by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
August 24 - 31, 2014
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Church took 20 years to
defrock paedophile priest, inquiry hears (ABC
Aug 26 - It took more than 20 years and three requests to Rome to defrock a priest convicted of child sexual abuse, the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart has told an inquiry.
Church could treble
abuse compensation, says finance chief (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 26 - The Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne has been forced to provide the Royal Commission with its balance sheet and other private financial dealings, which reveal the church controls a vast portfolio of property and investments valued at $309 million and reaped almost $53 million in income last year.
New abuse inquiry for
Anglican Church (The Australian)
Aug 26 - NSW police have launched a major new investigation into alleged child sex abuse within the Anglican Church in Newcastle.
Archbishop Denis Hart's
royal commission response sparks heated exchange (The Age, Melbourne)
Aug 26 - Melbourne Catholic Archbishop Denis Hart instructed his lawyers to "take the defences" in a high-profile victim's court case, it was revealed hours after he told the sex abuse royal commission that he had only told the lawyers to resolve the matter as quickly and compassionately as possible.
Denis Hart defends role of celibacy in Catholic Church (ABC
Aug 27 - The Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Denis Hart, has defended the place of celibacy in the church, even though he says it is a burden for some priests.
Anglican Church sex
abuse inquiry widens (The
Aug 27 - DETECTIVES investigating child sex abuse within the Anglican Church in Newcastle, NSW, will interview potential victims and witnesses from across the country.
More complaints on Vic
Christian Brother (Brisbane Times)
Aug 29 - Four more people have made complaints against a former Christian Brother charged with child sex offences, a Victorian court has heard.
Bright, gregarious and
funny - but with a secret pain (The
Aug 30 – Sam Keating, who took his own life last month at the age of 25, hid a dark secret for nearly 20 years.
Nature tells us celibacy
is not natural, the Catholic Church should listen (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Aug 30 – (Opinion: Tom Elliott) THE ongoing Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse has already shone some welcome light into a variety of dark places.
George Pell's blindness
on child sex abuse (The Saturday Paper,
Aug 30 – (Opinion: Martin McKenzie-Murray) Emma’s anguish was an awful jigsaw to her parents.
Turning blind eye to sex
abuse of children is not a rare flaw (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 31 – (Opinion: Annabel Crabb) Most of us – if asked – would agree that the sexual abuse of children is about as bad as human behaviour gets.
Priest raises eyebrows
with Gosford Anglican Church signs on race, gay marriage and the media (ABC
Aug 27 - Father Rod Bower is not your average priest.
Church’s Father Rod Bower ignites social media storm with witty signs (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Aug 26 - AN ANGLICAN reverend has become a social media sensation for his irreverent and witty signs that often fly in the face of the traditional views people expect from the church.
Close encounters with
prejudice (The West Australian)
Aug 28 - Picture this: a happily engaged gay couple living alongside a deeply religious minister who is strongly opposed to same-sex marriage.
Tony Abbott to keep
secular workers out of school chaplaincy program (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 27 - The Abbott government is poised to announce a revamped school chaplaincy program following two High Court rulings that the program is constitutionally invalid.
South Australia, ACT
reject Federal Government's offer to fund $250m school chaplaincy program (ABC News)
Aug 30 - South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory have rejected the Federal Government's offer to fund a school chaplaincy program worth nearly $250 million, after non-religious counsellors were excluded from the scheme.
Adrian Piccoli wants
feds to fund secular school 'chaplains' (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 30 - Students felt safer and bullying had been reduced in public high schools with secular welfare officers, says an independent review that the NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli has sent to the federal government after its push to fund religious-only chaplains in schools.
School chaplain v social
worker: It’s students who miss out (Adelaide
Aug 30 – (Opinion: Lainie Anderson) WHEN it comes to education, there are a few things I’ve never understood: how to work out a percentage; the value in learning to dissect a frog; and the need for chaplains in secular schools.
Hot topic: Religious
instruction in schools (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 31 – (Opinion: Jacqueline Maley) Imagine this: A Muslim zealot hands out offensive brochures in a public school.
leader Mohamed Badie's death sentence reduced to life in prison by Egypt court (ABC News)
Aug 31 - An Egyptian court has commuted a death sentence against the Muslim Brotherhood's spiritual leader Mohamed Badie to life in prison, in one of many trials of Islamists since their removal from power.
US journalist Theo
Curtis freed in Syria as Britain closes in on James Foley's killer (ABC
Aug 25 - Kidnappers in Syria have freed a US journalist missing since 2012, as authorities say they are closing in on the Islamic State militant who executed reporter James Foley last week.
US journalist in Syria
Peter Theo Curtis is freed days after James Foley beheading (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 25 - An American journalist held captive for nearly two years by al-Qaeda's official branch in Syria has been freed, according to a representative of the journalist's family and a report on Sunday by the Al-Jazeera network.
Rapper identified as
James Foley's executioner: reports (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 25 - British intelligence agencies MI5 and MI6 have identified the man suspected of the horrific beheading of American journalist James Foley, according to UK media reports.
Islamic State? No, call
it QSIS, says top Islamic authority in Egypt (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 25 - Cairo: The top Islamic authority in Egypt, revered by many Muslims worldwide, launched an Internet-based campaign on Sunday challenging an extremist group in Syria and Iraq by saying it should not be called an "Islamic State."
Boko Haram leader claims
Nigerian town is ruled by Islamic law (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 26 - Abuja: The leader of Nigeria's Islamist group Boko Haram said his fighters were now ruling the captured northeastern town of Gwoza "by Islamic law", in the first video to state a territorial claim in more than five years of violent insurrection.
Isis: an apocalyptic
cult carving a place in the modern world (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 26 – (Opinion: John Gray) The rapid advance of Islamic State (Isis) through Iraq has produced panic in the west – not all of it irrational.
'Lady al-Qaeda': The
US-educated PhD the Islamic State desperately wants to free (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 29 - Amid the kidnappings, the demands for riches and the executions, a name of controversy and conspiracy has reemerged: Aafia Siddiqui.
sees extent of atrocities in northern Iraq (news.com.au)
Aug 29 - THE Australian government has been given horrific imagery from US satellites and unmanned spy planes showing the extent of atrocities committed by Islamic militants in northern Iraq, as President Barack Obama says the US doesn’t “have a strategy yet” to deal with the terror group.
UN chief slams 'brutal'
IS killings in Iraq (The West
Aug 29 - Nusa Dua (Indonesia) (AFP) - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday slammed "brutal killings of civilians" by Islamic State jihadists in northern Iraq, saying the Sunni radical group was tearing apart whole communities.
Syria refugees top 3 million,
US has no strategy 'yet' (The
Aug 30 - Damascus (AFP) - The number of refugees from the Syria conflict now tops three million, the UN said Friday, as US President Barack Obama admitted he has no strategy to tackle advancing jihadists.
Britain raises terrorism
threat level to 'severe' in anticipation of possible attacks in Iraq, Syria (ABC News)
Aug 30 - Britain has raised its terrorism threat level to "severe", the second highest level, in response to possible attacks being planned in Syria and Iraq.
How amateur peacemaker
Stephen Davis rescued kidnapped girls from Boko Haram (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 30 - Earlier this month, Australian counter terrorism officials conducted separate interviews with Stephen Davis and his wife.
Dozens of Yazidi women
sold into marriage by Islamic State militants, activist group says (ABC
Aug 31 - Several dozen Yazidi women kidnapped by Islamic State (IS) jihadists in Iraq have been taken to Syria, forced to convert and sold into marriage to militants, an activist group says.
Iraq launches drive to
break jihadist siege of Amerli (The
Aug 31 - Kirkuk (Iraq) (AFP) - Iraq has launched a major operation to liberate a jihadist-besieged town, as US Secretary of State John Kerry called for a global coalition to combat the "genocidal" militants.
Islamic State offers grim inspiration (The West Australian)
Aug 31 - Nairobi (AFP) - Amid fears Islamic State fighters are inspiring jihadists outside the Middle East, analysts warn it has emboldened extremists in Africa operating in voids left by weak governments and rampant corruption.
British brain tumour boy
found in Spain: police (The West
Aug 31 - Madrid (AFP) - Ashya King, the five-year-old British boy with a brain tumour who was taken from hospital without medical consent, has been found in Spain with his parents, who have been arrested, Spanish police said.
One torn page of the
Koran sells at bargain auction for $74,000 (Brisbane Times)
Aug 25 - The pre-auction estimate was $40 to $60, which is where the early bidding started on the internet.
Islamic radical Wissam
Haddad dares PM Tony Abbott to rip up his passport (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Aug 27 - THE leader of one of Australia’s radical Islamic centres and friend of Islamic State terrorist Khaled Sharrouf has challenged the Abbott government to revoke his citizenship.
Radical Islamic preacher
Mohammed Junaid Thorne to spread the word of jihad on his Sydney tour (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Aug 27 - FIREBRAND Perth Islamic preacher Mohammed Junaid Thorne will hold “spiritual cleansing” sessions with radical followers in Sydney this week.
Mohammed Junaid Thorne to conduct ‘spiritual cleansing’ sesssions with
followers (The Courier-Mail,
Aug 27 - A RADICAL extremist who lectured Muslims in Brisbane this year has implored his followers to reject Team Australia and support Team Islam.
My Muslim religion has
problems that need fixing (The
Aug 29 – (Opinion: Glenn Mohammed) I am an Australian, I am a Muslim. I am an Australian Muslim.
Muslims meet radical
cleric (The West Australian)
Aug 29 - Australia's most senior Muslim called a meeting in Sydney last night with Perth's pro-Islamic State preacher, Mohammed Junaid Thorne, amid fears that his Millatu-Ibrahim group is attracting young men to the terrorist movement.
Logan father radicalised
by sheikh, joins Islamic State (The
Aug 31 - A LOGAN man fighting under the Islamic State in Syria was brainwashed into joining the terrorist organisation after attending a radical talk in Brisbane, it can be revealed.
Children can’t be
children when the family training is based on jihad (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Aug 31 – (Opinion: Caroline Marcus) AS PARENTS across the country quibble over whether their children are being unfairly tested in literacy and numeracy, a legion of infants schooled in forces far darker than the NAPLAN is slipping through the cracks.
dropped in letterboxes in Bondi and Double Bay (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Aug 26 - ANTI-SEMITIC flyers have been dropped in eastern Sydney letterboxes only weeks after a group of schoolchildren were racially abused on a bus in the area, a Jewish community figure says.
We won't demonise Muslim
community: PM (Brisbane Times)
Aug 26 - Prime Minister Tony Abbott has reassured coalition MPs the government doesn't intend to demonise the Islamic community with its expanded counter-terrorism laws.
No decision 'so far' on
committing forces to fight IS militants in Iraq and Syria (ABC
Aug 27 - The Abbott Government says "so far" no decision has been made to commit Australian forces to join either expanded US air strikes in Iraq or potential military action in Syria.
Kevin Andrews books out
parliament room for anti-gay marriage conference (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 27 - Social services minister Kevin Andrews has booked out the main committee room of parliament house on behalf of an anti-gay marriage organisation which is linked to the controversial World Congress of Families.
Kevin Andrews cancels
appearance at controversial World Congress of Families meeting (ABC News)
Aug 29 - Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has cancelled a planned address to a controversial conference that endorses anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage messages.
Kevin Andrews cancels
plans to open World Congress of Families conference (The Age, Melbourne)
Aug 29 - Federal Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews has cancelled his plans to open a conference of the controversial World Congress of Families.
Kevin Andrews cancels
plan to open World Congress of Families conference (The Australian)
Aug 29 - KEVIN Andrews’ decision not to speak at the controversial World Congress of Families conference is a cop out, the event’s new host says.
withdrawal from World Congress of Families reveals dilemma over religious right (The Age, Melbourne)
Aug 31 – (Opinion: Josh Gordon) Robert Clark's last-minute decision to pull out of the World Congress of Families is a sign of just how flummoxed the Coalition has become when it comes to dealing with the religious right in Victoria.
George Brandis meets
Muslim ‘moderates’ over security issues (The Australian)
Aug 29 - ATTORNEY-General George Brandis will today meet key leaders from Sydney’s Muslim community to thrash out aspects of the Abbott government’s promise of “local engagement” to counter radicalisation of young Australians.
Sydney Muslim leaders
left 'disappointed' by meeting with Attorney-General George Brandis (ABC
Aug 30 - Muslim leaders say they have been left disappointed by a meeting with Attorney-General George Brandis to discuss proposed anti-terror laws in Sydney.
constructive, insists A-G (The
Aug 30 - Attorney-General George Brandis says he received useful feedback at a meeting with Muslim leaders, who have criticised his tardiness and remain sceptical about proposed changes to anti-terrorism laws.
George Brandis meeting
leaves Muslim leaders frustrated with dialogue (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 31 - Community consultation over proposed anti-terrorism laws has been “insufficient” to allay concerns, a Muslim leader says.
Iraqi Christians, Yazidi
refugees fleeing Islamic State for Australia may miss out on visas (ABC
Aug 25 - As hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians and Yazidi refugees flee Islamic State (IS) militants, family members living in Australia are hoping to secure special humanitarian visas for their loved ones.
Muslim unity bid over
terrorism laws ends in frustration (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 25 - The federal government's proposed anti-terrorism laws have provoked bitter in-fighting within the Muslim community with some leaders walking out of a "unity" meeting amid claims of deception and power-play.
Baptist minister Leslie
Nixon, 82, charged with hijacking plane (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Aug 28 - THE Baptist minister who allegedly attempted to take control of a plane over central NSW, forcing a young pilot into a death-defying, powerless landing in a paddock, was last night charged over his apparent suicide mission.
Science, not God, saved
him from Ebola (The Age,
Aug 29 - (Opinion: Sam de Brito) The good news is Dr Kent Brantly, an American doctor who contracted Ebola in Liberia, West Africa, has been cured of the deadly virus and released from hospital.
Uniting Church to dump
fossil fuel corporation investment (The
Aug 30 - The Uniting Church in Australia will stop investing in corporations that extract dirty or risky fossil fuels, saying it must do its part to support small island states at risk over global warming.
heckled at Vic event (news.com.au)
Aug 30 - PROTESTERS have heckled attendees of a controversial World Congress of Families conference in Melbourne with calls of shame, after two prominent politicians pulled out at the last minute.
Angela Lanfranchi, who
links abortion and cancer, stars at families congress (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 30 - The conservative World Congress of Families promoted the controversial American breast cancer doctor Angela Lanfranchi as its star conference speaker on Saturday, after several politicians who were scheduled to appear pulled out.
'Poverty 90% solved' by
traditional marriage, speaker tells World Congress of Families (The Age, Melbourne)
Aug 31 - Ninety per cent of poverty could be solved through the affirmation of marriage between a man and woman, a contentious conference in Melbourne has heard.
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