by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Selection
June 29 – July 6, 2014
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.
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.
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.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
RELIGION & SOCIETY
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.
From the Archive…
Religion News Australia 2014 – 23 (June 29 – July 6)