by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
February 14 - 21, 2015
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Church elder jailed over
sex abuse (The West Australian)
Feb 13 - A Jehovah’s Witness elder who sexually assaulted two vulnerable teenagers he met through the church was sentenced to three years jail yesterday over the “destructive” abuse.
Abuse survivors want to
be in Rome when George Pell speaks (Brisbane
Feb 15 - Clerical abuse survivors are pushing to fly to Rome to be present when Cardinal George Pell gives evidence via videolink to a Royal Commission this month.
Child abuse survivors
raise $90,000 to see George Pell give evidence in Rome (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 17 - Child sexual abuse survivors and their supporters have raised more than $90,000 to send a small group of their representatives to Rome to witness Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic, give evidence before a child sexual abuse royal commission.
Sex abuse survivors seek
approval to attend Cardinal's hearing after crowdfunding success (ABC
Feb 17 - Abuse survivors who are travelling to Rome after a successful crowdfunding campaign call on the royal commission into child sexual abuse to "flex a bit of muscle" and make sure they can be in the room when Cardinal George Pell gives evidence.
Ballarat prepares for child sexual abuse
inquiry while Cardinal Pell stays away (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 20 - On Monday, survivors of child sexual abuse, their supporters, lawyers, solicitors and representatives of the Catholic church will descend on the bucolic Australian town of Ballarat for the second time in nine months.
Ballarat bishop agrees
to be sued for historic sex abuse claims in lieu of dead predecessor (ABC
Feb 17 - A Catholic bishop in regional Victoria has agreed to be sued for sex abuse claims dating back to the 1960s, standing in the place of his long-dead predecessor.
Ex-Catholic priest John
Joseph Farrell found guilty on 10 more child sex offences (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 17 - A former Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing three young altar boys in regional NSW in the 1980s has been found guilty in a Sydney court of 10 child sex offences.
Cardinal George Pell
denies allegations of abuse after reports of Victoria Police investigation (ABC News)
Feb 19 - Cardinal George Pell has vehemently denied allegations of abuse, in a statement issued in the wake of media reports that he is being investigated by Victoria Police.
Cardinal George Pell
denies sexual abuse allegations (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 19 - Cardinal George Pell has vehemently denied allegations that he sexually abused minors while a priest in Ballarat and as Archbishop of Melbourne.
Cardinal Pell hits back
at claims he is 'under investigation' over child abuse allegations (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 19 - Cardinal George Pell has strongly denied allegations of involvement in child sexual abuse, saying they are without foundation and utterly false after reports he is being investigated for “multiple offences” while serving in senior positions within the church in Australia.
Denis Hart supports calls for inquiry into leak against Cardinal George Pell (ABC News)
Feb 20 - Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart is supporting calls for an independent investigation to find out who leaked details of a reported police investigation into alleged abuse by Cardinal George Pell.
Church backs Cardinal
George Pell over child sex abuse allegations (Brisbane Times)
Feb 20 - A senior Catholic Church figure has claimed abuse allegations against Cardinal George Pell are part of a co-ordinated campaign designed to do "maximum damage" to his reputation ahead of his appearance before the child sex abuse royal commission later this month.
Catholic priest to stop
saying mass at Melbourne primary school after parent backlash (ABC
Feb 20 - A Catholic priest will stop saying mass at a Melbourne primary school where parents have pulled their children out of the fortnightly service as part of a protest over sexual abuse allegations.
Cardinal and bishop
allowed known paedophile priest to move from parish to parish (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 21 - The victim of a paedophile priest told a court that the then Cardinal of the Sydney archdiocese and a high-ranking bishop allowed the perpetrator to move on to other parishes despite knowing he had sexually abused a young boy.
A personal story of
child sexual abuse (The Age,
Feb 21 – (Opinion: Michael Short) A few months ago, I caught up for lunch with lawyer Judy Courtin, one of the staunchest advocates for the victims of the rape and sexual abuse of children and vulnerable others by, in particular, Catholic priests, and one of the people instrumental in the successful campaign to establish the royal commission into the response of churches and other institutions to these crimes.
Religion in Australia
explored from 1788 onwards by Wayne Hudson (The Australian)
Feb 20 - At the 2011 census, 61 per cent of Australians identified as Christian and a further 7 per cent as belonging to other faith traditions (mostly Buddhism, Islam or Hinduism). Accordingly, about two-thirds of the population was at least nominally “religious”.
Safe Schools 'hijacked
by activists' (Brisbane Times)
Feb 17 - Queensland's Education Minister has hit out at her Opposition counterpart for spreading "misinformation and fear" after the LNP demanded the government "urgently" review use of the Safe Schools Coalition resource in the state's schools.
Church of England
defends pray tweet for atheist Richard Dawkins after trolling claims (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 15 - The Church of England has defended tweeting a prayer for outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins after it was accused of trolling him.
Pope John Paul II’s close personal relationship with married woman (news.com.au)
Feb 15 - AN EXPLOSIVE new documentary looking at the close personal relationship between late Pope John Paul II and a married academic has been criticised by the Vatican.
Pope Francis may relax
Catholic Church condom ban to fight Zika virus (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 19 - Rome: Pope Francis has appeared to open the door to a possible limited softening of the Roman Catholic Church's ban on contraception because of the Zika virus.
Pope's tough words in
Mexico won't create 'miracle' (Seven News)
Feb 19 - Mexico City (AFP) - Pope Francis delighted many in Mexico by taking political and religious leaders to task during his trip, but he also stayed silent on thorny issues such as pedophilia scandals and high-profile crimes.
Donald Trump calls Pope
Francis 'disgraceful' (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 19 - Washington: Donald Trump has called Pope Francis "disgraceful" for daring to criticise Mr Trump's extreme anti-immigration stance.
Donald Trump rages
against Pope Francis’ ‘Christian’s don’t build walls’ comment (news.com.au)
Feb 19 - DONALD Trump is in a showdown with the Pope, after the religious leader declared the Republican front runner was not Christian, saying true Christians “don’t build walls”.
Pope's criticism of
Donald Trump as 'not Christian' is not personal, Vatican says (ABC
Feb 20 - The Vatican has tried to tamp down a firestorm ignited by Pope Francis' comments assailing Donald Trump's views on US immigration as "not Christian", assuring the Republican presidential front-runner that it was not a personal attack or attempt to influence the US campaign.
A moral hazard:
Indonesia at flashpoint over gay rights (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 19 - The 52-year-old singer, actress and comedian is a household name – so much so that last December she was among a posse of comedians invited to feast with President Joko Widodo at his palace.
British sniper bullet
decapitates ISIS executioner (news.com.au)
Feb 15 - “ONE minute he was standing there and the next his head had exploded.”
Islamic State faces
budget crunch, cuts salaries, energy drinks and Snickers (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 17 - Beirut: Faced with a cash shortage in its so-called caliphate, Islamic State has slashed salaries across the region, asked residents to pay utility bills in black market American dollars, and is now releasing detainees for a price.
Fidel Castro hails Catholic-Orthodox
talks in Cuba (Seven News)
Feb 16 - Havana (AFP) - Cuba's former revolutionary president Fidel Castro on Monday said the historic meeting in his country between the heads of the Catholic and Russian Orthodox churches raised worldwide hope for peace.
Religious 'relics' of a
modern-day messiah in S. Korea (Seven News)
Feb 18 - As exhibits of religious relics go, it's an unusual collection, but then Sun Myung Moon, the late founder of the Unification Church was -- like him or loathe him -- an unusual man.
Manny Pacquiao stands
firm on gay slurs, boxing champion says God is on his side (ABC News)
Feb 19 - Philippine boxing great Manny Pacquiao has doubled down over gay slurs that have tarnished his reputation and cost him millions in endorsements, insisting God is on his side.
Head of Russian Orthodox
Church Patriarch Kirill visits Antarctic flock (ABC News)
Feb 19 - The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, has made a first ever visit by a leader of his church to Antarctica, praying with polar explorers at its wooden church and strolling with penguins.
So-called radical aiming
to speak at Australian Muslim conference declares: ‘I’m a peaceful hippie’ (news.com.au)
Feb 17 - A WELL-KNOWN British speaker expected to travel to Australia to speak at a Muslim conference has defended himself against reports he supports child rape.
‘Having people find out
is my greatest fear’: Australian ex-Muslims form secretive online group (news.com.au)
Feb 20 - Young Australian ex-Muslims who have become disillusioned with their former religion are operating in a secretive online community, because they fear being shunned by their families and friends.
The life of a resettled
Syrian refugee (The Saturday
Feb 20 - Around the corner from Lakemba Mosque, with its Refugees Welcome Here banner, in a modest two-bedroom, sparsely furnished red-brick apartment, one new arrival from Syria is feeling lucky.
Christian lobby seeks
anti-discrimination 'override' for plebiscite campaign (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 16 - The leading advocates for a "no" vote on same-sex marriage are pushing the federal government to "override" anti-discrimination laws during the upcoming plebiscite campaign.
Religious leaders urge
Malcolm Turnbull to drop plebiscite on marriage equality (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 17 - Forty religious leaders have written to the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, urging him to drop the proposal to hold a plebiscite on marriage equality, saying a public campaign on the issue would be damaging to same-sex couples and religious people alike.
same-sex school formal backfires as donations roll in (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 17 - A conservative group’s attempt to sabotage a formal for young queer people has spectacularly backfired.
This is how marriage
equality debate could look if vilification laws lifted for Christian lobby (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 17 - Legal experts have poured cold water over a call from the Australian Christian Lobby for the the federal government to “override” anti-discrimination laws during the marriage equality debate.
producer Kodi Maybir should be jailed for life for child murder, court told (Sydney Morning
Feb 19 - A Christian hip hop producer convicted of the murder of a seven-year-old, whose fatal injuries he tried to blame on a fall from a pogo stick, should be jailed for life, a court has heard.
Who are the Australian
Christian Lobby? (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 19 - The ACL has been prominent recently calling on anti-discrimination laws to be relaxed during the same sex marriage debate, but who is this group?
From the Archive…
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)