by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
June 26 – July 3, 2011
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Accused child porn priest in court again (ABC News)
June 27 - A Catholic priest has appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court charged with producing and possessing child pornography.
Church leader jailed for setting rape victim on fire (The Age, Melbourne)
June 29 - A Melbourne youth church leader who raped a 14-year-old girl, poured petrol on her and set her alight has been jailed for 21 years.
'Gentle' Hare Krishna groped three girls (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
June 29 - A DEVOUT Hare Krishna who molested three children has no explanation for his crimes and is too ashamed to talk about them, a judge heard yesterday.
Also: Man indecently assaulted girls, court hears (news.com.au)
June 29 - A DEVOUT Hindu and Hare Krishna who indecently assaulted three girls he met through religious groups was like a frightened bird, a court has heard.
Heritage listing for iconic Cathedral (ABC News)
June 28 - The iconic Newcastle Christ Church Cathedral has been placed on the New South Wales heritage register, recognising its significance in early convict history.
The gospel according to Paul (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
June 27 - FOR AN atheist, Paul Kelly draws a lot of inspiration from the Bible.
With divine intervention (The Age, Melbourne)
July 1 - Renowned songwriter Jimmy Webb overcame his 'diseases of the spirit' to continue doing what he does best.
July 1 - Mass in some far west Catholic parishes may only be given every second Sunday, because of the shortage of priests.
Pearson in Djarragun College takeover bid (The Australian)
June 27 - ABORIGINAL leader Noel Pearson is fighting to take control of Australia's troubled showpiece indigenous college with a bold offer to the Anglican Church and the school's board.
June 29 - A TAXPAYER-funded program which allegedly puts unqualified chaplains in public schools is putting children at risk, counsellors and psychologists said today.
Also: Call to dump school chaplains. (The Australian)
June 29 - OPPOSITION to the school chaplaincy program is widening among mental health leaders.
Anger after children caned at Queensland schools (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
June 30 - A Courier-Mail investigation has found at least three schools that continue to use corporal punishment and another three that have only recently moved away from the practice. All were Christian schools.
Vatican goes online in struggle against child abuse (The West Australian)
July 2 - VATICAN CITY (AFP) - The Vatican is turning to the Internet in its struggle against child abuse with a new website allowing clergy around the world to share information on eradicating the problem.
Tweet Jesus! The Pope's now on Twitter! (news.com.au)
June 29 - POPE Benedict XVI wrote a message on Twitter yesterday praising Jesus and announcing the launch of a new Vatican website in the first "tweet" by a leader of the Roman Catholic Church.
Also: Holy tweet! (The Age, Melbourne)
June 30 - Pope Benedict, who at 84 still handwrites his speeches rather than use a computer, used an iPad to publish his first post on Twitter.
Vatican returns to profit after years in red (The Australian)
July 3 - THE Vatican has returned to profit after three years in the red, but donations from the faithful fell nearly 15 million euros ($20.4 million), or 18 per cent, amid tough economic times and a year in which the priest sex abuse scandal exploded.
Muslim woman sues Abercrombie & Fitch over hijab (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 29 - A former stockroom worker for Abercrombie & Fitch Company sued the clothing retailer in federal court Monday, saying she was illegally fired after refusing to remove her Muslim headscarf while on the job.
Israeli envoy backs off praise for Pope (news.com.au)
June 27 - ISRAEL'S ambassador to the Vatican backed away from his praise of Pope Pius XII, the World War II-era Pope blamed by some Jews and historians for having failed to speak out enough against the Holocaust.
Protesters burn church, destroy bar in Senegal (news.com.au)
June 27 - HUNDREDS of Muslim protesters descended on a Jehovah's Witness temple and a bar in a conservative Muslim neighbourhood of the Senegalese capital, setting the buildings on fire.
Beer garden bomb attack in Nigeria city of Maiduguri kills 25 people (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
June 27 - SUSPECTED Islamists hurled bombs and fired on a beer garden in the northern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, killing at least 25 people and injuring about 30.
Two girls killed in fresh Nigeria blast (The West Australian)
June 28 - Two girls were killed and three customs officers seriously wounded in a fresh blast on Monday in Nigeria's troubled northern city of Maiduguri, an army general said.
June 29 - AN attack against a top hotel in Kabul has ended with the death of six suicide bombers by security forces, an interior ministry spokesman says.
Taliban attack undermines US withdrawal (The Age, Melbourne)
June 30 - THE Taliban's brazen raid on one of Kabul's best-protected public buildings, the Intercontinental Hotel, has highlighted concerns about US plans to start pulling troops out of the country and gradually hand over security to the Afghans.
Nigerian city gripped by fear after Islamist attacks (The West Australian)
July 2 - MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AFP) - Fear pervades the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri where hundreds of troops have been deployed after a wave of bombings and shootings by the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram.
Indian guru's charity offers tax on his treasure (The West Australian)
June 28 - NEW DELHI (AFP) - Trustees of the enormous wealth left by a recently deceased Indian guru offered on Tuesday to pay tax on the vast piles of cash and gold discovered in his private chambers.
Dutch move to ban slaughter of livestock which hasn't been stunned (The Australian)
June 29 - THE Dutch parliament has passed a bill banning the slaughter of livestock without stunning it first, removing an exemption that has allowed Jews and Muslims to butcher animals according to their centuries-old dietary rules.
Bearded Mickey Mouse cartoon causes stir (The Age, Melbourne)
June 29 - An Egyptian Christian telecom mogul has angered Islamic hard-liners by posting an online cartoon of Mickey Mouse with a beard and Minnie in a face veil.
Ancient Cambodian temple restored (The West Australian)
July 1 - It has taken half a century, but archaeologists in Cambodia have finally completed the renovation of an ancient Angkor temple described as the world's largest three-dimensional puzzle.
Religious marriage for Monaco royals (The West Australian)
July 2 - Prince Albert II of Monaco and his South African bride Princess Charlene married in a religious ceremony on Saturday, solemnising their union in front of 800 royal and celebrity guests.
Interest-free loans offered to struggling Muslims (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
June 27 - A STATE Islamic organisation is offering interest-free loans to low-income Muslims who otherwise can't borrow money because of religious reasons.
Police push for changes to burqa laws (ABC News)
June 27 - Western Australian Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan says state laws covering burqas, motorcycle helmets and other face coverings need to be changed.
Sacred sites fears put brake on iron mining (ABC News)
June 27 - Concerns about the protection of sacred Aboriginal sites could sink plans to develop a massive iron ore deposit on the Northern Territory side of the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Explore choice to die through euthanasia (Adelaide Now)
June 27 - VOLUNTARY euthanasia will give people the chance to make a decision in the same way people have everyday life choices, a North Adelaide minister says.
Abortion furore rages after church sacks hospital board (Brisbane Times)
June 27 - Sacked St Andrew's Toowoomba Hospital governors are planning legal action after the Presbyterian Church of Queensland abruptly removed them from their posts amid tensions over the hospital's abortion policy and the church's influence on operations.
Off-the-wall approach to God (The Australian)
June 28 - AFTER communicating through billboards and signs on buses around Sydney, Reverend Ian Powell and Islamic activist Diaa Mohamed will now sit down together for a quiet word.
Also: Christians wage holy war over 'offensive' Muslim signs (Adelaide Now)
July 2 - CONTROVERSIAL billboards proclaiming Jesus is a prophet of Islam will be rolled out in Adelaide.
Gay marriage - the case for and against (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
June 29 – (Opinion) THE legalisation of gay marriage in New York has touched off another heated round of debate over the hot-button issue. Here are two opposing points of view.
CultBusters: Who you gonna call? (Perth Now)
June 29 – (Opinion: Editorial) IT'S all too easy in Australia ? set up a religion, get tax-free status, a bunch of followers willing to donate, and you?re set.
Freemasons saving faith by encouraging diversity (The Age, Melbourne)
June 29 - A MUSLIM, a Jew and an Orthodox Greek walk into a Masonic Lodge. Does it sound like the start of a joke? It's not - it is said to be the start of a trend.
'It's real': Priest reveals exorcism rituals (ABC News)
June 30 - Apart from heads spinning in 360-degree circles and streams of flowing green vomit, real-life exorcisms are remarkably similar to what you see in the movies, an Australian exorcist says.
Not just a collection of good books, this is the Good Book (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 1 - THE Good Book of a great playwright is touted to be among a collection of Bibles on display in Sydney to mark the 400th anniversary of a literary and religious treasure.
Father Bob is Victorian of the year (The Age, Melbourne)
July 1 - Outspoken Melbourne priest Father Bob Maguire has been named Victorian of the Year.
Also: This father is well worth a Bob or two (Adelaide Now)
July 2 - FATHER Bob Maguire has welcomed his award as Victorian of the Year with a caveat to his superiors.
Aboriginal elders put curse on Rottnest Island amid legal dispute (The Australian)
July 3 - ABORIGINAL elders have put a curse on Rottnest Island, warning it will suffer "endless misfortune."
June 27 - Agape cult leader Rocco Leo may not face justice in Australia despite his arrest in Fiji last week.
Also: Rocco Leo extradition from Fiji not guaranteed, says SA Police (Adelaide Now)
June 27 - THE fate of wanted cult leader Rocco Leo is in the hands of Fijian authorities, who'll determine if he will have to leave the country.
Also: Fugitive cult leader hires lawyer via Skype (ABC News)
June 30 - Fugitive cult leader Rocco Leo has avoided a default judgment against him in the Adelaide District Court after hiring legal representation.
Also: Cult's cashed-up man of mystery paid $900,000 for resort (Adelaide Now)
July 2 - HE'S Agape's international money man - the Italian who handed over the cash for the cult's Fiji hideaway.
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