Religion News Australia

April 26 – May 3, 2020

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Eileen Piper has finally won an apology from the Catholic Church for her daughter’s abuse (ABC News)
April 27  – It’s taken 26 years, reams of legal documents and many tears, but Eileen Piper has done what she set out to do — cleared the name of her daughter, Stephanie, who was abused by a Catholic priest in the 1970s.

The unforgiving glare (The Australian)
April 27 – (Opinion: John Ferguson) Someone had to pay for the many abuses of the Catholic Church … and there was George Pell.

Victorian government clears release of Pell royal commission findings (The Guardian, Australia)
April 28  – Unpublished findings about Cardinal George Pell’s handling of child sexual abuse complaints have been cleared for release by the Victorian government.

Also: Redacted Pell information to be released (The Australian)
April 28  – Cardinal George Pell ‘does not expect to be troubled’ by royal commission redactions, but lawyers believe they will be unflattering.

Also: Christian Porter seeks final advice on release of royal commission findings on Cardinal George Pell (ABC News)
April 28 – Federal Attorney-General Christian Porter says he has sought final advice from his department on the release of unpublished documents relating to Cardinal George Pell’s handling of child sexual abuse complaints.

Also: Royal commission findings about Cardinal George Pell could be made public. Here’s what we know (ABC News)
April 30 – For years, questions have been asked about what Cardinal George Pell might have known about clerical abuse during his long career within the Catholic Church.


There’s a wealth of Jewish stories on our screens right now. I wish some were Australian (The Guardian, Australia)
April 30 – (Opinion: Nadine von Cohen) Ask many Australians what’s getting them through isolation and they’ll tell you the same thing: Netflix and wine.

The world’s best picture: I’ve got mine. What’s yours? (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 1 – (Opinion: John McDonald) When he described The Resurrection by Piero della Francesca as “the best picture in the world” Aldous Huxley threw down a gauntlet for the future.


Governments split on reopening schools in coronavirus crisis — and a $3b cheque hasn’t helped (ABC News)
April 29  – It’s been called a bribe and a wedge — a $3 billion cheque for Catholic and independent schools to ignore the edict from the Andrews Government to teach kids from home.

Religious Violence

Germany tries accused Islamic State member for genocide over death of Yazidi girl (Sydney Morning Herald)
April 26  – Berlin: An Iraqi man accused of being an Islamic State terrorist has gone on trial in a high court in Frankfurt, Germany, accused of genocide, human trafficking, and the torture and murder of a 5-year-old Yazidi girl he had held as a slave in Fallujah, Iraq.

Poland’s government is leading a Catholic revival. It has minorities and liberals worried (ABC News)
April 28  – I’m in downtown Warsaw in the middle of Europe’s biggest far-right rally and it’s messing with my mind.

Isis mounts deadly assault on Iraqi militia members near Samarra (The Guardian, Australia)
May 3  – Islamic State militants have killed at least 10 Iraqi militia members in a coordinated overnight assault near the central city of Samarra, adding to concerns that the group, which once controlled large areas of the country, is staging a comeback.


PSG’s Nadia Nadim: ‘I know the value of helping a person when they have no hope’ (The Guardian, Australia)
April 28  – “I’m only 32 but I feel like I’ve experienced a lot more, like 200 years of life, in bad ways and good ways,” Nadia Nadim says near the end of an hour-long conversation that has been more exhilarating than sobering.

India should be placed on religious freedom blacklist, US panel says (The Guardian, Australia)
April 29  – A US government panel has called for India to be put on a religious freedom blacklist over a “drastic” downturn under the prime minister, Narendra Modi, triggering a sharp response from New Delhi.

Sudan moves to ban female genital mutilation with landmark law (ABC News)
May 3  – Sudanese officials say they are working to criminalise the widespread practice of female genital mutilation after the transitional Government approved a landmark draft law.


Communists, Islamists plot new world order (The Australian)
April 27 – (Opinion: Jennifer Oriel ) The enemies of the West are exploiting the pandemic to conduct a propaganda campaign against western democracy.

Muslims eager to queue for curries at what could be Australia’s first Ramadan drive-through (ABC News)
April 30 – Islamic leaders on the Gold Coast believe they have opened Australia’s first drive-through takeaway food service for Muslims observing the month Ramadan.

In 10 years, this might be remembered as the best Ramadan ever. Here’s why (ABC News)
May 2  – There is a call to prayer, signalling the sun is beginning to set.


During coronavirus, we need social sciences and humanities more than ever. This is why (ABC News)
May 1  – (Opinion)  To really understand how this pandemic is impacting all of us, and what we can do about it, we should look to social sciences, humanities and the arts.

Pandemics teach us lesson in humanity (The Australian)
May 2 – (Opinion: Frank Furedi) History proves our ability to rise from the ashes of turmoil.