by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
Sept 6 - 19, 2009
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
More claims of sexual assault at Knox Grammar (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 15 - Two more former Knox Grammar School students have come forward with allegations of sexual assault against Craig Treloar, a teacher at the school.
Sacrificial altar boy (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 15 - The crippling toll of clergy abuse can spread well beyond the original victim…
Re-examining the memories of a Catholic childhood (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 16 – (Opinion: BILL FARR) The men of the church may be too close to see the pain and suffering.
Church needs $80K to repair roof (ABC News)
Sept 11 - The Anglican Church in Charleville, in south-west Queensland, says it hopes to raise enough money to repair a church roof in the town without having to sell off its assets.
Christ 'was created by Paul the apostle' (The Australian)
Sept 7 - AFTER angering the Vatican with the fantasy trilogy His Dark Materials, children's author Philip Pullman is to launch an assault on Christianity in a polemic that denies Jesus was the son of God.
Godly art poses questions, God only knows answers (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 9 – (Opinion: Andrew Frost) When Cardinal George Pell denounced the finalists of this year's Blake Prize, I nearly choked on my Vegemite toast.
Sceptics a comfort to both sides (The Australian)
Sept 12 – (Review) THERE are some facts about the world we know too surely, whose force and truth we feel too intimately, for us to need to subject them to an undignified scramble for evidence.
TV feels wrath of God (Adelaide Now)
Sept 18 - THE hit series Underbelly is among shows under fire from a major Christian group demanding tougher rules on sex and violence on TV.
That special someone (The Australian)
Sept 19 – (Review) John Potts - A History of Charisma. Charisma matters a lot, for good and ill, in politics, religion, business, the arts and many other walks of life.
Temple plan upsets some southern residents (ABC News)
Sept 9 - Yankalilla District Council is considering whether it should back development of a 35-metre-high Buddhist temple at Sellicks Hill.
Father Bob fighting forced retirement (ABC News)
Sept 8 - Melbourne Catholic priest and community worker Father Bob Maguire is fighting off mandatory retirement.
Also: Priest not the retiring type (The Australian)
Sept 8 - AT the church he has called home for the past 36 years, Bob Maguire wonders out loud whether he might be making things worse for himself.
Also: Fans rally to Father Bob Maguire (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 14 - Supporters of Father Bob Maguire gave the message to Archbishop Denis Hart as
powerfully as they could yesterday: keep Father Bob at South Melbourne.
Also: Father Bob 'the real deal' (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Sept 15 - THE "Father Bob brand" is clever marketing for the Catholic church and it should approach his resignation differently, an expert said.
Also: Father Bob writes to say he won't resign (The Australian)
Sept 17 - A HAND-delivered letter from Melbourne's popular parish priest Father Bob Maguire declining to resign is now in the possession of the Catholic church, but Archbishop Denis Hart is keeping mum about its contents.
Also: Father Bob hopeful of resolution (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 18 - Melbourne's high-profile parish priest, Father Bob Maguire, hopes peace-brokering talks with the Catholic Church will allow him to keep working.
Hundreds of pilgrims on the run (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Sept 14 - ALMOST 300 pilgrims who came to Australia to pray with Pope Benedict XVI are on the run after illegally overstaying their visas.
Taped-up cathedral at risk (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 14 - Pillars holding up Canterbury Cathedral, the mother church of Anglicanism, are being held together with duct tape because of a shortage of money to carry out urgent repairs.
Dalai Lama trip puts giants at odds (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 19 - FOR a man devoted to harmony, the Dalai Lama has a knack for causing discord between India and China.
Roland Joffe's 'propaganda job' for Opus Dei (The Australian)
Sept 7 - DIRECTOR Roland Joffe has been accused of making a $34million propaganda film funded by members of Opus Dei, the secretive Roman Catholic organisation, to counter its portrayal as a cabal of self-flagellating conspirators in The Da Vinci Code.
Catholics rally to challenge Silvio Berlusconi (The Australian)
Sept 8 - TALKS to form a new, church-backed conservative party in Italy to challenge Silvio Berlusconi are under way as opinion polls show support for the Prime Minister among Catholic voters has faded.
Saving grace (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 9 - A Catholic nun has been on the front line in the battle against AIDS in Papua New Guinea since the disease first emerged.
Disney may bring Hindu mythology to the big screen, TV (The Australian)
Sept 14 - DISNEY, fresh from its $US4 billion ($4.6bn) acquisition of Marvel Comics, home of Spider-Man and Iron Man, may add to its stable of superheroes -- this time in the shape of a franchise that traces its inspiration back more than 2000 years.
Afghan 'blasphemy' journalist freed (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 8 - An Afghan journalist imprisoned for 20 years for blasphemy for downloading an internet article about women's rights and Islam has been released, an international media rights group said.
Also: Afghan Parliament condemns journalist pardon (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 15 - Afghanistan's upper house of Parliament has condemned the presidential pardon of a journalist sentenced to 20 years in prison for downloading an internet article about women's rights and Islam.
Trouser case: Sudanese woman freed from jail (ABC News)
Sept 10 - A Sudanese woman jailed for wearing trousers has been freed after the country's journalists' union said it had paid a $US200 fine on her behalf.
Hardliners won't go quietly: Islamic law tightened (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 10 - RELIGIOUS conservatives in Aceh are trying to ram through Islamic laws that would allow stoning to death for adulterers and public lashings for those who engage in premarital sex.
Also: Stoning penalty for Aceh adultery (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 15 - MUSLIMS who commit adultery in Indonesia's semi-autonomous province of Aceh could be stoned to death after the provincial parliament last night passed laws expanding Islamic law.
Also: Adulterers face death by stoning in Indonesia (ABC News)
Sept 15 - Muslims who commit adultery can be stoned to death under a sharia law approved by politicians in Indonesia's staunchly Islamic province of Aceh.
Also: Rights groups condemn stoning law (Adelaide Now)
Sept 15 - INDONESIAN rights activists condemned as "cruel and degrading" today a new Islamic law calling for adulterers to be stoned to death in the country's staunchly conservative Aceh province.
At least 18 killed in Ramadan food stampede (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 15 - At least 18 women and girls died when a crowd waiting for handouts of flour swelled and panicked in Pakistan's most populous city, officials said.
Ramadan drummer rousts and riles the sleeping city (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 15 - A few hours before dawn, when most New Yorkers are asleep, a man rolls out of bed in Brooklyn, dons a billowy red outfit and matching turban, climbs into his car, drives 15 minutes, pulls out a big drum and - on the pavement of a residential neighbourhood - starts to play.
Malaysian man to be caned for drinking (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 15 - A judge has ordered a Muslim man to be caned and jailed for drinking alcohol, two months after triggering a national debate for sentencing a woman to be whipped for a similar offence.
Trousers case shows Arab violations (The Australian)
Sept 15 – (Opinion: Nadia Hijab) SUDANESE journalist Lubna Hussein's courage in challenging the absurdity of her trial, sentencing and imprisonment for wearing trousers has spotlighted the penal codes still in force in many Arab and Muslim states.
Malaysian Muslims caned for car romp (The Australian)
Sept 18 - AN Islamic court has ordered an unmarried couple to be caned for trying to have sex in a car.
Perilous night visit for pilgrims to holy site (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 14 - Defaced and difficult to access, Joseph's Tomb is both a measure of political failure and symbol of Jewish hope.
Dozens arrested at English nationalist rally (ABC News)
Sept 6 - Police say more than 30 people have been arrested in the Birmingham city centre after fighting broke out between far-right protesters and groups of youths.
Sept 6 - A few weeks ago the ABC's Middle East correspondent Anne Barker was caught up in a violent protest involving ultra-Orthodox Jewish men in Jerusalem.
Rally turns violent at London mosque (ABC News)
Sept 15 - Eight people have been arrested after riot police intervened to stop clashes between Muslims and anti-Islamic protesters outside a London mosque on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
Somali Al Qaeda-linked group vows to avenge US raid (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 15 - Somalia's hardline Shebab Islamist group on Tuesday vowed to avenge the death of a top regional Al Qaeda leader during a lightning US military operation on Somali territory.
Sept 19 - Javadifar is just one among scores of alleged cases of murder, torture and rape unearthed by opposition investigators - cases that a regime claiming to champion Islamic values is doing its utmost to suppress by denouncing the charges as lies, arresting the investigators and seizing their files.
Suicide blast hits Pakistan market (The Australian)
Sept 19 - PESHAWAR, Pakistan: A suicide car-bomb yesterday tore through a market in Pakistan, killing 33 people and trapping victims under smashed shops as families bought supplies for a major religious festival.
Toddler killed with baseball bat in church (Adelaide Now)
Sept 9 - A FIGHT over a $US20 ($23) debt and a washing machine has ended with one man's 14-month old daughter being killed with a baseball bat while attending a church service.
Mexican hijack priest 'acted on divine inspiration' (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 10 - A Bolivian priest who said he acted on ‘‘divine inspiration’’ was behind the mid-air hijacking of a Mexican plane seized on Wednesday after it left the tourist resort of Cancun, officials said.
Damien Hirst, enfant terrible, walks into a church (The Australian)
Sept 14 - IN early November we can expect, if not murder, then certainly uproar in the cathedral, when an "important" new work by Damien Hirst is unveiled.
Da Vinci crowd can finally read the sequel (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 15 - CUP an ear today and you just might pick up the sound of quickening heartbeats across the land as 600,000 Australian Dan Brown fans finally get to settle down to The Lost Symbol, the sequel to his blockbuster religious conspiracy thriller The Da Vinci Code.
Also: First look at Dan Brown's new novel The Lost Symbol (The Australian)
Sept 15 - AFTER a six-year wait, Dan Brown has finally released a sequel to his best-selling novel, The Da Vinci Code.
Cuba allows religious services in jails (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 16 - Cuba will allow inmates to attend Catholic Mass and Protestant services inside prisons, a top religious leader said on Tuesday, in a significant easing of the communist government's policy toward organised religion.
'Virgin Mary' visions appear on Samoa church wall (Adelaide Now)
Sept 17 - A WEEK after Samoans prayed en masse for a safe switch to driving on the left, a vision of the Virgin Mary has appeared.
Churches confront 1000-year schism (The Australian)
Sept 19 – (Opinion: Christopher Pearson) ARE the Catholic and Orthodox branches of Christianity at long last about to settle their differences?
Religious co-operative an ethical alternative (The Australian)
Sept 9 - IT'S known as the Muslim Community Co-operative (Australia). You may not have heard of the co-operative or what it does but in the coming years you will, possibly banking with it or even investing with it as an ethical investor.
Muslim tensions run high after Ramadan raid by police (The Australian)
Sept 10 - COMMUNITY tensions are running high in the western Sydney suburb of Auburn after police from the Middle Eastern organised crime squad raided four houses during the Muslim festival of Ramadan.
Jury to deliberate in terror trial (Adelaide Now)
Sept 14 - THE jury in the Sydney trial of five men accused of plotting to commit a terrorist act or acts in Australia will begin its deliberations today.
Tools of the devil (The Australian)
Sept 8 - NEVER mind Floriade and the International Mint Directors Conference (Strewth, yesterday), Canberra is about to cop some serious action: a war between witches, the Australian Sex Party and the Catch the Fire Ministries.
David Cappo: Voice of conscience won't be silenced (Adelaide Now)
Sept 19 - THE LABOR purists cringe with disdain. Here, a man of the cloth, his white clerical collar a dead give-away, on a hotline to the Premier as the voice of social conscience.
Australian children on the booze: Salvos (ABC News)
Sept 7 - The Salvation Army is calling on the Federal Government to do more to publicise the country's alcohol guidelines and is also raising the alarm about the level of drinking by children.
Campaign to mass-marketing Jesus Christ (The Australian)
Sept 7 - SEVERAL months after Australia's major Christian churches decided to pool their marketing activities, the wraps have come off a campaign that aims to sell Jesus to the masses.
In Google we trust: our new faith (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 7 – (Opinion: Paul Sheehan) Millions of words have been written and broadcast about the rise of religion around the world, but rarely included in the discourse is the most powerful new spiritual force of them all.
God takes back seat at weddings (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 8 - If you always thought Australians were a godless pack of loose-living bastards, you're right.
Tourists defacate on outback tour of Ayres Rock, Uluru in Darwin (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Sept 9 - TOURISTS have been caught defecating on top of Australia's natural wonder of the world, our sacred Uluru, amid calls for a climbing ban on the iconic desert attraction.
Smorgon puts faith before Bulldogs' final (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 15 – (Sport) TRADITIONAL religion will come before AFL beliefs this weekend for Western Bulldogs president David Smorgon, whose Jewish faith prevents him attending his side's preliminary final.
Nothing and no one are off limits in an age of iconomania (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 15 – (Opinion: Suzy Freeman-Greene) Once the domain of religion, icons are now distinctly secular.
Gay rights activists outraged (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Sept 17 - GAY rights activists are outraged over a church conference that aims to help people struggling with "unwanted homosexuality".
Up, down or all over (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 17 – (Travel) There’s no question about the beauty of Uluru. The Rock, formerly known as Ayers, is one mighty monolith.
Church bid to gag critics (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Sept 17 - THE celebrity-studded Church of Scientology in Australia wants negative media reports about the controversial religion outlawed.
Satellite city in a soulless orbit: MP (The Australian)
Sept 18 - SPRINGFIELD Lakes is an award-winning prototype for a 21st-century city -- but does it have soul?
Parson who helped save early Sydney (The Australian)
Sept 19 - THE funeral of William Cowper, Australia's first parish-based clergyman, virtually closed Sydney.
Streetwise trio calls for action on attacks (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 19 - ROCK singer Angry Anderson has joined forces with youth worker Les Twentyman and Father Bob Maguire to condemn street assaults as ''a national problem and an attack on our culture''.
Uniting Church sacks Wollongong minister (ABC News)
Sept 10 - The Uniting Church has ordered one of Wollongong's most prominent ministers to leave his church by the end of next year.
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