by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
Dec 4 - 11, 2011
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Rally presses case for inquiry on priests' abuse (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 5 - PRESSURE is mounting on the Baillieu government to launch an inquiry into child sex abuse by Victorian Catholic priests after a demonstration on the steps of Parliament yesterday.
Catholic church failed to tell police of sex abuse (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 6 - A CATHOLIC brother has escaped justice for more than three decades over his alleged serial abuse of Victorian children and teenagers in the 1970s and '80s, due partly to the failure of the church to notify police of complaints about his conduct.
Dec 6 - A woman who grew up in Wagga Wagga is the Anglican Church's first female bishop in New South Wales.
Riding high in the saddle (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Dec 11 - DINNERTIME brings a little ritual in the Zelie Bullen household. She calls it grace.
Father began mutual help for mentally ill (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 8 – (Obituary) Con Keogh, ordained a priest in Rome in March, 1945, just after the city's liberation, became a doctor of divinity and theology
Hepworth should quit now, bishops say (ABC News)
Dec 9 - Adelaide Archbishop John Hepworth is under pressure to stand down immediately from his post as head of the breakaway Traditional Anglican Communion.
Church should supply contraceptive pill for nuns' health, experts say (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 9 - THE Catholic Church should supply nuns with the oral contraceptive pill to reduce their higher risk of ovarian and uterine cancer, Australian researchers say.
Church needs to move with the masses (Adelaide Now)
Dec 10 - MORE Sunday evening masses will attract young people and families back to the church, Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson believes.
Nuns join campaign against CSG mine (ABC News)
Dec 11 - A group of reclusive nuns in New South Wales has unexpectedly joined activists protesting against the coal seam gas industry.
Christian group ready for bigger chaplaincy role (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 6 - ACCESS MINISTRIES, a Victorian provider of chaplains and religious instructors, which has been accused of proselytising, plans to provide Christian workers to schools across the nation from next year under an enlarged chaplaincy program.
Parents, neighbours wage war against Wesley (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 7 - ONE of Melbourne's most prestigious schools is under attack from parents, a neighbouring school and local residents, who claim the school has ''lost its moral compass'' over its push to buy and develop property.
Brisbane private schools charge up to $15,000 just for Prep year (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Dec 9 - The Anglican Church Grammar School - known as Churchie - is among the latest to release its 2012 school fees, with an annual tuition charge of $14,736 for Prep, which is called Reception at their school.
Muslim school hits a traffic snag in Mernda (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Dec 8 - MORE than 400 people have objected to plans for a Muslim school on the city's northern fringe.
Holy row sparks review (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Dec 11 - A MOTHER who took Education Queensland to task over Bibles being handed out at a school assembly has influenced a review of the state's religious instruction policy.
Change unfair school funding, says Garrett (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 11 - AUSTRALIA needs a ''game changing approach'' to the way schools are funded because the current system is ''letting down some of our kids'', particularly in public schools, Education Minister Peter Garrett says.
Dec 7 - THE Archbishop of Canterbury has effectively accused the Occupy London protesters camped outside St Paul's Cathedral of grandstanding, and suggested that Jesus would not be on their side.
Query on role of the Queen (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 8 - THE Queen's role as head of the Church of England may no longer be ''appropriate'' following changes to the law of succession, a group of British MPs has suggested.
Rise of Islamic hardliners raises prospect of strict sharia in Egypt (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 5 - To Sheik Abdel Moneim el-Shahat, the Muslim Brotherhood's call to apply only the broad principles of Islamic law allows too much freedom.
Also: Islamists on the rise in egypt (The Australian)
Dec 6 – (Opinion: Editorial) DEMOCRACY, despite its unquestionable virtue, sometimes throws up the most awkward challenges, and nowhere is that better illustrated than in the triumph of Islamist candidates in the first phase of Egypt's elections.
Also: Egypt's Islamists hit out on constitution (news.com.au)
Dec 9 - EGYPT'S biggest political group the Muslim Brotherhood has clashed with the country's army leaders, accusing them of trying to "marginalise" parliament over the writing of a new constitution.
Naked actress Veena Malik backpedals over spy cover (The Australian)
Dec 6 - A PAKISTANI actress who posed in the nude for an Indian magazine with the initials of Pakistan's feared and powerful intelligence agency on her arm has triggered fury across this conservative nation.
Israeli promotion offends US Jews (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 5 - THE Israeli government has been forced to abandon an advertising campaign in the United States after a serious backlash from the American-Jewish community.
Also: Israel forced to remove 'insulting' ads in US (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 6 - JERUSALEM: After a wave of complaints, Israel's government has cancelled a public relations campaign aimed at encouraging Israelis living in the United States to return home.
By the right! Perry parades his tough anti-gay stance (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 10 - Rick Perry has made a last-ditch attempt to woo the Christian right and save his campaign for the presidency by attacking boosts to gay rights under President Barack Obama as a ''war'' on ordinary Americans.
Iraq bomb attacks kill Shiite pilgrims. (news.com.au)
Dec 6 - BOMB attacks against Shiite pilgrims in Iraq have killed at least 28 people and wounded dozens more, as Shiite Ashura religion commemorations near their peak.
Scores killed in Afghan holy day bombings (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 7 - AFGHANISTAN'S Shiite Muslim minority has been targeted in rare sectarian attacks that killed at least 58 people yesterday.
Also: Holy day shattered by bombs (news.com.au)
Dec 7 - TWIN blasts at Afghan shrines on the Shiite holy day of Ashura left at least 59 people dead yesterday.
Also: Millions show faith despite attack (news.com.au)
Dec 7 - BOMB attacks have killed 28 people in Iraq as millions gathered for Ashura on Shiite Islam's most important day.
Also: Karzai returns to Afghanistan as suicide bomb blast toll climbs to 59 (The Australian)
Dec 7 - AFGHAN President Hamid Karzai has cancelled a visit to Britain to fly home after at least 59 people were killed in twin attacks on Shia shrines, the country's embassy said Tuesday.
Also: Kabul blast raises fears of sect war (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 8 - AN OBSCURE Pakistani extremist cell has claimed responsibility for the unprecedented bombing of a Shiite religious ceremony in Kabul, but there are growing fears across Afghanistan the attack could open a new, sectarian front in the country's long-running war.
Also: Afghan President Hamid Karzai blames Pakistan for Kabul attack (The Australian)
Dec 8 - AFGHAN President Hamid Karzai has blamed Pakistani extremists for an unprecedented attack on Shiite Muslims in Kabul that killed 55 people, demanding justice from the government in Islamabad.
Also: Sectarian violence adds to woes (The Australian)
Dec 9 – (Opinion: Editorial) ON top of everything else confronting it, the last thing Afghanistan needed was an outbreak of Sunni-Shia sectarian violence of the type that bedevilled Iraq for so long, causing massive bloodshed orchestrated and exploited by al-Qa'ida.
Dec 5 - A CALIFORNIA church used a baby monitor to help nab suspected thieves who had stolen copper pipes two nights in row.
Dec 5 - The Orthodox Christians of Ethiopia claim to have held the Ark - which holds the Ten Commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai - in the Chapel of the Tablet since the 1960s.
Bishop steps down to save marriage after sex claims (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 6 - AT THE height of his power, Bishop Eddie L. Long would pack tens of thousands of people into his mega-church in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia.
Johnny Depp Xmas song labelled 'filth' (Perth Now)
Dec 6 - JOHNNY Depp has come under fire from religious activists for a new Christmas-themed track they've branded 'filth'.
High price of doing the right thing (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Dec 10 - WHEN the Reverend Seth Kaper-Dale took over the running of the Reformed Church of Highland Park, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, he didn’t realise that most of his Indonesian Christian congregation was living illegally in the United States.
Australian faces 500 lashes for blasphemy (ABC News)
Dec 7 - The family of an Australian man sentenced to a year in jail and 500 lashes in Saudi Arabia says he will not survive the punishment.
Also: Family presses to have father spared Saudi lash (ABC News)
Dec 8 - The family and friends of a Victorian man sentenced to 500 lashes in Saudi Arabia have made a staunch push for the father of five to be spared his punishment.
Also: Religious pilgrimage turns into nightmare (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 8 - During the seven hard years that Wafaa Almaribe struggled to survive with her children in Iran and Iraq, her husband kept them alive by sending money from Australia - and poems.
Also: Australian Mansor Almaribe faces 500 lashes for blasphemy (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Dec 8 - THE family of a Victorian man sentenced to 500 lashes in Saudi Arabia has made an emotional plea to bring him home, fearing he will die in jail.
Muslims more devout (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 7 – (Opinion: Barney Zwartz) Muslims are more religious than people of other faiths, according to an international survey.
Gillard's two-card Christmas trick (Adelaide Now)
Dec 8 - JULIA Gillard has two different sets of Christmas cards this year.
Sacred song-cycle site disturbed by gas hub plans (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 5 - A PROPOSED $30 billion gas hub at James Price Point on Western Australia's Kimberley coast would disturb sites used for secret Aboriginal men's business, lawyers say.
Schoolies team to help at New Year (Adelaide Now)
Dec 5 - POLICE were so impressed with the volunteers who ran Schoolies that they have asked for their help at New Year's Eve.
Legends answer parents prayers (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Dec 5 – (Opinion: Andrew Bolt) MY SON is back from schoolies, and his war stories have turned my hair one shade greyer.
Religious beliefs block baby's autopsy (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Dec 7 - An Aboriginal man in the Northern Territory has won a court battle to stop an autopsy of his dead son, arguing the procedure would hurt his child's spirit.
Extremists the enemies of God (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Dec 8 – (Opinion: Bryan Patterson) LATELY in Jerusalem, religious extremists have been gathering outside a girls' school to scream "prostitute" and "whore" at schoolgirls aged just six to 12 because they disapprove of the school uniform - skirts below the knees and long-sleeved shirts.
I do, I do … but unfortunately some marriage celebrants don't (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 10 - MARRIAGE, that staple institution that generates joy and lament in almost equal sums, is not safe even from those charged with extolling and facilitating it.
Afterlife: A cemetery tour to die for (Adelaide Now)
Dec 10 – (Opinion: Stephen Orr) Death is a dirty word. The moment of passing waits for us, but we spend our days avoiding the thought. Our culture doesn’t do death well.
Pokie clubs play an ace in battle to prevent changes (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 7 - THE gambling lobby is claiming a coup in its battle against the Gillard government's proposed poker machine reforms by enlisting the support of the renowned western Sydney youth worker Father Chris Riley.
Also: Tangled web of gaming deals (The Australian)
Dec 10 - CHRIS Riley may be only the NSW candidate for the nation's top award on Australia Day, but he's already got both hands on the Club Man of the Year prize for services to the pokies' industry.
Labor faces pulpit-led backlash on gay marriage (The Australian)
Dec 5 - LABOR'S approval of gay marriage has sparked a pulpit-led revolt and accusations that Julia Gillard has breached an election promise to protect the Marriage Act.
Welcome, gays, to ... what? (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Dec 5 – (Opinion: Wendy Tuohy) EVERY so often you get to witness the laws in the culture you live take a creaky step - tortoise-like - towards catching up with the hare that is our fast-evolving collective values: In this case, the move towards recognising gay marriage.
Gay marriage push is a slippery slope (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Dec 5 – (Opinion: Andrew Bolt) IT was meant to stop us worrying, but one bit of Labor's new policy for same-sex marriage is a warning.
Pastor supporter of gay marriage out in the cold (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 6 - MATT Glover, the Lilydale Baptist pastor who supports gay marriage, has been sacked at a secret church meeting to which he was not invited.
Church revolt at same-sex policy (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 6 - LABOR'S official support for gay marriage will cost it the next election, predicts the Australian Christian Lobby, which vowed yesterday to work hard to make sure it happens.
Redefinition will damage marriage (The Australian)
Dec 6 – (Opinion: Dovid Freilich) THE Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia opposes any legislation to legitimise same-sex marriage.
Labor has to choose between believers and true believers (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 7 – (Opinion: Peter Costello) In 2004, Parliament legislated a formal definition of marriage as ''the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life'' with the bipartisan support of the Coalition and the Labor Party.
Marriage remains sacred even if gays are allowed in (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 7 – (Opinion: Joseph Wakim) The empowerment of ''people of the rainbow'' need not represent Armageddon for ''people of the book''.
Gay vows not so queer (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 8 – (Opinion: Paul Monk) Religion's baulking at homosexual marriage is utterly sanctimonious.
Gay marriage blast (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 10 - Liberal senator Cory Bernardi has said he would no more want to change the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman than ''redefine a cat as a dog''.
Great hearts found in glorious diversity (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Dec 11 – (Opinion: Sally Bennett) TWO of the great role models of my teen years were an eccentric, middle-aged couple who lived in the small Queensland town of my upbringing.
Goodwill nabs fugitive Hunter (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Dec 1 - Hunter, 42, a convicted killer and jail escapee, fled north and joined a religious cult on a farm commune on the banks of the remote Walsh River near the Atherton Tableland in north Queensland.
Donvale development squabble now an unholy row (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 1 - MELBOURNE'S Coptic Orthodox Church has been accused of trying to dodge proper planning process in its bid to build a sprawling sports and accommodation complex on the edge of one of Melbourne's green wedges.
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