Mother Mary

The canonisation of Mother Mary McKillop on 20 October means that the Vatican believes that McKillop is in heaven. The ‘evidence’ is that praying for her intercession has cured cancer. Such ‘miracles’ are small beans for an organisation which canonised people whom it later had to admit had never existed.

As materialists, communists reject over-turnings of the natural order. Rather, we are out to revolutionise the social order. So, in what ways would the Vatican need to reform itself to make Marxists wonder whether miracles might be possible after all?

The first shock that might well stop even the most atheistic of us in our tracks would be to see a woman elected pope. McKillop was excommunicated for a few months because of disagreements with her local bishop, and she battled with several other bishops.

The second miracle will be when Cardinal Pell directs government funds away from posh schools such as Xavier to give the excess to hard-up church schools like the ones started by McKillop. That change will take more than prayer. As Marx said about the Church of England: It would rather you attacked 38 of its 39 articles of faith than one thirty-ninth of its income.

It is a fair bet that the church will ordain women before it gives up its treasure.

Meanwhile, there is nothing out of the ordinary in the Vatican ’s failure to canonise Archbishop Romero of El Salvador , who was gunned down as he was saying Mass in 1980. His murderers were commanded by graduates of the CIA’s training camp for death squads, the School of the Americas . Romero’s canonisation stalled because his sermons are theologically suspect. For example, he observed that ‘When I feed the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why there are the poor, they say I am a communist’.

A socialist Australia will do more honour to McKillop than the hocus-pocus around sainthood. Communists strive to end the exploitation that breeds the poor whom she tried to help.

Vanguard, October 2010.