by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
May 1 - 10, 2009
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Sex assault charge: priest in court (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 5 - A priest charged with sexually assaulting a student at St Stanislaus' College in Bathurst was told in court today not to try to contact witnesses.
Also: Bail for priest on sex abuse charges (ABC News)
May 5 - A Queensland priest accused of sexually assaulting a student at a Bathurst boarding school almost 20 years ago has appeared in a Sydney court.
Qld priest stood aside over sex charges (ABC News)
May 6 - The Catholic Church has removed a Queensland priest from duty after he was charged with sexual misconduct at a New South Wales school almost 20 years ago.
Also: Church leader supports accused Mackay priest (ABC News)
May 6 - A Queensland church leader says he expected the Mackay Catholic community will rally around a priest who is facing sexual misconduct allegations in a Sydney court.
Defiance (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 1 – (Review) Daniel Craig ditches the girls and gadgets for a sobering story of Holocaust survival.
Listening to the land (The Age, Melbourne)
May 2 – (Review) The jewels of Aboriginal philosophy are not lost to those prepared to look and listen…
Canvases all around him, it just took a while to see them (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 9 - "LOOK, look at this," shouts Salvatore Zofrea, excitedly putting down his dog-eared Bible, leaping up and running across his Seaforth studio to a huge canvas, incomplete but already crowded with tones, subtleties, local details.
Father Peter Kennedy threatened with dismissal (The Australian)
May 6 - REBEL priest Father Peter Kennedy could be dismissed as a Catholic clergyman within weeks.
Prey to much loud protest as Angels and Demons set for release (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
May 6 – (Opinion: Karen Brooks) IF ANYONE knows how to court controversy these days, it has to be the Catholic Church.
Cult leader captured after prison break (ABC News)
May 7 - French police have recaptured a cult leader and convicted child abuser, after he escaped in a helicopter last week from a prison on the French Indian Ocean island Reunion.
Chaser team charged over Vatican stunt (Adelaide Now)
May 1 - THE Chaser has found itself in hot water again after allegedly flying a blimp into protected airspace above the Vatican.
Also: Chaser team deny Vatican stunt (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
May 3 - CLAIMS that The Chaser team has been charged for flying a blimp above the Vatican are a load of hot air, members of the satirical show say.
Vatican blocked Angels & Demons filming (The West Australian, Perth)
May 4 - Director Ron Howard claimed on Sunday that the Vatican interfered with efforts to get permits to shoot certain scenes of his Angels & Demons religious thriller in Rome - a charge the Vatican said was purely a publicity stunt.
Also: Da Vinci Code sequel premieres in Rome (ABC News)
May 5 - The movie sequel to The Da Vinci Code is being greeted as a faster-paced, more gripping film than the original and is respectful to Catholics, director Ron Howard said at its Rome premiere.
Also: Vatican breaks silence on Angels And Demons (ABC News)
May 7 - The success of books and films like The Da Vinci Code and Angels And Demons should make the Catholic Church rethink the way it uses the media to present itself, the Vatican newspaper reports.
Also: Vatican says Angels & Demons film harmless (Adelaide Now)
May 7 - THE Vatican has ruled the new Dan Brown-inspired movie Angels & Demons as "harmless" despite public condemnation of Brown's other hit, The Da Vinci Code.
Priest suspected of genocide 'in Italy' (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 8 - A Rwandan Catholic priest suspected of involvement in the country's 1994 genocide is working in a parish in the Italian diocese of Florence, a rights group says.
Catholic Church – Pope’s Middle East Tour
May 7 - Israel is preparing to deploy 80,000 security forces to protect Pope Benedict XVI when he visits the Holy Land next week.
Pope heads for risky Holy Land tour (The Age, Melbourne)
May 8 - Pope Benedict XVI on Friday started a "pilgrimage" to the Holy Land, facing a daunting array of religious and political challenges on the eight-day trip.
Pilgrims 'off track' on Way of Cross (ABC News)
May 7 - Their heads bowed, Franciscan monks lead a procession meant to retrace the steps of Jesus as he bore his cross to the site of his crucifixion, where the Pope will pray during his Holy Land tour.
Jordan hopes papal visit will boost tourism (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 7 - Cash-strapped Jordan is hoping that Pope Benedict XVI's visit to the desert kingdom this week as part of a Holy Land tour will be "manna from heaven" to boost tourism.
Pope hopes church can help Middle East (ABC News)
May 8 - Pope Benedict says he hopes the Roman Catholic Church can contribute to peace in the Middle East, as he kicks off a tour of Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories.
Jordan rolls out red carpet for Pope Benedict (Adelaide Now)
May 8 - POPE Benedict XVI arrived in Jordan today on his first visit as pontiff to an Arab state, kicking off an eight-day Holy Land pilgrimage fraught with religious and political challenges.
May 9 - Islamic leaders in Jordan have condemned the visit of Pope Benedict as provocative because he is yet to apologise for anti-Islamic comments made three years ago.
Pope in Jordan stresses deep respect for Islam (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 9 - Pope Benedict XVI underlined his "deep respect" for Islam on Friday in Jordan, on his first trip as pontiff to an Arab state, and stressed that religious freedom is a fundamental human right.
Pope begins Holy Land pilgrimage (The Age, Melbourne)
May 9 - POPE Benedict XVI stressed his "deep respect" for Islam yesterday in Jordan, on his first trip as pontiff to an Arab state.
Pope Benedict in Jordan stresses deep respect for Islam (The Australian)
May 9 - POPE Benedict XVI underlined his "deep respect" for Islam yesterday in Jordan, on his first trip as pontiff to an Arab state, and stressed that religious freedom is a fundamental human right.
Queen of Jordan tweets on Pope's visit (ABC News)
May 9 - Jordan's Queen Rania has posted on online social network Twitter about Pope Benedict XVI's first ever visit to an Arab country, as the pontiff kicked off his Holy Land tour.
Pope visits Jordan's biggest mosque (ABC News)
May 9 - On the second day of his trip to the Middle East, Pope Benedict is visiting Jordan's largest mosque.
Pope in Jordan presses inter-faith reconciliation (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 9 - Pope Benedict XVI called on Saturday for reconciliation between Christians and Jews, a day after stressing his "deep respect" for Islam on his first trip to the Holy Land as pontiff.
Pope's speech disappoints Muslim leaders (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 10 - Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday urged inter-faith reconciliation on the second day of a tour of the holy land but disappointed Muslim clerics by failing to offer a new apology for remarks seen as targeting Islam.
Israel demands Pope damns deniers (The Age, Melbourne)
May 10 - THE Israeli Government has demanded that Pope Benedict condemn Catholics who deny the Holocaust, as he began an eight-day tour of the Holy Land billed as an act of reconciliation.
Jakarta shuffle favours Islamists (The Age, Melbourne)
May 2 - INDONESIAN President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is being driven into the arms of the country's Islamic parties, posing questions about the direction of his Government if, as expected, he is re-elected.
Pakistan sets up Islamic court (Adelaide Now)
May 3 - PAKISTAN has announced the creation of an Islamic appellate court in an area of the northwest as part of a peace deal reached earlier this year to put an end to a bloody Taliban insurgency.
The devil we didn't know (The Australian)
May 6 – (Opinion: Kevan Malik) The Satanic Verses marked a turning point in relations between Muslims and the West…
Miss Beautiful Morals (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
May 8 - SUKAINA al-Zayer is an unlikely beauty queen hopeful. She covers her face and body in black robes and an Islamic veil, so no one can tell what she looks like.
Also: Morality in eye of the beholder in Saudi Arabian contest (The Australian)
May 9 - BEAUTY may well be in the eye of the beholder but in a country where a woman's eyes are the only feature on public display, judging a beauty pageant could prove awkward.
Anti-Islam rally goes ahead in Germany (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 9 - Two right-wing groups held a controversial "anti-Islam" rally in the German city of Cologne Saturday, under massive police protection.
Pro-lifers drive point home (The Age, Melbourne)
May 5 - AMERICA'S perpetual battle over abortion is again being fought in courts and legislatures across the nation, but this time over the right of its opponents to declare themselves "pro-life" on number plates.
Obama picks Egypt for Muslim address (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 10 - President Barack Obama will make his long-awaited address to Muslims in Egypt on June 4, accelerating his bid to mend the US image in the Islamic world from an epicentre of Arab civilisation.
May 1 - Pakistani troops have killed up to 60 militants as a punishing ground and air offensive against Taliban fighters in the country's north-west ran into fierce resistance, the military said.
Iraqi forces arrest 'Awakening' leader (ABC News)
May 4 - Iraqi officials say Iraqi forces backed by US troops have arrested a US-allied Sunni Arab militia leader.
Taliban defy curfew to patrol town in Swat (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 4 - Armed Taliban defied a government curfew and patrolled the main town in Pakistan's Swat district after rejecting an Islamic appeals court set up under a peace deal, witnesses said Monday.
Taliban peace deal unravelling in Pakistan (ABC News)
May 5 - A peace deal in Pakistan appears to be on the brink of collapse, as the military dispatches troop reinforcements to the north-west where deadly fighting is raging between soldiers and the Taliban.
Iran stones adulterer to death (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 5 - A man convicted of committing adultery has been stoned to death in a northern Iranian city, a top judiciary official says.
Pakistan orders military to 'eliminate' militants (The Age, Melbourne)
May 8 - Pakistan jets bombed Taliban hideouts in the Swat valley where the government sent fresh troops with orders to "eliminate" extremists in the battle to control the northwest.
Pakistan vows to destroy Taliban (The Age, Melbourne)
May 9 - PAKISTAN'S Government has declared an end to peace initiatives with Taliban insurgents controlling Swat, signalling the start of a concerted military operation to drive them from the valley.
World trembles as Pakistan teeters (The Age, Melbourne)
May 9 – (Opinion: Editorial) If the Taliban topple the country's leaders, jihadists will have nuclear weapons.
Unstable trio endangers world (The Australian)
May 9 – (Opinion: Greg Sheridan) IT is the perfect strategic storm. The deadly combination of irrational fervour, aggressive nationalism, the unimaginable destructive power of nuclear technology, growing Islamist extremism, continuing terrorist determination, an economically and militarily stretched US and a wide international milieu of festering anti-Americanism, which has not been solved by the election of Barack Obama, means the world is entering the most strategically dangerous period at least since the end of the Cold War
Arrest of JI leader Mas Selamat Kastari won't end terror (The Australian)
May 9 - A KEY regional terrorist leader has been arrested in Malaysia, landing a serious blow on the Jemaah Islamiah network that was responsible for the two Bali bombings and a string of other deadly attacks.
A million flee Taliban conflict (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 10 - PAKISTAN'S offensive against the Taliban has forced 1 million people to flee their homes, the United Nations said yesterday.
Toll mounts in war on Taliban (The Age, Melbourne)
May 10 - DOCTORS rushed to treat an influx of wounded Pakistani civilians yesterday as thousands of troops backed by warplanes sought to purge Taliban militants from a northwestern valley.
Congo soldiers raping pygmies for supernatural powers (The Age, Melbourne)
May 10 - Government troops sodomised pygmies in March in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), believing they would gain supernatural powers, a regional rights group said yesterday.
Soldiers kill bomb-throwing child (The Australian)
May 10 - US soldiers have shot dead a 12-year-old boy who tried to attack a joint American and Iraqi patrol with a grenade in the tense northern city of Mosul.
Mel Gibson, god of humbug (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
May 2 – (Opinion: Michelle Cazzulino) OH FOR a lethal weapon and 10 minutes alone in a small room with Mel Gibson. The beer-swilling, anti-Semitic, feminist-bashing homophobe exceeded even his own shameless standards this week with his decision to parade his latest love interest before the world's media.
Also: Mel Gibson's public outing a slap in the face (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
May 3 – (Opinion: Robyn Riley) [Mel Gibson] has rammed his strict religious beliefs and family morals down our throats for years.
US denies letting troops convert Afghans (ABC News)
May 4 - The US military denies it has allowed soldiers to try converting Afghans to Christianity, after a television network showed pictures of soldiers with Bibles translated into local languages.
NZ schools resist Aussie cancer vaccine (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 4 - Australia's blockbuster cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil is facing resistance in New Zealand where dozens of schools have refused to take part in the national immunisation program.
Sikh cops 'want bullet-proof turbans' (ABC News)
May 8 - Sikh police officers in Britain reportedly want the Government to develop bullet-proof turbans to allow them to serve as firearms officers without having to remove their headwear.
Not Cat, but still on song (The Age, Melbourne)
May 8 - Yusuf Islam has a new album out and wants to tour again
Wing and a prayer (Adelaide Now)
May 9 - AFTER a self-imposed break, Ewan McGregor returns to movies with new projects including a papal potboiler
Lessons of a wannabe teen hero (The Australian)
May 2 – (Review) IT is a very multicultural moment. At a camp for young Muslims in northern NSW, a bikini-clad woman strolls into the prayer hall during an afternoon congregation.
Muslim matriarch Rabiah Hutchinson's suburban nightmare (The Australian)
May 2 - THE Mudgee girl who became a surfie chick as a teen only to now be described by security agencies as the "matriarch" of radical Islam has spoken for the first time of her "nightmare" living under constant surveillance, branded a threat to national security and barred from travelling abroad.
May 7 - Two Canberra men who were asked to leave last year's National Jewish Centre Food Fair because of claims they were neo-Nazi's have had their complaint dismissed.
Bolkus in legal action over fake documents (ABC News)
May 4 - The political lobbyist and former Labor MP, Nick Bolkus, has confirmed he will sue Opposition leader Martin Hamilton-Smith over fraudulent documents which emerged last week.
Minister quizzed over chaplain 'axing' (ABC News)
May 7 - New South Wales Health Minister John Della Bosca is being asked to reveal if the Port Macquarie Base Hospital is to lose a chaplain position.
Also: Hospital chaplain position 'not under threat' (ABC News)
May 8 - The North Coast Area Health Service says it has no plans to cut a chaplain position at Port Macquarie Base Hospital.
God delusions cloud a world of wonders (The Age, Melbourne)
May 3 – (Opinion: Michael Coulter) MOST weeks I read The Sunday Age's Faith column, out of professional duty. Most weeks I am left perplexed, unable to reconcile what I am reading with anything I see around me.
Return Ned Kelly to his family: priest (The Age, Melbourne)
May 5 - The remains of bushranger Ned Kelly and other executed prisoners found at Melbourne's old Pentridge Prison site should be returned to their families, says the prison's former chaplain.
Carlton and Hawthorn launch Good Friday push (Adelaide Now)
May 6 - EXCLUSIVE CARLTON and Hawthorn are lobbying the AFL to play a match on Good Friday from next year.
Tai Chi class clashes with Bible: Baptists (ABC News)
May 7 - Arthritis Tasmania has condemned the actions of a church in north-west Tasmania which has cancelled a senior citizens' Tai Chi class.
Also: Tasmanian church revokes Tai Chi welcome (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 10 - The forces of eastern mysticism and Christianity have had an almighty clash in a small rural town on Tasmania's northwest coast.
Rights charter will not lead to vilification law, Jesuit says (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 8 - FRANK BRENNAN, the Jesuit lawyer who heads the Federal Government's public consultations for a national human rights charter, will move today to dispel concerns by some church leaders that the charter could entail the introduction of federal religious vilification laws.
Defectors to faith mark a growing trend (The Australian)
May 9 – (Opinion: Christopher Pearson) MILITANT atheism may be on the warpath in the English-speaking world, but last week its advocates had to take on board some unwelcome news.
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