Religion News Australia

April 9 – 16, 2023

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Catholic event cops ban over trans view (The Australian)
Apr 10 – A Catholic intellectual group has been banned from holding its annual forum at a university hall over concerns about its views on transgender issues.


Presbyterian Church says school leaders shouldn’t be in ‘active same-sex relationship’  (ABC News)
Apr 14 – A church responsible for more than 20 schools across Australia says students in “active same-sex relationships” should not take up school leadership positions.

Also: Gay and sexually active students can’t offer ‘Christian leadership’, says Presbyterian church (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 14 – An elite Victorian private school says it is moving with the times but needs to consider its overarching religious ethos, as the church that oversees it seeks to bar students who have premarital sex or are gay from becoming school captains.

Anglican Church

Justin Welby defends £100m fund to address C of E’s past links to slavery (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 10 – The archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has used his Easter sermon to say that £100m pledged by the Church of England to compensate for its complicity in the international slave trade is not “postcolonial guilt” but “the presence of the risen Christ alive in the church”.

Catholic Church

Pope Francis appeals to Russians on Ukraine war, decries Middle East violence, in Easter message (ABC News)
Apr 10 – Pope Francis has appeared to ask Russians to seek the truth about their country’s invasion of Ukraine in his Easter message and appealed for dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians.

Religious Violence

Holiday rites without clashes in Jerusalem but region braces for further violence (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 10 – Simultaneous Muslim and Jewish holiday rites at Jerusalem’s flashpoint Temple Mount or al-Aqsa mosque compound have passed without major clashes after rare cross-border airstrikes and rocket fire between Israel and Syria overnight, and fears of wider conflict in the Middle East after escalations on multiple fronts.


NASA’s first female Goddard Space Flight Center director swears oath on Pale Blue Dot  (ABC News)
Apr 12 – NASA’s newly appointed director of the Goddard Space Flight Center has claimed two firsts before even starting her official duties.

‘The Saint’ leaves Italian town after case opened into statue’s ‘tears of blood’ (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 12 – A woman nicknamed “the Saint” has mysteriously vanished from a small lakeside town near Rome where pilgrims have flocked for years to pray before a statue of the Virgin Mary that she claimed shed tears of blood.

Christians are in danger under Israeli government, says Holy Land patriarch (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 14 – The head of the Roman Catholic church in the Holy Land has warned in an interview that Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government has made life worse for Christians in the birthplace of Christianity.

Christian faithful celebrate Holy Fire ceremony, Israeli police clash with worshippers over crowd limits (ABC News)
Apr 16 – Christian worshippers thronged the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem on Saturday to celebrate the ceremony of the Holy Fire, an ancient ritual that sparked tensions this year with the Israeli police.

As Charles is bestowed with mystical powers, so much for a secular coronation (The Guardian, Australia)
Apr 16 – (Opinion: Catherine Bennett) ‘God of love, we raise to you our Queen Consort”: for anyone who has longed to mention Camilla Parker Bowles to the most high but struggled to find the words, the Church of England is here, with a set of new prayers, to help.


Mardi Gras terror plot mastermind jailed for 15 years (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 11 – A Sydney man has been jailed for 15 years after he led a terrorist organisation that planned to attack the Mardi Gras, a naval base, a courthouse, and Australian Federal Police officers who attended court.


Services to receive grants to tackle Queensland youth crime (Brisbane Times)
Apr 16 – Hundreds of thousands of dollars will be granted to Queensland services in the state government’s latest bid to address youth crime.


In politics and the economy, Christianity is increasingly suspect (Sydney Morning Herald)
Apr 10 – (Opinion: Ross Gittins) A question for Easter Monday: would Australia be better governed if our political leaders were practising Christians?

Force of nature: Why a walk in the park can do you the world of good (The Age, Melbourne)
Apr 16 – (Opinion: Warwick McFadyen) The branches of the oaks arch over me.