by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
March 9 - 16, 2014
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Mar 10 - The national Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will today open its second hearing into the Catholic Church's handling of abuse claims.
Also: Sexual abuse victim John Ellis resumes battle with Cardinal George Pell (Brisbane Times)
Mar 10 - The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will this week host the next bout of a 12-year battle over whether the Catholic Church can be sued for damages under common law, with lawyer and victim John Ellis once again facing off against Cardinal George Pell.
Also: Cardinal Pell will be called this week to give evidence (news.com.au)
Mar 10 - THE nation’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, will be called this week to give evidence at the royal commission into child sex abuse about the legal brick wall the church used to protect itself against victims’ claims.
Cardinal George Pell says child abuse victims should be able to sue Catholic Church (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 11 - For the first time Cardinal George Pell has acknowledged that the Catholic Church should be able to be sued over abuse by a priest.
Also: Pell said church action was legal abuse: victim (The Australian)
Mar 11 - CARDINAL George Pell told a victim of child sex abuse by a Catholic priest that his treatment at the hands of church lawyers was “legal abuse”, despite the court case effectively preventing other victims taking action against the church.
Also: George Pell out of the loop on decision to sue, says John Ellis (Brisbane Times)
Mar 11 - What did the cardinal know?
Mar 12 - ALL he wanted was $100,000 compensation for his sexual abuse as a child at the hands of a priest but the Catholic Church spent $1.5 million fighting the lawsuit that John Ellis brought after being abused as an altar boy.
Also: Catholic Church won't budge on litigation defence, laywer says (Brisbane Times)
Mar 12 - The Catholic Church continues to rely on the legal argument that it is incapable of being sued in negotiations with alleged child abuse victims, a day after Cardinal George Pell acknowledged they should be able to sue the church, a lawyer says.
Commission heads to Pell's home town (The Australian)
Mar 13 - THE royal commission will meet privately with victims of child sexual abuse in Ballarat next week, just days before Cardinal George Pell is expected to give public evidence in Sydney.
Mar 13 - The Catholic Church's process for dealing with allegations of abuse often fails to give victims adequate support, a senior Catholic official has told a royal commission.
Catholic official released from vow (The West Australian)
Mar 13 - A senior Catholic official had to be released from a vow of secrecy before he could freely give evidence to the royal commission into child sexual abuse.
Leap of faith to fall for this bazaar story (The Australian)
Mar 13 - IT doesn't take a trained eye in the rarefied world of fine art antiquities to sense something amiss in the claim that a 900-year-old bronze Shiva statue from southern India now sitting in the National Gallery of Australia was found among the souvenir tat of Delhi's Red Fort Arcade.
Total Success preview: Lindsay Fox on faith (The Australian)
Mar 14 - “I DO believe in God … I don’t think of God riding a horse, or riding on a cloud — no, no, that’s a bit like Disneyland. I believe in faith, faith and the spirit.”
Bark paintings offer a portal to another world (The Australian)
Mar 14 - WARM light-beams illuminate the opening panel of Old Masters, the National Museum of Australia’s large-scale new exhibition of early bark paintings from Arnhem Land.
Inquiry into religious instruction in Victorian schools (The Age, Melbourne)
Mar 9 - Victoria's major provider of religious instruction has been temporarily barred from delivering lessons at a Surf Coast primary school, following recent revelations in The Sunday Age that inappropriate ''biblezines'' were given to students.
Christian schools eye ‘rebalance’ (The Australian)
Mar 10 - ONE of the largest groups of independent schools, Christian Schools Australia, has called for the national curriculum to be “rebalanced” by including a fourth cross-curriculum priority about Australia’s Western heritage and its Judeo-Christian influences.
Teach knowledge, not ideology (The Australian)
Mar 11 – (Opinion: Editorial) WHATEVER their religious affiliations, if any, many critics of the national curriculum will agree with Christian Schools Australia that our nation’s Western heritage and Judeo-Christian background have been underplayed for decades.
Philippine Catholics make lifelong sacrifice after typhoon (The West Australian)
Mar 14 - Opong (Philippines) (AFP) - Returning to their destroyed village after a catastrophic typhoon that killed thousands in the Philippines last year, a weary band of Catholics vowed a lifelong sacrifice to thank God for saving them.
Pope Francis invited to address US Congress (The West Australian)
Mar 14 - Washington (AFP) - Pope Francis could become the first pontiff ever to address Congress after being offered a historic invitation by US House leaders on Thursday.
Absent from Rome, pope remains present on Twitter (The West Australian)
Mar 14 - Rome (AFP) - The tweet Pope Francis sent to 12 million followers on Thursday was the latest illustration of how important the micro-blogging site has become for the Church's communication with the faithful and non-believers.
Mar 10 - A suicide bomber driving a minibus packed with explosives has killed at least 34 people and wounded 167 in the southern Iraqi city of Hilla, police and medical sources said.
Al-Qa'ida goes online to target youths (The Australian)
Mar 13 - TERROR group al-Qa'ida is set to release a new English-language online magazine, Resurgence, in a move analysts believe is a fresh bid to radicalise young Western Muslims and regain control of the global jihad.
US troops unloaded 'over 100 bullets into Osama bin Laden's dead body' (The West Australian)
Mar 14 - A new report for US special operations forces claims that hundreds of bullets were fired into Osama bin Laden's body after he was killed.
Crosses mark turmoil for Tartars (The Australian)
Mar 10 - CROSSES have begun appearing on the doors and gateposts of Muslim Tartars in Crimea in a sinister echo of their community’s greatest tragedy 70 years ago.
Nuns freed in hostage transfer (The Australian)
Mar 11 - A GROUP of nuns kidnapped by rebels in the Syrian town of Maalula in December was released yesterday, thanks to Lebanese-Qatari mediation, and handed to the Syrian authorities.
In Twitterverse, Justin Bieber revealed to be 'son of God' (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 13 - It's a curious but little known 'fact' that the younger brother of Jesus is Justin Bieber.
Arab countries ban 'Noah' citing Islamic concerns (The West Australian)
Mar 13 - Los Angeles (AFP) - Three Arab countries have banned the biblical epic movie "Noah" because it contradicts Islam, while three more are expected to follow suit, a studio spokesman said Wednesday.
Also: Noah will not debut in much of Muslim world (The Australian)
Mar 14 - OFFICIALS across much of the Muslim world said the upcoming big-budget Hollywood film Noah, featuring Russell Crowe as the ark-building prophet, would not be shown in local theatres because it could offend viewers.
‘Mel Gibson has spent enough time in the penalty box’ says Jewish reporter Allison Hope Weiner (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Mar 13 - A JEWISH reporter has come out in support of Mel Gibson saying it’s time for “Hollywood agencies and studios to end their quiet black-listing” of the Aussie star.
Disney slammed for 'homosexual' and 'bestiality' agenda in Frozen (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 14 - A pair of right-wing Christian commentators have slammed the "evil" themes of Disney's hit movie, despite not having seen it.
Mar 15 - Two Jews and an Arab walk into a bar and … start headbanging. Not each other but together, to the music.
Mar 15 - A PASTOR dropped dead of apparent heart attack after his wife forced him to confess to his flock that he’d been unfaithful.
ACC star chamber for Syria suspects (The Australian)
Mar 11 - ONE of the country’s most powerful law-enforcement agencies, the Australian Crime Commission, has been drafted into the fight against Muslim extremism, conducting secret, coercive examinations of people with suspected links to the Syrian conflict.
Religious leaders fight holy day shopping (Perth Now)
Mar 12 - THOU shalt shop for no longer.
Mar 13 - HIS ranting, misbehaviour and refusal to admit guilt delayed his case for six years, but child pornographer Andrew Liddington Shore has left court today with a suspended sentence.
Council must stop this harassment (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Mar 13 – (Opinion: Susie Allanson) IMAGINE if you or your child went to the doctor, only to be confronted on the doorstep by bullies blocking your path, shoving pamphlets in your face with offensive pictures and medical misinformation.
Asylum seekers: Nothing to lose, desperation on Nauru (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 15 - Whistleblower Mark Isaacs felt compelled to reveal detainees' mistreatment.
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