by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
February 2 - 9, 2014
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Catholic Church ignored women, nun tells inquiry (Brisbane Times)
Feb 3 - The Catholic Church was ''patriarchal'', had regarded women as useful for ''cooking the Sunday lunch roast'' but not much else, and even today left women feeling ''fairly well overlooked'', a senior nun has told the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Catholic Church and police handling of child sex allegations.
Feb 4 - Lewis Blayse had been campaigning to bring the Salvation Army to account for decades after he was abused at a home run by the organisation, but on Friday he gave his final interview to 7.30.
Paedophile ring allegedly preyed on boys in church care (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 4 - Boys living at a Queensland Salvation Army home in the 1970s were allegedly enticed into a paedophile ring run by a wealthy businessman who sexually abused them, and then flew them to the Sydney home of a ''top chef'' who assaulted them again, the royal commission has heard.
Also: Salvos 'sent boys to Sydney to be sexually abused by top chef' (The Australian)
Feb 4 - BOYS living in a Salvation Army-run children's home in Brisbane were flown to Sydney by a millionaire hardware store owner to be sexually abused, with at least one victim who never returned possibly being murdered.
Also: Inquiry hears more Salvos abuse claims (The West Australian)
Feb 6 - The Salvation Army wanted to know why the NSW department of child welfare had not let them handle a child sex abuse allegation against one of their officers instead of going to police, an inquiry has heard.
Church minister accused of raping teen virgin can continue preaching (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Feb 7 - A CHURCH minister convicted of raping a virgin teenage girl has been granted permission to continue preaching to his congregation despite objections from the state's child protection authority.
Australia Catholic Church 'has work to do' (The West Australian)
Feb 6 - The Catholic Church in Australia has much work to do to regain the public's trust and it will need more than just words, a church spokesman says.
New Anglican Bishop for Newcastle (ABC News)
Feb 3 - The new bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Newcastle says he will be working hard to ensure children feel safe in the Hunter's churches and the wider community.
Feb 8 - THE word propaganda had relatively benign origins as part of the title of a bureau of the Catholic Church established in the early 17th century and concerned with the spreading of the faith through overseas missionary activity.
Muslim school investigated over finances (The Australian)
Feb 3 - ANOTHER Sydney Muslim school is being investigated for serious financial mismanagement, with an investigation into the whereabouts of millions of dollars in payments made to companies linked to its directors.
Rise of private schools marks return to 19th century waste (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 9 – (Opinion: Marion Maddox) When I started school in the 1970s, local Australian schools were free, compulsory and secular.
Scathing U.N. report demands Vatican act against child sex abuse (The West Australian)
Feb 5 - GENEVA/VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The United Nations on Wednesday accused the Vatican of systematically turning a blind eye to decades of sexual abuse of children by priests, and demanded it immediately turn over known or suspected offenders to civil justice.
Also: Vatican under scrutiny after UN report (The West Australian)
Feb 6 - The UN's damning report on the Vatican's handling of child sex abuse cases has turned up the pressure on the Church to convince a sceptical international community it has adopted a zero-tolerance approach.
Feb 7 - The United Nations has demanded the Vatican "immediately remove" all clergy who are known or suspected child abusers and turn them over to authorities.
The Queen to meet Pope Francis on April 3 in Rome (news.com.au)
Feb 5 - THE Queen will meet Pope Francis for the first time when she visits Rome in April as a guest of the Italian president, Buckingham Palace has announced.
In private diaries, Pope John Paul asked - Am I serving God? (The West Australian)
Feb 6 - WARSAW (Reuters) - Pope John Paul II spent decades constantly questioning whether he was worthy of the role he was called to carry out, according to private diaries published on Wednesday in defiance of his request that they be destroyed.
Pope's Harley Davidson smashes expectations at Paris auction (The West Australian)
Feb 7 - PARIS (Reuters) - A Harley-Davidson motorbike sold at auction on Thursday for almost 20 times its estimated value - because its previous owner was the pope.
Thousands protest abortion reform in Spain (The West Australian)
Feb 8 - Madrid (AFP) - Thousands of women marched in the streets of Madrid on Saturday to protest against the Spanish government's plan to restrict access to abortion.
Feb 9 - Pope Francis has told Sri Lankans living in Italy that he hoped to take up an invitation to visit their country, where the wounds of civil war still needed to heal.
Feb 3 - A MALAYSIAN court has sentenced a man to 12 years in jail for raping a 12-year-old whom he later married, as a ban on all child marriages was urged.
Feb 2 - Three soldiers and a government official have been killed in a bomb attack by suspected insurgents as they tried to set up a polling station in the south of Thailand.
Feb 3 - THE Pakistani Taliban say they want four well-known politicians including ex-cricketer Imran Khan to represent them in talks with the government.
Also: Pakistan-Taliban peace talks delayed (ABC News)
Feb 5 - Preliminary peace talks between the Pakistani government and the Taliban have been delayed.
Feb 7 - Islamabad: Negotiators for Pakistan's government and the Taliban urged an end to hostilities after meeting in the first round of talks aimed at ending the militants' bloody seven-year insurgency.
Also: Pakistan peace talks with Taliban stumble after Taliban negotiator drops out (news.com.au)
Feb 8 - PAKISTAN'S fledgling peace talks with the Taliban have suffered a fresh blow as a negotiator for the militants said he would take no further part until the agenda included the imposition of Islamic sharia law.
Al-Qaeda breaks ties with Syrian affiliate, the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 4 - Al-Qaeda's top leadership moved publicly on Monday to sever the organisation's relationship with its Syrian affiliate, which has been widely blamed in recent months for stoking rebel infighting in Syria's civil war.
US army dog held captive by Taliban (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 7 - In the annals of prisoner of war videos, this seems to be a first.
Creation vs evolution: the debate that went nowhere (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 5 - Kentucky: The ice storm did not keep the crowds away, nor the distant location of the Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky, a region known by some as the buckle of the Bible belt.
Also: For God's sake, how did he get out? (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 6 – (Opinion: John Birmingham ) Well this is embarrassing. A Queensland man has travelled to Kentucky, of fried chicken and fundamentalist fame, and made them look like Stockholm at the Nobel Prize after-party.
Also: Dinosaurs for Christ (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 9 - He took on America's most popular scientist and lost, but Australian creationist Ken Ham won valuable publicity and still plans to build his own Noah's Ark.
Facebook read daily more than Bible (The West Australian)
Feb 5 - Facebook's numbers are epic.
Tennessee judge who ordered name change for baby Messiah fired (The West Australian)
Feb 5 - NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) - A Tennessee judge who ordered a baby's name changed from Messiah to Martin, saying the former was reserved for Jesus Christ, has been fired, court officials said on Tuesday.
Scotland becomes seventeenth country to approve same-sex marriages (The West Australian)
Feb 5 - LONDON (Reuters) - Scotland voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to allow same-sex marriages, becoming the 17th country to give the green light to gay marriage despite opposition from its main church organisations.
What's missing from World Hijab Day (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 3 – (Opinion: Yassmin Abdel-Magied) World Hijab Day was celebrated by a reported 116 countries around the world on 1 February this year.
Man charged after 'marrying' girl, 12 (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 7 - A man who was arrested for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old girl has told police that he married the child in a religious ceremony in NSW earlier this year, police will allege.
Also: Man, 26, 'married 12-year-old girl' denied bail (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Feb 7 - A MAN accused of having a sexual relationship with a girl he allegedly 'married' in a recent religious ceremony has been refused bail.
Also: Forced underage marriage 'common' (The Australian)
Feb 8 - FORCED marriages of underage girls might be commonplace in certain communities in Sydney, according to the NSW Minister for Community Services, Pru Goward, who spoke yesterday following the arrest of a 26-year-old man charged with 25 counts of sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.
Also: Child bride's marriage was permitted by father, say police (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 9 - The father of 12-year-old girl gave his blessing for her to be ''married'' to a Lebanese university student in the Hunter region earlier this year, police will allege.
Married Muslim woman had sex with a man from her local mosque before having him charged with rape (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Feb 8 - A MARRIED Muslim woman tasked with finding a wife for a single male from her local mosque instead had sex with him several times before having him charged with rape.
Feb 8 - A WA judge has ruled against a man who argued he could not wear a bike helmet because he was wearing a kippah - or Jewish skullcap.
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