John Lilburne's journal about Tony Abbott on the enforcement of laws.



About John Lilburne




1418 L Fri 29 Mar 2002

I was impressed by an article by Tony Abbott which I read in The Australian on 26 March: "Business has got to be stronger".

He is the federal Workplace Relations Minister and (I think) a leading contender to be the next Prime Minister of Australia. From my internet research it seems he was born in 1957 and was at St Patrick's seminary, in Sydney, from 1984 -1985.

The article is about Workplace Relations, but I see parallels to issues in the Catholic Church. Here are a few extracts:

The challenge of the next three years is not confined to new legislation as much as ensuring that workplace culture better reflects the freedoms and opportunities available (if imperfectly) under the Workplace Relations Act.

... In this term the Government is likely to focus as much on enforcing the law as on changing it. ...

Sometimes it's unrealistic to expect small companies or individual workers to prosecute their rights against unions or large businesses that have all but bottomless pockets. Where there are clear cases of abuse of power or breach of the peace by industrial heavyweights, in fairness to people who would otherwise be denied their rights, the Government should consider its options for acting as industrial policeman. ...

Its the duty of police to enforce the law regardless of who the law-breakers might be. ...

any state government inclined to turn a blind eye to violence perpetrated by its political allies needs to understand that freedom under the law is this Government's "light on the hill". ...

Workers and managers face commercial suicide and the risk of physical intimidation when they seek to assert the rights and freedoms people take for granted beyond the factory gate. They ought to know that the Government is on their side and will do everything in its power not to let them down.

With regard to liturgical law occasionally there are statements from Catholic Church hierarchy. For example in the 1998 Statement of Conclusions:

42. ... Any unauthorized changes, while perhaps well-intentioned, are seriously misguided. The bishops of Australia, then, will continue to put their energy above all into education, while correcting these abuses individually. ...

46. ... Such liturgical formation needs to be followed through in all the different sections of the Catholic community and at the various levels in a consistent and permanent fashion. ...

For Good Friday today there was a Communion Service at the Cathedral. Unlike Mass it does not include the Lamb of God (i.e. Agnus Dei). Normally after this most people at the Cathedral kneel. I remain standing, in accordance with the instructions in the Roman Missal. These are even clearer in the new Roman Missal which (I think) came into force with its publication last week. The new General Instruction to the Roman Missal has added the bold text:

43. ... For the sake of observing a uniformity in gestures and posture during the same celebration, the faithful should obey the directions which the deacon or a lay person or the priest give during the celebration, according to whatever is indicated in the liturgical books.

Today Archbishop Hart gave the instruction "Please kneel" before saying "This is the Lamb of God." I do not think this instruction was following what is in the 2002 Roman Missal.

According to the new General Instruction to the Roman Missal, n. 390:

It is up to the Conference of Bishops, once their acts have been given the recognitio of the Apostolic See, to define for introduction into the Missal itself the adaptations which are indicated in this General Institutio and in the Order of Mass, such as:

- the gestures and posture of the faithful ...

But I would be surprised to learn that the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has received the recognito to change the posture here to kneeling instead of standing.

Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 29 March 2002.


Other sites on Tony Abbott:

2001 description in The Age

His article "Business has got to be stronger"