Religion News Australia

November 6 – 13, 2022

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Townsville parishioner John Starmer jailed for child sexual abuse charges (ABC News)
Nov 8 – A 66-year-old man who groomed and sexually abused a teenage boy he met while volunteering at a Townsville Catholic church will serve a six-month prison term.

Catholic brother to stand trial on child abuse charge (Brisbane Times)
Nov 8 – A Catholic brother accused of raping a boy in the 1980s has been committed to stand trial, with a detective saying the now elderly victim struggled to sign his police statement for months and attempted to kill himself over the alleged abuse.


Lin-Manuel Miranda to play a god in long-awaited Disney+ series (Brisbane Times)
Nov 8 – Broadway musical theatre writer and performer Lin-Manuel Miranda will have a role in the upcoming Disney+ fantasy series Percy Jackson and the Olympians, as the best-selling YA novels about Greek mythology find new life on the streaming giant.


Parishioners petition to remove Bishop of Bunbury Gerard Holohan from his WA role (ABC News)
Nov 10 – Multiple petitions asking for one of Australia’s most senior Catholic bishops to “step aside” after losing the confidence of his followers have attracted hundreds of signatures.


‘Unsafe’ St Kevin’s teachers file scores of complaints of harassment at school (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 9 – Dozens of female staff at one of Melbourne’s most prestigious Catholic boys’ schools have made allegations of sexual harassment at work by male colleagues and students.


French cardinal admits abusing 14-year-old, quits (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 8 – Paris: Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, one of France’s highest-ranking prelates of the Catholic Church, says he abused a 14-year-old girl 35 years ago and is withdrawing from his religious duties.

Catholic Church

Pope says women’s rights fight is a continuous struggle (ABC News)
Nov 7 – Pope Francis says the fight for women’s rights is a “continuous struggle” and condemned male chauvinism as deadly for humanity and female genital mutilation as a crime that must be stopped.


Taliban bans women from gyms and parks, affecting children as well (The Age, Melbourne)
Nov 11 – Kabul: Afghanistan’s rulers are banning women from using gyms and parks, the Taliban’s latest edict cracking down on women’s rights and freedoms since they took power more than a year ago.

Religious Violence

Christchurch attacker appealing convictions and sentence (ABC News)
Nov 8 – The Australian man convicted of killing 51 people when he opened fire on two Christchurch mosques in 2019 has filed an appeal against both his convictions and his sentence.

Iranian activist Masih Alinejad: ‘It’s the start of the end for the Islamic Republic’ (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 12 – The first thing to notice about Masih Alinejad is her hair: a mass of corkscrew curls sometimes worn loose like a radiant halo, occasionally pinned up, almost always with a flower pinned above her left ear.


When England invaded Scotland, the Stone of Destiny was stolen.  (ABC News)
Nov 8 – When the medieval kings of Scotland were crowned, they sat, according to custom, upon an important stone — a stone heavy with history and tradition, but with its true origins lost to time.


Jewish leader says ‘no meaningful action’ taken over ‘foul’ anti-Semitism in Melbourne street (ABC News)
Nov 9 – An Adelaide Jewish community leader who allegedly had anti-Semitic slurs yelled at him on the streets of Melbourne says that, six weeks on, Victoria Police have taken “no meaningful action” against the offender.

Australian Jews are changing their views on Israel. And they need a new voice (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 12 – (Opinion: Antony Loewenstein) After the Albanese government recently announced that it would no longer recognise West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, returning Canberra to the global consensus after Scott Morrison’s 2018 decision to imitate Donald Trump, the Jewish establishment expressed outrage.


Religious right roadmap to Liberal Party control revealed  (ABC News)
Nov 7 – A roadmap outlining how the religious right can “infiltrate” the Liberal Party with “Good Godly” candidates has been linked to a controversial former Liberal candidate and current member of the party’s state assembly in Victoria.

AFP knew IS brides did not meet terror control threshold (The Australian)
Nov 8 – AFP commissioner Reece Kershaw says there is ‘active consideration’ of whether any of the women, who were brought back to Australia, had broken the law.