Religion News Selection

November 29 – December 6, 2020

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Church punches below the belt then knocks out its fighting priest (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 5 – (Opinion: Elizabeth Farrelly) For most of us, a marriage breakdown is quite bad enough.


Inner-city Catholic girls’ school St Aloysius to accept boys from 2023 (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 2 – Catholic girls’ school St Aloysius College will begin to enrol boys from 2023, becoming co-educational after more than 130 years of educating girls in North Melbourne.

Catholic Church

George Pell says he feels vindicated for trying to uncover alleged financial ‘criminality’ at Vatican (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 1 – Australia’s highest ranking Catholic cleric and the pope’s former treasurer, Cardinal George Pell, has said he feels a dismayed sense of vindication as the financial mismanagement he tried to uncover in the Holy See is now being exposed in a spiralling Vatican corruption investigation.


Mosques across France raided in fight against Islamic ‘separatism’ (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 4 – Paris: France’s embattled interior minister has announced raids on dozens of mosques suspected of Islamist extremism following President Emmanuel Macron’s pledge to fight “separatism” in the wake of terror attacks.


Transformed by the holy spirit? The bar pretending to be a church to beat Covid rules (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 2 – A tequila bar in Nottingham has plans to get around tier 3 by registering itself as the Church of 400 Rabbits and claiming it is a place of worship.

‘I am innocent’: First arrest under new law to curb interfaith marriage (Brisbane Times)
Dec 5 – New Delhi: A man from Northern India has become the first person to be arrested under a new anti-conversion law intended to curb “love jihad”— a highly contentious term used by Hindu nationalists who accuse Muslim men of luring Hindu women to marry them in order to convert them to Islam.

Historic New York church housing Liberty Bell gutted by massive fire (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 6 – A historic church in lower Manhattan that houses New York’s Liberty Bell and whose congregation dates to the city’s earliest days was gutted early on Saturday by a massive fire that sent flames shooting through the roof.


Muslim Miss Australia stares down her critics (The Australian)
Dec 4 – The beauty pageant winner writes on staring down her critics and her drive to replace ‘antiquated stereotypes’.


What most Jews don’t realise about festival with more gifts than Christmas (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 5 – Usually Chanukah and Christmas come in close proximity, but this year Chanukah starts very early, with the first of the eight nights on Thursday.


Gay conversion legislation puts Andrews on a collision course with churches (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 6 – A Victorian government plan to crack down on churches using prayer to change LGBTI people has been branded as the biggest threat to religious freedom in years, placing Premier Daniel Andrews on a collision course with the nation’s faith groups.


Couple who believe it is a sin to be gay take fight to become foster parents to court (
Dec 1 – A Perth couple who believe homosexuality is a sin that can be overcome have taken their fight to become foster parents to court after their application was denied based on their religious beliefs.

From sexual addiction to queerness, young Christians are grappling with big questions around sex  (ABC News)
Dec 2 – Sex has always been a complicated topic for 25-year-old Rosario.

It can be hard to hear your mum thinks the Earth is flat (ABC News)
Dec 6 – It was on their weekly video call that Kasey Edwards first noticed the flat Earth poster in her mother’s house.