by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
Jan 16 - 23, 2011
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Church tells women's march to find new spot (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 17 - FOR ALMOST 40 years the International Women's Day march has set off from Sydney Square, between the Town Hall and St Andrew's cathedral in the city.
A leather chair, a laptop of death, a vexed decision (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 18 - IF YOU were faced with the prospect of enduring a painful and protracted death in the grip of a terminal disease, would you want the legally sanctioned option of taking your own life?
Against all odds (The Australian)
Jan 22 – (Review) For Ali Eteraz, it was always going to be problematic writing his story about growing up a devout, almost fundamentalist, Pakistani Muslim who finds himself at odds with the bigotry that would deny him the individual morality for which he yearns.
Annesley College student numbers plummet (Adelaide Now)
Jan 18 - And the Uniting Church cannot guarantee Annesley will stay open beyond 2011.
Hefty levy hurts new private schools (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Jan 22 – (Opinion: Gemma Jones) THE cash-grabbing State Government yesterday quietly brought in an almost $1 million levy for each new independent schools in western Sydney.
Anglican bishops ordained as Catholic priests in London (The West Australian, Perth)
Jan 15 - LONDON (Reuters) - Three former Church of England bishops who are opposed to the consecration of women bishops were ordained as Roman Catholic priests on Saturday, the first traditionalist Anglicans to take up an offer by Pope Benedict.
Also: From Anglican bishops to Catholic priests (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 17 - Three former Anglican bishops have been ordained as Catholic priests, becoming the first ex-bishops to take advantage of a new Vatican system designed to make it easier for Anglicans to embrace Roman Catholicism.
Also: Married ex-Anglican bishop is ordained as Catholic priest (The Australian)
Jan 18 - A MARRIED former Anglican bishop with children and a grandchild is to sit alongside Roman Catholic bishops at their permanent assembly for England and Wales and have equal and unprecedented status with full voting rights.
Pope John Paul II's blood relic in Polish chuch (news.com.au)
Jan 18 - A VIAL containing blood drawn from Pope John Paul II shortly before he died will be installed as a relic in a Polish church soon after his beatification later this year, an official says.
Vatican names board of new financial authority (The West Australian)
Jan 19 - VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict on Tuesday named a cardinal, three academics and a finance expert to the board of the Vatican's new internal watchdog to check that its bank and all other offices comply with international law.
Vatican to Berlusconi - politicians must be moral (The West Australian)
Jan 21 - ROME (Reuters) - The Vatican on Thursday finally weighed in on the latest sex scandal shaking the government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, saying Italian politicians must show "robust morality."
Egypt Islamic authority halts dialogue with Vatican (The West Australian)
Jan 20 - CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt's highest Islamic authority, al-Azhar, said Thursday it was freezing all dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church over what it called Pope Benedict's repeated insults toward Islam.
British minister attacks 'acceptable' Islamophobia (The West Australian)
Jan 20 - LONDON (AFP) - The first Muslim woman to sit in the British cabinet warned Thursday that discrimination against Muslims in Britain has become socially acceptable and must be tackled.
Also: UK minister decries rise of Islamophobia (ABC News)
Jan 21 - A British minister has made a speech claiming that Islamophobia has become socially acceptable in modern British society.
Porn ban for phones a case of 'moral panic' (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 22 - JAKARTA: Millions of Indonesian owners of BlackBerry smartphones will have access to pornographic material severely limited after the manufacturer of the phones agreed to government demands to filter the content.
Banned Islamists favoured for Tunisia polI (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 23 - TUNISIA'S underground Islamist movement has emerged at the forefront of nationwide protests against its leadership and appears set to emerge as the strongest political force in upcoming elections.
Voice of moderation silenced (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 23 – (Obituary) SALMAN Taseer, the provincial governor of the Punjab who was an outspoken critic of religious extremism and a voice of moderation in Pakistani politics, was assassinated by his one of his bodyguards in a car park in Islamabad.
Man axes wife for 'lucky' foetus (ABC News)
Jan 18 - A Laotian man has told police he murdered his pregnant wife with an axe because he wanted the foetus to make a lucky charm which might help him win the lottery, a report said.
Attacker in ambulance kills seven in Iraq (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 20 - A suicide attacker driving an explosives-packed ambulance has crashed through the front gate of an Iraqi guard force headquarters, killing at least seven people and toppling a building, officials said.
Bomb attacks on Shi'ites, Iraqi police kill 48 (The West Australian)
Jan 20 - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - At least 48 people were killed in Iraq on Thursday in bombings targeting Shi'ite pilgrims and police, a third day of bloodshed that posed a challenge to Iraqi security forces as U.S. troops prepare to withdraw.
Bin Laden threatens France in message (The Australian)
Jan 21 - OSAMA bin Laden said the release of French hostages depends on a pullout of France's soldiers in Afghanistan and warned Paris of a "high price" for its policies, in a tape broadcast today.
VC Hero killed Taliban (The West Australian)
Jan 22 - Victoria Cross winner Ben Roberts-Smith was among a group of Australian and Afghan soldiers who became entangled in a fierce gun battle at a village in northern Kandahar last June.
'Marry a Muslim or die' threat to Harry Potter actress (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Jan 22 - THE full horror of a three-hour attack on one of the stars of the Harry Potter films was revealed in court for the first time as her brother was jailed for beating her up.
Hezbollah's homage to a deadly past, and future (The Australian)
Jan 22 - A BIZARRE Lebanese theme park mocks Israel and signals the militants' vendetta can only escalate.
'Last trumpet' sounds in south Sudan vote (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 16 - A Christian bishop blew the "last trumpet" on rule by the Muslim north on Saturday as a week-long referendum on independence for south Sudan closed and a slow count got under way.
Martin Luther King's peace legacy praised (The West Australian, Perth)
Jan 18 - Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr's legacy as a preacher of peace and tolerance was lauded on Monday as Americans marked his memorial day just over a week after the shootings in Arizona that killed six people and seriously wounded a congresswoman.
Monk caught with nun's skeleton (ABC News)
Jan 19 - A Cypriot monk caught at a Greek airport with the skeletal remains of a nun in his baggage on the weekend told authorities he was taking the relics of a saint back to his monastery.
Gay couple satisfied with UK hotel ruling (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 19 - A gay couple who were refused the use of a double room at an English hotel say they are satisfied with a judge's ruling against the Christian hotel owners.
Russian women dress like strippers: cleric (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 20 - A LEADING cleric in the Russian Orthodox Church is under fire for saying that women who wear miniskirts and get drunk should not be surprised if they are raped.
Thousands of Russians jump in ice holes for holiday (The West Australian)
Jan 20 - ZAOZYORYE, Russia (AFP) - Tens of thousands of Russians jumped into holes cut in ice on Monday night and Tuesday morning on the holiday of the Epiphany, when Russian Orthodox believers take part in a baptism ceremony.
Florida pastor Terry Jones barred from entering UK (news.com.au)
Jan 20 - CONTROVERSIAL Florida pastor Terry Jones - who caused international outrage when he threatened to burn the Koran on the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks - was barred from entering the UK today.
Jan 21 - BRITISH pop star Boy George has given back to Cyprus an 18th-Century icon after unwittingly buying the stolen artefact 26 years ago from a London dealer.
Hersh mocked for saying US military led by fundamentalist crusaders (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 22 - THE journalist Seymour Hersh has uncovered some sinister conspiracies during his long career, but his latest revelation is drawing some puzzled reactions and denunciations.
Holy service an all-consuming, golden passion (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 22 - JITENDRA Singh cooks lentils in a pot the size of a plunge pool. His soupy concoctions help feed tens of thousands of people each day at the Golden Temple, the holiest shrine of the Sikh religion.
Explore with a pilgrim's passion (Adelaide Now)
Jan 23 - PATRICK Watson discovered that some things in the Holy Land are hard to find, including the most sacred place.
Islamic head rejects claims of rising extremism (The Australian)
Jan 17 - THE nominal head of Australia's Muslim community has disputed suggestions , that religious extremism is on the rise.
A cover story that's making a splash among Muslim girls (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 18 - FIVE years ago Jennie Patterson was snorkelling in Thailand when she met a Muslim woman wearing a Burqini, a two-piece swimsuit with long sleeves, pants and a hood, which left virtually no skin exposed.
Jan 19 - A SYDNEY artist whose anti-burka mural has infuriated left-wing and Islamic activists is vowing that the provocative artwork will stay in place despite death threats, abuse, a string of vandalism attacks, a violent weekend protest and a police request to remove it.
PM go and 'let the Muslims take over' (The Australian)
Jan 20 - ISLAMIC preacher Ibrahim Siddiq-Conlon points heavenwards to emphasise his message for the governments of Australia -- there is no God but Allah and only his laws should be obeyed.
Also: Full-bred Aussie with a longing for sharia law (The Australian)
Jan 21 - IBRAHIM Siddiq-Conlon has a message for Australians, whether they want to hear it or not.
Young Jewish man called 'racist maniac' (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 18 - A man standing trial on racial hatred charges filmed a young Jewish man at a Perth supermarket protest and asked him whether his Jewish student union conducted firearms training.
Lessons in evolution (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 20 – (Opinion: Brad Newsome) Evolution is a mighty powerful thing.
Jan 21 - A GAY couple who paid an Indian surrogate mother to give birth to twin girls have won a major legal case for parenting rights.
Not so happy clappers (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Jan 22 - ANGRY residents are protesting as wealthy born-again Christian groups convert old churches into giant entertainment halls in their sleepy suburbs.
Day of prayer for the victims (Adelaide Now)
Jan 17 - CHRISTIAN leaders across Australia yesterday joined in a day of prayer for Queensland flood victims.
Pub prayers in Murphys Creek after church floods (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Jan 17 - WHEN your church is flooded, you have to seek solace elsewhere.
Theodore enjoys 'Salvos Last Supper' (ABC News)
Jan 18 - The Salvation Army will serve its last meal in Theodore tonight as the central Queensland town continues its recovery from record flooding.
Priests flying in to help flood victims (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 19 - NEW Zealand has already sent civil defence volunteers, search-and-rescue teams, and firefighters - now six Anglican priests are being dispatched to flood-ravaged Queensland.
You wouldn't credit it in a month of Sundays (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 17 - CHURCH doors were cast open on a bright Sunday morning in Carisbrook, but the high-water stains were the only thing biblical about this scene.
Arrest warrant issued for cult leader (ABC News)
Jan 21 - An arrest warrant has been issued for fugitive cult leader Rocco Leo.
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