by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
Jan 29 – Feb 5, 2012
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
ACMA to investigate ABC for Clarke and Dawe sketch (The West Australian)
Jan 31 - AUSTRALIA'S broadcasting watchdog is investigating the ABC for allegedly vilifying Christians in a satirical sketch.
Leonard Cohen's new album a return to form (news.com.au)
Feb 1 – (Review) THROUGHOUT his 45-year career, Leonard Cohen has walked a fine line between love, sex, and religion, often embodying the trinity in the same song.
On last wings and a prayer as Father Bob bows out (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 30 - RIGHT to the end of his 38-year tenure as South Melbourne parish priest, Father Bob Maguire was mischievous, teasing the hierarchy and delighting the packed congregation.
Father Bob: tradition v modern life (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 30 – (Opinion: Dick Gross) The death throes of the latest Australian Catholic cause célèbre are being played out over the next few days.
Pope 'wrong' in sacking Queensland bishop (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 2 - THE Pope acted against natural justice and the Catholic Church's own canon law when he sacked Bill Morris as Bishop of Toowoomba last May, two expert independent reports have found.
Also: Inquisition's heavy hand remains ready to strike (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 2 – (Opinion: Barney Zwartz) THE treatment of former Toowoomba Catholic bishop Bill Morris, sacked last May by the Pope, shows that the Inquisition is alive and well in the Catholic Church - only the rack is missing.
End the 'us v them' on Catholic education (The Australian)
Jan 31 – (Opinion: Therese Temby) TODAY, the report on government services will be published, outlining the Productivity Commission's review of government spending on schools in Australia.
Safety at all costs (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 31 - Australia's Jewish community is spending tens of millions of dollars a year on security. Is this an overreaction to potential danger or a necessary insurance policy?
Gonski review: Schools funding stoush looms (The Australian)
Feb 3 - A NASTY stoush over school funding looms with the imminent release of the Gonski review and the Federal Government's response.
Parents lobby Victorian Government to ban Bible in classrooms (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Feb 4 - PARENTS are stepping up pressure on the Education Department to end religious education in state schools amid claims it is making children isolated and fearful.
Independent schools won't release audits. (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Feb 4 - CATHOLIC and independent school parents won't be seeing their statewide school renewal or review results any time soon with education authorities saying the move would be inappropriate.
Priests rebel over gay marriage (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Feb 2 - THE Church of England faced a rebellion yesterday from clergy over a ban on gay civil ceremonies on its premises.
China media blasts West, Dalai Lama after Tibetan unrest (news.com.au)
Jan 30 - CHINESE state media today accused Western governments of distorting the truth about deadly clashes in Tibetan-inhabited regions, and said the Dalai Lama was "abusing his religious reputation".
China gets restive taste of post-Dalai Lama era (The West Australian)
Feb 3 – (Opinion: Michael Martina and Brian Rhoads) BEIJING (Reuters) - China over the years has derided the Dalai Lama as a jackal in Buddhist robes, choreographer of a separatist Peking opera and, lately, instigator of a plot that led some Tibetans to set themselves on fire and other forms of protest.
Church asks Pacquiao to be 'bible ambassador' (The West Australian)
Jan 31 - MANILA (AFP) - The influential Catholic church in the Philippines said Monday it had asked boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao to follow in the footsteps of NFL hero Tim Tebow and become a "bible ambassador".
Indonesian Christians protest over intimidation (The West Australian)
Jan 30 - JAKARTA (AFP) - Indonesian Christians held a prayer vigil in Jakarta on Sunday urging President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to re-open their church and stop intimidation by Muslim hardliners.
Egypt court convicts Arab actor Adel Imam for defaming Islam (The Australian)
Feb 3 - THE Arab world's most famous actor, Adel Imam, has been sentenced to three months in jail for "defaming Islam" in several roles on stage and screen.
Islamist-led opposition takes parliament in Kuwait vote (The West Australian)
Feb 3 - KUWAIT (Reuters) - Kuwait's Islamist-led opposition took control of the Gulf state's parliament, making sweeping gains in a snap election on the back of a wave of public anger over corruption and political deadlock, results showed on Friday.
Libyan Sufis mark Prophet's birthday despite tension (The West Australian)
Feb 5 - TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libyan Sufis staged a joyous parade through the heart of Tripoli on Saturday to mark the Prophet Mohammad's birthday, defying radical Salafi Muslims pressuring them to scrap the centuries-old tradition.
US contraceptive law stirs church to act (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Jan 31 - THE US Supreme Court and the Obama administration may be on a collision course over a law that will require church-run schools, hospitals and charities to provide free contraceptives to employees.
Barack Obama shows faith to defy anti-religion gibes (The Australian)
Feb 4 - BARACK Obama has countered claims by political opponents that he is waging a "war on religion" by asserting the strength of his Christian faith and how it influences his behaviour in the White House.
Nigerian Christians on violence alert (The Australian)
Jan 30 - CHRISTIANS in Nigeria's city of Kano were searched outside church by troops on alert after Islamists who recently killed 185 in the city vowed their violent campaign would go on.
Taliban, US meet for Qatar talks (news.com.au)
Jan 30 - THE Taliban have begun preliminary talks with US officials in Qatar on plans for peace negotiations, a former Taliban official has said.
Four men admit London bomb plot (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 1 - Four British men have pleaded guilty to involvement in an al-Qaeda-inspired plot to bomb the London Stock Exchange.
Feb 1 - NINE men pleaded guilty today to involvement in a terror plot aimed at high-profile targets in the UK's capital, including the US embassy, Sky News reported.
Nigeria Boko Haram spokesman arrested, victims buried (The West Australian)
Feb 2 - ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria's secret service arrested the purported spokesman for Islamist militant sect Boko Haram on Wednesday, a group that has claimed responsibility for a string of deadly bombings and gun attacks, a secret service source told Reuters.
Iraq court agrees execution of Baghdad church attackers (The West Australian)
Feb 2 - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's highest court ratified death sentences on Thursday for three men convicted of a 2010 attack on a Syrian Catholic cathedral in Baghdad, the bloodiest attack on Iraqi Christians after the 2003 invasion.
Khamenei vows to fight 'cancerous tumour' Israel (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 5 - LONDON: Iran's supreme leader has pledged to confront and defeat the ''cancerous tumour'' of Israel as international concern grows of a pre-emptive Israeli strike on the Islamic regime's nuclear installations as early as April.
Pastor arrested for leaving kids home alone (The Australian)
Jan 31 - AN associate church pastor and his wife have been arrested and had their three young children taken from them after leaving them home alone while they went to their church to pray.
Clerk charged with swiping $1m from church (The West Australian)
Jan 31 - An Archdiocese of New York clerk has been arrested on charges of manipulating the church's accounts payable system to steal more than $US1 million ($A940,000) in education money.
The cross-religious romance that turned sour (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 1 - A French Jewish mother has won a custody battle in France against a Saudi prince, who has been ordered to return their 10-year old daughter he was alleged to have kidnapped after their cross-religious romance turned sour.
Christ the Redeemer replica for Olympics causes controversy (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 1 - It is a symbol of peace around the world, but the statue of Christ the Redeemer which stands high above Rio de Janeiro is causing an unholy rumpus in one of London's most fashionable neighbourhoods ahead of this summer's Olympics.
French court upholds Scientology fraud conviction (The West Australian)
Feb 2 - PARIS (AFP) - A Paris appeal court on Thursday upheld a fraud conviction and a fine of hundreds of thousands of euros against the Church of Scientology for fleecing vulnerable followers.
Also: France labels Scientology a fraud (The West Australian)
Feb 4 - A French court has slapped a fraud sentence on the Church of Scientology, saying it targets vulnerable people for commercial gain.
Atheist temple an aberration, not divine inspiration (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 4 – (Opinion: John Gray) A lain de Botton has reinvigorated the conversation on religion.
Life sentence for 'death factory' executioner (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 4 - KHMER Rouge executioner Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, raised his hands to his face in a Buddhist sign of goodwill yesterday as judges overturned an earlier verdict and sentenced him to life imprisonment, the maximum sentence available under Cambodian law.
Ailing West aids its Islamist enemies (The Australian)
Jan 31 – (Opinion: Melanie Phillips) WAS there ever a more perverse and self-destructive society than the contemporary West?
What a whopper: spat rages over halal burger claims (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 2 - Hungry Jack's is being targeted by angry customers who allege the fast-food company pressured a Melbourne franchisee to stop serving halal food.
Homegrown jihad (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 4 - The campsite on the 50,000-hectare cattle station in the red dirt country at Louth was booked by phone in the name of Adam George.
NSW judges mark the opening of the 2012 law term at St Mary's Red Mass (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Jan 30 - MANY of the state's judges painted St Mary's Cathedral red this morning as the annual Red Mass marked the opening of this year's law term.
Tip-off leads to trio of young Thai women who were 'held as sex slaves' (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 3 - A TIP-OFF to the Salvation Army uncovered their ''abhorrent situation''.
Debate rages after call for smacking children to be made illegal (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Feb 3 - [A] debate was sparked by this morning's Herald Sun report of comments by Dr Gervase Chaney, the head of Australia's peak paediatric body, who called for mums and dads to be banned from disciplining their children with physical force.
Costello gutted over Vic pokies backflip (The West Australian)
Feb 5 - Long-time anti-gambling campaigner the Rev Tim Costello has savaged the Victorian government's broken election promise on voluntary pokies pre-commitment, saying he has given up on state governments.
Feb 3 - The Newcastle Baptist Tabernacle is hoping there will be minimal disruption to services this Sunday, while work continues on the removal of the Laman street figs.
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