Religion News Australia

May 14 – 28, 2023

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Survivor of former Townsville paedophile priest Neville Creen reveals toll the abuse took on her life (ABC News)
May 27 – As a child Megan was full of promise.

Anglican delays ‘re-traumatised abuse victims’ (The Australian)
May 28 – The Anglican Church body that investigated former governor-general Peter Hollingworth over his handling of child sex abuse cases has been slammed by senior lawyers.


Kidnapped review – Marco Bellocchio’s antisemitism drama is a classic in the making (The Guardian, Australia)
May 24 – Based on the true story of a young Jewish boy kidnapped by papal authorities, this is a full-tilt melodrama that lays bare tyranny, bigotry and the abuse of power in the Catholic church

Horror, religion, cannibalism: The story behind Barack Obama’s favourite new artist (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 26 – Hayden Silas Anhedönia is preparing to not be known.


Catholic trust wins out as Minns moves to solve Sydney’s cemeteries crisis (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 17 – A Catholic trust that is responsible for some of Sydney’s largest burial grounds has refused to open its books to the NSW auditor-general amid a long-running stoush over the church’s control of public land.


Student charged with attempted murder after allegedly stabbing woman at private school (Brisbane Times)
May 17 – A Queensland student has been rushed to hospital after another teenager allegedly stabbed her at a school in Cairns.

Shore school investigating after video of violent classroom attack (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 20 – Shore School is investigating a violent incident between students after a video emerged of one boy using a table to physically attack a classmate.

Also: Students suspended from Shore School over classroom fight (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 21 – Two students at Shore School have been suspended after a video emerged of a fight in a classroom, where one pupil was filmed using a table to physically attack a classmate.

‘Lucky no-one was killed’ in Atlantis Beach Baptist College shooting, as Premier praises school (ABC News)
May 25 – WA Premier Mark McGowan says it was lucky no one was killed when shots were fired at a Perth school yesterday, as police released dramatic footage of the aftermath of the incident taken from officers’ body-worn cameras.

Catholic Church

The pope and Emanuela Orlandi: Vatican back in the spotlight over mystery of missing girl (The Guardian, Australia)
May 28 – Not long before she disappeared in the summer of 1983, Emanuela Orlandi went to Piazza del Catalone, a small square just outside of the Vatican walls, to meet friends.

Nun’s body intact four years after death draws people to Missouri monastery (The Guardian, Australia)
May 28 – Hundreds of people in the US have traveled to a monastery in a small Missouri town to view a nun’s body that seemingly has no signs of decay four years after her death.

Religious Violence

A religious community turned into a starvation cult (ABC News)
May 21 – The man who walked into Langobaya Police Station had such a horrific story to tell, it seemed almost unbelievable.

Author Salman Rushdie says freedom of expression is under attack in the West (ABC News)
May 28 – Novelist Salman Rushdie has warned that countries in the West face the most-severe threats to freedom of expression and freedom to publish in his lifetime, speaking nine months after a man repeatedly stabbed him while he was on stage in New York.


Inside Notre Dame’s jaw-dropping reconstruction (The Australian)
May 17 – The 800-year-old cathedral, one of the jewels of Paris, was ravaged by a mysterious fire in 2019. Everything about its restoration is gargantuan – including the bill.

Rebekah Vardy: Jehovah’s Witnesses and Me review  (The Guardian, Australia)
May 17 – (Opinion: Rebecca Nicholson) It may sound as if its title has come from the Alan Partridge school of TV commissioning, but there is nothing at all humorous about Rebekah Vardy: Jehovah’s Witnesses and Me.

Republican bill requiring display of Ten Commandments in Texas schools fails (The Guardian, Australia)
May 25 – Republicans in Texas failed to pass legislation that would have required the Ten Commandments to be prominently displayed in every public school classroom.

Hebrew Bible, which is 1,100 years old, sells for $57 million at auction in New York (ABC News)
May 28 – A 1,100-year-old Hebrew Bible that is one of the world’s oldest surviving biblical manuscripts has sold for $US38 million ($57 million) in New York.


Influencers prove modesty and fashion go hand-in-hand at Australian Fashion Week (ABC News)
May 17 – Growing up, Asia Hassan could never have imagined setting a milestone for modest fashion in Australia.


Narendra Modi and Anthony Albanese speak about temple vandalism during bilateral talks in Sydney (ABC News)
May 24 – Narendra Modi says Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has assured him there will be “strict action” against Sikh separatist groups in Australia, which have been agitating for an independent state in India.


Controversial Brisbane church moving out after $30m sale to developer (The Australian)
May 17 – A controversial church has sold its Brisbane base to a residential developer who is planning a $130m-plus sustainable development on the $30m site in a sought-after suburb.

Grave mess: Faith groups to run out of burial space amid Sydney cemetery shortage (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 19 – Sydney will run out of burial space for multiple faith groups in less than three years unless the NSW government takes urgent action to address the city’s acute cemetery shortage, with supply so low that some can no longer pre-book burial space at publicly owned cemeteries.