Religion News Australia 2015 - 42 (Nov 8 - 15)

  (14 November 15)
  by Greg Spearritt

Religion News Australia

November 8 - 15, 2015

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)




abuse / anglican church / catholic church  / education / international stories / islam / politics / religion & society





Victim told not to 'tell lies' about paedophile teacher by former principal at St Paul's School (ABC News)
Nov 9 - A victim of a paedophile teacher at St Paul's School in Brisbane in the 1980s was told by the principal that he should not tell lies, a royal commission has heard.

Also: 'They called us liars' – mother (Brisbane Times)
Nov 9 - A mother has emotionally recalled how a former St Paul's School headmaster accused her, her son, and an alleged abuse victim of lying when they tried to raise complaints about a paedophile teacher.

Solicitor asked victim not to mention Hollingworth (Brisbane Times)
Nov 9 - A solicitor acting for former Governor-General Peter Hollingworth asked a child sex abuse victim to change his testimony to remove all references to her client, a royal commission has heard.

Brisbane archbishop 'told abuse victim to ditch sinful path' of litigation, inquiry told (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 9 - The former Anglican archbishop of Brisbane, Phillip Aspinall, allegedly told a paedophile music tutor’s victim to turn away from his “sinful path” of pursuing legal action against the church.

Police chaplain charged over child sexual assault (Sydney Morning Herald)  
Nov 11 - A NSW Catholic priest has been arrested over an alleged historical child sexual assault.

Former St Paul's principal did not consider genital fondling 'criminal' – inquiry (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 12 - The former head of an Anglican-run school where a paedophile counsellor horrifically abused young students says he did not think of a male teacher fondling a boy’s genitals “in terms of criminal acts”, the royal commission has heard.

Child abuse royal commission: Hollingworth, Archbishop Aspinall to take stand (Brisbane Times)
Nov 13 - Brisbane hearings of a child sex abuse royal commission are expected to conclude on Friday, with former Governor-General Peter Hollingworth and Archbishop of Brisbane Phillip Aspinall giving evidence.

Headmaster knew counsellor shared penis stories (Brisbane Times)
Nov 13 - A former Brisbane private school headmaster has admitted he was told a school counsellor was sharing information about the size of boys' penises more than a year before the counsellor was revealed as a paedophile.

Hollingworth 'washed his hands' of complaints (Brisbane Times)
Nov 13 - Staff at a Brisbane private school were told former governor-general Peter Hollingworth had "washed his hands" of sexual abuse concerns and the school would be dealing with them "in-house", a royal commission has heard.

Peter Hollingworth before abuse commission (Brisbane Times)
Nov 13 - Former Governor-General Peter Hollingworth has admitted a "massive failure" in promoting a headmaster who hired two paedophiles.

Anglican Church to refund school fees to victims of sexual abuse at schools in Brisbane diocese (ABC News)
Nov 14 - The Anglican Church will reimburse tuition fees for all students who suffered sexual abuse at their schools within the Diocese of Brisbane, which covers much of southern Queensland.

Child sex abuse royal commission in Brisbane: Seven things we learnt (Brisbane Times)
Nov 14 – (Opinion: Jorge Branco) After nine days worth of evidence from 29 witness, the question at the heart of the child abuse royal commission's latest Brisbane visit remains, who knew what and when?



Arm of Anglican Church supports civil unions in Queensland (The Australian)
Nov 8 - AN ARM of the Anglican Church has come out in support of the Palaszczuk Government’s move to restore state-sanctioned same-sex civil union ceremonies.



Drought causing spiritual problems for far west Indigenous groups: bishop (ABC News)
Nov 10 - The far west's Catholic bishop has named the region's water crisis as one of the key spiritual issues for Indigenous people.

Kevin Rudd blasts George Pell over climate change (Sydney Morning Herald)  
Nov 11 - Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has unleashed an excoriating attack on George Pell, accusing Australia's most senior Catholic of being a "radical climate sceptic" and saying the cardinal's "inflated rhetoric" can no longer go unchallenged on the role of the Church in the climate change debate.

Bishops face discrimination case (The Australian)
Nov 13 - Catholic bishops ‘humiliated’ gay community by distributing booklet supporting traditional marriage, tribunal says.

Brother Brian Jeffers' lifelong commitment to the church began at 17 (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 13 - Brother Brian Jeffers was a member of a now vanishing generation of religious.



Student numbers decline at Maharishi School in Reservoir (The Australian)
Nov 9 - ABOUT a third of students will leave a Reservoir primary school that teaches transcendental meditation amid a host of complaints.

A controversial religious instruction program is being taught at preschool (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 10 - Special religious instruction has been scrapped from school classes in Victoria, but a major provider of the controversial program is now entering a new market: childcare.

Also: Access Ministries accused of trying to 'indoctrinate' kindergarteners in Melbourne's south-east (ABC News)
Nov 10 - A Christian organisation has been accused of trying to convert kindergarten children after new laws introduced earlier this year limited its role in Victorian state schools.

Six schools threatened with having their government funding cut (Sydney Morning Herald)  
Nov 13 - Six schools have been threatened with having their funding cut after a federal government audit found them to be operating for profit.



Catholic Church

Pope calls Vatican leaks a 'deplorable crime', vows to continue reforms (Sydney Morning Herald)  
Nov 9 - Vatican City:  Pope Francis on Sunday condemned the leak of sensitive Vatican documents as a deplorable crime but said it would not distract him from forging ahead with reforms at the Holy See.

The many trials of Cardinal George Pell (The Saturday Paper, Australia)
Nov 14 – (Opinion: Mike Seccombe) The coincidence could hardly be more unfortunate, but it could not have been foreseen.

Religious Violence

Islamic State: Syrian army breaks IS siege of key Aleppo air base (ABC News)
Nov 11 - Syrian troops have broken a nearly two-year siege by Islamic State (IS) insurgents at a military air base in northern Aleppo province, freeing hundreds of soldiers inside the facility.

Islamic State video threatens Russia (Brisbane Times)
Nov 13 - Moscow: Islamic State has released a video threatening attacks in Russia "very soon" in revenge for Russian bombing in Syria, the SITE monitoring group said on Thursday, and the Kremlin said Russian state security services would study the material.

Islamic State claims twin suicide blasts in Beirut that kill dozens (Brisbane Times)
Nov 13 - Beirut: Islamic State has claimed responsibility for twin suicide blasts in the southern Beirut area of Burj al-Barajneh that killed at least 41 and injured more than 200.

Has British Jihadi John been killed? US targets the terrorist in drone strike (
Nov 13 - A US drone strike targeted a vehicle in Syria believed to be transporting the masked Islamic State militant known as ‘Jihadi John’ on Thursday, according to US officials.

Islamic State's attacks on Yazidis constitute genocide: report (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 13 - Washington:  Islamic State has been and is continuing to perpetrate a genocide against the Yazidi minority in northern Iraq, a new US Holocaust Memorial Museum report says, citing a "preponderance of the evidence" found during a recent trip to the region.

Kurdish forces seize Iraq's Sinjar town from Islamic State (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 14 - Outside Sinjar: Kurdish forces backed by US air strikes seized the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar from Islamic State on Friday, a Reuters witness said, in one of the most significant counter-attacks since the militants swept through the north last year.

Religious Violence – Paris attacks

Paris attacks: About 100 killed in concert hall siege; suspected terrorists shot dead (ABC News)
Nov 14 - About 100 people have been killed at a Paris concert hall after a hostage situation during multiple attacks by suspected jihadists that have left another 40 people dead across the French capital, according to city officials.

'There were bodies everywhere, it was a bloodbath', eyewitness says (ABC News)
Nov 14 - Parisiens have spoken of witnessing horrific scenes as terrorists carried out simultaneous attacks across their city, which police say have left about 140 people dead.

Paris shootings: many dead in multiple attacks (Sydney Morning Herald)  
Nov 14 - At least 153 people were killed on Friday night in Paris, including at least 70 hostages at a theatre, in seven coordinated terrorist attacks across the French capital by masked and silent gunmen wielding AK-47 assault rifles.

Terrorism experts say Islamic State is ‘almost certainly’ behind the Paris attacks (
Nov 14 - AN ISLAMIC State cell of homegrown terrorists is likely behind the devastating Paris attacks, experts say.

Paris under attack: Witnesses tell of explosions and bodies (
Nov 14 - A WITNESS has described how attackers at a Paris concert hall where more than 100 people were killed shouted “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest) as they shot at the crowd.

Homegrown jihadists greatest threat (The Australian)
Nov 14 - Michael Evans The huge co-ordinated terrorist assault on Paris took weeks to plan and is believed to have involved homegrown militants.

Paris attacks: Obama leads world in condemning violence (The Australian)
Nov 14 - US President Barack Obama has condemned the series of deadly attacks across Paris as an “attack on all of humanity”, and pledged to work with France to bring those responsible to justice.

Paris attack heightens security fears for climate summit (The Australian)
Nov 14 - The attacks in Paris confirmed what French security services have feared for months: that the country would be targeted by another devastating attack like the deadly spree that left 17 dead in Paris in January.

Paris attacks: shootings and explosions leave at least 158 dead (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 14 - At least 158 people have died in Paris in a seemingly coordinated wave of gun and suicide bomb attacks, prompting the French president, François Hollande, to declare a state of emergency and bring in controls on the country’s borders.

France: the secular seat of Europe that has lost so many to radical Islam (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 14 - Months after the deadly Islamic State and al-Qaida-inspired attacks on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which left 17 people dead in Paris in January, France has fallen victim to another jihadi onslaught of even more horrifying proportions.

Paris attacks leave France in trauma, fearing for the future (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 14 – (Opinion: Natalie Nougayrède) Again, horror in Paris.

Authorities piece together identities of attackers; Syrian passport found next to dead bomber (ABC News)
Nov 15 - More details have emerged about the Syrian passport found near the body of one of the bombers who carried out a series of coordinated attacks across Paris, claiming the lives of at least 129 people.

Paris attacks: Islamic State claims responsibility (Brisbane Times)
Nov 15 - The Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility on Saturday for attacks that killed 127 people in Paris.

Eiffel Tower meets peace sign in show of solidarity after attacks (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 15 - A simple sketch combing two of the world’s most familiar images – Paris’s Eiffel Tower and the symbol for peace – has been adopted as a sign of solidarity with victims of the terror attacks in Paris.

European leaders link terror threats to immigration (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 15 - A Syrian passport found near the body of one of those responsible for the terror attacks in Paris belonged to someone allegedly posing as one of the hundreds of thousands of refugees entering Greece from Turkey in recent months, the police ministry in Athens said.

Islamic State 'goes global' with Paris attacks (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 15 - The downing of the Metrojet Airbus full of Russian holidaymakers over Egypt two weeks ago – probably the work of an Islamic State affiliate there – indicated an evolution in the group’s strategic thinking.

France players praised for staying with Germany team in Stade de France (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 15 - Germany’s acting FA president, Reinhard Rauball, has praised France’s players for an “outstanding gesture of camaraderie” after they refused to leave the Stade de France on Friday night in a show of solidarity with their opponents.


Christian group slams Starbucks holiday cup as ‘war on Christmas’ (
Nov 9 - A CHRISTIAN group in the US believes Starbucks is waging a “war on Christmas” by removing holiday images from its seasonal cup design.

Young earth' creationists making $90m full-scale ark to 'bring the Bible to life' (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 13 - Once Noah had built his ark, so the story goes, God gave him just seven days’ notice to load all the planet’s animals two by two into the vessel.

Utah judge removes lesbian couple's foster child, saying she'll be better off with heterosexuals (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 13 - Utah: Last year, Utah couple Beckie Peirce and April Hoagland decided to get married.



We need to call out the double standards in Australia's anti-discrimination laws (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 11 – (Opinion: Mariam Veiszadeh) Over the past year, women across the country have been assaulted, spat on, had their prams kicked, have been punched from behind, had abuse hurled at them, had hot coffee thrown in their face, told to leave an entertainment venue, assaulted and thrown off a train, verbally intimidated, had their cars vandalised and have been forced to restrict their public movements out of fear.

Mother, midwife and sheikh guilty in Australia's first genital mutilation trial (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 12 - When the little girl appeared on the courtroom television screen, Justice Peter Johnson removed his horsehair wig.

Academic Susan Carland, wife of Waleed Aly, donating $1 to charity for each hate tweet (Sydney Morning Herald)  
Nov 12 - Academic Susan Carland, one half of Australia's Muslim power couple, is donating a single dollar to charity for each hate tweet she gets.

Also: Koran guided me in how to turn tweets from trolls into a force for good (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 12 – (Opinion: Susan Carland) As a Muslim woman, people from many different quarters are eager to tell me how to dress and how to act.

Jihadists turn their aim on police (The Australian)
Nov 14 - The nation’s top police chiefs are taking unprecedented steps to protect officers from the threat of terrorism.



Zoe's law: Fred Nile accused of using death of foetus to further anti-abortion agenda (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 10 - Fred Nile has been accused of using the death of a foetus to further his own anti-abortion agenda by introducing a Zoe’s law bill without the consent of Zoe’s parents.

Conservatives force religious exemptions into same-sex adoption laws (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 13 - State Labor's push for same-sex equality has been dealt a blow, after the Coalition voted to ensure religious agencies can continue to discriminate against gay couples.

Greens and Labor thwart Eric Abetz anti-marriage equality booklet motion (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 13 - A motion to protect the Catholic church’s right to distribute an anti-marriage equality booklet that marriage equality advocates have labelled “divisive” has been shot down by the Senate.

Malcolm Turnbull calls the Paris assault the 'work of the devil' (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 14 - BERLIN: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has sought to reassure Australians in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks, which he has described as an assault on all humanity and "the work of the devil".



Same-sex adoption bill passes Victorian upper house, with religious exemptions (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 13 - Same-sex couples in Victoria have won the right to adopt children but faith-based adoption agencies have retained the right to refuse same-sex adoptions.

Sticking up for the believers (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 14 – (Opinion: Richard Glover) When exactly did Christians become such a derided and ridiculed minority in this country?

Australia's terror response must change after French bombings and shootings, officials say (ABC News)
Nov 15 - The terror attacks in Paris show Islamic extremists are changing their tactics and Australian security, intelligence and police officials believe their response also has to change.

Ten glorious church conversions (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 15 - Open the gate to the Tuscan-inspired courtyard garden with water fountain and be swept away by the romance of this converted church in Curlewis.

Faith: the question of sex is relevant and personal to every individual (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 15 – (Opinion: Paulyne Pogorelske) Original sin springs from religious teachings that still shroud our social sexual mores.



From the Archive…

Religion News Australia 2015 – 41 (Nov 1 - 8)

Religion News Australia 2015 – 40 (Oct 25 – Nov 1)

Religion News Australia 2015 – 39 (Oct 18 - 25)

Religion News Australia 2015 – 38 (Oct 11 - 18)

Religion News Australia 2015 – 37 (Sept 27 – Oct 11)

Religion News Australia 2015 – 36 (Sept 20 - 27)

Religion News Australia 2015 – 35 (Sept 13 - 20)

Religion News Australia 2015 – 34 (Sept 6 - 13)

Religion News Australia 2015 – 33 (Aug 30 – Sept 6)

Religion News Australia 2015 – 32 (Aug 23 - 30)

Religion News Australia 2015 – 31 (Aug 16 - 23)

Religion News Australia 2015 – 30 (Aug 9 - 16)

Religion News Australia 2015 – 29 (Aug 2 - 9)

Religion News Australia 2015 – 28 (July 26 – Aug 2)

Religion News Australia 2015 – 27 (July 19 - 26)

Religion News Australia 2015 – 26 (July 12 - 19)

Religion News Australia 2015 – 25 (July 5 - 12)

Religion News Australia 2015 – 24 (June 28 – July 5)

Religion News Australia 2015 – 23 (June 21 - 28)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 22 (June 22 - 29)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 19 (June 1 - 8)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 18 (May 25 – June 1)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 17 (May 18 - 25)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 16 (May 11 - 18)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 15 (May 4 - 11)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 14 (April 27 – May 4)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 13 (April 20 - 27)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 12 (April 12 - 20)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 11 (Mar 30 – April 12)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 10 (Mar 23 - 30)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 9 (Mar 16 - 23)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 8 (Mar 9 - 16)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 7 (Mar 3 - 9)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 6 (Feb 23 – Mar 3)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 5 (Feb 16 - 23)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 4 (Feb 9 - 16)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 3 (Feb 2 - 9)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 2 (Jan 26 – Feb 2)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 1 (Jan 4 - 26)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 53 (Dec 29 – Jan 4)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 52 (Dec 22 - 29)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 51 (Dec 15 - 22)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 50 (Dec 8 - 15)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 49 (Dec 1 - 8)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 48 (Nov 23 – Dec 1)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 47 (Nov 17 - 23)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 46 (Nov 10 - 17)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 45 (Nov 3 - 10)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 44 (Oct 27 – Nov 3)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 43 (Oct 20 - 27)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 42 (Oct 13 - 20)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 41 (Oct 6 - 13)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 40 (Sept 29 – Oct 6)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 39 (Sept 22 - 29)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 38 (Sept 15 - 22)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 37 (Sept 8 - 15)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 36 (Sept 1 - 8)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 35 (Aug 25 – Sept 1)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 34 (Aug 18 - 25)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 33 (Aug 11 - 18)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 32 (Aug 4 - 11)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 31 (July 28 – Aug 4)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 30 (July 21 - 28)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 29 (July 14 - 21)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 28 (July 7 - 14)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 27 (July 1 - 7)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 26 (June 23 - 30)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 25 (June 16 - 23)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 24 (June 9 - 16)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 23 (June 2 - 9)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 22 (May 26 – June 2)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 21 (May 19 - 26)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 20 (May 12 - 19)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 19 (May 5 - 12)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 18 (Apr 28 – May 5)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 17 (Apr 21 - 28)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 16 (Apr 14 - 21)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 15 (Apr 7 - 14)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 14 (Mar 31 – Apr 7)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 13 (Mar 24 - 31)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 12 (Mar 17 - 24)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 11 (Mar 10 - 17)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 10 (Mar 3 - 10)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 9 (Feb 24 – Mar 3)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 8 (Feb 17 - 24)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 7 (Feb 10 - 17)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 6 (Feb 3 - 10)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 5 (Jan 27 – Feb 3)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 4 (Jan 20 - 27)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 3 (Jan 13 - 20)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 2 (Jan 6 - 13)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 1 (Dec 30 – Jan 6)



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