Religion News Australia

September 17 – 30, 2023

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Broome Catholic Bishop faces allegations of ‘very serious’ sex abuse in Vatican report (ABC News)
Sept 20 – The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has described sexual misconduct allegations against a prominent WA church leader as “deeply distressing.”

Also: Vatican under pressure to release report detailing Bishop’s sexual misconduct allegations (ABC News)
Sept 20 – Police say they are considering a criminal investigation into a West Australian Catholic bishop accused of sexual misconduct, in light of a leaked Vatican report that levels serious allegations against him.

Also: Catholic church hands police Vatican report alleging Broome bishop assaulted and groomed boys (The Guardian, Australia)
Sept 22 – The Catholic church has handed police a report detailing allegations of sexual assault and grooming against a former Western Australian bishop.

‘You stole my voice’: Former primary school teacher guilty of historical child sex abuse (The Age, Melbourne)
Sept 21 – Almost every day, Ben* passes the mobile phone towers on a hill by the Western Ring Road that serve as a reminder of the place where he was abused.


It’s always a pleasure worshipping at The Church of the Clitori (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 26 – At the heart of The Church of the Clitori, a two-woman show that is part of the Sydney Fringe Festival, is a celebration of a body part long steeped in mystery, taboo, prejudice and misinformation.

‘The shock was so deep’: Novelist Charlotte Wood on the experience that changed everything (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 29 – The author had just finished her new novel – about a cloistered religious community – when she found her own world stripped back to the basics.

The $600 million gamble to bring The Exorcist back to life (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 30 – The first instalment in a new trilogy, The Exorcist: Believer, is an update for a time when fewer people believe in the devil.


‘It was cruel’: dying patient denied euthanasia in Catholic-run hospital (The Guardian, Australia)
Sept 22 – When 60-year-old Sally* told her neurologist that she wanted to choose when to die, she was dismissed.


Indonesian TikToker jailed after saying Islamic phrase before eating pork (ABC News)
Sept 21 – An Indonesian court has sentenced a woman to two years in prison for posting a viral video on TikTok in which she said an Islamic phrase before eating pork.

Religious Violence

Bomber hits religious gatherings in Pakistan killing and injuring dozens (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 29 – Muslims were marking the birthday of Prophet Mohammed in the restive Balochistan province when they were attacked.

Milkman’s son, assassin’s target: Family of Sikh activist killed in Canada speaks (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 29 – The 45-year-old’s killing has thrust his family and his village into a drama that has consumed India and Canada, and fuelled accusations of terrorism and espionage.


Finding the world’s best beer is a religious experience – literally (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 26 – Beer plus bicycles – what could possibly go wrong?


X should answer to Queensland authorities over Islamophobic tweets by an American, tribunal hears (The Guardian, Australia)
Sept 20 – Queensland authorities should be able to hold X responsible for the Islamophobic tweets of an American white supremacist because they were downloaded in the state and caused harm to local Muslims, a tribunal has heard.


Nazi graffiti sprayed on Sydney home on eve of holiest Jewish day (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 25 – Nazi graffiti has been sprayed on a home in Sydney’s east in an attack against Sydney’s Jewish community on the holiest day of the year.


Church seeks exemption for religious belief in misinformation bill (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 19 – Catholics and Muslims have raised the alarm about the potential for Labor’s new online misinformation laws to restrain the teaching of religious doctrine on issues such as euthanasia.


NT elder Djiniyini Gondarra criticises No campaign for ‘misrepresenting’ his image and Voice views (ABC News)
Sept 21 – A respected religious leader from the remote Northern Territory has called for the No campaign against a Voice to Parliament to stop using his image, which he said is being “misrepresented” and used without his prior consent in campaign material.

Queensland religious group on trial over death of Elizabeth Struhs in Toowoomba (ABC News)
Sept 22 – Fourteen members of a Toowoomba religious group charged with the death of an eight-year-old girl in 2022 have been told they may not get a fair trial, after asking to be treated and tried as one.