Australia: Catholic priest David Cappo to head national Mental Health Commission – Atheists terrified.

The Australian government are making reforms to their mental health provisions and have appointed Catholic priest Monsignor David Cappo, to head up the new National Mental Health Commission.

This from ABC news:

The Federal Government says Catholic priest David Cappo was an obvious choice to head the national Mental Health Commission.

South Australia’s Social Inclusion Commissioner will chair the group, which is to help deliver the Government’s mental health changes.

Monsignor Cappo led a review of South Australia’s mental health system and provided recommendations on a range of other social issues in the state.

Federal Mental Health Minister Mark Butler says Monsignor Cappo will be the public face of the Commission and its work.

“It’s the work he’s done here in South Australia, it’s also the work he’s done over the last 12 months advising the Government on mental health reform,” he said.

“He’s the deputy chair of the national Social Inclusion Board and has a history of decades working in social policy so it’s a CV that’s very hard to beat.”

Despite Cappo’s extensive experience, Australian atheists have voiced their pathetic concerns:

Monsignor Cappo is a representative of the Catholic Church, a church which still condones a belief in demonic possession of individuals and the practice of exorcism reminiscent of medieval times.  This is hardly congruent with the ideological and dogma free approach required to address mental health issues today across all segments of a multi-faith and no-faith society.

We would like Monsignor Cappo to articulate his beliefs in relation to his Church’s long held, and in some areas continuing beliefs, that mental illness relates to the divine and the demonic.  Current Vatican Policy claims exorcists regularly consult with psychologists and psychiatrists to differentiate legitimate mental disorders from bona fide demonic possession. This does not inspire confidence.


On this basis, if atheists had their way, Christians would be excluded from all mental health work, because, of course, Christians don’t really ‘believe’ in mental illness, it’s all the work of devils.

In their own minds, atheists are totally ideologically and dogma free; they live in some kind of wondrous objective rational vacuum, free from any subjective bias and prejudice, unlike the rest of humanity.

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4 Responses to “Australia: Catholic priest David Cappo to head national Mental Health Commission – Atheists terrified.”

  1. Jill Says:

    Atheists need to shut up. They are a minority. If you take all religious believers out of the equation you have hardly anybody left. According to this very rough data, 33% of the world’s population are Christian, 21% Muslim, only 16% having no religion (the remainder are grouped under ‘other religions’).

    Big mouths, small numbers.

    Okay, I know that this 33% are not all practising Christians as such, but the tenets of the faith are there.

  2. Tim Says:

    The late Prof Anthony Flew described Richard Dawkins as a “secularist bigot”.

  3. Simian Says:

    Just saw this. The headline is a bit mischievous isn’t it webmaster? – “Atheists terrified.” ;-)

    The Australian Atheist article is hardly sensational, and does not state anywhere that M. Cappo should not do the job. Just that he should declare his views on the Catholic Church’s traching on mental health. You and I might both roll our eyes at this, but it’s simply there to make a point, and in itself changes nothing.

    And I presume your last sentence was made in the heat of the moment. Atheists are not a homogenous group, against which such a claim could be made. I absolutely don’t think that I’m free of any of those attributes, which could just as readily be levelled at some believers.

    But note the update at
    Monsignor Cappo has resigned, and not because of an atheist plot to remove him but because of serious allegations by a former Catholic (now Anlican) priest!
    Monsignor Cappo quit as the first chairman of the federal government’s new Mental Health Commission and as deputy chair of the Australian Social Inclusion Board, amid a controversy over rape claims levelled by a former Catholic priest, John Hepworth.

    I’m not trying to stir things up – Just to try to put the record straight. I may be wrong, but this is my honest view.

  4. Simian Says:

    I would suggest that your analysis of the chart is not quite accurate.

    Here are a few thoughts:

    1. Secular/non-religious/agnostic/atheist is the 3rd largest grouping in the World, with over 1billion adherents. Hardly ‘small’.

    2. The ‘Christian’ sector includes all manner of people you probably would not call true Christians – Just look at the list of sects included… I expect that many ex-Christians such as myself are also counted within that grouping under ‘nominal’, as I was baptised into the Christian faith and have never formally renounced it despite no longer considering myself a part. And yet still it is only 2billion. And by that reckoning there are only 2 Christians for every atheist/non-believer. Non believers are also by this measure not a ‘small number’.

    3. Jews number only 14Million. Would you say that they ‘need to shut up?’ Ithink (hope) not. So on that basis is it really appropriate to tell Atheists etc. to shut up?

    I don’t mean to be harsh, but it seems to me unhelpful to draw conclusions such as yours from this kind of data.

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