by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
April 12 - 19, 2015
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Newington College hit by
allegations of child sexual abuse (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 13 - Newington College has become the latest private boys school to be embroiled in claims of child sexual abuse.
'Stain on my brain':
David Owen to tell Royal Commission of life of abuse (Brisbane Times)
Apr 14 - David Owen was born after his 12-year-old mother was raped, was offered for adoption in a newspaper advertisement, and was physically, sexually and emotionally assaulted for years at an isolated orphanage run by the Catholic Sisters of Mercy.
Orphanage priest made
victim confess her 'sin': inquiry (Brisbane
Apr 14 - A Queensland woman has told a national inquiry she was repeatedly raped as a child by a Catholic priest, who then made her confess to her "sin".
Witness describes sexual
abuse by priest, beatings by nuns at Rockhampton orphanage (ABC
Apr 15 - A woman has told an inquiry how she was sexually abused by a priest and forced to drink her own urine to stay hydrated at St Joseph's Neerkol Orphanage at Rockhampton.
Child abuse inquiry:
Claims of gang rape at Rockhampton orphanage (Brisbane Times)
Apr 15 - A girl was gang raped at a central Queensland orphanage and gave birth to a child when she was 14, a national inquiry has heard.
Girl raped at an
orphanage told at birth she was 'having the devil taken out' (ABC
Apr 16 - A teenager who was raped at a Queensland orphanage and fell pregnant was told by nuns she had the devil inside her, the royal commission into child sexual abuse has heard.
Former Neerkol resident
claims nuns knew about sexual abuse (ABC
Apr 16 - The nuns at St Joseph's Neerkol Orphanage knew about the sexual abuse, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard.
Retired bishop says he
regrets not reading book written by victim from Neerkol Orphanage (ABC News)
Apr 17 - A retired bishop who dismissed child sex abuse claims made by former residents at a Rockhampton orphanage says he regrets not reading a book written by a victim.
Inquiry: 'You'll go to hell if you speak out': priest (Brisbane Times)
Apr 17 - A Catholic priest at the notorious Neerkol Orphanage in central Queensland brutally abused boys as young as nine and told his victims they would go to hell if they spoke out, a royal commission has heard.
Bishop Brian Heenan
regrets handling of child abuse at Queensland orphanage (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Apr 18 - A RETIRED senior Queensland cleric has admitted the Catholic Church failed victims of sexual abuse in the Rockhampton diocese.
NGV unfurls John
Herbert's age-worn Moses with fitting reverence (Brisbane Times)
Apr 17 - Michael Varcoe-Cocks, the National Gallery of Victoria's head of conservation, has worn his best black sports jacket for the occasion - the unrolling of John Herbert's 1878 epic Moses Bringing Down the Tables of the Law.
Kasey Chambers asks the
ultimate question through her latest single (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Apr 19 - KASEY Chambers is tackling religion with her latest single, Is God Real?
Saint Mary MacKillop walking tour app receives world's first
'i-Blessing' (ABC News)
Apr 14 - A walking tour app about the life of Australia's first and only saint, Mary MacKillop, has received an 'i-Blessing' by the Catholic Church, believed to be the world's first.
No benefit in private
schooling: Queensland study (Brisbane
Apr 14 - Spending thousands of dollars a year to send your child to private school won't improve their education, Queensland researchers have found.
Primary school public v
private debate: Study reveals public educated children do just as well (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Apr 18 - IF you can’t afford to send your kids to a posh private school, a new study shows you have nothing to worry about.
Catholic schools warn of
fee hikes (news.com.au)
Apr 17 - CATHOLIC educators warn parents will be hit with big fee hikes and some schools may even close unless the federal government increases funding.
Pope riles Turkey by
calling WWI slaughter of Armenians 'genocide' (ABC
Apr 14 - Pope Francis uttered the word "genocide" to describe the mass murder of Armenians 100 years ago, sparking anger from Turkey which summoned the Vatican's ambassador for an explanation.
France stands by choice
of gay Vatican envoy Laurent Stefanini despite Holy See silence (ABC
Apr 16 - France says it is sticking by its choice to send a gay diplomat to the Vatican despite three months of silence from the Holy See over the appointment.
archbishop, Cardinal Francis George, dies at 78 (The West Australian)
Apr 18 - CHICAGO (Reuters) - Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago from 1997 until 2014, died on Friday at the age of 78 after a long battle with cancer, Archbishop Blase Cupich said.
Iran halts pilgrims
visiting Saudi Arabian holy sites over sexual assault allegation (ABC
Apr 14 - Iran has suspended pilgrimages to Muslim holy places in Saudi Arabia in protest for an alleged sexual assault attempt against two teenage Iranian boys.
Gallipoli a ‘victory for
Allah’ (The Australian)
Apr 18 - Turkey has its own history war as a hardline President seeks to recast Gallipoli as a holy war.
Asylum seekers arrested
for 'throwing fellow passengers overboard' in religious row, say Italian police (ABC News)
Apr 17 - Italian police have arrested 15 Muslim migrants suspected of throwing a dozen Christians from a boat in the Mediterranean.
Muslim asylum seekers
throw Christian passengers overboard in Mediterranean, killing 12 (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 17 - Italian police have arrested a group of asylum seekers after witnesses said they threw 12 passengers overboard following a row about religion on a boat headed to Europe.
Hollywood recruited to
help fight IS, hacked emails show (Brisbane
Apr 17 - Top Hollywood executives including James Murdoch have been recruited to help the United States counter Islamic extremist propaganda, according to hacked Sony Pictures emails published by WikiLeaks.
Iraq massacre site turns
into 'shrine' of anti-IS war (The
Apr 17 - Tikrit (Iraq) (AFP) - On the Tigris River waterfront where jihadists executed hundreds of captured Iraqi army recruits last year, bloodstains are gradually being covered by streaks of candle wax dripping down the quay.
Iraqi governor says
former Saddam Hussein aide and Islamic State 'mastermind' Ezzat al-Douri killed (ABC News)
Apr 18 - A former aide to late Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and a leader of Iraq's insurgency, Ezzat Ibrahim al-Douri, may have been killed by Iraqi forces and Shiite militias involved in an operation against insurgent forces.
Italy struggles with
fresh wave of Mediterranean migrants (The West Australian)
Apr 18 - Rome (AFP) - A surge of migrants pouring into Europe from across the Mediterranean won't end before chaos in Libya is controlled, Italy's prime minister said Friday, as the Vatican condemned a deadly clash between Muslim and Christian refugees on one boat.
First attack on US in
Iraq since Islamic State took Mosul (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 18 - Erbil, Iraq - A suicide bomber struck the US consulate building in the northern Iraqi city of Erbil on Friday afternoon, the first assault on US facilities since Islamic State emerged as a force in Iraq.
IS claims deadly Afghan
suicide attack, which kills 33 (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 19 - The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in Afghanistan on Saturday that killed 33 people and wounded more than 100 others, President Ashraf Ghani said
Afghanistan president blames Islamic State for
Jalalabad suicide bombing (The
Apr 19 - A suicide bomber in Afghanistan’s eastern city of Jalalabad killed at least 33 people and injured more than 100 after setting off a blast outside a bank where government workers collect salaries, the city’s police chief has said.
Turin Shroud to attract
more than one million visitors during newest exhibition (ABC
Apr 19 - The Turin Shroud goes on display for the first time in five years from today, with more than a million people already booked in to view one of Christianity's most celebrated relics.
TV ‘exposure’ of
Scientology halted by UK libel law split (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 19 - Plans to broadcast HBO’s Church of Scientology exposé, Going Clear, have been shelved by Sky Atlantic in a virtual repeat of events two years ago, when UK publishers abandoned publication of the book on which the hard-hitting new TV documentary is based.
Sharky Jama, Melbourne
male model, reportedly killed fighting with Islamic State in Syria (ABC
Apr 16 - A Melbourne male model has reportedly died while fighting alongside Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria.
Melbourne model turned
ISIS recruit Sharky Jama shot dead in Syria (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Apr 16 - TONY Abbott has pleaded with Australians not to join “death cult” ISIS after Melbourne man and former model Sharky Jama died fighting with the group.
Muslim couple subjected
to racist rant on Sydney train urged to come forward (ABC
Apr 17 - A Muslim couple shown in video footage being subjected to racial abuse on a Sydney train have been urged to come forward by NSW Police.
Anti-Islamic abuse on
Sydney train: victim Hafeez Ahmed Bhatti thanks Stacey Eden (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 17 - A man at the receiving end of an anti-Islamic tirade on a Sydney train has thanked the woman who stood up for his family and is meeting police on Friday to report the incident.
Sydney racist train
rant: Muslims in Australia ‘under attack’
Apr 17 - THE Muslim man who was subjected to a vile racist rant on a Sydney train says he wants to press charges over the incident, which has left his wife too afraid to travel alone on public transport.
Suspicious fire hits
Toowoomba mosque (news.com.au)
Apr 17 - A QUEENSLAND mosque has been badly damaged in a fire police are treating as suspicious.
Toowoomba mosque fire:
Leaders condemn suspected arson (Brisbane
Apr 17 - Community leaders have lined up to condemn the second suspected arson attack on the Toowoomba mosque this year, calling it shocking, outrageous and disappointing.
Toowoomba mosque damaged
by second suspected arson attack (The
Apr 17 - A Queensland mosque has suffered its second suspected arson attack this year, prompting a spokesman to appeal to Australians to condemn anti-Islamic sentiments that are “polluting” public discussion.
welcome mosque blaze (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Apr 17 - A SECOND suspected arson attack on a southeast Queensland mosque has been labelled as a "shocking" and "outrageous" crime against religious tolerance.
Police drop probe into
anti-Muslim 'J Church' hate letters (Brisbane Times)
Apr 17 - A police investigation into an anti-Muslim campaigner has been quietly dropped, leaving dozens across the country with no explanation as to how their private home addresses were obtained, and whether their safety has been compromised.
More Australians joining
ISIS with 30 deaths confirmed (The
Apr 18 - THE number of Australians killed fighting with Islamic State in the Middle East continues to rise, with 30 now confirmed to have died.
Hoax fools wannabe
jihadis (The West Australian)
Apr 18 - An internet impostor has fooled dozens of followers of radical hate preacher Junaid Thorne into revealing their thirst for violence against Australian-based targets including newspaper cartoonists, Jewish groups and other innocent civilians.
Three released after
Melbourne terror (Opinion) (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
Apr 18 - TWO of five teenagers arrested in pre-dawn raids in Melbourne were planning an imminent terror attack targeting Anzac Day events, police allege.
Qld police's reassurance
after terror plot (The West
Apr 18 - The Queensland Police Service has moved to reassure the public about safety at Anzac Day ceremonies after an alleged terror plot was foiled in Victoria.
Victoria police apply to
hold teen arrested in raid over alleged Anzac Day terrorist attack (ABC News)
Apr 19 - Police in Victoria have applied to detain an 18-year-old man without charge for up to 48 hours after his arrest in counterterrorism raids in south-east Melbourne.
Five arrested in
counter-terrorism raids in Melbourne's south-east (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 19 - LATEST: Police have charged an 18-year-old man with conspiring to plan a terrorist attack on Anzac Day following multiple raids across Melbourne on Saturday morning.
Neighbours say they woke
to screams as Melbourne terror raids started (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 19 - When one resident of George Chudleigh Drive in Hallam woke to loud arguing between two men at 3.30am on Saturday morning, she glanced out her window – and saw at least six men, all dressed in black, carrying torches and weapons.
in Melbourne: Police foil alleged Anzac attack (news.com.au)
Apr 19 - AN alleged terror plot to attack law enforcement officers with knives and swords in Melbourne on Anzac Day was thwarted by pre-dawn raids yesterday.
Anzac Day terror plot:
Raids in Melbourne’s southeast allegedly foil plan to kill police (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Apr 19 - AN Islamic State terror plot to kill law enforcement officers with knives and swords in Melbourne on Anzac Day has been thwarted in pre-dawn raids, police allege.
Ex-members of Al-Furqun
Islamic Information Centre express fears over teachings (Herald-Sun, Melbourne)
Apr 19 - FORMER members of the radical Al-Furqan Islamic Information Centre have long suspected other members of brainwashing its young men with evil.
church revealed as Christian Scientists (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 14 - It is the question that Scott Morrison has repeatedly refused to answer.
Foreign Minister Julie
Bishop to discuss involvement in defeating Islamic State while in Iran (Brisbane Times)
Apr 18 - Tehran: Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has set a new tone for Australia's ties with Iran, breaking with years of sour suspicions over Tehran's nuclear program to emphasise "common purpose" in defeating Islamic State militants in Iraq.
Why stay at home parents
may not enjoy Morrison’s theory of tough love (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
Apr 19 – (Opinion: Samantha Maiden.) WHEN Scott Morrison graced a Liberal fundraiser in Adelaide on April Fools’ Day, his frontbench colleague Chris Pyne hailed him as prime ministerial material.
Buddhist monk charged
with wounding with intent to murder over Sydney nail gun shooting (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 16 - A Buddhist monk has been charged with wounding with intent to murder after he allegedly shot another resident of a temple in Sydney's south-west in the head with a nail gun before turning the weapon on himself.
Jimmy Carter's message:
the fight continues against male-sanctioned female submission (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 18 – (Opinion: Muriel Porter) What do Southern Baptists in the United States have in common with the Anglican Diocese of Sydney?
cornerstone of democratic values (The
Apr 18 – (Opinion: Kevin Donnelly) In his Easter message, David Cameron stated that Britain was a Christian country and that “the church is not just a collection of beautiful old buildings. It is a living, active force across our country.”
exists in name only (Brisbane
Apr 19 - If the late Brisbane Catholic Archbishop James Duhig's vision had been realised the northern entrance to the CBD would be a whole lot more holy.
Anzac merchandise being
blocked as inappropriate and unacceptable (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 19 - The Church of Scientology has topped a list of organisations and businesses that have been blocked by the government from exploiting the Anzac legacy for profit and self-promotion.
No Jab, No Pay reforms:
Religious exemptions for vaccination dumped (news.com.au)
Apr 19 - RELIGIOUS exemptions for childhood vaccinations will be scrapped to toughen Australia’s new “no jab, no pay’’ laws stripping welfare from parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.
Religious vaccination loophole
closed (The Australian)
Apr 19 - Christian Scientists will no longer be able to claim a religious exemption to avoid vaccinating their children.
Vaccination crackdown: Australia announces end
to religious exemptions (The
Apr 19 - Doctors will be given incentive payments so that parents stick to their children’s vaccination schedule, and the one religious exemption to vaccinations will end, as part of a push by the federal government to boost the immunisation rate.
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