Monday, June 2, 2014


James Massola The Australian August 23, 2010 

The Australian Jesuit order will be celebrating today - possibly with a bottle or two of its own Sevenhill wine - after swings to Jesuit-educated parliamentarians were recorded across the country. 

The Catholic order, self-described "soldiers of the church", prides itself on the rigorous education it provides in its elite schools around the country.

Jesuit-educated alumni in the current parliament include:
-Opposition leader Tony Abbott, who recorded a 4.57 per cent swing to him;
-Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey, 8.57 per cent;
- Education spokesman Christopher Pyne, 2.55 per cent against the trend in South Australia;
-Rural spokesman Barnaby Joyce, who rose from third on the Queensland senate ticket to second and;
-On the Labor side of the chamber, parliamentary secretary for disabilities Bill Shorten, who recorded a 2.44 per cent swing in his favour.

The only exception to the rule was Victorian Senator Julian McGuaran, who failed to hold the third senate seat in that state - losing his seat to the Catholic-aligned Democratic Labor Party.

The Catholic order's place in Australian politics should not be overlooked.

During the three-way Liberal leadership contest between Malcolm Turnbull, Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott, all three men consulted with Jesuit priests.

Mr Turnbull turned to Richard Leonard SJ, boss of the Australian Catholic Bishops film office; Mr Hockey spoke with Michael Ryan SJ, rector of his alma mater, St Aloysius. Mr Abbott turned to his mentor Emmet Costello - the man who advised him to enter the priesthood years ago - now retired, but who once taught at his alma mater, St Ignatius Riverview.

The Catholic order has a long history of producing MPs and Senators, including former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer and former Victoria deputy premier Pat McNamara.



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