Religion News Australia

May 10 – 17, 2020

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Clergy abuse survivor draws support for petition to defrock Pell (ABC News)
May 11 – A petition started by a clergy abuse survivor has received more than 30,000 signatures supporting his call for Cardinal George Pell to be defrocked.

Paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale sentenced to 10 years’ jail for sexual abuse of boys in 1970s (ABC News)
May 14  – Paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale will spend at least another three years in jail after pleading guilty to 14 new offences committed against young boys under his care.

Catholic brother nicknamed ‘The Rat’ jailed for sex abuse of four Traralgon schoolboys (ABC News)
May 16  – Marist brother Gerard Joseph McNamara, 82, has begun his second stint in prison after pleading guilty to indecently assaulting Traralgon school boys in the 1970s.

Royal commission denies Pell justice (The Australian)
May 16 – (Opinion: Gerard Henderson ) The cardinal has been condemned by findings that would not stand up in court.


The dog fight over school funding that went all the way to the High Court (ABC News)
May 13  – The battle over school funding heats up every year.

Religious Violence

Islamic State regional leader Abu Omar Khorasani arrested in Afghanistan (ABC News)
May 12  – Afghan security forces have arrested three senior South Asia Islamic State members including the group’s regional leader, the Government said.

‘Sheer evil’ sends Kabul back on attack (The Australian)
May 14  – The depravity in Afghanistan has just deepened with a terrorist strike on a labour ward.

Bigotry mars return of Italy hostage who converted to Islam (The Age, Melbourne)
May 14 – Rome: A right-wing lawmaker in Italy was reprimanded Wednesday after he called a young Italian woman who converted to Islam while being held hostage in Somalia a “neo-terrorist.”


Drugs and alcohol are forbidden for Muslims, but this rehab clinic is taking the shame out of addiction (ABC News)
May 14  – When Mohammad began taking drugs in his late teens, his behaviour wasn’t just illegal, it was forbidden by his faith.

The coronavirus surveillance that’s triggering memories for Sydney’s Uyghur community (ABC News)
May 14  – When Fatimah Abdulghafar takes a walk outside her home in Merrylands in Western Sydney, she feels watched.

Eased coronavirus restrictions in the NT allow for first Ramadan prayers (ABC News)
May 16  – People line up patiently at a small street in suburban Darwin before going through a non-descript fence, it is just before midday and the dry season sun bakes anything not under shade.


Church in Australia selling bleach as a coronavirus treatment fined $151,200 (ABC News)
May 17  – The Australian chapter of an international church selling and promoting bleach as a cure for COVID-19 has been issued infringement notices totalling $151,200.