by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Selection
July 8 - 15, 2012
A selection of religion news stories from Australia.
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Inclusion here does not endorse the veracity or quality of any particular item – it just means
I found it worth reading and reflecting on (even if badly conceived or poorly written).
If you’re after the unexpurgated (and reasonably unbiased) version,
see Religion News Australia which appears weekly on our website.
God only knows how the church can hide (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 8 – (Opinion: Peter FitzSimons) Suppose, just suppose, that it had emerged this week that back in 1992 a major Australian institution such as, say, Qantas, BHP, the ACTU or, indeed, Fairfax, had an employee make an admission that he had committed paedophile acts on 10-year-old boys; and that instead of calling the police, the institution had kept him in their employ for another 13 years, even as two of those boys went on to take their own lives.
We don't want your prayers, victims tell church (Brisbane Times)
July 9 - Abuse victims have derided prayers for them offered at a Mass in Sydney's Catholic cathedral yesterday as hypocritical and an empty gesture designed to keep donations coming.
Sex abuse claims badly handled: Abbott (The West Australian)
July 12 - Allegations of past sexual abuse by members of the Catholic Church have been appallingly handled, opposition leader Tony Abbott says.
Victims are denied their chance of vindication (The Age, Melbourne)
July 13 – (Opinion: Barney Zwartz) WHEN the parliamentary inquiry was announced in April, one victim mused that its terms could have been written by the Catholic Church itself, as it sought to avoid serious scrutiny.
Also: Abuse victims deserve better (The Age, Melbourne)
July 14 – (Opinion: Editorial) IN April, when the Baillieu government announced that a parliamentary committee would inquire into the abuse of children within non-government organisations, including the Catholic Church, this newspaper doubted that the inquiry would be up to the task.
Church of England delays vote on female bishops (news.com.au)
July 9 - The Church of England has postponed a final decision on whether to ordain women as bishops, an issue that has caused years of wrangling.
Faith in contraception puts Gates on collision course with the Vatican (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 13 - LONDON: The billionaire Catholic Melinda Gates has thrown down the gauntlet to the Vatican with a vow to dedicate the remainder of her life to improving access to contraception across the globe.
Secular alliance sweeps Libya vote (The Age, Melbourne)
July 14 - LIBYA'S National Forces Alliance is poised for a landslide victory after results announced yesterday by the country's election commission.
European rabbis protest circumcision ban in Berlin (The West Australian)
July 10 - BERLIN (AFP) - Some 40 European Orthodox rabbis met in Berlin on Tuesday to protest a ban on circumcision, with the group's president calling it "one of the gravest attacks on Jewish life" since the Holocaust.
Women's rights become a fight to the death in Pakistan (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 15 - FARIDA Afridi, a 25-year-old women's rights activist, left her parents' home early in the morning of July 4, as she typically did.
Cruise out of control? (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 8 – (Opinion: Damian Thompson) Is the Hollywood legend now a liability for the Church of Scientology?
Also: Holmes goes back to church (The West Australian)
July 12 - Katie Holmes has registered with a Catholic church in New York.
Church to review NZ cathedral report (The Australian)
July 12 - THE Anglican Church in New Zealand will review a new proposal to save the ChristChurch Cathedral.
Cannibal cult arrests in Papua New Guinea (The West Australian)
July 13 - SYDNEY (AFP) - Papua New Guinea police have arrested members of an alleged cannibal cult accused of killing at least seven people, eating their brains raw and making soup from their penises, a report said Friday.
Czechs pass $3.6bn religious compo bill (The Australian)
July 14 - CZECH legislators have passed a bill on the restitution of assets worth up to 2.95 billion euros ($A3.57 billion) seized from 17 religious denominations by Czechoslovakia's communist regime between 1948 and 1989.
Mosque proposal divides residents (Brisbane Times)
July 10 - ACT planners have been told that women in burqas will scare children in Gungahlin if Canberra's Muslim community proceeds with plans to build a mosque in the area.
Mosque advises polygamy better than divorce (ABC News)
July 11 - A Muslim women's rights group has condemned a Melbourne mosque's advice that polygamy is better than divorce.
Churches object to Nile's party name change (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 12 - MELBOURNE Anglican Archbishop Philip Freier asked the Victorian Electoral Commission not to let Fred Nile's Christian Democratic Party change its name to Australian Christians.
RELIGION & SOCIETY
Turnbull calls for civil unions (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
July 8 - MALCOLM Turnbull has called on parliament to legislate for civil unions as a bridge to marriage equality.
We can't afford to lose our communal soul (The West Australian)
July 15 – (Opinion: Gavin Simpson) Is Australian society in danger of losing its soul?
Execution just one scene of a larger tragedy (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 13 – (Opinion: William Maley) A GRUESOME video seen around the world this week of an Afghan woman being shot in the Shinwari district of Parvan province in Afghanistan provides a sobering reminder that the Taliban are as brutal a force now as when they dominated significant tracts of the country before being overthrown in late 2001.
The toll of secularity is inbuilt in new design (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 12 – (Opinion: Elizabeth Farrelly) The girls on the footpath at Railway Square are having a little whinge about the bells.
Census shows the godless suburbs and how yours has changed (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
July 12 - IT'S Australia's most godless suburb.
Also: Gaia ousts God in the latte hubs (The Australian)
July 13 – (Opinion: Editorial) REGARDING themselves as more enlightened and sophisticated than ordinary Australians in the 'burbs and the bush, many black-clad inner-city hipsters in Sydney and Melbourne who abhor traditional religion and claim not to believe in God are anything but atheists, agnostics or rationalists.
It's out with the old as Christian values fall away (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 14 – (Opinion: John Dickson) Given the Judeo-Christian origins of our long-held tradition of caring for the frail, census data indicating the demise of Christianity and the ageing of Australia's population could herald a perfect social storm.
The case against legalising same-sex marriage (Brisbane Times)
July 15 – (Opinion: Simon Mann) THEY say they are not against homosexuals. Nor are they bigots, or religious zealots or people hankering after a bygone era. What they are against is same-sex marriage.
Keep your mitts off me, thetans (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 15 – (Opinion: Charles Waterstreet) Far be it for someone raised a Catholic to question the authenticity and origins of other religions.
From the Archive…