by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Australia
February 21 - 28, 2016
Religion news stories from Australia
(Research: Greg Spearritt)
Cardinal George Pell
calls for inquiry into alleged Victoria Police investigation leak (ABC
Feb 22 - Cardinal George Pell has written to Acting Victorian Police Minister Robin Scott asking for an inquiry into a "maliciously timed" leak concerning a police investigation into abuse allegations.
Victoria Police refer
leak of investigation into Cardinal George Pell to IBAC (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 22 - Victoria Police has referred the Herald-Sun's explosive leak on sexual abuse allegations against Cardinal George Pell to the state's Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission.
Andrew Bolt lashes out
at Herald Sun reporter over George Pell story (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 22 - A Herald Sun report claiming Cardinal George Pell is being investigated by police over child abuse allegations has sparked angry words between the paper’s top columnist Andrew Bolt and the reporter behind the exclusive story.
Former Ballarat student
'beaten up by convicted child abuser' (ABC News)
Feb 22 - A former student of St Patrick's College in Ballarat says he was beaten up by convicted child abuser Brother Edward Dowlan after reporting him to the school for "putting his hands" down students' pants.
'contributed to' abuse (Seven News)
Feb 23 - The "sexual revolution" of the 1970s may have contributed to Christian Brothers sexually abusing children in a Victorian community, a religious superior says.
George Pell to give
evidence to child abuse royal commission from Rome's Hotel Quirinale (ABC
Feb 23 - Cardinal George Pell will give evidence to the child abuse royal commission via video link from the Hotel Quirinale in Rome from next Monday.
Former Ballarat school
headmaster 'cannot remember' complaints (ABC News)
Feb 23 - The former headmaster of a Ballarat school where a notorious paedophile operated says he cannot remember any sexual abuse complaints ever being made against the teacher, a royal commission has heard.
Child sexual abuse: are
churches covering up or opening up? (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 23 – (Opinion: John McMillan) Recent media coverage of Cardinal George Pell's recall to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has ignited public debate on whether churches are willing to face up to child sexual abuse.
Christian Brother didn't
believe complaint (The
Feb 24 - A religious superior threatened to "get" a teacher who complained about a pedophile Christian Brother, an inquiry has heard.
Christian Brothers hired
private investigator to 'dig dirt' on abuse victims (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 25 - The Christian Brothers hired a private investigator in 1995 to "dig up dirt" on victims of a notorious paedophile priest in Ballarat.
Tim Minchin says George
Pell should wash feet of child sex abuse survivors (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 26 - Musician and comedian Tim Minchin says Cardinal George Pell should show contrition to survivors of child sexual abuse and “get on his knees and wash their feet” when he attends a public hearing of the royal commission in Rome on Monday.
The cardinal and the
royal commission: the questions George Pell must answer (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 26 – (Opinion: David Marr) Cardinal George Pell is bold.
How could Pell not have
known of child abuse? (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 27 – (Opinion: Peter FitzSimons) This will be the week that Cardinal George Pell, a pillar of the Catholic Church in Australia for much of the last four decades, and now the third most powerful figure at the Vatican, faces the Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse.
Pell’s enemies have a
field day (The Australian)
Feb 27 – (Opinion: Gerard Henderson) Cardinal’s reputation has been tarnished for all time, irrespective of royal commission’s findings.
Another blow to the
church (The Australian)
Feb 27 – (Opinion: John Ferguson) Whatever is revealed by investigations into George Pell, Catholicism is in crisis.
Cops probed disgraced
Tasmanian ex-priest (The Mercury,
Feb 27 - A FORMER Tasmanian priest has been linked to one of Australia’s most notorious and heart-wrenching missing persons cases — the disappearance of toddler William Tyrrell.
Child abuse survivors
arrive in Rome ahead of George Pell's royal commission appearance (ABC
Feb 28 - Church sex abuse victims and their supporters have finished arriving in Rome to witness Cardinal George Pell front the child abuse royal commission.
'We spoke in front of
the world' – abuse victims in Rome to see George Pell testify (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 28 - It was not easy for Paul Levey to make it to Rome today to watch one of the most senior officials in the Catholic church, Cardinal George Pell, face questions about what he knew about rampant sexual abuse in his former diocese in Australia.
Catholic women's group
likens surrogacy to factory farming (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 24 - A Catholic women's group has used a photoshopped image of battery hens in an effort to liken commercial surrogacy to factory farming, as part of its submission to a federal government inquiry.
All men need intimacy.
Even priests (Daily Telegraph,
Feb 28 – (Opinion: Angela Mollard) I was 16 when I watched The Thorn Birds. Riveted hardly describes it. Rachel Ward’s softly beckoning breasts, Richard Chamberlain’s torturous conundrum between God and girl. To my teenage hormones, the romance was captivating and the sexual tension thrilling.
Lobby condemns Sydney school's 'rainbow politics' (ABC News)
Feb 23 - The Australian Christian Lobby has condemned a move by a Sydney high school to allow male students to wear female uniforms, and to let students freely express what gender they identify with.
Q&A recap: Justice
Minister warns school children can be radicalised 'very quickly' (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 23 - Q&A hit its mark on Monday night when it went to the three Rs of modern education: reading, writing and - brace yourselves - radicalisation.
Scots College: Church
takes over top private Sydney school (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 24 - The Presbyterian church has dismissed the entire ruling council of one of Sydney's most expensive private schools over "governance concerns".
Safe Schools program:
why zealots are trying to drag us back to the dark ages (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 24 – (Opinion: Jill Stark) Imagine being 12 years old and seeing your name scrawled across a school toilet door next to the word "faggot."
Safe Schools program is
making a difference (The Age,
Feb 27 – (Opinion: Farrah Tomazin) Sometimes you're grateful for the little things, because the little things can make a big difference.
Should religion be part
of the Queensland state school curriculum? (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 28 - While the Safe Schools LGBTI resources debate rages on, a new Queensland group has turned the focus on religious instruction in state schools and whether it still has a place.
tells parishioners to avoid the Girl Scouts and their cookies (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 26 - St Louis, Missouri: A Catholic archdiocese is encouraging parishioners to scale back ties with the Girl Scouts, advising them to think twice about membership and even about buying their cookies.
Philippine bishop tells
Catholics to boycott Madonna concert (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 25 - Manila: A Roman Catholic bishop in the Philippines on Wednesday urged the faithful to stay away from American pop singer Madonna's two-night concert in Manila, calling her music "suggestive" and her clothes "vulgar".
gay community under attack (Seven News)
Feb 25 - Jakarta (AFP) - The small gay community in conservative, Muslim-majority Indonesia is facing a sudden and unexpected backlash, with ministers and religious leaders denouncing homosexuality, LGBT websites blocked and emboldened hardliners launching anti-gay raids.
Big turnout as Iran
votes to shape future (The
Feb 26 - Iranians have voted in elections likely to determine the pace of their emergence from years of economic isolation, with Iran's top leader, a stern critic of detente with the West, urging a big turnout to snub the country's "enemies".
Gays and lesbians feel
heat of discrimination and prejudice in Indonesia (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 27 - Jakarta: On the University of Indonesia campus in Depok, south of Jakarta, there is a group that gets together twice a month over a "pot-luck" dinner to discuss topics generally considered taboo in Indonesia.
Asia nations warned of terror attacks (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 22 - Phnom Penh: The US has warned south-east Asian nations of potential Islamic State terrorist attacks in the region, as the Australian government issued a specific warning about possible strikes in Malaysia.
security alert for Malaysia capital Kuala Lumpur (Brisbane Times)
Feb 22 - The Australian government warned on Sunday that terrorists may be planning attacks in and around the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.
Iran's hard-line media
increase bounty for killing Salman Rushdie (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 23 - Tehran: A group of hard-line Iranian media organisations says it has raised $US600,000 ($830,000) to add to a bounty for the killing of British novelist Salman Rushdie.
attacks kill dozens ahead of peace talks (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 28 - Kabul: A Taliban suicide bomber blew himself up near the Afghan defence ministry in Kabul on Saturday, causing heavy casualties just hours after an attack in the eastern province of Kunar killed 13 people and put prospects for new peace talks in doubt.
‘I witnessed the birth
of Isis’: how one film-maker captured the horror of Iraq (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 28 – (Opinion: Ed Vulliamy) At some point during this film from deep inside Iraq’s many wars, one asks oneself, shattered: “Do I need to watch this?”
Trump's own Christian
denomination defies him on immigration policy (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 22 - Donald Trump, still feeling the aftershocks of his spat with Pope Francis who suggested he was “not a Christian” for proposing a border wall with Mexico, now faces the wrath of his own Presbyterian church leadership who say his hardline views on immigration are out of line with its teachings.
Chinese lawyer behind
"illegal religious gatherings": report (The West Australian)
Feb 26 - Beijing (AFP) - A Chinese human rights lawyer was accused by state media of being the "mastermind" behind a series of "illegal religious gatherings" Thursday, in the latest in a deepening crackdown on lawyers and activists.
Elephant rampage cluster
prompts concerns about animal welfare (news.com.au)
Feb 28 - AN ELEPHANT has lashed out at a religious festival in India and raised concerns about its welfare after footage of the incident went viral.
‘Having people find out
is my greatest fear’: Australian ex-Muslims form secretive online group (news.com.au)
Feb 22 - 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.
Paul Sheehan apologises
for failing to check story of gang-rape by Arabic-speaking men (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 25 - An Australian journalist has admitted he regrets and did not sufficiently check the facts of an incendiary column reporting a Sydney woman’s claim that she was gang-raped by six Arabic-speaking men.
Fairfax remains silent
on Paul Sheehan's palpably false column (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 26 – (Opinion: Amanda Meade) The Sydney Morning Herald’s response to Paul Sheehan’s inflammatory column about Muslim males brutally raping and bashing an off-duty nurse – which quickly proved to be palpably false – has been to remain silent.
Malcolm Turnbull orders
review of Safe School LGBTI program after right-wing pressure (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 23 - Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has ordered a review into a controversial school education program aimed at promoting acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBTI) students.
Malcolm Turnbull under
pressure after Christensen likens program to paedophile grooming (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 26 - Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is under pressure to slap down a conservative Coalition MP who has likened the Safe Schools anti-bullying program to grooming undertaken by sexual predators.
Old Queensland churches
make heavenly homes (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 28 - Once the home of confessions, baptisms and wedding vows, old churches are now sought-after structures for restoration and revered places to call home.
From the Archive…
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