by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Selection
February 14 - 21, 2016
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.
Sex abuse survivors seek
approval to attend Cardinal's hearing after crowdfunding success (ABC
Feb 17 - Abuse survivors who are travelling to Rome after a successful crowdfunding campaign call on the royal commission into child sexual abuse to "flex a bit of muscle" and make sure they can be in the room when Cardinal George Pell gives evidence.
Ballarat bishop agrees
to be sued for historic sex abuse claims in lieu of dead predecessor (ABC
Feb 17 - A Catholic bishop in regional Victoria has agreed to be sued for sex abuse claims dating back to the 1960s, standing in the place of his long-dead predecessor.
Cardinal Pell hits back
at claims he is 'under investigation' over child abuse allegations (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 19 - Cardinal George Pell has strongly denied allegations of involvement in child sexual abuse, saying they are without foundation and utterly false after reports he is being investigated for “multiple offences” while serving in senior positions within the church in Australia.
Church backs Cardinal
George Pell over child sex abuse allegations (Brisbane Times)
Feb 20 - A senior Catholic Church figure has claimed abuse allegations against Cardinal George Pell are part of a co-ordinated campaign designed to do "maximum damage" to his reputation ahead of his appearance before the child sex abuse royal commission later this month.
Cardinal and bishop
allowed known paedophile priest to move from parish to parish (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 21 - The victim of a paedophile priest told a court that the then Cardinal of the Sydney archdiocese and a high-ranking bishop allowed the perpetrator to move on to other parishes despite knowing he had sexually abused a young boy.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Religion in Australia
explored from 1788 onwards by Wayne Hudson (The Australian)
Feb 20 - At the 2011 census, 61 per cent of Australians identified as Christian and a further 7 per cent as belonging to other faith traditions (mostly Buddhism, Islam or Hinduism). Accordingly, about two-thirds of the population was at least nominally “religious”.
Safe Schools 'hijacked
by activists' (Brisbane Times)
Feb 17 - Queensland's Education Minister has hit out at her Opposition counterpart for spreading "misinformation and fear" after the LNP demanded the government "urgently" review use of the Safe Schools Coalition resource in the state's schools.
Pope Francis may relax
Catholic Church condom ban to fight Zika virus (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 19 - Rome: Pope Francis has appeared to open the door to a possible limited softening of the Roman Catholic Church's ban on contraception because of the Zika virus.
Pope's tough words in
Mexico won't create 'miracle' (Seven News)
Feb 19 - Mexico City (AFP) - Pope Francis delighted many in Mexico by taking political and religious leaders to task during his trip, but he also stayed silent on thorny issues such as pedophilia scandals and high-profile crimes.
Donald Trump calls Pope
Francis 'disgraceful' (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 19 - Washington: Donald Trump has called Pope Francis "disgraceful" for daring to criticise Mr Trump's extreme anti-immigration stance.
Pope's criticism of
Donald Trump as 'not Christian' is not personal, Vatican says (ABC
Feb 20 - The Vatican has tried to tamp down a firestorm ignited by Pope Francis' comments assailing Donald Trump's views on US immigration as "not Christian", assuring the Republican presidential front-runner that it was not a personal attack or attempt to influence the US campaign.
A moral hazard:
Indonesia at flashpoint over gay rights (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 19 - The 52-year-old singer, actress and comedian is a household name – so much so that last December she was among a posse of comedians invited to feast with President Joko Widodo at his palace.
Islamic State faces
budget crunch, cuts salaries, energy drinks and Snickers (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 17 - Beirut: Faced with a cash shortage in its so-called caliphate, Islamic State has slashed salaries across the region, asked residents to pay utility bills in black market American dollars, and is now releasing detainees for a price.
Religious 'relics' of a
modern-day messiah in S. Korea (Seven News)
Feb 18 - As exhibits of religious relics go, it's an unusual collection, but then Sun Myung Moon, the late founder of the Unification Church was -- like him or loathe him -- an unusual man.
‘Having people find out
is my greatest fear’: Australian ex-Muslims form secretive online group (news.com.au)
Feb 20 - Young Australian ex-Muslims who have become disillusioned with their former religion are operating in a secretive online community, because they fear being shunned by their families and friends.
The life of a resettled
Syrian refugee (The Saturday
Feb 20 - Around the corner from Lakemba Mosque, with its Refugees Welcome Here banner, in a modest two-bedroom, sparsely furnished red-brick apartment, one new arrival from Syria is feeling lucky.
Christian lobby seeks
anti-discrimination 'override' for plebiscite campaign (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 16 - The leading advocates for a "no" vote on same-sex marriage are pushing the federal government to "override" anti-discrimination laws during the upcoming plebiscite campaign.
Religious leaders urge
Malcolm Turnbull to drop plebiscite on marriage equality (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 17 - Forty religious leaders have written to the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, urging him to drop the proposal to hold a plebiscite on marriage equality, saying a public campaign on the issue would be damaging to same-sex couples and religious people alike.
RELIGION & SOCIETY
same-sex school formal backfires as donations roll in (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 17 - A conservative group’s attempt to sabotage a formal for young queer people has spectacularly backfired.
This is how marriage
equality debate could look if vilification laws lifted for Christian lobby (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 17 - Legal experts have poured cold water over a call from the Australian Christian Lobby for the the federal government to “override” anti-discrimination laws during the marriage equality debate.
Who are the Australian
Christian Lobby? (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 19 - The ACL has been prominent recently calling on anti-discrimination laws to be relaxed during the same sex marriage debate, but who is this group?
From the Archive…
Religion News Australia 2015 – 34 (Sept 6 - 13)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 33 (Aug 30 – Sept 6)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 32 (Aug 23 - 30)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 31 (Aug 16 - 23)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 30 (Aug 9 - 16)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 29 (Aug 2 - 9)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 28 (July 26 – Aug 2)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 27 (July 19 - 26)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 26 (July 12 - 19)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 25 (July 5 - 12)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 24 (June 28 – July 5)
Religion News Australia 2015 – 23 (June 21 - 28)