by Greg Spearritt
Religion News Selection
February 21 - 28, 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.
'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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
‘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.
‘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.
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)