Religion News Australia

May 17 – 24, 2020

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



‘Every person counts’: Sydney churches reopen (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 17 – For seven Sundays, Father Greg Morgan preached to an empty church filled with photos of hundreds of his parishioners who watched from home.

Secret bishops’ report calls for radical revamp of Catholic Church (The Age, Melbourne)
May 21  – Australia’s Catholic Church could be dramatically overhauled to give lay people more power, increase the number of women in leadership roles and force parishes to open up their finances to the public.


Polish archbishop refers child abuse negligence case to Vatican (The Age, Melbourne)
May 17 – Warsaw: The Polish Catholic Church’s most senior archbishop notified the Vatican on Saturday of a Polish bishop accused of shielding priests known to have sexually abused children.

Catholic Church

How John Paul II undermined Russia’s communists (The Australian)
May 17 – (Opinion: George Weigel) This extraordinary pope without fear moved others to be the same.

Detroit priest sprays holy water from squirt gun to maintain social distancing (The Guardian, Australia)
May 17  – A Roman Catholic priest in the Detroit area has taken aim at his parishioners in a bid to maintain social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, using a squirt gun to shoot holy water.

Religious Violence

Pakistani girls killed by family after appearing in video with man, police say (ABC News)
May 18  – Two teenage girls have been murdered in north-west Pakistan in a so-called honour killing after a video of them circulated on the internet.

Taliban leader breaks silence (The Australian)
May 21  – The leader of the Taliban says the militants are committed to a landmark deal with the US.


Ramadan during the coronavirus pandemic — how a new perspective made me feel less alone (ABC News)
May 20 – The essence of celebration is that it brings us together.

Court shown video of police shooting brother after decapitation threat (The Age, Melbourne)
May 21 – One of two brothers shot by police at a Victorian campground threatened to behead officers and said he wanted to become a martyr.

Decade in jail for man who planned to gun down New Year’s Eve revellers (The Age, Melbourne)
May 21 – The brother of the man who killed restaurant owner Sisto Malaspina in the Bourke Street terror attack has been jailed for a decade over his own plan to kill New Year’s revellers in Federation Square in the name of Islamic State.

When Zahra downloaded a game with ‘sexist’ ads, she didn’t expect to find friendship or Islam (ABC News)
May 23  – When Zahra Fielding downloaded an Ottoman-inspired phone game, she didn’t expect it would introduce her to new friends, let alone Islam.

‘Taking it in our stride’: Eid with a difference for Sydney’s Muslim community (The Age, Melbourne)
May 23 – For Sarah Saboune Dalati, Eid al-Fitr is usually celebrated with the coming together of 50 of her relatives from all around Sydney.

Muslims struggling through coronavirus helped with food parcels during Ramadan (ABC News)
May 24  – For many families, the evening meal during the month of Ramadan is a time of joy and reflection spent with friends and family.


Did something happen? (The Australian)
May 23  – An Australian woman emerges from a shamanic retreat deep in the Amazon to find a world utterly changed.