by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
March 23 - 30, 2014
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Mar 24 - The Archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, has told a royal commission that he believes his predecessor could have dealt with allegations of sexual abuse at the Catholic special school St Ann's better.
Cardinal George Pell faces angry protesters at abuse commission (Brisbane Times)
Mar 25 - Church and state have been circling each other for centuries. Those rare times they become one, it is usually courtesy of a turbulent priest.
Pell wants state to decide damages (Brisbane Times)
Mar 25 - Cardinal George Pell has called on the federal government to set up an independent body to recommend what damages should be paid to victims of child abuse, as he gave evidence to the child sexual abuse royal commission.
Mar 25 - The Business Manager of the Sydney Catholic Archdiocese has revealed it controls $1.24 billion in assets and a series of funds, and turns a multi-million dollar annual profit.
Also: Sydney's Catholic Archdiocese has assets over $1 billion, royal commission told (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 25 - Sydney's Catholic Archdiocese, thought to be the richest in the country, controls funds with assets of $1.24 billion and generates annual multimillion-dollar surpluses, according to evidence at the child sex abuse royal commission.
George Pell apologises to John Ellis but is unable to look him in the eye (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 28 - In his last words at the child sex abuse Royal Commission, Cardinal George Pell apologised to the lawyer John Ellis for "the hurt caused him by the mistakes made, admitted by me and my Archdiocesan personnel".
Jeff Kennett warned Pell to deal with abuse (The Age, Melbourne)
Mar 28 - Jeff Kennett has confirmed he bluntly warned Cardinal George Pell in the 1990s to resolve allegations of child sexual abuse or possibly face a royal commission.
Pell rethink on abuse claims (The Age, Melbourne)
Mar 28 - Cardinal George Pell has opened the door to hundred of millions of dollars in payments for victims of child sex abuse by members of the Catholic Church.
Mar 29 - Cardinal George Pell has told the parents of two child sex abuse victims the Church will review its compensation payments, even if it costs hundreds of millions of dollars.
Church fought abuse claimants tooth and nail (Brisbane Times)
Mar 29 - The now infamous case of the brilliant lawyer and sex abuse survivor John Ellis before the child sex abuse royal commission has laid bare for the first time not just the Sydney Catholic archdiocese's wealth but the cold, dark heart of its handling of child sex abuse complaints.
NGA refuses to return $US5m Shiva statue despite evidence it was stolen from Indian temple (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 25 - The National Gallery of Australia will continue to resist returning the Dancing Shiva statue it purchased for $US5 million from disgraced antiquities dealer Subhash Kapoor in spite of damning evidence that it was stolen from an Indian temple and in the face of an official request for its return from India’s High Commission.
Kate quietly sings of life with Scientology (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Mar 28 - THERE is something undeniably mighty about Kate Ceberano.
Pompeii, Noah and Exodus: The sword giveth again (The Age, Melbourne)
Mar 29 – (Opinion: Paul Byrnes) Harness the zebras and fill the bath with asses' milk, the sword and sandal epic is back.
ACU in row over virgin birth claim (The Australian)
Mar 26 - AUSTRALIAN Catholic University is accused of interfering with academic freedom after it pressured an editor to disassociate her journal from an earlier article that was deemed to hold views “contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church”.
Also: ACU says it did not interfere with academic freedom over Virgin Mary (The Australian)
Mar 27 - AUSTRALIAN Catholic University has defended itself over allegations of interference in academic freedom saying it was just trying to give primary school teachers guidance when it demanded a note be placed in a scholarly journal, against the editor’s wishes.
Mar 28 - IN a rare legal move, a Roman Catholic diocese in Minnesota is suing a diocese in Ireland, alleging it transferred a priest to Minnesota without warning that the man had been accused of sexual abuse.
Duo 'shocked' by choirmaster claims (The Australian)
Mar 30 - COMPOSER Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Sir Tim Rice have reiterated their "complete shock" at allegations a choirmaster who helped launch their careers was a pedophile.
Mar 28 - US president Barack Obama has met with Pope Francis for the first time, telling the pontiff that he is a great admirer but avoiding issues such as contraception and religious freedom.
Also: The Pope and Obama, lost in translation? (The Australian)
Mar 29 - BARACK Obama and the Vatican gave distinctly different accounts of the US President's audience with Pope Francis, with Mr Obama stressing their common ground on poverty and inequality but Vatican officials emphasising concerns over Mr Obama's healthcare law, which mandates contraception coverage.
Vatican open to Venezuela facilitator role (The Australian)
Mar 29 - THE Vatican says it's willing to help facilitate talks between Venezuela's government and its opponents aimed at ending weeks of deadly unrest that have paralysed much of the country.
Egypt sentences 529 Muslim Brotherhood members to death (The Age, Melbourne)
Mar 25 - In one of the world's largest ever mass death sentences, an Egyptian court has sentenced 529 people to death after just two short sessions in which they were convicted en-mass over the killing of a police officer.
Russell Crowe film Noah banned in Indonesia (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 25 - Russell Crowe says he’s angry that some of the biggest critics of his Hollywood epic Noah haven’t seen the film.
Mar 28 - After nearly four decades of deadly conflict the Philippines largest Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front has signed a peace treaty with the government.
Mar 29 - At least five people have been killed in clashes in Cairo amid protests by Muslim Brotherhood supporters, days after hundreds of its supporters were sentenced to death.
Pregnant woman and children among mourners killed in funeral grenade attack (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 29 - At least 20 people were killed when extremists threw hand grenades at mourners during a Christian funeral service in the Central African Republic capital of Bangui.
Taliban attack office of US-based charity sparking hostage drama in Kabul (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 29 - Kabul: Taliban gunmen stormed a Kabul guesthouse used by a US-based aid group and held four foreigners hostage for several hours on Friday, just eight days before Afghanistan holds a presidential election which the militant group has vowed to derail.
Taliban attack Afghan election HQ in Kabul (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 29 - Taliban insurgents have attacked the Afghan election commission's heavily-fortified headquarters in Kabul, one week ahead of voting and after a series of bloody attacks in the city.
Mar 30 - Afghan officials say they have retaken full control of the Independent Election Commission (IEC) building in Kabul, which was attacked by Taliban insurgents.
'Cardboard cathedral' designer takes Pritzker Architecture Prize 2014 (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 25 - Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, who designed Christchurch's "Cardboard Cathedral" in the wake of the city’s devastating 2011 earthquake, has won the 2014 Pritzker Architecture Prize, often described as the Nobel Prize of architecture.
The battle for a nation's soul (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Mar 29 – (Opinion: Josh Whittington) A GRIM Reaper goddess with an unquenchable thirst for blood.
Jews ‘favoured while other minorities unprotected’ (The Australian)
Mar 28 - A WESTERN Sydney imam believes the Abbott government’s proposed repeal of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act will create a situation that favours Jews and discriminates against indigenous Australians and other minority groups.
George Brandis rejects concerns Holocaust denial will become lawful (The Australian)
Mar 26 - GEORGE Brandis insists Holocaust denial will be unlawful under his proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act, as the draft legislation was savaged by Tony Abbott’s chief indigenous adviser, Warren Mundine.
Mar 28 - A man has appeared in court charged with breaking into a Bathurst church on the same morning it went up in flames.
Manus Island was mission impossible: ex-Salvos worker (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 30 - The Salvation Army was a poor cultural fit and ill-equipped to manage the difficult situation on the Manus Island detention centre, a former worker has alleged.
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