Religion News Australia

May 1 – 8, 2022

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Brisbane teacher free again despite more than 100 charges involving children (Brisbane Times)
May 4 – A Brisbane high school teacher accused of making and sharing child exploitation material, which included taking a picture of one of his students, has once again been released from prison.


It’s high noon for Anglicans as a showdown looms (The Australian)
May 8 – The day of reckoning is at hand for Australia’s second-largest church and this much can be said with confidence: the proudly inclusive spirit of Anglicanism may not survive what happens next week.


Satanist leader faces prosecution over religious education court challenge (Brisbane Times)
May 6 – The founder of a so-called Queensland Satanist temple is facing prosecution for allegedly lying to the Supreme Court in his fight for Satanists to teach religious instruction in state schools.

‘I am livid’: Anglican principals’ fury at edict against gay marriage (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 7 – Leaders of Sydney’s Anglican schools are pushing back against a decree by the Sydney diocese that new principals and directors of its school boards sign a document affirming they believe marriage is between a man and a woman.

Catholic Church

Pope approved spending up to €1m to free nun from al-Qaida, trial hears (The Guardian, Australia)
May 4 – Pope Francis authorised spending up to €1m (£850,000) to free a Colombian nun kidnapped by al-Qaida-linked militants in Mali, a cardinal has testified, revealing previously secret papal approval to hire a British security firm to find the nun and secure her freedom.


Taliban order Afghan women to cover up head to toe (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 8 – Kabul: Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers have ordered all Afghan women to wear head-to-toe clothing in public – a sharp, hard-line pivot that confirmed the worst fears of rights activists and was bound to further complicate Taliban dealings with an already distrustful international community.


Hitler had Jewish blood, Lavrov claims (The Australian)
May 3 – The Russian foreign minister has provoked outrage in Israel by asserting that Adolf Hitler had ‘Jewish origins’.

Also: Vladimir Putin apologises over Lavrov’s ‘Hitler was Jewish’ remarks, says Israel’s leader (Brisbane Times)
May 4 – Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said he accepted an apology from Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, Israel time, for controversial remarks about the Holocaust made by Moscow’s top diplomat.

Apology, 800 years on, for laws that expelled Jews from England (The Guardian, Australia)
May 8 – The Church of England is to apologise for its “shameful actions” in passing anti-Jewish laws 800 years ago that paved the way for the expulsion of Jews from England.


Rare ‘Wicked’ bible that encourages adultery discovered in New Zealand (The Guardian, Australia)
May 2 – An extremely rare medieval bible famous for an unfortunate error that encourages adultery has been discovered in New Zealand.

Fake priest ‘spends night at army barracks near Windsor Castle’ (The Guardian, Australia)
May 3 – An investigation into an “extraordinary breach of security” is under way after an intruder pretending to be a priest reportedly spent the night eating and drinking with soldiers at a barracks close to Windsor Castle.


‘Chill down my spine’: Neo-Nazi group uses politicians’ photos in flyers (Brisbane Times)
May 3 – A neo-Nazi group has used photos of several Morrison government members, including the Prime Minister, in flyers distributed across a Gold Coast neighbourhood, sparking outrage in the Jewish community.

Student BDS motion anti-Semitic, says uni (The Australian)
May 8 – After a backlash from prominent Jewish leaders, the University of Melbourne has responded to an anti-Israel motion passed by its student union last week, labelling it ‘anti-Semitic.’


Scott Morrison’s presence at Eid prayers draws mixed reception (The Guardian, Australia)
May 2 – Kahoder Sabra grins as he looks out at the media throng surrounding prime minister Scott Morrison at Eid prayers in Parramatta park on Monday morning.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison doubles down on religious discrimination act (ABC News)
May 8 – Prime Minister Scott Morrison says gay students are not being expelled from religious schools, doubling down on re-introducing the failed religious discrimination act (RDA) without extra protections for gay and transgender students.

Also: Scott Morrison defends delaying protections for LGBTQ students as party tensions resurface (The Guardian, Australia)
May 8 – Scott Morrison has claimed gay students are not being expelled from religious schools while defending his decision to delay protections for them until after the passage of the religious discrimination bill.

Rabbi accused of false online edits (The Australian)
May 8 – A Melbourne rabbi assisting independent candidate Zoe Daniel’s campaign in Goldstein has been accused of running a disinformation operation by editing the Wikipedia pages of politicians.


What’s happening in our brains when we meditate? It’s not just a question for neuroscience (ABC News)
May 2 – Whether it’s prayer, meditation, tai chi, or just chanting, every major religion weaves some form of contemplative practice into its rituals.

If God is neither male nor female, should we change God’s pronouns? (ABC News)
May 8 – “God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.”