by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
Oct 31 – Nov 7, 2010
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Former priest accused of bedtime depravity (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 3 - AFTER hearing a young girl's bedtime prayers, Father Brian Joseph Spillane would tongue-kiss her and lie on top of her, a District Court jury was told on the opening day of the former priest's trial.
Also: Girl froze in fear during priest abuse, court hears (ABC News)
Nov 4 - A woman has told a Sydney court she was frozen with fear when a Catholic priest put his hands around her throat and indecently assaulted her as a child.
Also: Family priest was doing 'things I didn't like', court told (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 4 - Brian Spillane put his hands around the throat of a 12-year-old girl before indecently assaulting her in her family's kitchen, the District Court in Sydney has been told.
Former Anglican Church Grammar School deputy jailed (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Nov 4 - THE former deputy headmaster of Brisbane's prestigious Anglican Church Grammar Preparatory School, aka "Churchie", has pleaded guilty to four charges relating to sex acts with a boy under the age of 14.
Nov 2 - Struggling Annesley College in Adelaide has lost its new principal less than a week after her appointment.
Also: Struggling Annesley looking at Pulteney option (ABC News)
Nov 4 - The Uniting Church says it is open to struggling Annesley College joining forces with Adelaide Anglican school Pulteney Grammar.
Thou shall not teach humanism: ALP (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 7 - EDUCATION Minister Bronwyn Pike has ducked a potential backlash from the powerful Christian lobby by rejecting a proposal to allow humanism to be taught in primary schools during time allocated for religious education.
Teaching ethics without scripture should not be feared (Brisbane Times)
Nov 7 – (Opinion: Editorial) FOR years now, many state primary schools have allowed volunteer teachers to hold non-compulsory religious education classes during school time.
$250,000 abuse claims hits Uniting Church (The West Australian)
Nov 2 - The Uniting Church faces a $250,000 compensation claim for child abuse from a former resident of a boys' home which operated north-east of Perth between 1929 and 1962.
Pope calls for purification of Church (ABC News)
Nov 5 - Pope Benedict XVI has called for "purification" and "reform" of the Catholic Church, as the wave of abuse accusations against paedophile priests continues to rock the establishment.
Belgium's embattled archbishop hit by pie (The Australian)
Nov 7 - BELGIAN media says the country's ultraconservative Roman Catholic archbishop was hit in the face by a pie during an All Saints Day service.
First openly gay Episcopal bishop to retire in 2013 (The West Australian)
Nov 7 - BOSTON (Reuters) - Gene Robinson, whose consecration as the U.S. Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop opened a deep rift in the worldwide Anglican Communion, said Saturday he planned to retire in 2013.
Church says abortion kills Down children (The Australian)
Nov 3 - MANY children with Down Syndrome are being eliminated because of abortion, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Church in Madrid said ahead of a weekend visit by Pope Benedict XVI.
Catholics open first new Cuban seminary in decades (The West Australian)
Nov 4 - PENALVER, Cuba (Reuters) - The Catholic Church opened on Wednesday its first new seminary in Cuba in half a century in the latest sign of improving church-state relations after decades of hostility on the communist-led island.
Gay 'kiss-in' for Pope (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 5 - Spanish gays and lesbians will welcome the Pope to their country at the weekend with a massive homosexual kiss-in in front of Barcelona's famous Sagrada Familia church.
Vatican warns bishops of deviant behaviour (The West Australian)
Nov 5 - The Vatican has warned bishops worldwide against "deviant" behaviour by a small traditionalist Austrian movement that promotes devotion to angel.
Pope arrives in Spain for second visit (ABC News)
Nov 6 - Pope Benedict XVI has arrived in the north-western Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela for the start of a two-day visit that will also take him to Barcelona.
Barcelona's Sagrada Familia finally becomes a church (The West Australian)
Nov 6 - BARCELONA (Reuters) - For decades tourists have visited the twisting spires of Barcelona's iconic Sagrada Familia church, but 128 years after construction began Catholic faithful will worship there for the first time on Sunday.
Pope warns of Spain's anti-priest culture (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 7 - Pope Benedict XVI has warned of a return to 1930s-style "aggressive" anti-clericism in Spain and urged Europe to embrace God as he embarked on a two-day visit.
Also: Pope, in Spain, urges Europe to keep spiritual roots (The West Australian)
Nov 7 - SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain (Reuters) - Pope Benedict, on a lightning trip to Spain, urged Europe on Saturday to re-discover God and its Christian heritage and also denounced the country's liberal abortion laws.
Outrage over fatwa against women cashiers (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 3 - Saudi women activists expressed outrage and confusion on Tuesday at a new fatwa challenging a government initiative to allow women to work as cashiers in supermarkets and department stores.
Nov 4 - IT is the grand reopening of the Savoy Hotel and the Prince of Wales and Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdul Aziz are inspecting the new rooms together.
Nov 6 - Radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza has won his appeal against British government attempts to strip him of his citizenship.
Islamophobia like 1930s anti-Semitism: Islamic forum head (The West Australian)
Nov 6 - JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AFP) - Growing Islamophobia echoes the rise of anti-Semitism in the 1930s with US leaders resisting it but Europeans abetting the trend for political gain, the head of the world's largest Islamic group said.
Nov 5 - Germany has ordained its first female rabbi since World War II.
Nov 1 - A HOSTAGE drama at a Baghdad church has turned into a bloodbath, with 37 worshippers killed and 56 others wounded as US and Iraqi forces mounted a rescue operation.
Also: Death toll rises in Iraq church hostage drama (ABC News)
Nov 1 - Seven security force members and 37 Christians were killed when US and Iraqi forces stormed a Baghdad cathedral to free dozens of hostages, an official said, as an Al Qaeda group claimed the attack.
Also: Church hostage death toll climbs past 50 (ABC News)
Nov 2 - Iraqi officials now say 52 people died when security forces stormed a church in Baghdad.
Also: Iraq probes church raid; says attackers disguised (The West Australian)
Nov 2 - BAGHDAD (Reuters) -Iraq launched an investigation on Tuesday into a church raid in which 52 hostages and police were killed, trying to find out how al Qaeda-linked gunmen managed to storm the building despite checkpoints, an official said.
Car bombings cause Baghdad carnage (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 3 - At least 57 people were killed and nearly 250 wounded in coordinated car bombings in Shiite districts across Baghdad on Tuesday, an interior ministry official said.
Also: Eleven car bombs kill 63 (The Australian)
Nov 3 - ELEVEN car bombs rocked Shiite neighbourhoods in Baghad overnight, killing at least 63 people amid growing concern that Sunni militants are taking advantage of a persistent power vacuum seven months after an inconclusive general election.
Yemen hunts bomb suspect as oil pipeline attacked (The West Australian)
Nov 3 - SANAA (Reuters) - Yemen launched an operation on Tuesday to arrest a Saudi bomb maker accused of being behind a foiled bomb plot involving U.S.-bound parcels and suspected al Qaeda fighters blew up an oil pipeline, apparently in response.
Bomb threats alarm Europe (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 4 - A WAVE of bombs has unnerved European officials already scrambling to secure the continent's air-cargo system after two explosive devices were intercepted en route from Yemen to the United States.
YouTube yanks wanted Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki's videos (The Australian)
Nov 4 - YOUTUBE has reportedly withdrawn videos featuring calls by Yemen-based radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki for a holy war.
Fear of bombings empties Baghdad streets (The West Australian)
Nov 4 - Security in the Iraqi capital was heightened and city streets almost empty on Wednesday as many Iraqis stayed home after a series of bombings sparked fears that security forces are overwhelmed by the violence.
France says Iran woman will not be hanged Wednesday (The West Australian)
Nov 4 - PARIS (Reuters) - An Iranian woman accused of adultery will not be executed on Wednesday, France's foreign minister said, citing a telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart.
Iraqi al Qaeda group predicts more bloody days (The West Australian)
Nov 5 - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Al Qaeda's Iraqi affiliate said on Friday that recent attacks in Baghdad were "the beginning of the downpour" and many more bloody days would come.
Iraqi al-Qaeda claims Baghdad bombings (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 6 - Al-Qaeda's Iraqi affiliate says it was behind car bombings against Shi'ites in Baghdad this week that killed 64 people, saying they were revenge for "insults" and threatening more attacks.
Also: Busy mosques targeted by Taliban (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 7 - PESHAWAR: At least 65 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack on a mosque in north-west Pakistan filled with worshippers, another in a series of terrorist strikes on mosques and shrines across the country.
Islamic chauvinism drives Christians out (The Australian)
Nov 6 – (Opinion: Eden Naby and Jamsheed K. Choksy) NON-MUSLIMS are seen as Western surrogates.
Gigantic statue of Christ erected in Poland (The Australian)
Nov 7 - A HUGE statue of Jesus Christ was erected Saturday in a small Polish town, marking the end of a five-year project led by the local priest that has divided opinion throughout the country.
Also: Polish Christ statue takes Rio crown (The Australian)
Nov 7 - THE Christ of Swiebodzin wears a crown of gold and as of this weekend dethroned the landmark Jesus of Rio de Janeiro as the world's tallest statue of Christ.
Crackdown on Yemen terror links after US parcel bombs (Adelaide Now)
Nov 2 - COUNTER-TERRORISM investigators are sharpening their focus on Australians with known links to Yemeni militants.
Also: Links to Yemen militant not strong: Islamic council (ABC News)
Nov 2 - A peak muslim body says there are no strong links between Islamic leaders or organisations in Australia and radicals in Yemen.
Also: The Australian connection (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 6 - Sources indicate there may be as many as 40 Australians who have travelled to Yemen and had contact with elements of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, then returned home.
Bernardi fears expansion of sharia finance (ABC News)
Nov 2 - South Australian Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi says he wants to stop the expansion of sharia-compliant loans and financial products in Australia.
Also: Islamic banking debate 'playing on emotion' (ABC News)
Nov 3 - The chairman of the Federal Government's independent adviser on tax laws, Dick Warburton, says people are over-reacting in the debate on Islamic banking.
The Muslim baby boom (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 6 – (Opinion) The wake-up story of the week? A British report showed ‘‘Mohammed’’ as the most popular name for newborn babies in England and Wales in 2009.
Brown attacks Catholic Church election stance (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 1 - THE Greens have taken on the Catholic Church, accusing the church hierarchy of trying to tell parishioners how to vote in this month's Victorian election and wanting to ''dictate'' to the terminally ill that they should suffer.
Allegations laughable: Greens candidate (The West Australian)
Nov 1 - Greens candidate and prominent barrister Brian Walters says the smear campaign against him in the lead-up to the November 27 Victorian election is laughable.
Christian lobby rails against gay advisory body (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 5 - THE Labor Party's plan to fund a gay rights advisory body is a disgraceful act and shows that the government is pandering to a small minority, says the Australian Christian Lobby.
A lesson learnt from YouTube (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Nov 1 – (Opinion: Sally Morrell) I DO feel sorry for the naive Swiss couple whose renewal of wedding vows in the Maldives has become the latest comic YouTube sensation.
Immigration Department apologises (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Nov 2 - THE Immigration Department has apologised to a Queensland Lions Club for telling them a church hall was unsuitable for citizenship ceremonies because it was used for religious activity.
Humanity fights for ownership of its soul (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 3 – (Opinion: Malcolm Turnbull) The patenting of genes is not the highest profile political issue today, but Professor Ian Frazer, the inventor of the cervical cancer vaccine, believes there is no more important public health issue before the Parliament.
Altar egos (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 6 – (Opinion: Malcolm Knox) Religion is fundamental to a child's development.
Church's almighty religious lobby lords it over State LNP (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Nov 7 - A LIBERAL National Party MP says religious ``happy clappers'' wield extraordinary power within the party and credits divine intervention with delivering a church-going friend a seat in Parliament.
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