by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Selection
June 7 - 14, 2015
selection of religion news stories from Australia.
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Inclusion here does not endorse the veracity or quality of any particular item – it just means
I found it worth reading and reflecting on (even if badly conceived or poorly written).
If you’re after the
unexpurgated (and reasonably unbiased) version,
see Religion News Australia which appears weekly on our website.
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..."
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.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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'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.
RELIGION & SOCIETY
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.
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".
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.
From the Archive…