Religion News Australia 2014 - 24 (July 6 - 13)

  (13 July 14)
  by Greg Spearritt

Religion News Australia

July 6 - 13, 2014

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)




anglican church / catholic church  / international stories / islam / judaism / politics / religion & society





Gosford Anglican Church's Father Rod Bower and his signs of the times (The Age, Melbourne)
July 8 - The leadership of Australia’s mainstream churches may sometimes seem slightly silent on boat people, but a Gosford Anglican reverend is at the forefront of a grassroots movement impatient with waiting for religious hierarchies to get their acts together.



Kimberley's 'flying bishop' John Jobst dies aged 94 (ABC News)
July 11 - A Catholic bishop known throughout the Kimberley as the "flying bishop" for his habit of piloting light aircraft to visit his far-flung parishioners has died at the age of 94.




Pope Francis apologises for 'sacrilegious cult' of church's sexual abuse during meeting with victims (ABC News)
July 7 - Pope Francis has told victims of sex abuse by Catholic clerics that the church should "weep and make reparation" for crimes he said had taken on the dimensions of a "sacrilegious cult".

Also: Pope Francis begs forgiveness in meeting with abuse victims (The Australian)
July 8 - POPE Francis has begged forgiveness in his first meeting with Catholics sexually abused by members of the clergy and went further than any of his predecessors by vowing to hold bishops accountable for their handling of paedophile priests.

Anglican Church

Tutu backs right to die law reform (The West Australian)
July 13 - Retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu has become the latest high-profile figure to come out in favour of a change in the law on the right to die, days before a British House of Lords debate on the issue.

Also: A dignified death is our right – I am in favour of assisted dying (The Guardian, Australia)
July 13 – (Opinion: Desmond Tutu) During all my years of pastoral care, I have never had the privilege of being with someone when they die.

Catholic Church

Pell in the Vatican (The Age, Melbourne)
July 10 - Cardinal George Pell emerged at the Vatican press conference Wednesday not only as its finance minister but as its apparent communications czar.

Philippines' Catholic medics urged not to issue birth control (The West Australian)
July 10 - Manila (AFP) - The Catholic Church in the Philippines is encouraging members who are medical workers to refuse to implement a newly-approved birth control law, an official said Thursday.

Vatican calls for global ceasefire during World Cup final (The Age, Melbourne)
July 12 - Vatican City: The Vatican on Friday called for a truce in wars around the globe during Sunday's World Cup final, taking to social media with the hashtag #pauseforpeace as a conflict in the Gaza Strip escalates and killings continue in Ukraine.


Let's speak up for the heroic Muslims who champion religious freedom (The Age, Melbourne)
July 10 – (Opinion: Nicholas Kristof) A Sudanese court in May sentences a Christian woman married to an American to be hanged, after first being lashed 100 times, after she refuses to renounce her Christian faith.

Erdogan vows to rewrite constitution for 'new Turkey' (The West Australian)
July 12 - Istanbul (AFP) - Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said he planned to rewrite the Turkish constitution if elected president, as he outlined his vision for a booming and powerful "new Turkey" in the next decade.


Reforming rabbi and spiritual father (The Age, Melbourne)
July 10 - Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi was considered the spiritual father of the Jewish Renewal movement - an influential camp of religious pioneers who reintroduced to synagogue services ancient Judaic traditions of mysticism and meditation, gender equality and ecstatic prayer.

Religious Violence

Pakistan defence chief vows to rub out all militant groups in tribal areas (The Australian)
July 8 - PAKISTAN would go after all militant groups in its unfolding operation in the North Waziristan tribal area, including insurgents who targeted neighbouring Afghanistan, in a major shift in policy, the Defence Minister said.

Imam of Mosul mosque executed before 'caliph' gave sermon (Sydney Morning Herald)  
July 8 - Geneva: The Islamic State's execution of 13 Sunni Muslim clerics last month in Mosul was a move  to silence moderate voices among Iraq's Sunnis, and deserves greater attention, the top United Nations expert on religious freedom said.

Easy does it as Islamic State issues charm offensive with The Return of Khalifah (The Australian)
July 8 - ISLAMIC State militants have set out a blueprint to create jobs and services in their self-declared caliphate that appears designed to avoid the unpopular ­mistakes of their al-Qa’ida predecessors.

Two peoples fighting for the same thing: examining the Israel-Palestine conflict, from 66AD to today (
July 11 - THE roar of rockets. The bark of rifles.

Israel strikes Gaza mosque as Palestinian death toll tops 120 (
July 12 - ISRAELI airstrikes targeting Hamas in Gaza hit a mosque its military says concealed the militant group’s weapons, as the Palestinian death toll topped 120 Saturday in an offensive that showed no signs of slowing down.

Savagery up-ends Israelis’ conviction (The Australian)
July 12 - WHEN three Jewish youths forced petrol down the throat of a 16-year-old Arab boy before setting him alight, they could not have imagined the political earthquake they were igniting.

Underage fighters drawn into Iraq sectarian war (The West Australian)
July 12 - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The video on his phone shows the boy firing a heavy machine gun mounted on a tripod through a hole in a crumbling building, his slender body shaking from the kickback.

Ramadan in Gaza: life under missile-fire (The Guardian, Australia)
July 12 - In Gaza's largely deserted streets, the first thing you notice is the absence of children.

Iraq militias target brothels in Baghdad, killing at least 20 women (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
July 13 - ‘THIS is the fate of any prostitution’ reads a message scrawled on the wall of one of two brothels raided by gunmen in Baghdad overnight, leaving 29 dead — mostly women.


Saudi man divorces wife on wedding night (
July 9 - IS this the world’s shortest wedding?

Daily Mail apologises to George Clooney (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
July 10 - BRITAIN'S Daily Mail newspaper has apologised to George Clooney for alleging his fiancee's mother opposed their marriage on religious grounds, a story Clooney called both wrong and irresponsible.

US intelligence agencies ‘monitored prominent Muslim-American leaders’ (The Australian)
July 10 - THE FBI and National Security Agency have monitored the emails of prominent Muslim-American activists, academics and a political candidate, according to a report.

Poland hospital chief fired for refusing abortion on religious grounds (The Age, Melbourne)
July 11 - Warsaw: The head of a Polish public hospital has been dismissed for refusing, on religious grounds, to carry out an abortion on a woman whose unborn baby suffered from serious malformations.

Monks launch rites to enshrine Cambodian ex-king (The West Australian)
July 11 - Phnom Penh (AFP) - Thousands of saffron-robed monks offered prayers outside Cambodia's royal palace Thursday to mark the start of ceremonies to enshrine the remains of revered former king Norodom Sihanouk.

World Council of Churches pulls fossil fuel investments (The Guardian, Australia)
July 11 - An umbrella group of churches, which represents over half a billion Christians worldwide, has decided to pull its investments out of fossil fuel companies.



Aussie drone attack victim Christopher Havard was wanted by federal police (The Australian)
July 8 - CHRISTOPHER Havard, the Queensland militant killed in a US drone strike in Yemen last year, was the subject of an Australian Federal Police arrest warrant over his alleged involvement in the al-Qa’ida-linked kidnapping of Westerners in Yemen.

Woman charged with aiding husband fighting in Syria, Fatima Elomar, appeals for suppression order (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
July 8 - A woman charged with aiding her husband as he fights in Syria has experienced “threats” since her arrest at Sydney Airport was made public, a court heard.

Terrorist Khaled Sharrouf went to jihad on welfare (The Australian)
July 12 - ONE of Australia’s most-wanted terrorists and a suspected war criminal, Khaled Sharrouf continued to receive a taxpayer-funded disability pension months after arriving on the battlefields of Syria.

Australian preacher Musa Cerantonio has 'street cred', according to terrorism expert (ABC News)
July 12 - An Australian preacher awaiting deportation in a Philippines jail has "street cred" that appeals to youths looking to join overseas conflicts, according to an expert from Monash University.

Also: Australian Islamic preacher Musa Cerantonio arrested in the Philippines (Sydney Morning Herald)  
July 11 - Australian religious extremist Musa Cerantonio has been arrested in the Philippines after boasting he had travelled to the Middle East to join jihadists.

Also: Radical hate preacher Musa Cerantonio arrested in the Philippines (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
July 12 - RADICAL Australian hate preacher Musa Cerantonio has been ­arrested in the Philippines, exposing as lies his boasts of having joined a new Islamic caliphate in the Middle East.

Also: Australian Islamic preacher arrested in Philippines over alleged Isis links (The Guardian, Australia)
July 12 - An Australian Islamic preacher suspected of rallying support for Isis militants in Syria has been arrested in the Philippines, where he has been preaching radical Islam and recruiting militants since February, according to Australian police.

Also: Australian preacher Musa Cerantonio arrested in the Philippines over support for Islamist militants (ABC News)
July 12 - Authorities in the Philippines will deport a high-profile Australian preacher who has voiced support for Islamist militants fighting in Iraq and Syria.

Also: Musa Cerantonio refuses to answer questions in Philippines (Sydney Morning Herald)  
July 12 - Wearing a white hooded robe and carrying a can of Coke, bearded Australian religious extremist Musa Cerantonio was ushered through crowded Manila airport after refusing to answer questions posed by Philippine police.

Also: Musa Cerantonio: The tale of the try-hard jihadist (The Age, Melbourne)
July 12 - It is difficult to believe that one of Australia’s most wanted religious extremists, Musa Cerantonio, grew up in a big, Catholic Italian family of six in a suburb in Melbourne’s west.

Also: Wife of Australian Islamist preacher Musa Cerantonio says he is not a terrorist (ABC News)
July 13 - A woman claiming to be the wife of an Australian Islamist preacher arrested in the Philippines says he was not involved in any terrorist activity.

Also: Female companion of Australian extremist cleric Musa Cerantonio also facing charges (Sydney Morning Herald)  
July 13 - The Filipina girlfriend of Australian Islamist extremist Musa Cerantonio has denied the cleric is in any way connected to terrorist organisations despite his vocal support for jihad, saying he could not "even kill an ant".

Unholy foot soldiers in a foreign fight (The Australian)
July 12 - THERE was something about the six Australians that made them stand out.



Jewish leader Vic Alhadeff slammed over Hamas 'war crimes' remark (Sydney Morning Herald)  
July 12 - Premier Mike Baird has publicly reprimanded the chair of the NSW Community Relations Commission, Vic Alhadeff, over “inappropriate” remarks that accuse Palestine of war crimes and appear to gloss over Israeli violence.



George Brandis's creeping spy powers (The Saturday Paper, Australia)
July 5 - The first hint the government would push for the expanded spying powers came at the end of last month, in an exclusive story in The Daily Telegraph.

ASIS and ASIO to get injection of funds to fight threat from Middle East (Sydney Morning Herald)  
July 10 - Intelligence agencies in Australia will receive an unexpected funding boost to counter what they see as a growing risk of terrorist attacks emanating from the Middle East.

Islamic State listed as terrorist organisation by Federal Government (ABC News)
July 12 - The Federal Government has outlawed the newly formed group, the Islamic State, and listed it as a terrorist organisation.

Also: Brandis adds Islamic State to list of terror groups (The Australian)
July 12 - THE federal government has officially listed the Islamic State group as a terrorist organisation, in what it says is a message to Australians intending to join or fund Islamic militants in Iraq or Syria.



Christian army officer Bernie Gaynor pays the price for marching out of step with top generals (Sydney Morning Herald)  
July 9 – (Opinion: Paul Sheehan) The Australian Army will terminate Major Bernie Gaynor's commission tomorrow. It is not difficult to see why. Gaynor has accused the army's higher leadership of cowardice.

Church-based welfare groups from SA offer care for mothers and infants held in immigration detention (ABC News)
July 11 - Church-based welfare organisations from South Australia are urging the Immigration Department to release mothers and their infants from immigration detention into their care while their claims are being processed.

World Cup 2014: where God's on our side (The Age, Melbourne)
July 12 – (Opinion: Tim Boyle) Brazil has the world’s largest population of Catholics, so it is fitting that during this World Cup the country has hosted a more fallible papacy than Rome’s, that of poor Neymar, and the still levitating Lionel Messi.

Raelians and other UFO cults stand firm on their 'out-there' ideas (The Age, Melbourne)
July 10 – Given the evident ideological agreement between Tony Abbott and his Canadian counterpart Stephen Harper, it is safe to predict Canberra won’t be rolling out the red carpet any time soon for a delegation from beyond the solar system.

Defending ‘Judaeo-Christian values’ and ‘Western freedoms’ (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
July 13 - A BRISBANE group claims the presence of Islam in Australia will lead to an increase in violent assaults and the rise of “ghettos”, declaring the country is locked in a “culture war”.




From the Archive…

Religion News Australia 2014 – 23 (June 29 – July 6)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 22 (June 22 - 29)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 21 (June 15 - 22)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 20 (June 8 - 15)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 19 (June 1 - 8)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 18 (May 25 – June 1)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 17 (May 18 - 25)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 16 (May 11 - 18)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 15 (May 4 - 11)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 14 (April 27 – May 4)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 13 (April 20 - 27)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 12 (April 12 - 20)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 11 (Mar 30 – April 12)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 10 (Mar 23 - 30)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 9 (Mar 16 - 23)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 8 (Mar 9 - 16)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 7 (Mar 3 - 9)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 6 (Feb 23 – Mar 3)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 5 (Feb 16 - 23)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 4 (Feb 9 - 16)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 3 (Feb 2 - 9)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 2 (Jan 26 – Feb 2)

Religion News Australia 2014 – 1 (Jan 4 - 26)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 53 (Dec 29 – Jan 4)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 52 (Dec 22 - 29)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 51 (Dec 15 - 22)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 50 (Dec 8 - 15)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 49 (Dec 1 - 8)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 48 (Nov 23 – Dec 1)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 47 (Nov 17 - 23)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 46 (Nov 10 - 17)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 45 (Nov 3 - 10)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 44 (Oct 27 – Nov 3)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 43 (Oct 20 - 27)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 42 (Oct 13 - 20)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 41 (Oct 6 - 13)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 40 (Sept 29 – Oct 6)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 39 (Sept 22 - 29)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 38 (Sept 15 - 22)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 37 (Sept 8 - 15)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 36 (Sept 1 - 8)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 35 (Aug 25 – Sept 1)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 34 (Aug 18 - 25)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 33 (Aug 11 - 18)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 32 (Aug 4 - 11)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 31 (July 28 – Aug 4)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 30 (July 21 - 28)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 29 (July 14 - 21)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 28 (July 7 - 14)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 27 (July 1 - 7)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 26 (June 23 - 30)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 25 (June 16 - 23)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 24 (June 9 - 16)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 23 (June 2 - 9)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 22 (May 26 – June 2)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 21 (May 19 - 26)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 20 (May 12 - 19)

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Religion News Australia 2013 – 18 (Apr 28 – May 5)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 17 (Apr 21 - 28)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 16 (Apr 14 - 21)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 15 (Apr 7 - 14)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 14 (Mar 31 – Apr 7)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 13 (Mar 24 - 31)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 12 (Mar 17 - 24)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 11 (Mar 10 - 17)

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Religion News Australia 2013 – 9 (Feb 24 – Mar 3)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 8 (Feb 17 - 24)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 7 (Feb 10 - 17)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 6 (Feb 3 - 10)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 5 (Jan 27 – Feb 3)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 4 (Jan 20 - 27)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 3 (Jan 13 - 20)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 2 (Jan 6 - 13)

Religion News Australia 2013 – 1 (Dec 30 – Jan 6)


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