Wednesday, 22 February 2012

How Rudd forced out a pro-life candidate

Today's Canberra Times highlights an up until now untold story on the pre-selection process for Labor Party candidates in the Australian Capital Territory. 

Over the weekend a Labor MP described Mr Rudd as a psychopath.  I'm not sure whether or not he truly is (others have suggested for example a case of Aspergers), but it has to be said that his reported behaviour (and my views are coloured, I have to admit, my own experience with him some years ago) is certainly not inconsistent with that! 

Regardless, the story highlights for me a problem dealt with in today's Patristic Readings for Matins, of the destructive power of the wolf in sheep's clothing.

The Rudd intervention in Canberra

But first the Canberra pre-selection story.

Canberrans will remember that for a brief moment it looked like a solid, traditionalist Catholic might get selected for one of the Canberra seats, in the form of Michael Cooney.

In fact at one stage, it looked like the election in the seat of Canberra would be a contest between two traditionalist Catholics, one for each major party, which would I think have been an unprecedented situation in Australia!

Alas the ALP factional deal behind it all fell apart, and the two candidates who eventually got up (and were elected) are very far from being pro-life (or pro-marriage) indeed!

Now it is claimed that the deal collapsed because then Prime Minister Kevin Rudd vetoed the candidacy of Mr Cooney.  You can read more in a fascinating piece on the pre-selection process on Australian Policy online.

The destructive power...

The story has some interesting ramifications for the pro-life push within the ALP.

If true, it is yet another reason why Catholic organisations like Caritas should stay well away from Mr Rudd!

But it also highlights what I think is a very real problem of just how hard it is to expose and stop those who present well publicly, particularly to those who they think 'matter', but whose underlying agenda is not in fact about the promotion of the common good.

The problem of the wolf in sheep's clothing

I continue to be fascinated (and horrified) by the way that what have been dubbed 'workplace psychopaths' continue to survive, thrive and wreak havoc in politics, the church and the workplace.

Rudd aside, I've encountered this phenomenon personally three times. 

The first was in the form of a power hungry egomaniac who I had the misfortune to work for for a while. 

The second was someone who worked for me, and whose subversion of my efforts and psychological exploitation of those who worked for her I didn't realize until far too late. 

And the third was in the form of a priest, who I subsequently discovered is notorious amongst those 'in the know' (and indeed, I keep stumbling across other victims of his destructive force).

We aren't (necessarily) talking here about the Fr Marciel-esq concealment of abuse and such like sins, though certainly it can include that.  We've become all too familiar in the Church with the person who on the surface seems a good and holy priest - but isn't!

No, I'm also talking here about the person who is highly intelligent, says and does all the right things and more, and who seems utterly convincing in the role they have taken on.  But who in reality is motivated by power and ego, and enjoys the psychological destruction they wreak on others; enjoys using their power to stop good things from happening.

One might expect, perhaps, such people to go into politics: it is often unfortunately an ego driven process.  But why do they become priests?  And I'm not just talking about novus ordo land here!

And why are we so helpless to do anything about the problem of the wolf in sheep's clothing?

This Ash Wednesday, perhaps you could join me in praying for the conversion of such people in all walks of life, and for their actions to be put an end to.

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