblical reference to a 12 yro boy casting the Pharisees from the temple.

    I think we will find the churches are fully invested in the indigenous industry. As some suggest, follow the money trail

  • seagull says:

    I expect that we will soon have a feast day for the Rainbow Serpent in the church calendar, and the inclusion of the same serpent in the Credo of the Mass.

  • Lawrie Ayres says:

    Australia is a democracy and Aborigines have had the vote as long as any White (or Asian, or Hindu or whatever other ethnicity has come to these shores) and have the ability to decide who best represents them. The basis for the Voice is anti-democratic and would enshrine Apartheid in our Constitution. For that reason alone the Voice should never have even been considered let alone voted upon. If, as so many Yes campaigners complain, there are so many gaps that remain unclosed then what is required is an audit of the myriad money wasting organisations that currently exist. Why are women being assaulted by their menfolk? Why are children being sexually abused? It is not because there is a lack of money but a lack of oversight. The gap will never close whilstever there are bureaucrats and elders making a fortune by keeping it open.

  • James McKenzie says:

    I await a reply from the Vatican: silence would suggest cowardice and flows sadly to its irrelevance.
    We are the poorer for it, then hopefully a new order will prevail based in the realm of common sense.

  • Brian Boru says:

    Presbyterian Church in Australia has banned Welcome to Country and Acknowledgements. Mark Powell was mentioned in despatches. Thanks Mark.
    I could not find anything about this on the ABC News website, I wonder why?

  • norsaint says:

    The Catholic hierarchy in the Vatican is an acknowledged cesspit of sodomites, worshippers of the diabolic etc al.
    There’s no reason to suspect those in Oz are much different. They can certainly match them for stupidity. From my experience, the notable exception are those proponents of the Traditional Latin Mass. The fruits of modernism have been largely kept at bay, thankfully.
    By the way, it’s pretty clear that the bloke in the funny hat in Rome, is an impostor.

  • norsaint says:

    The great, late, Malcolm Muggeridge observed years ago that such is the institutionalized bone-headedness of both Church and state, Jesus Christ would fail a 20th century theology exam and Shakespeare suffer the same fate in English.

  • Paul.Harrison says:

    “Wasn’t I married to you once?” Bravo……

  • Paul.Harrison says:

    This seems out of context, but it does go somewhat towards illuminating the cult of the Roman Church. Most educated people will know the name Copernicus: Born 19 February 1473 – Died 24 May 1543. His book, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Orbs, brought together many threads of observation and eventually this led to the finding that the Earth was not the centre of the Universe. This period was one during which the Spanish Inquisition was reducing the faithful to terror, thus Copernicus took a huge risk publishing his book. As an aside, the Pope at the time, Pope Clement VII, expressed pleasure and interest in the findings of Copernicus. (I wonder here if any Pope of any time would have been so rash, such that he may have faced his own trial in front of the Inquisition and burning at the stake). The record states that the book was banned by the Inquisition and was not removed from that list until approximately 1895, just short of 300 years since its publication. Of further interest, the Holy Inquisition still exists, to this very day, in the form of The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a change which took place in 1911. Of even further interest is that our very own Cardinal George Pell was slated to be the Cardinal in charge of the Congregation. Indeed, God moves in mysterious ways his wonders to behold……..or something.

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