by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
Apr 1 - 8, 2012
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Police to ask US to hand over ex-teacher (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 3 - VICTORIA Police will this month seek to extradite a former teacher at a Melbourne Jewish orthodox school from the United States over a child sex abuse scandal that was allegedly covered up by the school.
Sex victims urge clergy to read letter at Easter (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 5 - VICTIMS of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy want a call for an independent inquiry into the handling of their complaints to be read from every Catholic pulpit in Victoria over Easter.
Father Dave Smith takes a punch in the nose for God and the kids (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Apr 2 - Anglican priest Father Dave Smith hit the ring yesterday as he tried to break the world record for most continuous boxing rounds, taking on all comers - including Anthony Mundine - to raise $10,000 for a youth centre.
True Crime Scene's Case Files examines the death of vicar Harold Cecil (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Apr 2 - OVER the years there have been a number of notorious murders involving clergy men and women, as both offenders and victims.
Persian texts take the viewer beyond good and evil (The Australian)
Apr 7 - LITERARY characters, like men, Aristotle wrote in the Poetics, differ in being either good or bad; except that the term he used for virtue, arete, suggests things such as courage, justice and magnanimity, while kakia connotes cowardice, pettiness and baseness.
Cardinal Pell argues against gay marriage (The Australian)
Apr 4 - SYDNEY archbishop George Pell is pleading with the Federal Government not to allow gay marriage, saying the constructs of marriage are the glue that holds society together.
Christian schools fight to stop staff 'living in sin' (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Apr 1 - RELIGIOUS and private schools are demanding the federal government let them retain the right not to employ teachers who are living out of wedlock or who are gay.
Vatican 'hiding truth' about girl's kidnap 30 years ago (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 5 - THE Vatican has been accused of hiding the truth about one of Italy's most intractable mysteries - the disappearance of a teenage girl nearly 30 years ago.
Pope Benedict XVI slams rebel priests over celibacy, women clerics (The Australian)
Apr 5 - POPE Benedict XVI has issued a rare condemnation of disobedient priests, saying those who questioned the Catholic Church over celibacy and the ordination of women were self-serving.
Good Friday mass to be broadcast live in Cuba (news.com.au)
Apr 6 - FOR first time in more than 50 years, Cuba's state-run television will broadcast a Good Friday mass celebrated in the Havana cathedral at the request of Pope Benedict XVI, the Catholic Church said.
Apr 7 - POPE Benedict XVI yesterday encouraged people and families threatened by unemployment and other economic woes to draw courage and strength from the suffering of the crucified Jesus Christ.
Papal tidings in troubled times (The Australian)
Apr 7 - THE Pope led the world's Catholics in marking Good Friday amid a sense of growing concern over rebellion against the church's dogmas and the fate of Christians in the Middle East.
Religious candidate worries Egyptians (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 2 - THE Muslim Brotherhood has chosen a religiously conservative businessman as its presidential candidate, a provocative move expected to upset liberals and deepen the ruling military's suspicion over the growing political power of Islamists in Egypt.
Also: Anti-US cleric's mother became American (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 6 - An ultra-conservative Islamist whose denunciations of US power have helped propel him to the front of Egypt's presidential race appears to have been tripped up by his own American connections.
Not all winners are grinners as Cairo's new battle begins (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 7 – (Opinion: Frida Ghitis) Apr 8 - [T]he battles continue, and events in Cairo are bringing serious reasons for concern to advocates of democratic liberalism and equality.
Kidnap plot busted by terror raid (news.com.au)
Apr 1 - SOME of the 17 people detained by police in a crackdown on Islamist networks may have been plotting a kidnap.
Muslim insurgents widen bombings to civilian targets (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 2 - BANGKOK: Muslim insurgents have widened their bloody attacks in Thailand's south to target busy commercial and tourist areas.
Al-Qaeda websites bought down in cyber attack - analyst (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Apr 4 - AL-QAEDA'S main internet sites have gone silent for more than a week in an unprecedented blackout that is most likely the result of a cyber attack, analysts said.
Also: Al-Qaeda websites down (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 4 - WASHINGTON. Al-Qaeda's main internet forums have been offline for the past 12 days in the longest sustained outages of the sites since they began operating.
Rebels threaten Timbuktu's ancient treasures (ABC News)
Apr 4 - The head of an African research institute says the seizure of Timbuktu by rebel groups has raised fears for the fate of the legendary city's ancient manuscripts and architectural treasures.
Five face trial over September 11 claims (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 6 - THE Pentagon has cleared the way for a death penalty trial against five Guantanamo Bay inmates charged with engineering the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
Sarkozy turning terror into votes, say rivals (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 6 - TEN Islamist terrorist suspects have been seized in France in the latest in a wave of arrests, as President Nicolas Sarkozy's rivals stepped up criticism that the raids were stage-managed electioneering.
Pilgrims rent a cross to walk in Christ's footsteps (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 6 - It is just a gentle slope upwards along the Via Dolorosa but the distance can be taxing when you are a tiny pilgrim carrying a large wooden cross along the ancient, slippery cobblestones of Jerusalem's Old City.
Churchmen cross faith lines to chastise banks (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 7 - THE Reverend Robert Rien of St Ignatius of Antioch Catholic church… is angry at America's major banks, so angry he has pulled all his parish's money out of the Bank of America and opened accounts at a small local bank.
Philippines stages bloody crucifixions for Easter (news.com.au)
Apr 6 - ROMAN Catholic fanatics in the Philippines have been voluntarily nailed to the cross in a bloody display of religious frenzy as the Christian world marks the day Jesus was crucified.
Also: Filipino fanatics re-enact crucifixion for Good Friday (ABC News)
Apr 7 - In a bloody display of religious devotion Roman Catholic fanatics in the Philippines have had themselves nailed to the cross as the Christian world marks the day Jesus was crucified.
Apr 6 - A DAY after pulling "God Bless the USA" from the schedule of an elementary school concert over a furor caused by a plan to have students instead sing "We Love the USA," bosses of the Massachusetts school reinstated Lee Greenwood's song Thursday, saying kids could decide for themselves whether to sing the religious chorus.
Chavez weeps as health fears grow for cancer-stricken president (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Apr 7 - CONCERN about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's health grew Friday amid reports the cancer-stricken leader will seek emergency medical care in Brazil, a day after the president broke down during a religious service and begged Jesus Christ to grant him life.
Gay Mormon students at BYU come out in web video (news.com.au)
Apr 8 - STUDENTS from a strict Mormon college that prohibits "homosexual behavior" have launched a Web video aimed at reassuring other gay and lesbian youth struggling with their faith and sexual orientation.
City of the dead ripe for renewal as Muslims feel squeeze on plots (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 2 - SYDNEY'S acute shortage of burial space is set to hit the Muslim community hardest, with Islamic plots at Australia's largest cemetery expected to run out - again - within a year.
Time for resurrection of language of values (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 6 - AT 9.05am a group of MPs from across politics meets around a large table in an upper house dining room of the NSW Parliament.
MPs moved by heaven and earth (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 6 - From parliament to prayer, faith transcends ideology…
Over the cliff, comrades (The Australian)
Apr 7 – (Opinion: Phillip Adams) AS we watch the rush of the rabid-right Republicans towards the cliffs of the next US Presidential election - with the Obama administration praying for a Santorum victory - we can also look with fascinated horror at our local lemmings, otherwise known as the ALP.
Mar 31 – (Sport) AT six o'clock last night, the best basketball player in Australia was thinking about God.
Church leaders back calls for same-sex marriage bills (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 2 - TWENTY faith leaders have signed a letter urging people to declare their support for same sex marriage to two federal parliamentary inquiries on the issue.
Also: Clerics support gays in letter (Brisbane Times)
Apr 2 - Signatories of the pro-gay marriage letter, organised by gay marriage campaigners Australian Marriage Equality, include Victorian Uniting Church Minister Eileen Ray and Baptist Minister Rowland Croucher.
Also: Clerics support gays in letter (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 2 - TWENTY faith leaders have signed a letter urging people to declare their support for same-sex marriage to two federal parliamentary inquiries on the issue.
Church has key role in preventing suicide (Adelaide Now)
Apr 2 - CHURCHES have an important role to play in assisting those affected by suicide and depression, Australian religious leaders say.
Doctors warn that 'demon' exorcisms reinforce delusions (Adelaide Now)
Apr 4 - THE AMA has warned about the alarming rise in the number of exorcism attempts in Australia - some on children as young as two.
Also: Warning on child 'demons' (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Apr 5 - EXORCISTS who claim depression and schizophrenia are demons that can be cast out are treating children as young as two for possession, prompting medical warnings.
No argument against God, just another view about origins of the cosmos (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 6 - LAWRENCE KRAUSS is not coming to Australia to argue that God does not exist.
Celebrate the start of the world we know (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Apr 6 – (Opinion: Ms Isabel Thomas Dobson) I WATCHED a class of young primary school kids walk hand in hand, two by two, into a church.
Apr 7 - A study has found many homosexuals in Australia's Arabic community have been the victims of homophobic violence and have suffered verbal abuse or pressure to act straight.
'Healing' the gay worshipper (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 8 - On the advice of his Anglican minister, and at the urging of his family, Shaun* enrolled on a course to ''cure'' himself of being gay.
Also: Ministries preying on gay shame (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 8 - DRIVING home from a date with another man, David Lograsso was tormented by a recurring thought: ''I'll be going to hell for this.''
Cheers to footy - and to a drink (Adelaide Now)
Apr 5 - THE prayers of Catholics hoping to enjoy a guilt-free beer at today's historic SANFL clash between South Adelaide and Sturt have been answered.
Easter is all about the cross (Adelaide Now)
Apr 5 - ADELAIDE'S church leaders deliver their messages about freedom and reflection for the weekend.
Politicians told to think about others at Easter. (Adelaide Now)
Apr 5 - THE head of the Adelaide Anglican Church has questioned the behaviour of the country's political leaders, urging them to change their bickering ways.
Religious leaders call for Easter reflection (ABC News)
Apr 6 - Sydney leaders of both the Catholic and Anglican churches say Easter is about having faith in eternal life.
From a wasteland to anything goes (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 6 – (Opinion: Damien Murphy) When did Good Friday lose its potency? Probably some time in the late 1960s, courtesy of the closing of the great sectarian divide that split the churches in Australia.
Messages of hope, reminders of faith, prayers for pollies (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 6 - [I]n the most direct of this year's Easter messages, the NSW Moderator of the Uniting Church saw glimpses of the crucifixion in the skulduggery of federal politics.
Our Christian cultural bedrock (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 6 – (Opinion: Peter Craven) [R]eligion is now thought of by a growing number of people as an abomination. The very thought of Easter is an offence to their fundamentalist atheism.
How belief and passion keep the Easter story alive (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 6 – (Opinion: Editorial) GOOD Friday, the holiest day in the Christian calendar, commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus at Calvary. Today, rightly, is a day of solemnity rather than celebration, and one whose significance has only intensified across almost two millennia.
Easter a double dip of delight, dissent (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 7 - FOR writer Kathy Kizilos, growing up Greek Orthodox in Australia made Easter rather exciting.
Father Bob warns against easy Easter targets (ABC News)
Apr 7 - Prominent Catholic Priest Father Bob Maguire says the Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne has picked easy targets in his Easter message.
Aussies are OK with Jesus (Perth Now)
Apr 7 - MOST Australians believe in the Easter miracle despite waning interest in organised religion, research reveals.
Easter's message of hope at a time of reflection (The Australian)
Apr 7 – (Opinion: Editorial) THE mysterious life, violent death and reported resurrection of a man who lived in the Middle East 2000 years ago is on the minds of many Australians this weekend, not only at church services but at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, where thousands of people have used the extended Easter opening hours to marvel at the Renaissance masterpieces of Raphael, Botticelli, Bellini and Titian.
Why is Jesus missing from Easter TV? (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Apr 7 – (Opinion: Patrick Carlyon) CHRISTMAS gets cancelled every year, somewhere or other, usually by the sort of local council that also plans to bring democracy to North Korea and solve that climate change bizzo.
A time to count blessings (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Apr 7 – (Opinion: Editorial) EASTER, regardless of your religious faith, is a time to give thanks and to count our not inconsiderable blessings.
Easter Sunday messages (ABC News)
Apr 8 - Tasmania's religious leaders are urging people to reflect on the important things in life this Easter.
Looking beyond ourselves to remain true to one's self (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 8 – (Opinion: Brian Rosner) THERE is one piece of advice that you hear everywhere today in all sorts of contexts.
Final sermon after 78 years of service (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 3 - AFTER 78 years of ministry, the Reverend Geoffrey Blackburn, 97, yesterday delivered his last sermon at Melbourne's Scots' Church.
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