The Age reports that Mr Abbott will make the comments in launching BA Santamaria: Your Most Obedient Servant, Selected Letters, 1938- 1996, edited by Patrick Morgan.
Mr Santamaria, who died in 1998, was a leading lay Catholic and highly controversial anti-communist campaigner who in the early 1940s created the Catholic Social Studies Movement, also known as "The Movement", to fight communist influence in trade unions.
Mr Abbott said that he was under Mr Santamaria's "spell" and knew him as a friend for the last 22 years of his life.
However, Mr Santamaria "declined to give me a preselection reference on the grounds that it wouldn't do any good".
"Deep down, I think he suspected that I might win and thus undermine his thesis that only 'castle Catholics' could ever penetrate the Anglo establishment.
"With eight Catholics now in the Howard cabinet, he was certainly wrong there," Mr Abbott says in a shortened version of his speech published in today's Age.
Describing Mr Santamaria as "the most influential 'failure' in our political history", Mr Abbott claimed that the Howard Government's decisions "to overturn the Northern Territory's euthanasia law, ban gay marriage, stop the ACT heroin trial, provide additional financial support for one-income families, and try to reduce abortion numbers through pregnancy support counselling show that the tide of secular humanism was not as irreversible as he thought."
DLP lives on in Coalition: Abbott (The Age, 30/1/07)
Santamaria's influence still survives (The Age, 30/1/07)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Democratic Labor Party
Democratic Labor Party (Wikipedia)
Democratic Labor Party (1955-1978)
B.A. Santamaria (Wikipedia)
Imagine politics without Christians: Abbott tells critics (CathNews, 30/1/07)
Echoes of Labor Split in Vic election shock (CathNews, 13/12/06)
30 Jan 2007