by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Selection
July 6 - 13, 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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Reforming rabbi and
spiritual father (The Age,
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.
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.
Israel strikes Gaza
mosque as Palestinian death toll tops 120 (news.com.au)
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.
Israelis’ conviction (The
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.
Ramadan in Gaza: life
under missile-fire (The Guardian,
July 12 - In Gaza's largely deserted streets, the first thing you notice is the absence of children.
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.
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.
Australian preacher Musa
Cerantonio has 'street cred', according to terrorism expert (ABC
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.
Musa Cerantonio: The
tale of the try-hard jihadist (The
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.
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.
Islamic State listed as
terrorist organisation by Federal Government (ABC
July 12 - The Federal Government has outlawed the newly formed group, the Islamic State, and listed it as a terrorist organisation.
RELIGION & SOCIETY
Christian army officer
Bernie Gaynor pays the price for marching out of step with top generals (Sydney Morning
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.
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.
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.
‘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…