by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Selection
March 9 - 16, 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.
Mar 10 - The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will this week host the next bout of a 12-year battle over whether the Catholic Church can be sued for damages under common law, with lawyer and victim John Ellis once again facing off against Cardinal George Pell.
Cardinal George Pell says child abuse victims should be able to sue Catholic Church (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 11 - For the first time Cardinal George Pell has acknowledged that the Catholic Church should be able to be sued over abuse by a priest.
Also: Pell said church action was legal abuse: victim (The Australian)
Mar 11 - CARDINAL George Pell told a victim of child sex abuse by a Catholic priest that his treatment at the hands of church lawyers was “legal abuse”, despite the court case effectively preventing other victims taking action against the church.
Mar 12 - ALL he wanted was $100,000 compensation for his sexual abuse as a child at the hands of a priest but the Catholic Church spent $1.5 million fighting the lawsuit that John Ellis brought after being abused as an altar boy.
Also: Catholic Church won't budge on litigation defence, laywer says (Brisbane Times)
Mar 12 - The Catholic Church continues to rely on the legal argument that it is incapable of being sued in negotiations with alleged child abuse victims, a day after Cardinal George Pell acknowledged they should be able to sue the church, a lawyer says.
Catholic official released from vow (The West Australian)
Mar 13 - A senior Catholic official had to be released from a vow of secrecy before he could freely give evidence to the royal commission into child sexual abuse.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Bark paintings offer a portal to another world (The Australian)
Mar 14 - WARM light-beams illuminate the opening panel of Old Masters, the National Museum of Australia’s large-scale new exhibition of early bark paintings from Arnhem Land.
Inquiry into religious instruction in Victorian schools (The Age, Melbourne)
Mar 9 - Victoria's major provider of religious instruction has been temporarily barred from delivering lessons at a Surf Coast primary school, following recent revelations in The Sunday Age that inappropriate ''biblezines'' were given to students.
Christian schools eye ‘rebalance’ (The Australian)
Mar 10 - ONE of the largest groups of independent schools, Christian Schools Australia, has called for the national curriculum to be “rebalanced” by including a fourth cross-curriculum priority about Australia’s Western heritage and its Judeo-Christian influences.
Teach knowledge, not ideology (The Australian)
Mar 11 – (Opinion: Editorial) WHATEVER their religious affiliations, if any, many critics of the national curriculum will agree with Christian Schools Australia that our nation’s Western heritage and Judeo-Christian background have been underplayed for decades.
Pope Francis invited to address US Congress (The West Australian)
Mar 14 - Washington (AFP) - Pope Francis could become the first pontiff ever to address Congress after being offered a historic invitation by US House leaders on Thursday.
Absent from Rome, pope remains present on Twitter (The West Australian)
Mar 14 - Rome (AFP) - The tweet Pope Francis sent to 12 million followers on Thursday was the latest illustration of how important the micro-blogging site has become for the Church's communication with the faithful and non-believers.
Al-Qa'ida goes online to target youths (The Australian)
Mar 13 - TERROR group al-Qa'ida is set to release a new English-language online magazine, Resurgence, in a move analysts believe is a fresh bid to radicalise young Western Muslims and regain control of the global jihad.
Arab countries ban 'Noah' citing Islamic concerns (The West Australian)
Mar 13 - Los Angeles (AFP) - Three Arab countries have banned the biblical epic movie "Noah" because it contradicts Islam, while three more are expected to follow suit, a studio spokesman said Wednesday.
Disney slammed for 'homosexual' and 'bestiality' agenda in Frozen (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 14 - A pair of right-wing Christian commentators have slammed the "evil" themes of Disney's hit movie, despite not having seen it.
RELIGION & SOCIETY
ACC star chamber for Syria suspects (The Australian)
Mar 11 - ONE of the country’s most powerful law-enforcement agencies, the Australian Crime Commission, has been drafted into the fight against Muslim extremism, conducting secret, coercive examinations of people with suspected links to the Syrian conflict.
Religious leaders fight holy day shopping (Perth Now)
Mar 12 - THOU shalt shop for no longer.
Council must stop this harassment (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Mar 13 – (Opinion: Susie Allanson) IMAGINE if you or your child went to the doctor, only to be confronted on the doorstep by bullies blocking your path, shoving pamphlets in your face with offensive pictures and medical misinformation.
Asylum seekers: Nothing to lose, desperation on Nauru (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 15 - Whistleblower Mark Isaacs felt compelled to reveal detainees' mistreatment.
From the Archive…