by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
Nov 22 - 29, 2009
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Tenth man charged over Bathurst school sex assault inquiry (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 26 - A tenth man has been charged with sexually assaulting boys at a central western NSW boarding school, police say.
Christians worship their Idols (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 23 - It started with a gospel choir and ended with "thank you God".
The fascination of St Francis (The Australian)
Nov 25 - IT is unusual for an artist of the fame of Arthur Boyd to have a substantial suite of work consigned to the basement of a national museum, but that is essentially what has happened to the 20 large tapestries of the life of St Francis of Assisi woven at a celebrated workshop in Portugal between 1972 and 1974, purchased by the National Gallery of Australia the following year, and hardly heard of since.
Catholic church reneges on Anglican offer (ABC News)
Nov 23 - The Catholic Church in the central Victorian city of Bendigo has withdrawn an offer to let Anglicans use one of its churches.
Also: Bendigo ordination to go ahead (ABC News)
Nov 24 - The Anglican diocese of Bendigo says seven men and women will be ordained as planned this weekend, despite the Catholic Church withdrawing an offer to hold the service in one of its churches.
Vatican ban on offer to Anglicans (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 28 - THE Vatican has ordered a Victorian bishop to withdraw an offer to let Anglicans ordain deacons in a Catholic church tomorrow because four of the seven are women.
Church tries to recover stolen cash (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 29 - THE Catholic Church is trying to recover more than $400,000 in parish funds that a drug-addicted conwoman stole from an elderly priest.
Nov 23 - An international group sponsored by the Church of Scientology says it has been targeting children in schools across Australia for at least three years.
Also: Scientology's secret agenda (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Nov 28 – (Opinion: Editorial) THE Herald Sun continues its investigation into the way Scientologists have infiltrated the state education system under the nose of the Government.
Also: Brumby Government bans group from Victorian schools (The Australian)
Nov 28 - THE Brumby Government has banned a group linked to the Church of Scientology from Victoria's public schools after it sponsored an art prize.
Teaching religion in public schools. Why bother? (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 24 – (Opinion: Kylie Orr) My son attends the local government primary school where “CRE” (Christian Religious Education) is an optional part of the curriculum.
Non-religious ethics classes for NSW schools (ABC News)
Nov 25 - Ethics classes will soon be taught in New South Wales primary schools as a secular alternative to scripture classes.
Also: Anglican Church wants school trial of ethics classes scrapped (The Australian)
Nov 25 - THE Anglican Church wants New South Wales Premier Nathan Rees to abandon a trial of ethics classes for students who do not want to attend scripture in schools.
Irish police hid years of child sex abuse (ABC News)
Nov 27 - A shocking report reveals that sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Ireland was covered up for decades by both the church and police.
Also: Ireland's Catholic Church hid sex abuse for decades (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 27 - Ireland's Catholic Church has apologised after a damning new report showed it covered up child sex abuse over more than three decades.
Meditation with monks (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 28 – (Travel) A bell tolls at first light. The old timber "nightingale" floors chirp under stockinged feet, there's a whisper of saffron and black robes, a rumour of conversation and the monks enter the temple.
Catholics put out welcome mat to Anglican parishes (The Australian)
Nov 24 - The Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales has taken the first steps towards receiving Anglican converts en masse.
Pope's offer not a 'dawn raid' (The Australian)
Nov 24 - THE Pope has assured the Archbishop of Canterbury he is still committed to closer ties between Catholics and Anglicans -- despite offering a home in his church to disaffected Anglicans.
Vatican nightclub warning (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 28 - THE Vatican has warned Italy's bishops against letting deserted churches be transformed into nightclubs if the decision was taken to sell the places of worship.
Devotees in Nepal prepare to sacrifice 300,000 animals (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 23 - THOUSANDS of Hindu devotees have flocked to a village in Nepal ahead of the planned sacrifice of more than 300,000 animals in a ceremony condemned by animal rights activists.
Also: Thousands flock to village for sacrifice of 300,000 animals (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 24 - Thousands of Hindu devotees have flocked to a village in Nepal ahead of the planned sacrifice of more than 300,000 animals in a ceremony condemned by animal rights activists, including French actress Brigitte Bardot.
Also: 'World's biggest animal sacrifice' begins in Nepal (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 25 - Up to a million Hindu devotees gathered on Tuesday in a village in Nepal to witness the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of animals in a mass sacrifice that has drawn widespread criticism.
Swine flu fears as pilgrims flock to Mecca (ABC News)
Nov 24 - Health officials in Saudi Arabia fear a mass swine flu outbreak as millions of Muslim pilgrims begin arriving in the holy city of Mecca.
Illicit sex: 12 couples arrested for partner swapping (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 24 - Iran's moral police have arrested a dozen couples for engaging in illicit sexual acts, including swapping partners, the conservative Jomhuri Eslami reported on Monday.
Female councillors get male chaperones (Adelaide Now)
Nov 25 - FEMALE councillors in an Iraqi province must from now on be accompanied to local government offices by male chaperones to protect their moral fibre, politicians in the region said today.
Trouser woman sneaks out of Sudan (ABC News)
Nov 25 - Sudanese journalist Lubna Ahmed Hussein says she has donned a full Islamic veil to sneak out of Sudan and travel to France, two months after she was freed from jail for wearing trousers.
Heavens open as 2.5 million pilgrims begin the hajj (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 26 - A day-long downpour fouled the start of the annual hajj on Wednesday, soaking thousands of people as they walked from Mecca to Mina, snarling traffic and stranding buses for hours.
Also: Heavens open as pilgrims begin Hajj (ABC News)
Nov 26 - Heavy rains and floods have killed at least 13 people and stranded thousands of Muslim faithful in the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah on the first day of the annual hajj pilgrimage.
Also: Saudi flood death toll rises to 48 (ABC News)
Nov 27 - At least 48 people have died in the heaviest flooding to hit Saudi Arabia in years.
Also: Floods kill 77 while Muslims perform haj (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 27 - Muslim pilgrims holding white umbrellas against the blazing sun clambered up a rocky desert hill for prayers on Thursday during the annual haj, a day after torrential rains that killed at least 77 people.
Also: Saudis vent anger after deadly floods (ABC News)
Nov 29 - A Saudi lawyer says he will sue the city of Jeddah, as thousands took to Facebook to blast authorities in a rare burst of open outrage after floods killed more than 100 people in the Red Sea port.
Two jailed for beating sacred crocodile (ABC News)
Nov 27 - A court in southern Bangladesh sentenced two men to two years in jail after they beat and blinded a sacred crocodile at a Muslim shrine, police said Thursday.
Title fight unites boxers of different faiths (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 24 - A fist fight may seem an odd way to show respect between Jews and Muslims, but when Dmitriy Salita competes for the WBA light-welterweight title next month, he'll be doing just that.
Cowardly bias blights attitudes on Israel (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 28 – (Opinion: Isi Leibler) I recently met a group of Australian journalists, including editors of some of the leading dailies. In the course of discussions, one elegantly phrased question, not intended to offend, was put to me, which I have been mulling over: Did I ever take into account that if almost the entire world has concluded that Israel is the principal cause for the Middle East impasse, perhaps they are right?
Saint Sarah, Republican saviour (The Australian)
Nov 23 - WHAT can one say about one of the most compelling and bizarre works of "non-fiction" on the market, Going Rogue by Sarah Palin?
Also: Sarah Palin cannot be serious (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Nov 23 – (Opinion: Alan Howe) THERE are more than 31 Americans for every square kilometre of the United States.
JFK's nephew barred from communion: report (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 23 - The nephew of former president John F. Kennedy has been barred from receiving communion at his Catholic church due to his support for abortion rights, a newspaper reported on Sunday.
Hindu MPs behind razing of mosque (The Australian)
Nov 25 - THE destruction of a mosque by Hindu radicals that led to some of the bloodiest religious riots in India since Partition was "meticulously planned" by politicians including a former prime minister, according to a leaked report of the official investigation.
Nov 27 - A hidden camera has provided a rare glimpse inside Burma's mental health system which is used to incarcerate opposition figures and politically active monks.
Iraq attacks hit Christian sites (Adelaide Now)
Nov 27 - A SPATE of attacks in Iraq killed five people and struck a church and a convent overnight, with one bomb at a busy market claiming two lives as shoppers stocked up for a Muslim feast and holiday.
Christ's burial papers found, perhaps (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 22 - A VATICAN researcher claims to have discovered Christ's ''burial certificate'' on the Turin Shroud.
Eva Mendes defends racy ad (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Nov 23 - ACTRESS Eva Mendes has blasted religious critics of her raunchy Calvin Klein lingerie ad, insisting the semi-naked poster is "tasteful and beautiful."
Did Jesus headline Glastonbury first? (ABC News)
Nov 27 - Jesus Christ may have visited an English town now renowned for a raucous modern day music festival to meet ancient druids, a new film argues.
US church, Native Americans reconcile (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 28 - Members of America's oldest Protestant church have apologised - for the first time ever - for the massacre and displacement of Native Americans 400 years ago.
An unholy alliance of church and state (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 29 - When Fiji's regime brought the Methodist Church under its thumb, a fundamentalist rival joined forces with the police.
It's time for an armistice in religious wars (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 29 - JUST a few years ago, it seemed curious that an omniscient, omnipotent God wouldn't smite tormenters like Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris.
Hoax slayer puts the bite on vampires of the cyber world (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 26 - IT WAS the great Chocolate Bar Bomb scare. Last month an anonymous email, breathlessly titled "Cadbury HALAL Please read! & Forward", hit in-boxes around the country, warning recipients of a sinister link between Australian-made chocolates and Islamic terrorism.
Nov 27 - It may be a gruelling and at-times dangerous journey for Muslim pilgrims, but Brisbane man Omar Saghir says the Hajj last year was the most amazing experience of his life.
Ehud Olmert still dreams of peace (The Australian)
Nov 28 - EHUD Olmert is a giant of contemporary Middle East politics.
Scientology rejects accusations over girl's death (Adelaide Now)
Nov 23 - THE Church of Scientology has rejected allegations raised in Federal Parliament about the death of a 14-month-old girl nine years ago.
Fielding likens same-sex marriage to incest (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 27 - FAMILY First senator Steve Fielding has compared same-sex marriages to incest, as a Senate inquiry yesterday recommended against allowing gay marriage in Australia.
Also: Canberra's same-sex service under fire (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 29 - A FEDERAL push is gathering pace to scuttle civil union ceremonies for gay couples in the national capital.
Shonky shamans taint aura of all 'healers' (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 22 - HE CALLED himself ''Thunder Eagle'', wore feathers in his hair and promised that his ''psychic surgery'' would cure her breast cancer.
Hated without cause: faith’s high price (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 23 – (Opinion: Barney Zwartz) Christianah Oluwatoyin Oluwasesin, a Christian teacher in Nigeria, was beaten, stoned and clubbed to death by Muslim students because she touched a student’s bag that contained a Koran, thereby “desecrating” it.
Nov 23 - A man whose Scientologist brother committed suicide has urged Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to allow a parliamentary inquiry into the controversial church.
Hilton bombing sect wants tax exemption (The Australian)
Nov 23 - AN Indian spiritualist group behind Australia's worst terrorist attack -- the 1978 Hilton Hotel bombing -- is among 17,441 organisations claiming tax exemptions on religious grounds.
Whatever the gender, all marriages should be equal (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 24 – (Opinion: Editorial) It is time to end legal discrimination against gays and lesbians.
Also: Church's opposition to gay marriage a by-product of capitalism (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 26 – (Opinion: John Passant) With the two words "I do", Warren McGaw and Chris Rumble made history yesterday when they participated in Australia's first legally recognised same-sex civil ceremony in Canberra.
Atheists cross as religious forum secures taxpayer funding (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 26 - Atheists have accused the Brumby Government of discriminating against them by refusing to fund the movement's global conference in Melbourne, but giving $2 million to a religious conference.
Blueprint for reform of hospitals (The Australian)
Nov 28 – (Opinion: Angela Shanahan) The implication of using Catholic hospitals as a test for the rest of the health system when there is increasing ideological opposition to the place of a religious ethos in health care is challenging, to say the least.
Taking stock of cell research: embryo research and anti-cloning laws (The Australian)
Nov 28 - REMEMBER Rabbit Man?
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