Religion News Australia

June 12 – 19, 2022

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale pleads guilty to 13 fresh charges (Brisbane Times)
June 17 – Notorious paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale has pleaded guilty to more sex offences following a police investigation into historical allegations of sexual assault earlier this year.

Catholic church uses paedophile priest’s death as shield against new allegations in NSW (The Guardian, Australia)
June 18 – The Catholic church has used the death of a known paedophile priest to shield itself from being sued over new complaints of child sexual abuse.


Anger at King’s School over plans to fly headmaster to prestigious British regatta (Brisbane Times)
June 17 – An old boys’ representative on The King’s School board has quit over plans to fly the headmaster, his deputy and their wives first class to the world’s most prestigious rowing event, the Henley Royal Regatta, to rub shoulders with the heads of Britain’s top schools.

Labor confirms it will allow schools to hire secular workers under chaplaincy program (The Guardian, Australia)
June 17 – Former Coalition education minister Alan Tudge has warned Labor’s plan to give schools a choice of secular pastoral care workers will “effectively end” the use of religious chaplains in some schools.


Canadian priest arrested for 1960s sexual assault at First Nations residential school (The Guardian, Australia)
June 18 – Canadian police said they arrested a 92-year-old retired priest for a sexual assault more than 50 years ago at one of Canada’s residential schools for Indigenous children.

Catholic Church

Pope Francis says Ukraine war was ‘perhaps somehow provoked’ (The Guardian, Australia)
June 15 – Pope Francis has said Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine was “perhaps somehow provoked” as he recalled a conversation in the run-up to the war in which he was warned Nato was “barking at the gates of Russia”.


Saudi Arabian authorities seize rainbow toys for ‘promoting homosexuality’ (ABC News)
June 19 – Authorities in Saudi Arabia have seized any rainbow-coloured toys and clothing for promoting homosexuality, according to Saudi state TV.


Antisemitic sculpture can remain in church, German court rules (The Guardian, Australia)
June 15 – The federal court of justice upheld rulings by lower courts on the Judensau, sculpture on the town church in Wittenberg – one of more than 20 such relics from the Middle Ages that still adorn churches across Germany and elsewhere in Europe – pointing to the addition in recent decades of a memorial and an information sign.

Religious Violence

At least 55 killed by militants in latest attack in Burkina Faso (The Guardian, Australia)
June 14 – Gunmen killed at least 55 people over the weekend in northern Burkina Faso, in the latest attack in the west African country, which is seeing mounting violence blamed on Islamic extremists.

What is ‘bulldozer justice’? Why Indian authorities are demolishing homes (ABC News)
June 16 – A week before losing the federal election, Scott Morrison described himself as “a bit of a bulldozer”.

Islamic State says it was behind attack on Sikh temple in Kabul that kills two (ABC News)
June 19 – Officials say that Islamic State is claiming it was behind an attack on a Sikh temple in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Saturday — that saw at least two people killed and another seven injured — yet another deadly incident in a spate of violence targeting minorities and places of worship.

Gunman, 70, kills three people at Alabama church dinner (The Guardian, Australia)
June 19 – A 70-year-old man has shot and killed three people at a church potluck dinner in Alabama.


Monarchy, celebrity and clergy: Rwanda policy’s ‘alternative opposition’ (The Guardian, Australia)
June 15 – Controversy surrounding the government policy of flying asylum seekers to Rwanda has gathered in intensity amid the countdown to the first deportation flight.


Focus on Islamist extremism linked to neo-Nazi rise, as 10-year-old kids radicalised (The Age, Melbourne)
June 15 – Australian authorities have had a “myopic” focus on Islamist extremism since 9/11, experts have lamented, warning that it has come at the expense of identifying the rise of far-right extremism.


Christian crusader and same-sex marriage campaigner form unlikely alliance (Sydney Morning Herald)
June 18 – Christian crusader and NSW upper house MP Fred Nile has opposed almost every reform that same-sex marriage campaigner and Sydney MP Alex Greenwich has worked to achieve in parliament.

The Howard battlers joined the party (The Saturday Paper)
June 19 – After John Howard’s loss, the Liberal Party was transformed again, with branches taken over by religious sects, and the voters he targeted from a distance becoming members.


‘Final resting place’: sacred Indigenous objects returned to Australia from US university (The Guardian, Australia)
June 19 – Seven sacred Indigenous objects have been returned to central Australia from an American university.