Religion News Australia

March 27 – April 3, 2022

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Citipointe Christian college withdrew student counselling on sexuality and gender issues (The Guardian, Australia)
Mar 30 – Brisbane religious school Citipointe Christian college restricted its school counsellors from providing any support to students on matters of sexuality or gender identity last month, amid uproar about new “discriminatory” enrolment contracts.

Shore principal apologises for leaving teachers sad, angry and fearful (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 2 – The embattled headmaster of Shore School has admitted his leadership has left teachers sad, angry and fearful in a long apology to the school’s staff, saying he has been unintentionally “disrespectful, insensitive and unwise”.

Also: Shore School Council backs headmaster in leadership spat (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 3 – The Shore School Council has written to the school community to affirm support for embattled headmaster Timothy Petterson and his leadership after it was revealed he apologised to staff for leaving them sad, angry and fearful.


Pope apologises to indigenous Canadians for abuse at schools (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 2 – Vatican City: Pope Francis has issued a historic apology to Canadian indigenous peoples for the Roman Catholic Church’s role in residential schools that sought to erase their cultures and where many children suffered abuse and were buried in unmarked graves.

Catholic Church

Pope Francis indirectly criticises Vladimir Putin over Ukraine (ABC News)
Apr 3 – Pope Francis has come the closest yet to implicitly criticising President Vladimir Putin over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, saying a “potentate” — an autocratic ruler — was fomenting conflicts for nationalist interests.


What’s behind Putin’s popularity in the West? Family values, nationalism and a strongman persona (ABC News)
Apr 2 – Russian President Vladimir Putin became an international pariah when his nation invaded Ukraine on February 24.

As a lesbian woman, I was subjected to conversion practices. We must protect trans people  (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 2 – (Opinion: Jayne Ozanne) Last night, No 10 backed down on its plans to scrap its long-promised ban on “conversion practice” for lesbian, gay and bisexual people, but crucially it has chosen to leave trans people unprotected.


Tom Tate’s spiritual adviser says Mayor supported ‘kingdom of God’ template for Gold Coast (ABC News)
Apr 1 – Mayor Tom Tate’s spiritual adviser once told followers at a religious function that he supported a template to transform the Gold Coast “to look like the Kingdom of God”.

Party members say Morrison used Lebanese background against opponent (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 2 – Two men involved in a hard-fought Liberal preselection battle have signed written testimony that Scott Morrison warned people about the “Lebanese background” of his opponent in a crucial ballot to decide a safe federal seat, helping him win a bitter contest to enter Parliament more than a decade before he became Prime Minister.

Also: Morrison accused of using race in bid for seat (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 3 – A key figure in the Liberal Party contest that vaulted Scott Morrison into federal Parliament in 2007 has gone public with his claim that the Prime Minister was directly involved in “racial vilification” against him.

Also: Scott Morrison denies falsely claiming 2007 preselection rival Michael Towke was a Muslim (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 2 – The prime minister, Scott Morrison, has flatly denied allegations he said his competitor for preselection in 2007 was a Muslim who was “being investigated”.

Also: Michael Towke repeats claims after PM denies raising his Lebanese heritage in preselection fight (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 3 – The man who initially beat Scott Morrison in a ballot to contest Cook for the Liberal party 15 years ago has doubled down on his position that the now-prime minister used claims about his Lebanese heritage to undermine him.


‘The Lord is calling us to move’: Hillsong US pastors cut church ties (Sydney Morning Herald)
Mar 30 – Dallas: Terry Crist, a fifth-generation pastor in Phoenix, joined the global megachurch Hillsong in part because of what he describes as its distinctly joyful approach to church life – Hillsong was an institution where leaders seemed “light and free”, offering an experience that attracted tens of thousands of people around the world.

Mother charged with attempted murder of daughter at Sefton Plaza granted home detention bail (ABC News)
Apr 1 – A mother accused of attempting to murder her young adult daughter in an “attempted honour killing” has been released on home detention bail, despite the South Australian Supreme Court hearing the alleged victim still fears her family and what they could do to her.

Mormons Inc: Church accused of multinational tax rort (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 3 – The Mormon Church has been accused of engaging in significant tax evasion in Australia, allowing its adherents to collect hundreds of millions of dollars in tax exemptions that are not lawfully available to followers of other religions.

‘Second Christmas’: the rise of Easter as a commercial holiday (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 3 – Easter is beginning to look a lot like Christmas, only with more pastels and ceramic bunnies.

Making money, losing faith: The Mormons in Australia (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 3 – Sue Given’s break with Mormonism started when her 13-year-old son overdosed on pills.