New ALP President acknowledges his Catholic faith

Warren Mundine, who has just begun his term as President of the Australian Labor Party, has said that Catholicism has, along with his aboriginality, shaped his life.

Speaking to Virginia Trioli on ABC Local Radio in Sydney before heading to St Mary's Cathedral for yesterday's Red Mass to mark the commencement of the legal year, he said: "My Catholicism has formed my life and my spirituality, with my aboriginality. It's an important part of my life."

He said that while Catholicism has also been a strong part of the Labor Party for many years, the Church and the Pope "isn't going to be designing our policies".

He described his upbringing as an Indigenous Catholic in a feature published in The Australian at the end of December.

"We were staunch [Catholics]," he said. "As kids it seemed we were always at mass. My mother would hunt us up. 'No breakfast till after mass', she'd say. So that was always a big incentive. We'd get up early for the six o'clock mass, then rush back home to get a feed. We walked several miles to St Patrick's in South Grafton and several miles home again. We never had a car."

"I was brought up a Catholic and I'm still a Catholic," he says. 'I don't go to church as often as I should but I go to mass, I go to confession, and yes, I believe in God. I don't have a day where I don't say a prayer." What does he pray for? "Oh, guidance, help, forgiveness, all kinds of things," he says.

Virginia Trioli interviews Warren Mundine (702 ABC Sydney 31/1/05) (MP3 audio)
Labor's great black hope (The Australian 31/12/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
ALP | National President Warren Mundine

Mundine takes over ALP presidency (Sunday Herald-Sun 28/1/06)
Stop whingeing, Mundine warns ALP (The Age 30/1/06)
Mundine focused on ending factional infighting (ABC News 28/1/06)
Red Mass opens New Year's Law Term (Archdiocese of Sydney 27/1/06)

31 Jan 2006