by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
June 29 – July 6, 2014
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Priest Stan Hogan kept
1,500 child porn images in college bedroom, Adelaide court told (ABC
June 30 - A court has been told a priest had more than 1,500 child pornography images in his bedroom at an Adelaide college.
Catholic Bishop Max
Davis charged with sex offence dating back to 1969 (ABC
June 30 - The Bishop of the Australian Defence Force has been charged with a sex offence dating back to 1969.
Sexual abuse victim
Jennifer Herrick fights Catholic Church's use of the 'Ellis defence' (ABC
June 30 - A disabled woman who was sexually abused by her priest has spoken out against the Catholic Church for relying on the so-called "Ellis defence" to fight her legal claim.
Church places paedophile
brother near children (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 1 - Kostka (aka John) Chute, a serial paedophile Marist brother who molested dozens of boys in Canberra between 1987 and 1993, was given accommodation by the church in an ACT aged care facility close to three schools on his release from prison in 2010.
Apology to Fr John Neill
OP OAM (Sydney Morning
July 1 - The article "Sleeping with boys was 'common practice': royal commission on sex abuse in Wollongong, day 3" (June 26, 2014) was accompanied online by a photograph of Fr John Neill OP OAM.
Marist Brothers head
tipped off child-sex teacher to police inquiry, commission told (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 1 - A Marist Brothers school teacher who repeatedly sexually abused children was tipped off to a police investigation by the head of the order in Australia, who then sent him overseas and, when a warrant for his arrest was issued, told him to "stay over there and live your new life".
Former Marist Brother, a
convicted paedophile, faces child sexual abuse royal commission (ABC
July 1 - A former Marist Brother jailed for child sex offences has been questioned about why he fled Australia within days of being told of a police investigation into his activities.
Catholic lawyer believes
abuse inquiry has created unreal compensation hopes (The Guardian, Australia)
July 3 - A prominent Catholic lawyer says the child abuse royal commission has set up unreal
Child safety is measure
of abuse inquiry's success (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 4 - For years, David* was so ashamed and embarrassed about the sexual abuse he suffered at a Lutheran children's home in the 1960s, he could not tell even his mother.
Abbott must fund longer
child abuse royal commission (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 4 – (Opinion: Editorial) Australians have been disgusted - and many have felt guilt-ridden - that a public figure as trusted and seemingly innocuous as Rolf Harris was allowed to get away with sexual abuse of vulnerable children over decades.
Vatican rebuffs Justice
Peter McClellan on sex abuse files (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 5 - The Vatican's refusal to hand over documents about child sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests in Australia is poised to become a headache for the federal government.
Anglican priests to have
option of disclosing confessions on serious crimes (ABC
July 3 - The Anglican Church has decided to give priests in Australia the option of breaking the confidentiality of confessions.
Respect climate science:
Anglicans urge Tony Abbott to change tack on climate change policies (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 4 - The Anglican Church has told the Abbott government to change its approach to climate change, urging it to respect and base its policy on scientific evidence.
Painting the light and
the dark (The Australian)
July 3 - CURATOR Hetti Perkins has been up and down Australia, through deserts and cities, to hear Aboriginal artists tell how their work is shaped by politics, landscape and imagination.
Penny Chapman returns to
the devil’s playground of her youth (The Australian)
July 5 - IN 1991, when the first episode of Brides of Christ screened on the ABC, Kerry Packer, the bullish proprietor and master of the Channel Nine universe, rang his chief programmer demanding to know: “Did we pass on that nun shit?”
Brendan Gleeson is a priest
with a problem in Calvary (The
July 5 - WE begin in sombre fashion with the main title in white against a black background, the word Calvary set above a discreet representation of the Christian cross.
cleaners in wage dispute (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 5 - The leader of Canberra's Catholics has called on the federal government to protect the wage rates of cleaners, describing them as the "new Aussie battlers".
Jewish group fears new
religious instruction rules threaten diversity in schools (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 4 - The Jewish instruction provider for state schools is seeking legal advice to ensure its lessons remain available amid concerns new conditions will undermine cultural diversity.
Pope Francis to meet sex
abuse victims (Sydney Morning
July 5 - Pope Francis will meet victims of paedophile priests for the first time, as a Vatican commission moves to address the problem of clerical sex abuse in developing countries.
Pope Francis' wicked
workload (Sydney Morning
July 1 - Rome: Pope Francis has personally greeted 12,000 people after his morning masses, read 50 letters a day from the public and spent 150 hours greeting people in St Peter's Square since his election last year.
‘Cardinal Pell is in a
perfect position to push for the penile implants’ (The Australian)
July 5 - ON May 21, 1972, Hungarian-born Australian Laszlo Toth walked into St Peter’s Basilica with a small sledgehammer and belted the Christ out of Michelangelo’s Pietà.
What's in a name?
Islamic banking rebrands in attempt to go mainstream (The West Australian)
July 2 - (Reuters) - Islamic banking is based on core principles of the religion. So it is striking that some banks are removing the word "Islam" from their names - a sign of both the potential of Islamic finance to grow, and the obstacles to it becoming mainstream.
China bans Ramadan fast
in Muslim region (The Mercury,
July 4 - Students and civil servants in China's Muslim northwest, where Beijing is enforcing a security crackdown following deadly unrest, have been ordered to avoid taking part in traditional fasting during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.
In Turkey, party goes on
despite new alcohol curbs (The
July 6 - Istanbul (Turkey) (AFP) - The sun is setting but the party is only just beginning for 29-year-old Merve Kortan, one of the many young Turks who hang out in Istanbul's vibrant Beyoglu district.
Curfew imposed after two
killed in Buddhist-Muslim attacks in Mandalay (ABC
July 3 - Myanmar police have imposed an overnight curfew in the country's second largest city of Mandalay on Thursday, after two nights of sectarian unrest that left two people dead.
Sectarian unrest shakes
major Myanmar city (The West
July 3 - Yangon (AFP) - Myanmar police fired warning shots after an angry mob attacked Muslim property in the central city of Mandalay, authorities said Wednesday, in the latest eruption of religious unrest to shake the Buddhist-majority nation.
Angry mourners mass in
riot-hit Myanmar city (The West
July 4 - Mandalay (Myanmar) (AFP) - Thousands of people, some wielding sticks, flooded Myanmar's second-largest city Friday as tensions spiked during the funeral of a victim of Buddhist-Muslim clashes that have raised fears of spreading violence.
Mob burns school in
riot-hit Myanmar city (ABC News)
July 6 - Muslims in Myanmar's second-largest city have accused police of standing by as a Buddhist mob went on a rampage, torching a school and other buildings.
describe tribal life with the Taliban (The West Australian)
July 4 - Bannu (Pakistan) (AFP) - Christians and Hindus who fled from a military offensive against insurgents in tribal northwest Pakistan say the Taliban treated them with relative tolerance, contrary to the militants' brutal reputation.
US teen Shannon Conley's
jihad ambitions end in arrest at airport (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 4 - Denver: A suburban teenager who practised shooting, sought military training and hoped to join violent jihad against Americans was arrested as she tried to board a plane on a one-way trip to the Middle East, court documents show.
US embassy in Uganda
warns of 'specific threat' to airport (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 4 - A day after the announcement of heightened security measures on US-bound flights, the US Embassy in Uganda said on Thursday it had been warned of a "specific threat" of attack to the country's main airport and said travellers "may want to review their plans."
ISIS declares a
'caliphate', calls for Muslims to pledge allegiance (ABC
July 1 - The extremist Sunni insurgency that has captured territory in Iraq and Syria has declared itself an Islamic "caliphate" and called on factions worldwide to pledge their allegiance.
calls for Muslims to take up arms (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 2 - Dubai: The leader of the al Qaeda offshoot now calling itself the Islamic State has called on Muslims worldwide to take up arms and flock to the "caliphate" it has declared on captured Syrian and Iraqi soil.
Jihadist caliph Abu Bakr
al-Baghdadi demands obedience of Muslims (The Australian)
July 6 - SELF-proclaimed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has made an unprecedented appearance in the Iraqi city of Mosul, which his forces helped capture last month, and ordered Muslims to obey him, according to a video post.
IS expanding foothold on
Syria (The Australian)
July 1 - THE terrorist group Islamic State is expanding its foothold in Syria after its gains in Iraq, intensifying its clashes against other Islamist rebel factions.
The reality facing
children in Iraq and Syria (news.com.au)
July 1 - THE current situation in Iraq and Syria is undeniably volatile, complicated and dangerous.
Islamic State and the
Levant: why we should be worried, and why we should not (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 2 – (Opinion: Rodger Shanahan) The claim from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) regarding the establishment of an Islamic caliphate that spans from Diyala in Iraq to Aleppo in northern Syria, its re-naming as The Islamic State and the promotion of their leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the khalif says much about its aspirations but far less about its capability.
Iraq crisis: Could an
ISIS caliphate ever govern the entire Muslim world? (ABC
July 3 - Experts say the extremist Sunni insurgency that has captured swathes of land in Iraq and Syria faces a "monumental feat" in its unlikely bid to create a global Islamic caliphate.
Australia has no
solution for Syria or Iraq (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 4 – (Opinion: Jack Waterford) Australians, and our security services, have worked themselves into the appropriate sort of lather about ISIL, the supposedly jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which is, according to the consensus of western intelligence agencies, the latest greatest threat to the peace of the world.
Man claiming to be
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi calls on all Muslims (ABC News)
July 6 - A man claiming to be the reclusive leader of the militant Islamic State has made what would be his first public appearance at a mosque in the centre of Iraq's second city, Mosul, according to a video released on social media.
ISIL's leader Baghdadi:
from quiet student to self-appointed Caliph (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 6 - Baghdad: The only time the polite, bespectacled student shone was on the football field, while playing for the team from the local mosque.
US Supreme Court rules
companies don't have to provide contraception as part of health cover (ABC
July 1 - The US Supreme Court has ruled a company does not have to provide contraception as part of its health coverage for workers if it goes against its religious beliefs.
Religious rights trump
US birth control law, Supreme Court rules (The Australian)
July 1 - A SHARPLY divided US Supreme Court has ruled that some companies with religious objections can avoid the contraceptives requirement in President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, the first time the high court has declared that businesses can hold religious views under federal law.
Right to religious
freedoms can play havoc with new laws (The Australian)
July 4 - THE most recent decision of the US Supreme Court has reignited debate in America about the fundamental human right to freedom of religion.
Christian Fuhrer led
demonstrations that helped bring down Berlin Wall (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 4 – Christian Fuhrer was pastor of the St Nicholas church in Leipzig which, in 1989, became the focus of the demonstrations that brought down the communist regime in East Germany (GDR).
Festival of Dangerous
Ideas curator says Uthman Badar suggested title (ABC News)
June 30 - The co-curator of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas (FODI) has contradicted Uthman Badar's account of how the controversial event Honour Killings Are Morally Justified was conceived, but defended booking the Islamist to speak.
Religious freedom to
help shape public policy a really dangerous idea (The Australian)
July 5 – (Opinion: Editorial) There has been a great deal of brouhaha lately about an attempt to deliver a talk at the so-called Festival of Dangerous Ideas on a very dangerous idea, that “Honour killings are morally justified”.
Islamic radical barred
from WA jails (The West
July 1 - Radical Islamic preacher Junaid Thorne has been banned from visiting WA jails after The West Australian revealed he had provided religious lessons to inmates inside Hakea Prison.
Australian preacher Musa
Cerantonio claims to be heading to Syria in support of ISIS (ABC
July 2 - An Australian preacher who has emerged as one of the highest-profile supporters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has claimed to be travelling to Syria.
Islamic leaders vow to
combat home-grown terrorism as they meet with George Brandis (ABC
July 2 - Islamic leaders say they will do what they can to stop young Australians heading overseas to fight alongside extremists, after meeting with Attorney-General George Brandis.
Katy Gallagher joins
Canberra Muslims for Ramadan dinner (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 3 - After the sun set on Thursday and the prayers had been said, the ACT's Muslim community sat down with their chief minister to break the fast on the fifth day of Ramadan.
Gungahlin mosque court
challenge dismissed in ACT Supreme Court (ABC
July 4 - The ACT Supreme Court has dismissed a legal challenge opposing the development of a mosque in Gungahlin.
Thousands flock to
Ramadan food festival in Sydney, boost Lakemba economy (ABC
July 5 - The south-west Sydney suburb of Lakemba is transformed of a night into a vibrant food festival that attracts thousands of people to the streets to celebrate Ramadan.
Jihadist fears spark
review of evidence laws (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 1 - The federal government is examining ways to make it easier to prosecute Australian jihadist fighters returning from the Middle East, amid growing fears of the creation of a mini-state in the region that could export terrorism.
George Brandis vow to
detain alleged jihadists from Iraq and Syria ‘nonsense’ (The Guardian, Australia)
July 2 - A criminal barrister who worked on Australia’s largest terrorism case, the Benbrika trial, has cast doubt over the Abbott government’s practical capacity under current laws to round up alleged jihadists returning from Iraq and Syria.
Agape Ministries given
time by court to sell doomsday cult's properties and meet tax bill (ABC
June 30 - Doomsday cult Agape Ministries has been given a final chance by a court to sell its assets and repay a $1 million tax bill.
Hillsong gives Sydney
some of that new time religion (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 4 - Religion in the round.
Larry Graham: time to die
should be a personal choice (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 5 – (Opinion: Larry Graham) As I sat with another family member who was dying I mused about our civilization, its ethics, its judgement and more importantly how little it values human beings.
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