by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Selection
February 16 - 23, 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.
Salvation Army draws ire over award to accused child abuser (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 17 - A Salvation Army officer accused of physically and sexually abusing dozens of young boys at a boys' home in south Sydney was given the army's silver star award at a function late last year, despite the allegations against him.
Church claims lies, collusion on scandal (Perth Now)
Feb 20 - THE Catholic Church has accused two of its former officers of colluding and lying to shift the blame about a pedophilia scandal.
Feb 21 - IN an attempt to defend himself against allegations of sexual abuse, disgraced teacher Gerard Byrnes wrote to his principal declaring he never had inappropriate contact with children, and in fact many approached him.
Also: Child officials told to protect Church (The West Australian)
Feb 21 - A culture of protecting the church existed in a diocese where a Catholic teacher raped and molested 13 girls, an inquiry has heard.
Clerics deemed abuse claim a money grab (The Australian)
Feb 22 - A CONFIDENTIAL Vatican inquiry that criticised an alleged victim of child sex abuse was conducted by three senior serving Australian priests, two of whom now say the man may have been motivated by money.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Feb 21 - RUSSELL Crowe’s epic new movie Noah — the one with all the animals entering an ark two-by-two — is experiencing its own deluge.
Primary school principals shut down religious education classes (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 17 - Hundreds of primary school principals have stopped offering weekly religious education in schools, despite a department requirement to offer the classes.
Feb 22 - Victoria's Education Department has launched an investigation into what it calls inappropriate and offensive religious material distributed at a primary school.
Also: Uproar at 'Biblezine' sex tips for kids (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 22 - Parents and teachers have called for an urgent overhaul of religious education in schools after year 6 children were given material claiming girls who wear revealing clothes are inviting sexual assault, and homosexuality, masturbation and sex before marriage are sinful.
Vatican attacks abuse victims, offered payout to ‘appear concerned’ (The Australian)
Feb 21 - A VATICAN investigation into claims of child abuse by a Catholic priest has attacked the credibility of the alleged victims and said a decision to offer financial compensation was made “for
Feb 18 - Pope Francis has begun a week of meetings with Roman Catholic cardinals, including Australian Cardinal George Pell, to discuss how to overhaul the Catholic Church's scandal-hit bureaucracy and finances.
Fatwa blast for Mars settlers (The West Australian)
Feb 20 - A fatwa has been issued after religious leaders considered interplanetary colonialism.
Malaysian fatwa ruling sought on 'apocalyptic' silk (The West Australian)
Feb 22 - Kuala Lumpur (AFP) - A Malaysian conservative group's insistence that Muslim men wearing silk was a "sign of the apocalypse" prompted a call Friday for religious authorities to study whether to impose a fatwa on the fabric, a report said.
Hungary Jews seek return of WWII looted Torahs from Russia (The West Australian)
Feb 19 - Budapest (AFP) - Hungarian Jewish leaders said Tuesday they had begun talks with Russian authorities over the return of a huge collection of religious items looted by the Red Army during World War II.
'Snake Salvation' star Jamie Coots dies from bite (news.com.au)
Feb 17 - A PENTECOSTAL pastor and reality TV star, whose sermons involved handling deadly snakes, has died from a bite.
Zulu church embraces faux fur to protect leopards (The West Australian)
Feb 19 - Durban (South Africa) (AFP) - Carrying Zulu warrior shields and draped in leopard skins, the men of South Africa's Shembe Church move hypnotically as they go through the steps of a traditional religious ritual.
British Christian leaders attack government's welfare cuts (The West Australian)
Feb 21 - LONDON (Reuters) - Leading Christian clergy in Britain, including the head of the Church of England, attacked welfare cuts by the Conservative-led government on Thursday, putting them at odds with Prime Minister David Cameron.
Imam Riaz Tasawar held in immigration detention after visa sponsorship cancelled (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 21 - A Pakistani imam, charged with conducting the alleged marriage of a 12-year-old girl, is being held at Villawood detention centre after the sponsorship of his visa was cancelled.
If we look deep down are we anti-Semitic? (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 21 – (Opinion: Derek Rielly) Shabbat is the most moving of all religious rituals, at least around my part of town.
RELIGION & SOCIETY
Missionary held in N. Korea left pamphlet in temple (The West Australian)
Feb 20 - Sydney (AFP) - An Australian missionary was arrested in North Korea after he left a pamphlet promoting Christianity in a Buddhist temple, his Chinese travel companion has recounted, as his wife says his fate rests with God.
Also: Arrest serves as a warning of North Korea perils (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Feb 20 – (Opinion: Editorial) IT is difficult for some to understand just how former South Australian man John Short came to be arrested in North Korea.
Giant statue of Buddha to dominate Adelaide’s southern coastline (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Feb 21 - LOCALS have given their blessing to a giant stone Buddha statue to tower over Sellicks Hill within a year.
From the Archive…