by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
April 27 – May 4, 2014
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Royal commission told of torture, rape and
beatings by Christian Brothers in WA (news.com.au)
Apr 29 - FOR John Hennessey being robbed of his innocence was not the most unforgivable thing he endured at the hands of the Christian Brothers – it was being robbed of the chance to have children of his own.
Victims tell of merciless abuse (The West Australian)
Apr 29 - A former resident of the Christian Brothers' Bindoon orphanage yesterday exposed harrowing details of his exploitation by the home's brothers, telling the first Perth hearing of a royal commission of his years of being groomed as a sex "pet" and sadistically beaten.
Child groomed as a ‘sex pet’ (The Australian)
Apr 29 - FORMER child migrant John Hennessey was groomed into a “sexual pet’’ by a group of clergymen during five years of abuse at a West Australian Christian orphanage.
Victim 'living a nightmare' after sexual
abuse by Christian Brothers (ABC
Apr 30 - A man has described being "consumed by guilt and shame" as a result of savage abuse he suffered at church-run institutions north-east of Perth.
Vic ex-priest jailed for boys' abuse (The West Australian)
Apr 30 - A former Catholic priest who sexually abused three Victorian schoolboys made one of his victims kneel before him and beg forgiveness.
Child sexual abuse victim John Hennessey
relives horrors, giving evidence at Royal Commission (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
May 1 - INGLEBURN resident John Hennessey is looking forward to coming home after reliving the horror stories of the abuse he suffered as a child at the hands of the Christian Brothers.
Christian Brothers knew of abuse: lawyer (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
May 1 - A LAWYER who represented the Christian Brothers against survivors of extreme abuse in Western Australia has agreed it's inconceivable the order's leaders did not know sexual abuse and gratuitous violence was going on.
Christian Brothers ‘used strength to force
hand’ in compo talks (The
May 2 - THE Christian Brothers had their “knee at the throat’’ of abuse victims during compensation negotiations and used their dominant legal position to initially demand that the men pay the church’s
Anglican priest searching for inspiration
in Sydney to rebuild St Barnabas' Church (ABC News)
Apr 29 - Architects are beginning to draw plans for a new building that will replace an historic church in Bathurst destroyed by fire.
St John’s Anglican Church celebrates
refurbishment of 50-year-old organ (Daily
May 1 - EVEN though the organ can produce hundreds of sounds, one of the most precious is the sound of silence, according to St John’s Anglican Church organist Tom Edwards.
Quasi-religious dance Overworld at The
Substation in Newport (The Age,
May 2 – (Review) A search for spirituality among the muck heap of digital media, Overworld is an ambitious new project by local dance-makers Sarah Aiken and Rebecca Jensen.
Church moves Voice contestant to song (The Age, Melbourne)
May 3 - Some of the greatest moments in Soli Tesema's life have been mid-song in church in Ethiopia.
Cowra Council to consider Catholic Diocese of
Bathurst's proposal to develop large residential site (ABC
Apr 28 - Staff are recommending Cowra Council approves a proposal from the Catholic diocese of Bathurst for a large residential development on Monday night.
Stanhope Gardens church and school now
named St John XXIII after people’s pope is canonised (Daily
Apr 29 - Blessed John XXIII Catholic Church and primary school at Stanhope Gardens were renamed on Sunday following the canonisation of the former pope they are named after.
Exempt children still
receiving religious instruction in state schools (Perth Now)
May 3 - CONTROVERSY over religious instruction in state schools is set to reignite, with new figures showing up to 400,000 children should not be taking part in the program.
Bishops should be held
accountable for failing to report sex abuse: Vatican advisory board (ABC
May 4 - Roman Catholic bishops should be held accountable if they fail to report suspected sexual abuse or protect children from paedophile priests, a panel advising Pope Francis says.
Vatican panel to develop
'best practices' to curb sex abuse (The
May 4 - Vatican City (AFP) - A Vatican panel said Saturday it would develop "best practices" for Catholic parishes to combat child sex abuse by priests as campaigners demanded that the Church discipline "bad bishops" who cover up for their subordinates.
Popes John XXIII and
John Paul II become saints in canonisation at Vatican (ABC
Apr 28 - Popes John XXIII and John Paul II have been made saints in a historic double canonisation ceremony at Vatican City attended by up to 1 million faithful.
John XXIII and John Paul
II become saints in historic canonisations (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 28 - Vatican City: Pope Francis made history on Sunday, elevating to sainthood John XXIII and John Paul II, two of his most famous papal predecessors, in a ceremony bearing themes of hope and reconciliation for the world's 1 billion Roman Catholics.
Pair of popes has the
Holy See-ing double (The
Apr 28 - POPE Francis last night proclaimed John Paul II and John XXIII as the Catholic Church’s newest saints at a ceremony joined by hundreds of thousands of pilgrims for the two pontiffs who helped shape 20th-century history.
Birth control law
heralds liberal change in Philippines (news.com.au)
May 2 - Manila (AFP) - The Philippines has long been known as the Catholic Church's Asian stronghold, but a new birth control law highlights an increasingly liberal shift that could next see divorce legalised, activists and religious leaders say.
Pope Francis backs
Cardinal George Pell’s Vatican shake-up (Adelaide Now)
May 3 - POPE Francis is publicly backing his new economy tsar, who is overhauling the Vatican’s administration amid grumblings from some Holy See bureaucrats about a perceived abrasive and secretive style.
Myanmar won't succeed if
Muslims are oppressed: Obama (ABC
Apr 28 - US President Barack Obama has warned that ethnic and religious conflicts could move Myanmar in a "very bad direction".
Egypt court recommends
death sentence (ABC
Apr 28 - An Egyptian court has recommended the death sentence for the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood and 682 supporters, judicial sources have said.
Tough new sharia law
takes effect in Brunei (ABC News)
May 2 - Brunei has become the first country in South-East Asia to introduce sharia law, despite widespread condemnation from human rights groups.
Islamic sharia penalties, including death by stoning for adultery (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 2 - Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei: A controversial new penal code for oil-rich Brunei that will eventually include tough Islamic sharia penalties such as severing of limbs and death by stoning was due to officially come into effect on Thursday.
Israeli settlers launch
enclave in Palestinian business hub (The West Australian)
May 4 - JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The smell of fresh paint wafts through the domed lobby of the latest Israeli arrival in East Jerusalem - a Jewish seminary in a bustling commercial area in the same building as a post office serving thousands of Palestinians every day.
Sri Lankan Muslims ask
for protection from Buddhist hate crime (ABC
May 2 - Sri Lanka's Muslim legislators have asked President Mahinda Rajapaksa to protect their minority community from "Buddhist extremist elements" blamed for a recent spate of hate attacks.
China's Xi vows
'decisive actions' after Xinjiang attack (The West Australian)
May 2 - Beijing (AFP) - Chinese President Xi Jinping ordered a crackdown after a stabbing spree and explosion at a railway station in the restive Muslim-majority region of Xinjiang left two attackers and a civilian dead and 79 wounded, state media said Thursday.
Beijing police in
railway 'anti-terror' drill after attack (The West Australian)
May 2 - Beijing (AFP) - Beijing police said Friday they held an "anti-terror" drill at a rail station, a day after a deadly bombing in China's far west blamed on alleged attackers infused with "religious extremism".
Al Qaeda leader Ayman
al-Zawahri calls for Iraqi branch to end infighting in Syria, return home (ABC News)
May 3 - Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri says the entry of the terrorist group's Iraqi wing into the Syrian civil war has caused "a political disaster" for Islamist militants there, and their efforts would be better spent in Iraq instead.
India deploys army in
Assam after 31 Muslims killed (The
May 3 - BARAMA India (Reuters) - India deployed troops to the state of Assam on Saturday after 31 Muslims were gunned down in three days of what police said were attacks by tribal militants who resent the presence of immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh.
Fears of wider security
threat after another Nigeria bombing (The West Australian)
May 3 - Abuja (AFP) - A copy-cat car bombing in Nigeria's capital Abuja that killed 19 raised fears on Friday about a switch in Boko Haram targets just days before a world summit, as the US warned of a possible strike on hotels in Lagos.
US warns of plan to
attack Nigerian hotels (The Age,
May 4 - Abuja: The United States has warned its citizens of a plan to attack one of two Sheraton hotels near Lagos, Nigeria's main commercial hub, which so far has been spared by the country's Islamist militants.
Paradise for terrorists:
36 Bali bombers that killed 92 Australians are walking free (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
May 4 - FOR the survivors of the Bali bomb attacks it is a terrifying tally, but for the families of the 92 Australians killed it is simply heartbreaking.
Jihadist battle sparks
exodus, Syria rebels on way out of Homs (The West Australian)
May 4 - Damascus (AFP) - Tens of thousands of Syrians fled inter-jihadist fighting in the east as rebels Saturday neared a final deal with the government to withdraw from their last besieged strongholds in battered Homs.
illuminates China's religious tensions (The West Australian)
May 1 - Wenzhou (China) (AFP) - The destruction of a towering church by Chinese authorities has sown fear in a thriving Christian community and highlighted tensions between a rapidly growing number of worshippers and the Communist state.
Clergy move to counter
Georgia law allowing guns in churches (The Age, Melbourne)
May 4 - Atlanta: Some of Georgia's highest-profile religious leaders took an extra step this week to oppose what they see as an overzealous expansion of the state's new gun laws, with authorities over many of the state's Episcopal and Catholic churches announcing that their sanctuaries would ban all weapons.
‘Room for all who accept
India is Hindu nation’ (The
May 4 - ON A dry suburban oval in the geographic centre of India, two young men in signature khaki “half pants” run a dozen boys ragged with a game of tag before lining them up in military pose to
Prayer vigil protesters
ask for charges over Julie Bishop office trespass to be dropped (ABC
May 3 - Protesters who held a prayer vigil at the office of Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop will ask for trespass charges to be dropped, the Perth Magistrates Court has been told.
Church of Scientology drug rehab centre
rejected (ABC News)
Apr 30 - A plan for a controversial Church of Scientology drug rehabilitation centre on the New South Wales Central Coast has been rejected.
The curse of TV: How our
favourite characters can’t stop swearing (The Australian)
May 4 - WTF? It’s the curse of top-rating TV.