by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
October 12 - 19, 2014
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Girls who raised the
alarm about paedophile teacher were reprimanded, royal commission hears (Sydney Morning
Oct 14 - Three student whistleblowers who reported their teacher for touching a younger girl in a sexual way were reprimanded by a senior staff member for the "dangers and implications" of their stories, a royal commission has heard.
Police and church
co-operated on sexual abuse victims, commission hears (Brisbane Times)
Oct 14 - The NSW Police Force had an informal agreement with the Catholic Church not to encourage victims of child sexual abuse to come forward, particularly if they were reluctant to make a formal statement, the Police Integrity Commission has heard.
Catholic Church offered
MOU on child abuse despite mandatory reporting laws (ABC
Oct 15 - The Catholic Church drafted a Memorandum of Understanding to share information with the NSW Police Force in 2004 despite being told a year earlier that the agreement breached child abuse mandatory reporting laws, an inquiry has heard.
NSW Police officer on
Catholic Church abuse panel says not her role to report (ABC News)
Oct 17 - A senior police officer who sat on an internal Catholic Church panel set up to manage allegations of sexual abuse by members of the clergy says it was not her role to report that information back to New South Wales Police, an inquiry has heard.
Priest at centre of
paedophile allegations arrives back in Australia (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 17 - A Catholic priest who was allowed to continue preaching in Papua New Guinea despite being named in child abuse compensation settlements has been deported to Australia and is likely to face being extradited from Queensland to Victoria.
Child sex abuse inquiry:
Youth pastor victim says church more concerned with reputation than him (ABC News)
Oct 17 - A man who was sexually abused by a Sunshine Coast youth pastor as a child says Australian Christian Churches was more concerned with protecting its reputation than protecting him, an inquiry heard.
Adelaide Anglican Church
synod supports priests breaching confessional to report sex abuse (ABC
Oct 18 - The Anglican Church in Adelaide has backed an earlier move by the church nationally to let its priests break the confidentiality of confessions.
The strip of land that
began an unholy row (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Oct 18 - A suburban spat has blown out to biblical proportions over a sliver of land as wide as a fence post.
Chaser team attacked for
IS gags (The West Australian)
Oct 16 - The Chaser team have been labelled "gutless wonders" for making jokes about the Islamic State terrorist group on their comedy show.
experimental teenage years sets him up for religious role in Hobart (ABC
Oct 16 - Mike Lynch insists he is not "forcing or bible-bashing" people into Christianity, but giving students from all backgrounds a religious option to consider while studying at university in Hobart.
Vatican signals change
in attitude to homosexuals (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 13 - Vatican City: An important meeting of bishops at the Vatican used remarkably conciliatory language towards gay and divorced Catholics, signalling a possible easing of the church's rigid attitudes on homosexuality and the sanctity of marriage.
'breakthrough' document embracing gay church-goers (ABC
Oct 14 - Catholic bishops have released a document calling for the Church to take a more progressive stance on family issues – including homosexuality and unmarried couples – after two weeks of closed-door meetings in the Vatican.
Vatican report indicates
progress in acceptance of homosexual couples, divorcees (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 15 - Progressive Australian Catholics have cautiously welcomed a Vatican document that uses soft and accepting language towards gay and divorced Catholics, while noting it does not change the church's doctrinal stance of homosexuality being an "objective disorder".
Bishops slam brakes on
reform push for gays and divorcees (The
Oct 17 - Vatican City (AFP) - Catholic bishops have spoken out against a landmark Vatican report calling for a more open approach to gay believers, presenting a series of strongly-worded changes bound to disappoint progressives.
George Pell: Catholic
church is not going to change its views on sexuality (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 18 - The most senior Australian in the Vatican says the discussions at the Synod on the Family are not taking the Catholic Church in a new direction in its teachings on marriage, sexuality and family, despite a more liberal stance from Pope Francis.
Vatican revises Synod
document calling on Church to welcome gay church-goers (ABC
Oct 19 - The final version of a controversial Vatican document has radically revised its earlier wording on homosexuals, eliminating language that talked more positively of them than ever before in church history.
Setback for pope as
synod fails to agree on gays, divorcees (The West Australian)
Oct 19 - Vatican City (AFP) - Roman Catholic bishops on Saturday failed to reach a consensus on opening the Church's doors to remarried divorcees and gays after a special synod on the family, in a blow to Pope Francis.
The Pope's astronomer on
space, the Bible and alien life (Brisbane
Oct 16 - Science and religion have often appeared at loggerheads, but Papal astronomer Brother Guy Consolmagno says there is no need for conflict.
Vatican to rent out the
Sistine Chapel for a private concert and cap number of visitors per year (ABC News)
Oct 18 - The Vatican will rent out the Sistine Chapel for a private concert for the first time in history, with the proceeds going to charity.
Pope faces key test with
vote on divorcees, gays (The West
Oct 19 - Vatican City (AFP) - Pope Francis was set to sort his allies from his enemies Saturday with a Vatican vote on a document drafted at the end of a fierce two-week debate over opening the Catholic Church's doors to remarried divorcees and gays.
Despite Nobel win,
Pakistan's Malala hated by many at home (The West Australian)
Oct 15 - Islamabad (AFP) - Malala Yousafzai may have won the Nobel Peace Prize, but she remains an object of hate for many Pakistanis who view her as a Western agent on a mission to shame her country.
'This isn't a video
game' - footage of Australian bombs hitting IS targets won't be released (Sydney Morning
Oct 13 - United Arab Emirates: Footage showing Australian bombs obliterating Islamic State targets won't be publicly released.
Islamic State: jihadists
boast of enslaving Yazidi women and children (ABC
Oct 13 - The Islamic State jihadist group says it has given Yazidi women and children captured in northern Iraq to its fighters as spoils of war, boasting it has revived slavery.
Woman leads Kurds in
battle against Islamic State in Kobane: activists (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 13 - Beirut: A Kurdish woman fighter is leading the battle against Islamic State jihadists in the Syrian battleground town of Kobane, a monitoring group and activists say.
Iraqi plea for US troops
as Islamic State advances in key province (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 13 - Beirut: An Iraqi provincial leader has issued a plea for US ground forces to head off total collapse in the country's largest province, a swathe of territory that could serve as a springboard for an assault on Baghdad by forces of the so-called Islamic State.
The Chinese cult behind
a brutal McDonald's murder believes Jesus has returned as a woman (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 13 - It was the back of the restaurant – beyond the fry stand, the grease-slicked counter, the droves of gawking patrons — where the murder happened.
Uighur group condemns
sentencing of 12 to death in China (The
Oct 14 - Beijing (AFP) - An overseas-based Uighur exile group on Tuesday denounced the sentencing to death of 12 people in China's Xinjiang, saying the government's approach "will invariably exacerbate an already tense situation" in the far-western region.
Netherlands says OK for
biker gangs to fight Islamic State (The
Oct 15 - The Hague: The Dutch public prosecutor said on Tuesday that motorbike gang members who have reportedly joined Kurds battling the Islamic State group in Iraq are not necessarily committing any crime.
Kurds reclaim hill from
Islamic State, tear down flag (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 16 - Northern Iraq: The US air force has launched its heaviest bombardment yet in support of Kurdish forces in northern Syria as they began a fightback against jihadists around the embattled town of Kobane.
Pakistan Taliban leaders
pledge allegiance to Islamic State (The
Oct 16 - Islamabad: In another sign of the Middle East-based Islamic State's expanding influence, the chief spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban and five regional commanders have declared allegiance to the group and its chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Isis targets Baghdad
with wave of car bombs and mortar attacks killing 150 (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 17 - Islamic State militants have targeted the Iraqi capital Baghdad with a wave of devastating car bombs and mortar attacks, killing at least 150 people since Sunday, in an escalating campaign of violence and mayhem.
Nigeria says it has a
deal with Boko Haram to release hundreds of kidnapped schoolgirls (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 18 - Abuja: Nigeria has claimed to have reached a deal with Boko Haram militants on a ceasefire and the release of more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the group six months ago.
Suspected Boko Haram
bomb attacks cast shadow over release of Nigerian schoolgirls (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 19 - Maiduguri, Nigeria: Suspected Boko Haram militants have killed several people in two attacks on Nigerian villages that occurred after the government announced a ceasefire to enable 200 abducted girls to be freed, security sources and witnesses said on Saturday.
Inside ISIS: Who the men
addicted to war are and how we can stop them (news.com.au)
Oct 18 - THEY have come down from Chechnya or across from Afghanistan, men addicted to war.
Nicolas Henin describes
‘brutal’ life as an Islamic State hostage (news.com.au)
Oct 18 - A FREED Islamic State hostage who shared a cell with all four men beheaded by the jihadis says he is still haunted by his experiences in captivity.
Al-Qaeda wants Muslims
to join Islamic State (news.com.au)
Oct 18 - TERROR group Al-Qaeda has called on Muslims worldwide to join Islamic State in their quest to create a caliphate as the militants continue to be beaten back in both Syria and Iraq.
US, Kurdish fighters
claim upper hand as Islamic State retreats (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 19 - Suru, Turkey: The advance of Islamic State forces on the Syrian city of Kobane has stalled, with the militants forced to retreat on several fronts, shifting the month-long battle in favour of the Kurdish fighters defending the city, according to commanders and Kurdish and US officials.
UK call for unity
against jihadists (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Oct 19 - THE families of two British hostages killed by the Islamic State group have urged people of all faiths to unite against the militants' "hateful acts".
'We have to stop harming
beloved children of God' (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 15 - Washington: With a bland act of office administration last Monday morning, the United States Supreme Court changed the fabric of American society.
Glenn Close grew up in a
religious cult (news.com.au)
Oct 17 - GLENN CLOSE appears to be one of the most no-nonsense women in Hollywood, but growing up under the tight control of a religious cult meant her life was once not her own.
Greek mosaic uncovered
in ancient Alexander-era tomb depicts abduction of underworld goddess (ABC News)
Oct 17 - An imposing mosaic uncovered in the largest antique tomb ever discovered in Greece depicts the myth of the abduction of Persephone, Zeus's daughter who became goddess of the underworld.
Danish immigrant party
challenges populist right (The
Oct 18 - Copenhagen (AFP) - A political party targeting the immigrant vote by advocating looser immigration laws and "a ban on banning" religious symbols has launched in Denmark amid record support for the populist right.
Darwin's new Islamic
leader set to focus on youth issues and community bridging (ABC
Oct 16 - An "open dialogue" between the Islamic and non-Islamic community is central to combating recent reports of religious intolerance in Australia, says Darwin Mosque's new religious leader.
How a women's Muslim
Aussie Rules team stood tall (The
Oct 17 - Australian Football is a prolific producer of underdog stories and this year one quietly unfolded deep in what Collingwood Chairman Eddie McGuire once dismissed as “the land of the falafel”.
Mary MacKillop would not
stand for this (Brisbane Times)
Oct 13 – (Opinion: Jessica Rudd) In the 1870s you'd have been hard-pressed to find a Kangaroo Point resident who hadn't crossed paths with Mary MacKillop.
Melbourne at capacity,
as Jehovah's Witness conference and Caulfield Cup collide (ABC
Oct 17 - Melbourne hotels are almost fully booked as more than 70,000 Jehovah's Witnesses descend on the city and mix with the Caulfield Cup crowds.
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