by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
June 7 - 14, 2015
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
The cover-up at St Agnes
Primary: How Catholic Education protected a paedophile (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 8 - "It has been confirmed that you have been touching the private parts of bodies of girls at this school ...while at this point in time we don't intend to press charges we must warn you we have witnesses..."
Scotch College fields
more historical abuse cases (The
June 8 - At least two new alleged victims have contacted Scotch College amid its revelations that students were sexually abused at the school.
Cardinal George Pell
receives support from Catholic archbishops in open letter (ABC News)
June 11 - Seven prominent Catholic officials from around Australia have written an open letter endorsing Cardinal George Pell ahead of his next appearance at the royal commission into child sexual abuse.
'won't be investigated' by Vatican until after royal commission (Brisbane Times)
June 12 - A Vatican tribunal to judge bishops accused of covering up child sex abuse is unlikely to investigate any Australian bishops until after the royal commission has concluded, the church's Truth, Justice and Healing Council says.
Anger as Fred Nile joins
Q&A to discuss 'queer issues' on gay-themed episode (Brisbane Times)
June 10 - Gay rights opponent Fred Nile will discuss "queer issues" on a special LGBTQI-themed episode of Q&A next week.
James Wood's The Nearest
Thing to Life review: How atheism informs his criticism (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 14 - James Wood is in a curious position.
What awaits us in the
afterlife (Sydney Morning
June 14 - I've just finished the most fabulous book, One Hundred Days of Happiness, by Italian author Fausto Brizzi.
Scientology doco casts
an unforgiving spotlight on the church and its followers (Daily Telegraph, Sydney)
June 14 - WHEN a film’s makers declare their movie has been vetted by about 160 lawyers before release then you know you’re looking at something potentially explosive.
Vic churches to become
'companies' (The West Australian)
June 10 - An Anglican diocese in Victoria has voted to become a company so child abuse survivors will know exactly who to sue if they launch a case against the church.
Church vows to do more to stop domestic violence (ABC
June 13 - Tasmania's Anglican Church is the latest organisation to ramp up its focus on domestic violence.
Archbishop says anti-gay marriage is not ‘homophobic’ (Perth Now)
June 13 - OPPONENTS to same-sex marriage are not “homophobic”, Catholic Archbishop of Perth Timothy Costelloe has told parishioners.
Young Catholics prepare
for World Youth Day 2016 in Poland (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 14 - A contingent of young Catholics are preparing to undertake a pilgrimage next year to hear Pope Francis share a message of mercy at World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow, Poland.
Dalai Lama supports
ethics classes in NSW schools (Brisbane
June 10 - The Dalai Lama has thrown his support behind ethics classes in NSW schools saying world religions have failed in their mission to create a better world.
Sydney teenager Georgia
Simpson petitions to remove anti-gay marriage material from schools (news.com.au)
June 13 - A SYDNEY teenager shocked by anti-gay marriage literature handed out at her school is leading the charge to have the booklets banned.
Pope Francis approves
new Vatican department to investigate bishops who cover up sexual abuse (ABC News)
June 11 - Pope Francis has approved an unprecedented Vatican department to judge bishops accused of covering up or not preventing sexual abuse of minors, meeting a key demand by victims' groups.
Saudi court upholds
flogging verdict against blogger (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 8 - Riyadh: Saudi Arabia's highest court has upheld a verdict against liberal blogger Raif Badawi, in a case that has triggered international protest.
New Ramadan rules where
sun never sets (news.com.au)
June 12 - MUSLIMS in the Nordic region can expect new guidelines for coping with a sun that never sets ahead of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, a Swedish Muslim association said.
Islamic State: not just
beheadings but taxes and business rules too (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 8 - Sanliurfa, Turkey: The Syrian businessman was enjoying a much-needed holiday in Turkey when the phone call came from the tax inspector of the Islamic State.
Islamic State hostage
ransom demands often met by European governments, expert says (ABC
June 9 - A French freelance journalist who was held hostage for 10 months by Islamic State (IS) has told the ABC's Foreign Correspondent program he is "extremely happy to be French, because I am very happy with the way the French government handles this type of situation".
Islamic State may have
materials to build large ‘dirty’ bomb: Bishop (news.com.au)
June 9 - FOREIGN Minister Julie Bishop has warned that the Islamic State is believed to have gathered radioactive material from hospitals and laboratories, giving it the tools to make a large “dirty” bomb.
The unbelievable damage
Islamic State has done to ancient sites in Iraq and Syria (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 10 - As the Islamic State continues its efforts to create a "caliphate," killing thousands in its path, the group is also pursuing another campaign: the destruction of historic sites.
US teen behind IS tweets
faces 15 years in prison (The
June 12 - Alexandria (United States) (AFP) - A tech-savvy US teenager who was prolific on Twitter pleaded guilty Thursday to using social media to aid the Islamic State group, a crime punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Bang and bling for Kurdish
pop diva's anti-IS anthem (The
June 13 - Arbil (Iraq) (AFP) - High heels, fatigues and gold rifle-shaped rings -- singer Helly Luv's blend of bang and bling has made her the most popular cheerleader for the Iraqi Kurds' war against jihadists.
Two nuns stuck in a
convent lift (news.com.au)
June 9 - TWO nuns became stuck in a lift at a convent in Italy and despite praying the rosary and calling for help, there was no divine intervention.
Oscar winner Paul
Haggis: I was a ‘fool’ for being a Scientologist (news.com.au)
June 13 - PAUL Haggis wishes he had helped blow the whistle on the Church of Scientology long before participating in this year’s explosive documentary Going Clear.
Cuba undergoes a
religious revival (The Guardian,
June 13 - As Cuban totalitarianism and the memory of enforced atheism both fade, Christian denominations old and new are making inroads.
Australian Al Qaeda
militant identified by single strand of hair kept hidden by hostages (ABC
June 8 - A single strand of hair provided compelling evidence that an Australian convert to Islam was a member of the terrorist group Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and that he was involved in hostage-taking in Yemen two years ago.
Australian killed in
drone strike took Finnish couple hostage in Yemen, DNA shows (The Age, Melbourne)
June 9 - DNA tests have reportedly revealed an Australian man killed in a US drone strike in Yemen was a jihadist who had taken European hostages.
Islamic preacher who
flew under false name stupid and rash, defence lawyer tells court (ABC
June 9 - An Islamic preacher charged with flying within Australia under a false name did so to avoid detection by law enforcement agencies, his lawyer says.
Authorities warned about
using Islamic State defectors (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 10 - Authorities must be cautious using people who have returned from fighting with Islamic State to promote a counter-narrative to discourage others from following in their footsteps, a leading terrorist researcher says.
Abbott opens terror
summit with warning that ISIS is coming with a simple message: Submit or die (news.com.au)
June 11 - PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has warned a counter terrorism summit that Islamic State terrorists are coming to Australia with a “simple message, submit or die.”
Abbott's summit to
prevent Muslim extremism was missing one ingredient - input from Muslims (Sydney Morning
June 14 – (Opinion: David Wroe) The Abbott government's vaunted summit to counter violent extremism was supposed to find innovative new ways to blunt the messages of the Islamic State terror group.
Same-sex marriage: why
the government needs to stay in our bedrooms (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 14 – (Opinion: Judith Ireland) It's not every day that you hear conservative politicians wondering if we should organise our love lives like the French.
Faith, bigotry and the children
of gay parents (Brisbane Times)
June 10 – (Opinion: Steve Dow) Opponents of gay marriage are unfairly dragging children into the debate, but studies show they are just fine, thank you.
Sunday School teacher
jailed for fraud (Brisbane Times)
June 10 - A Queensland Sunday school teacher swindled $75,000 from her employer to help pay for family ceremonies including weddings and funerals, a court has heard.
Sale of three Jehovah's
Witness halls in South Australia an 'expansion plan' (ABC
June 10 - Adelaide's Jehovah's Witness community says the sale of three places of worship is not in response to dwindling attendances but is instead part of an expansion plan.
Brisbane anti-IS fighter
takes to Facebook, says terrorist group 'must be stopped' (ABC
June 11 - A Brisbane man fighting against Islamic State (IS) has taken to Facebook, saying he is willing to sacrifice his life to "help liberate the innocent children and women to give them a better chance at life".
Brisbane man posts to
Facebook he won't come home from Islamic State fight (Brisbane Times)
June 11 - A Brisbane man fighting against Islamic State in the Middle East refuses to return to Australia until the terrorist group is stopped.
Christian couple vow to
divorce if same-sex marriage is legalised (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 11 - A Canberra couple have vowed to get a divorce, ending their "sacred" 10-year union, if Australia allows same-sex couples to legally marry.
Developers told to
respect sensitive Aboriginal heritage sites (The Age, Melbourne)
June 11 - Melbourne's significant Aboriginal heritage sites will be mapped and developers told to respect sensitive locations such as sacred trees and the Melbourne Cricket Ground precinct, once home to big tribal gatherings.
Mother, father, child:
the best formula so far (The Age,
June 11 – (Opinion: Peter Day) There hasn't been much gentleness or wisdom surrounding the same-sex marriage debate.
Brisbane protest calls
on Dalai Lama to end ‘persecution against Shugden Buddhists’ (The Courier-Mail, Brisbane)
June 11 - A GROUP of about 40 people have gathered out the front of the Brisbane Convention centre to protest the Dalai Lama.
Treat all as brothers,
sisters: Dalai Lama (The West
June 12 - The Dalai Lama has urged his followers to follow his example by thinking of all humanity as their "brothers and sisters".
Jodhi Meares does it her
– and Lord Buddha's – way (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 13 - By her own admission headline-making Jodhi Meares knows a lot about karma.
Dalai Lama's bad news
for hipsters (Brisbane Times)
June 13 - Bad news hipsters.
Is biblical story
pre-Darwinian mythology and post-Darwinian nonsense? (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 14 – (Opinion: Brian Kilday) Speculation about the existence of supernatural deities is ultimately futile; it is impossible to prove, for example, that the gods of Olympus do not exist.
Lebanese created the
perfect storm for recruiting their youth to fight in Syria (Brisbane Times)
June 14 - He has been appointed as the new spokesman for the Australian Syrian Association even though his background is Lebanese.
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