by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Selection
January 4 - 26, 2014
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.
Inquiry into child sexual abuse must be given time to fulfil task (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 21 – (Opinion: Editorial) At this time of year we proudly, rightly, celebrate Australia and its achievements.
Church official amends commission evidence (The West Australian)
Jan 24 - A senior church official has revised his evidence to the Royal Commission on Child Sex Abuse following a flurry of late night emails with a law firm representing the Catholic Church.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
For gods' sake (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 21 – (Opinion: John McDonald) Peru's lost civilisations dealt as much in blood as in treasures.
Revolutionary poet Gerard Manley Hopkins asked God to rain upon his roots (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 25 – (Opinion: Martin Flanagan) The author of the 1979 biography of Gerard Manley Hopkins I read over Christmas, Paddy Kitchen, was an agnostic.
Jan 19 - There should be more religious education in Australian schools, says one of the men tasked with reviewing the national curriculum.
Also: Keep religion in schools but include all beliefs and exclude doctrine and dogma (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Jan 19 – (Opinion: Alison Cotes) RELIGION is such a loose term.
Dharma school students on Buddhist path to knowledge (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 26 - The dawn of a new day at the Daylesford Dharma School begins not with the bark of an automated bell, nor with a loudspeaker, but with gentle reverberations of a Tibetan singing bowl.
Jan 19 - The Vatican has told a United Nations panel assessing the Holy See's adherence to the Convention on the Rights of the Child that it wants to be an example of global best practice when it comes to eliminating child sexual abuse by clergy or church personnel.
Canterbury Cathedral's first girls' choir (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 24 - Canterbury, England: The pure, high voices of the choir soar toward the vaulted ceiling of Canterbury Cathedral as they have for more than 1000 years.
Francis to probe role of 'Hitler's pope' Pius XII (The Australian)
Jan 19 - POPE Francis wants to open the Vatican's secret archives on Pope Pius XII and the Holocaust before deciding on sainthood for the controversial wartime pontiff, accused by critics of having turned a blind eye to the extermination of 6m Jews.
Pregnant nun shocks church (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 19 - A nun who kept her pregnancy a secret has shocked the Roman Catholic Church by giving birth to a baby boy and naming him Francesco in honour of the Pope.
Vatican monsignor re-arrested by Italian police (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 21 - Vatican City: A Vatican monsignor already on trial for allegedly plotting to smuggle 20 million euros ($A31 million) from Switzerland to Italy was ordered arrested in a separate case for allegedly using his Vatican bank accounts to launder money.
Papal notes 'reveal part of his soul' (The Australian)
Jan 24 - POPE John Paul II's secretary "did not have the courage" to burn all of the pontiff's notes after his death, and is now having some of them published.
Jan 25 - Pope Francis says the internet is "a gift from God" and called on Catholics to "boldly become citizens of the digital world".
Pope reshaping the Vatican (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 26 - The Pope has started to purge a bureaucracy plagued by intrigue and inertia.
Jan 25 - A court in Pakistan has sentenced a British man to death for blasphemy for claiming to be a prophet of Islam.
Malaysian leader says Christians must heed 'Allah' ban (The West Australian)
Jan 25 - Kuala Lumpur (AFP) - Malaysian Christians must obey rules forbidding them from using the word "Allah", the country's leader was quoted saying Friday, breaking his silence in a festering row that has raised fears of religious conflict.
Jan 26 - The Philippines government and Muslim rebels says they have cleared the last hurdle in long-running peace negotiations, paving the way to end a deadly decades-old insurgency in the country's south.
Jan 7 - An Indian judge has declared premarital sex "immoral" and against "every religion", adding that no educated woman should have sex believing that her partner will marry her.
US Mormons warn of 'alcohol culture' (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Jan 24 - THE Mormon church has issued a sweeping defence of Utah's famously strict liquor laws, drawing a line against tourism, restaurant and bar industry advocates who have helped ease alcohol regulations in recent years in the US state.
Chuck Smith: World failed to end for guru of the 70s 'Jesus freaks' (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 25 – (Obituary) Chuck Smith was a Christian fundamentalist pastor whose appeal to disillusioned hippies of the Haight Ashbury era fuelled the rise of the “Jesus movement” of the 1970s and inspired the introduction of religious worship into pop culture.
Jan 21 - It was the "gangster feel" of Muslim outreach organisation Ummah United that caught the eye of Tayyab Khan.
Bunbury mayor defends staff (The West Australian)
Jan 24 - The Mayor of Bunbury has defended council staff after the Islamic Association of Bunbury accused them of being unhelpful when they applied to build a mosque in the city.
At the crossroads (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 25 - How do you bridge a cultural divide? Three Muslim-Australians share their stories.
Time to scrap Lord's Prayer in Parliament: Greens (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 14 - The Lord's Prayer in Federal Parliament is an anachronism, according to Greens senator Richard di Natale, who is calling to have the prayer scrapped.
Also: Greens have no prayer of replacing God (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Jan 18 – (Opinion: Piers Akerman) Bereft of significant nation-building policies, acting Greens leader Richard Di Natale, has launched a crusade to axe the Lord's Prayer from the formal opening of parliamentary sittings.
Also: Heaven help those trying to scrap Lord's Prayer in Parliament (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 18 – (Opinion: Judith Ireland) When I was younger, I was very confused about what a "culture war" was.
RELIGION & SOCIETY
God's army (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 18 - The overseas mission remains a rite of passage within the Mormon Church.
Uniting Church puts pressure on ANZ over child labour link (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 24 - The Uniting Church's investment arm wants answers from ANZ about the bank's financing of a Cambodian sugar plantation that has involved child labour, military-backed land grabs, forced evictions and food shortages.
It's the ordinary things that really count (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 26 – (Opinion: Ann Rennie) An ordinary day towards the end of the school holidays.
Diesel fitter claims compensation because he couldn't work on the Sabbath (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Jan 26 – A MINE worker who decided he couldn't work on the Sabbath after rediscovering religion tried to claim compensation because he was not immediately given a roster change.
From the Archive…