Religion News Australia

July 24 – 31, 2022

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Hidden in plain sight (ABC News)
July 25 – The children saw him first.

Also: Former Nudgee College principal attended school celebration despite allegations of child abuse (ABC News)
July 26 – A Christian Brother who was suspected by police of being a paedophile was able to attend a birthday party at exclusive Brisbane private school St Joseph’s Nudgee College, despite his order being in negotiations to pay a settlement to one of his alleged victims.


Law firm dumps Catholic Church after 60 years, but won’t say why (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 31 – For almost 60 years, the Catholic Church delivered millions of dollars in fees to Corrs Chambers Westgarth.


Tasmanian teacher’s Catholic school job offer withdrawn to ‘avoid religious injury’ (ABC News)
July 26 – A Tasmanian teacher has had his offer of employment rescinded by a Catholic school in Hobart after the school claimed it was advised the Archbishop could not support his employment due to the teacher’s “relationship arrangement”.

Buddhist studies preserved by $3.5m gift (The Australian)
July 26 – A gift from a major international Buddhist foundation guarantees the University of Sydney can continue Tibetan Buddhist studies.

Falling enrolments, high fees threaten viability of Sydney’s Jewish schools (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 30 – Falling enrolments and soaring fees will threaten the viability of Sydney’s Jewish schools as families are squeezed out of the private system, a review led by businessman David Gonski has found.

Sisters of African descent suspended from Victorian private school for not tying hair back (The Guardian, Australia)
July 30 – Two secondary students have complained to the Australian Human Rights Commission after being suspended from a private regional Victorian school over “disgusting” uniform requirements.

Catholic Church

Pope seeks indigenous reconciliation (The Australian)
July 25 – The leader of the world’s 1.3 billion Catholics arrived on Sunday in Edmonton for a six-day visit of Canada.

‘I ask forgiveness’: Pope apologises for ‘deplorable evil’ of Canadian indigenous schools (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 26 – Maskwacis, Alberta: Pope Francis has apologised to Canada’s native people on their land for the Catholic Church’s role in schools where indigenous children were abused, branding forced cultural assimilation a “deplorable evil” and “disastrous error.”

Pope calls Canada Indigenous abuse ‘genocide’, says must slow down (The Australian)
July 31 – The town of Iqaluit, in the vast territory of Nunavut, Canada, on July 28, 2022, ahead of a visit by Pope Francis.

Pope Francis says ‘door is open’ to his retirement amid 85-year-old’s worsening health (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 31 – London: Pope Francis has acknowledged that his ailing health may force him to retire early as head of the Catholic church after he struggled with a week-long Canadian pilgrimage because of strained knee ligaments.


An ancient Israeli law leaves thousands of women ‘chained’ to their wayward husbands (ABC News)
July 30 – Orly Vital spent more than a decade of her adult life trapped in a marriage she wanted to leave.


Brooklyn preacher Lamor Miller-Whitehead robbed of jewellery during sermon on adversity (ABC News)
July 26 – A Brooklyn preacher has been robbed of jewellery worth hundreds of thousands of dollars by armed men who crashed his church service just as he was delivering a sermon about keeping faith in the face of grave adversity, according to police.

Calls for inquiry into Fiji government’s ties to Grace Road Church amid stalled abuse investigations (ABC News)
July 28 – Fiji’s opposition parties have called for an immediate inquiry into a South Korean religious sect accused of abuse and ritual beatings after a report from investigative journalists alleged it had received millions in Fijian government-backed loans.

Elvis was a devout Christian who prayed before shows, reveals stepbrother (The Guardian, Australia)
July 31 – While his fans worshipped him as a rock’n’roll deity, Elvis Presley would say a prayer before going on stage, reading the Bible and looking to God for guidance in everything he did, his stepbrother has recalled.

Spiritual union: why Gulf migrants are turning to evangelical Christianity (The Guardian, Australia)
July 31 – Evangelical Christianity is quietly flourishing among migrant groups in the Gulf as churches provide low-paid workers facing horrific abuse with aid in times of crisis, according to pastors and parishioners across the region.


Islamic students occupy Monash University lawn in protest over prayer spaces (The Age, Melbourne)
July 26 – Islamic students at Monash University have vowed to pray outdoors on campus every day in protest against the university’s failure to provide a new dedicated prayer space.

Alleged Brisbane extremist charged with encouraging terrorist attack (Brisbane Times)
July 30 – An Australian man already accused of funding an overseas fighter to travel to Syrian to join terrorist groups battling government forces, has also been charged with advocating for a terrorism act.

Carlton’s Adam Saad calls for more education after spectator’s alleged Islamophobic remark (ABC News)
July 31 – Carlton Football Club’s Adam Saad has expressed his disappointment over an Islamophobic remark allegedly directed at him by a spectator during last night’s game at Adelaide Oval.


Brighton Secondary College students drawing swastikas trying to be ‘edgy’, says former teacher (The Age, Melbourne)
July 26 – A former Brighton Secondary College teacher said if students were drawing swastikas at the school, it was because they were “trying to be edgy 15-year-olds” and “not making a connection” or “thinking” about the impact on Jewish students.

Calls to rename ‘anti-Semitic’ Queensland street (Brisbane Times)
July 29 – A Queensland road named “Jew Street” will be reconsidered by the council and community, after the Anti-Defamation Commission demanded the “racial and religious slur” be removed.


Great demand but less fortune for Morrison on Pentecostal speakers circuit (Brisbane Times)
July 26 – Scott Morrison would likely be in high demand on the global Pentecostal conference scene but may struggle to find an audience on the right-wing talk circuit, experts say, as speculation swirls about the former prime minister’s future.

‘No more Christian prayers in politics’ (The Australian)
July 29 – The head of the Australian Senate doesn’t want the Lord’s Prayer recited in her chamber any more.

Also: Labor denies Senate is losing its religion (The Australian)
July 29 – Labor’s Senate leaders say the reading of the Lord’s Prayer should continue, contradicting atheist president Sue Lines’ push to end the tradition.

Conservative Christian groups lobby federal MPs against territories’ assisted dying rights legislation (The Guardian, Australia)
July 29 – Conservative action groups are mobilising supporters against a government push to allow territories to make their own laws on euthanasia, raising concerns around potential impacts on Indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory.


Churches back boycott players amid frustration, anger among pride community (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 26 – Reverend Dr Ma’afu Palu has never met the seven Manly players who chose to boycott Thursday’s game rather than wear a rainbow jersey that challenged their personal beliefs about sexuality.

Also: Don’t blame Pacific Island cultures for queer fear. Blame colonisation (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 26 – (Opinion: Jioji Ravulo) Six of the seven players refusing to wear the Manly Sea Eagles rainbow jersey in their match on Thursday night are from a Pasifika heritage.

Also: Stay away: Manly players boycotting over rainbow jersey won’t attend match (The Age, Melbourne)
July 26 – The seven Manly players sitting out the clash against the Roosters because of the club’s decision to wear the “everyone in league” jersey will not attend the game due to security concerns.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson advocates for NRL to have a Pride Round (ABC News)
July 27 – An impassioned Trent Robinson says his Sydney Roosters players would have no issue wearing a pride jersey as he advocated for the introduction of a Pride Round ahead of Thursday’s meeting with Manly.