by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
August 17 - 24, 2014
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Catholic Church urged to show 'moral compass' (ABC News)
Aug 18 - The Catholic Church is being urged to show its "moral compass" as an inquiry resumes in Melbourne into alleged child sexual abuse by priests.
New sex abuse case rocks
church (The Age, Melbourne)
Aug 18 - The Catholic Church has expelled an inner-Melbourne priest after allegations of sexual impropriety as the sex abuse royal commission begins its Melbourne hearings into decades of abuse and alleged cover-ups.
When the abused come to
the royal commission, they don’t swear on the Bible (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 18 – It’s a telling detail: when the abused come to the witness box of the royal commission, they affirm.
Church response to
Melbourne victims of child sexual abuse 'a betrayal' (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 18 - Victims have told the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse that the scheme established by the Catholic archdiocese of Melbourne to investigate their claims lacked compassion and independence and left them feeling betrayed.
Child sex abuse royal
commission: Catholic priest abused two generations of boys in the same family (ABC News)
Aug 19 - The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard a devastating account of how a Catholic priest preyed on two generations of boys in the same family.
Victims want review into
Catholic Church's Melbourne Response compensation claims (The Age, Melbourne)
Aug 19 - Victims have called for all 351 compensation claims to the Catholic Church's Melbourne Response to be reviewed and have accused the process as lacking compassion and transparency on the opening day of the Royal Commission.
Catholic Church pays
price for sex abuse (The
Aug 19 - VICTIMS of clergy sexual abuse have told a royal commission how they were discouraged from going to police and treated with a glaring lack of compassion by the Melbourne archdiocese, which has spent more than $30 million responding to abuse claims in the past 18 years.
grilled on independence (Brisbane
Aug 20 - The Catholic Church's independent commissioner was unable to explain how he received confidential information from a victim of serial paedophile priest Kevin O'Donnell or why it was passed on to the church's lawyers in an apparent breach of confidentiality.
Cardinal Pell to face
royal commission (Brisbane Times)
Aug 21 - Cardinal George Pell's role in setting up a Catholic Church compensation scheme for victims of pedophile priests will be scrutinised at the child abuse royal commission.
Vatican refuses to hand
over files on accused pedophile priests (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 21 - The Vatican has refused to hand over the files of Australian priests accused of sex crimes to the child abuse royal commission.
Cardinal George Pell backs
Vatican over dealings with abuse victims (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Aug 21 - CARDINAL George Pell last night backed the Vatican over victims of sexual abuse saying it was unreasonable for the Royal Commission to request papal documents regarding every case of abusive clergy.
Cardinal George Pell
asked to swear on the Bible (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 21 - The voice that has delivered a thousand sermons seemed unsuited to be that of a witness in the dock, even if it was a virtual dock.
Pell compares priests to
truckers as victims given apologies (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 22 - Cardinal George Pell has strongly defended the so-called Melbourne Response as Australia's first comprehensive redress scheme for victims of clerical sexual abuse at the royal commission.
Top Vatican figure in
row over child abuse comments (The
Aug 22 - Sydney (AFP) - Australia's leading Catholic cleric George Pell, a top Vatican official, came under fire Friday after drawing an analogy between the church's response to child abuse and a trucking company.
reveals considerations when weighing up abuse payouts (Brisbane Times)
Aug 23 - The way the Catholic Church awards money to victims of clerical abuse has been questioned at the royal commission.
James Boyce on original
sin: why we’re too bad to be true (The
Aug 23 – (Review) WHEN Isabella in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure is told her brother’s fornication means his life is forfeit, she flies back, “Why, all the souls that were forfeit once”.
Peter Cousens aims for
faith-based market with anti-slavery film Freedom (Brisbane Times)
Aug 23 - While Hollywood wrings its hands in despair over piracy and dwindling audiences, one area of the business is booming: faith-based films.
Bible study, prayer
groups allowed in schools (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Aug 21 - SCHOOLS have been assured they are free to run bible study and prayer groups at lunch amid confusion around new rules.
Pope Francis says legitimate
for world to stop Islamist aggression in Iraq (ABC
Aug 19 - Pope Francis says the international community would be justified in stopping Islamist militants in Iraq but that it should not be up to a single nation to decide how to act.
Pope says legitimate for
world to stop Islamist aggression in Iraq (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 19 - Rome: Pope Francis said on Monday the international community would be justified in stopping Islamist militants in Iraq but that it should not be up to a single nation to decide how to act.
'We must stand
together': James Foley's parents, after call with pope, call for prayer and
action (Sydney Morning
Aug 23 - The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic State fighters.
prompt more Muslim women in Britain to wear a veil (The West Australian)
Aug 21 - LONDON (Reuters) - When youth worker Sumreen Farooq was abused in a London street, the 18-year-old decided it was time to take a stand - and she started to wear a headscarf.
Ancient Ethiopian walled
city keeps modern life at bay (The
Aug 22 - Harar (Ethiopia) (AFP) - Hyenas howl and feast on flesh every night outside the ancient walls of Harar -- one of Islam's holiest cities that is holding out against the pressures of the modern world.
Egyptian cleric says men
are allowed to spy on women in the shower (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 22 - Men can spy on women in the shower, an extremist cleric has argued in Egypt, prompting outrage from other Islamic scholars.
China 'cult' members on
trial for McDonald's killing (The
Aug 21 - Beijing (AFP) - Five members of a fringe religious group in China went on trial Thursday for beating a woman to death at a McDonald's restaurant, reportedly after she rebuffed their attempts to recruit her.
Shiite gunmen kill more
than 70 Sunni worshippers at mosque in Diyala province (ABC
Aug 23 - Suspected Shiite gunmen have killed more than 70 worshippers at a Sunni mosque in Iraq's eastern Diyala province.
Why Britain tops US as
terror breeding ground: Muslims less integrated in Europe (The Australian)
Aug 23 - AMERIC ANS responded to the killing of James Foley with horror, outrage and confusion — and perhaps none more so than the country’s Muslims.
Boko Haram takes over
town in northeastern Nigeria (The
Aug 23 - BOKO Haram has seized control of a town in northeast Nigeria, the latest to fall into Islamist hands in the crisis-hit region.
Rising threat of terror
posed by jihadists returning home (The
Aug 23 – (Opinion: Editorial) IN the same week that an Australian father posted an image of his seven-year-old son in Syria holding a severed head, a British rapper turned jihadist used Twitter to post a photograph of his own.
Dimitri Bontinck who
rescued jihadist son Jejoen Bontinck is on a new mission in Syria (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Aug 23 - A BELGIAN man who rescued his jihadist son from the Islamic State’s grip — then helped other dads do the same — said on Thursday that he is back in Syria for another rescue effort.
Up to 20 Westerners held
hostage by Islamists in Syria (news.com.au)
Aug 23 - THERE are up to 20 Western hostages being held captive by Islamic radicals in Syria as the world responds to the beheading of American journalist James Foley.
Religious Violence – Islamic State
Islamic State message to
America: 'we will drown all of you in blood' (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 19 - Baghdad: The Islamic State militant group that has seized large parts of Iraq and drawn the first American air strikes since the end of the occupation in 2011 has warned the United States it will attack Americans "in any place" if the raids hit its militants.
Iraqi and Kurdish forces
recapture Mosul dam from Isis (The
Aug 19 - Iraqi security spokesman confirms crucial dam has been retaken from jihadists, but fighting continues in adjoining facilities
US sanctions senior Isis
member as Iraq bombing campaign intensifies (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 19 - The US State Department banned a senior member of the Islamic State (Isis) on Monday as the United States sharply intensified its new bombing campaign in Iraq.
Iraqi Christians’ plea
to West: send troops or we will be wiped out (The Australian)
Aug 20 - CHRISTIAN leaders in Iraq say their faith will be obliterated in communities as old as the church itself unless international troops and more airstrikes drive the Islamic State from the country.
Kurdish forces battling
Islamic State face clever propaganda and unrelenting cruelty (ABC
Aug 20 - Kurdish security forces are battling fighters from the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) in Iraq's north-east.
'barbaric' act, saying Islamic State has 'shocked the world' (ABC
Aug 21 - US president Barack Obama has responded to the beheading of American journalist James Foley by Islamic State (IS) militants, saying it "shocked the conscience of the entire world".
Brutal beheading of
James Foley an attempt to provoke ground invasion of Iraq and Syria
Aug 21 – (Opinion: Tom Allard) The purpose of the horrific video of the beheading of US photojournalist James Foley seems straightforward – to terrify the US into halting its aerial bombardment of the militant group.
New York Post front page
photo of James Foley causes widespread anger (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 21 - The New York Post has provoked outrage in the US by publishing a graphic front page image of American journalist James Foley about to be executed.
Obama: Islamic State
'has no ideology of any value to human beings' (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 21 - An angry Barack Obama has called on governments and people from across the Middle East to unite to “extract” the “cancer” that is the militant group which which released a video of the beheading murder of an American journalist, Jim Foley.
Why a beheading? A look
at Islamic State's tactic (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 21 – (Opinion: Adam Taylor) Washington: On Wednesday, a video was uploaded to YouTube by Islamic State militants that appeared to show something terrible: The execution of an American journalist, James Foley, who had been missing in Syria since November 2012.
militants plotted to blow up brewery in Kuala Lumpur, anti-terrorism officials
say (ABC News)
Aug 21 - Suspected Malaysian militants loyal to the extremist Islamic State (IS) movement bought bomb-making material ahead of a proposed attack on a Carlsberg brewery near the capital Kuala Lumpur, a top anti-terrorism official has said.
British Muslims urge
cooperation in hunt for militant with London accent who killed US journalist (ABC News)
Aug 22 - Muslim leaders in Britain have called on their communities to help establish the identity of the black-clad man who murdered US journalist James Foley.
James Foley beheading
baits America to intervene (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 22 – (Opinion: Waleed Aly) "Without these videos and photos and firsthand experience, you can't really tell the world how bad it might be."
An atrocious murder, but
not a strategy changer (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 22 – (Opinion: Nick O'Malley) Washington: After the murder of American journalist Jim Foley by militants there have been the expected calls for an increased US military engagement in Iraq, one that seeks to defeat Islamic State on the battlefield.
US in new strikes on
Iraq as fellow captive says James Foley was Islamists’ ‘whipping boy’ (news.com.au)
Aug 22 - THE US is looking to keep pressure on jihadist militants in Iraq, launching air strikes after the murder of a journalist underlined the international threat.
Islamic State threat
'beyond anything we've seen', says Pentagon (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 22 - Washington: The sophistication, wealth and military might of Islamic State militants represent a major threat to the United States that may surpass that once posed by al-Qaeda, US military leaders said.
ISIS video shows Yazidi
men converting to Islam (news.com.au)
Aug 22 - ISIS militants have released video of hundreds of Yazidi men converting to Islam under threat of death.
Islamic State militants
stone man to death for committing adultery in Iraq, witness says (ABC
Aug 23 - Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq stoned a man to death in the northern city of Mosul after one of their courts sentenced him to die for the crime of adultery, according to a witness.
British rapper, a hacker
and jihadi propagandist suspected killer of US journalist James Foley (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Aug 23 - A BRITISH rapper, a hacker and jihadi propagandist are among the main suspects in the barbaric beheading of American journalist James Foley, it has been revealed.
British spy agencies
identify James Foley’s killer: sources (The Australian)
Aug 24 - MI5 and MI6 have identified the British fighter suspected of murdering the American journalist James Foley, senior UK government sources say.
New massacre feared in
Iraqi town of Amerli (The
Aug 24 - THE United Nations has called for urgent action to prevent a massacre of the residents of Amerli, a small town in northern Iraq that has been under siege by Islamic State for the past eight weeks.
can't break the love of a Muslim man and Jewish woman in Israel (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 19 - Jerusalem: Sunday brought a different kind of pre-wedding jitters for one Israeli couple.
BKS Iyengar, yoga guru
who brought practice to the West, dies aged 95 (ABC
Aug 20 - The yoga guru who helped take the ancient Indian spiritual practice to the rest of the world has died.
Kent Brantly and Nancy
Writebol, who were infected with Ebola, leave Emory University Hospital (news.com.au)
Aug 22 - THE two American Ebola victims have been discharged from hospital with Kent Brantly saying it is a miracle that he survived the virus.
High school student
Kendra Turner suspended for saying ‘bless you’ to classmate who sneezed (news.com.au)
Aug 22 - A SCHOOLGIRL has been suspended for saying ‘bless you’ to a classmate who sneezed.
blamed for ‘angry young Muslim men’ becoming extremists (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Aug 17 - IT can happen to any family — a rebel teenager trying to find a meaning in life.
Teenage supporter of
Islamic State arrested (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 18 - A teenage supporter of the terrorist group Islamic State, who gained notoriety after an appearance on television last week, has been arrested over a religious attack on a cleaner at a western Sydney shopping centre.
Three young Sydney
Muslims talk about why they and other Aussies convert to Islam (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Aug 18 - THREE 28-year-olds. All raised in Christian homes. All Australians.
Last drinks in Lakemba:
Tim Blair takes a look inside Sydney’s Muslim Land (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Aug 18 - THE Lakemba Hotel is one of the last Anglo holdouts in Sydney’s otherwise Middle-Eastern south-western suburb.
Islam in Australia:
Living and dying for the flag of Allah (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Aug 19 - A SENIOR leader of radical Sydney-based Islamic organisation al-Risalah has denounced the Australian flag, as the group’s supporters posted Facebook messages about beheading “non-believers”.
There is nothing Islamic
about a beheading: Muslims v extremists (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 20 - Curtin University research fellow Anne Aly says there are a lot of misconceptions about people who follow Islam.
Muslim leaders call for
uprising against anti-terrorism laws (news.com.au)
Aug 21 - SENIOR Muslim figures from across the nation last night called for an uprising against the government’s $600 million counterterrorism measures.
ASIO boss says
government is fighting terrorism, not Islam (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 22 - Australia's top spy has launched an impassioned appeal to the nation's half a million Muslims not to mistake the Abbott government's counterterrorism push as "fighting Islam".
Religious leaders reject
negativity directed at Australian Muslims (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 22 - Religious leaders of multiple faiths gathered at Lakemba Mosque on Friday to express solidarity with Islam and reject what they called a "barrage of negativity" directed at Australian Muslims.
Religious heads show
Muslim support (The Australian)
Aug 22 - AUSTRALIAN religious leaders say: we'll love Muslims 100 years.
Muslim leaders worried
about new terror laws (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 22 - The Abbott government faces an uphill battle to win Muslim community support for new counter-terrorism laws and to dispel fears they are fighting Islam, some community leaders and members say.
Islamic extremist Milad
Bin Ahmad-Shah Al-Ahmadzai jailed over threats to ASIO, police officers (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Aug 22 - AN Islamic extremist who threatened to “slit” the throat and crack the neck of an ASIO officer has been sentenced to nine months in prison.
Jihadist was a 'muscle
for hire' (Sydney Morning
Aug 23 - An underworld clash between Khaled Sharrouf and other crime figures over attempts to collect a disputed $9 million debt precipitated Sharrouf's departure to the Middle East to join murderous extremist group, the Islamic State.
Why Muslim youth fall
prey to extremism (The Australian)
Aug 23 – (Opinion) THE very act of practising as a religious Muslim, for those who have grown up in the West, begins as an oppositional stance.
emerges from success of Operation Pendennis (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 24 - Almost a decade after their arrest, much of the most comprehensive terrorism cell in Australian history continues to menace the country with the same messages of violence and anti-Western hate, which are being spread either by cell members or some of their close relatives.
Tony Abbott reaches out
to Islamic leaders through meetings (The Australian)
Aug 18 - ISLAMIC leaders will be urged to back the government’s new counter-terrorism laws in meetings with Tony Abbott this week to hear their concerns over measures such as imposing criminal penalties on visitors to war zones.
Tony Abbott meets Muslim
leaders to discuss travel bans (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 19 - Muslim leaders have used a bridge-building meeting with Prime Minister Tony Abbott to raise doubts about creating no-go zones that would force travellers to Iraq and Syria to prove they are not terrorists.
Tony Abbott raises
mass-casualty terror threat (The
Aug 19 - ISLAMIC leaders have urged Tony Abbott to safeguard the presumption of innocence in the government’s new counter-terrorism laws as the Prime Minister insists on the need for stronger powers to avoid a “mass casualty terrorist event” on Australian soil.
Muslim groups reject new
terror laws (Brisbane Times)
Aug 20 - Leading members of the Muslim community have dismissed planned new terror laws, saying they are a response to a trumped-up threat.
Muslim community leaders
'petty' to boycott talks: Tony Abbott (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 21 - Prime Minister Tony Abbott has criticised Muslim community leaders who "foolishly boycotted" talks with the government in Sydney and Melbourne this week for being "self-evidently petty".
Prime Minister Tony
Abbott goes to bat in recruiting Muslims for Team Australia (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 23 - For 22 years, Kadijie El-Ahmad has sold ladies' wear from her store on Lakemba's main thoroughfare, Haldon Street.
Fred Nile draws link
between abortion and breast cancer (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 21 - Christian Democratic Party MP Fred Nile says women should reconsider having abortions "if the price of the decision is breast cancer", repeating discredited views that have angered women and health groups.
warning over soon to be freed Indo extremists (news.com.au)
Aug 23 - AUTHORITIES are continuing to warn of the danger posed by extremists about to be freed from Indonesian jails, despite terror experts dismissing threats.
Israel Folau credits his
relationship with the man upstairs with making him one of the world’s best (Daily
Aug 16 - WHEN it comes to contests of biblical proportions, Israel Folau is just the man you want on your side.
SA court releases
religious protester Amy Bradshaw without conviction (news.com.au)
Aug 21 - A PROTESTER has been spared a trespassing conviction after a magistrate asked her to explain her opposition to the Federal Government’s asylum seeker policies “in 25 words or less”.
Church of Almighty God
or Eastern Lightning in Australia (news.com.au)
Aug 21 - A BRUTAL cult branded “evil” by the Chinese government is operating in Australia.
The bizarre beliefs of
aliens, super human powers and twisted child mind control inside The Family
cult (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Aug 22 - A SECRET diary uncovered after more than 30 years has revealed how notorious cult The Family trapped people in a web of fear and dependence.
Bishops unite against
‘demonic’ Islamists (The
Aug 22 - CHURCH leaders have called on Australians to stop turning a blind eye to the butchery of Christians, as well as Muslims and other groups, by radicals from Islamic State.
God is with us,
unfortunately (Sydney Morning
Aug 24 – (Opinion: Sam de Brito) Is there any point being an atheist when believers of God are prepared to kill you in His name?
Sexting: it all comes
back to religion (The Age,
Aug 24 – (Opinion: Amy Gray) Ian Botham has learned the hard way that 'viral' is the last word you want attached to your penis.
From the Archive…