Religion News Australia

Sept 27 – Oct 4, 2020

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Senior Catholic William Wade sentenced for concealing child sex abuse at Marist schools (ABC News)
Sept 30 – The first senior Catholic to plead guilty to concealing child sexual abuse in Australia has escaped jail despite a judge acknowledging his “reprehensible” inaction contributed to “terrible consequences”.

Victorian child sex abuse survivor wins second chance to sue Catholic Church in ‘landmark’ case (ABC News)
Oct 1 – A victim of historical child sexual abuse has won what is believed to be a landmark case in Victoria against the Catholic Church, giving him a second shot at suing for compensation.


What happens when you die? ‘Nothing’ (The Australian)
Oct 3 – (Review) Having faced down death more than once, author Robert Dessaix has a unique perspective on mortality – and how to live one’s best life.


George Pell: why the cardinal is free to travel to Rome despite Australia’s Covid ban (The Guardian, Australia)
Sept 30 – Cardinal George Pell did not need to apply for a travel exemption to leave Australia because he is travelling to Rome for official Vatican government business.

Also: Cardinal George Pell returns to Rome for first time since child sex abuse convictions quashed (ABC News)
Oct 2 – Cardinal George Pell will return to Rome today for the first time since 2017 when he was accused of child sexual abuse charges.


I went to Shore but I’m not sending my son there (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 27 – (Opinion: Rob Sturrock) I am a Shore Old Boy. I spent most of my schooling – 1990 to 1999 – taking advantage of its opulent facilities, yelling its chants at the rugby or rowing and singing its hymns in the chapel.

Catholic Church

Don’t bow to Beijing, Pompeo tells Pope Francis (The Australian)
Oct 2 – US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has challenged the Vatican on its Catholic bishops deal with Beijing and scolded the Italian government on China ties.


Religious group scrubs all references to Amy Coney Barrett from its website (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 1 – A tiny religious organization tied to Amy Coney Barrett, Donald Trump’s supreme court nominee, sought to erase all mentions and photos of her from its website before she meets with lawmakers and faces questions at her Senate confirmation hearings.

‘I thought, this is strange’: mystery of royal stone head at Shaftesbury Abbey (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 2 – When a battered stone head was unearthed from its resting place in the ruins of Shaftesbury Abbey, archaeologists were puzzled.


Man who bashed pregnant Muslim woman in Sydney cafe jailed for at least two years (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 2 – A man who viciously attacked a heavily pregnant Muslim woman in a Sydney cafe has been jailed for at least two years.

Meet the Sydney hijabi influencers in ‘modest fashion’ who make a living from Instagram (ABC News)
Oct 3 – When Nawal Sari began posting pictures of her trendy outfits on Instagram four years ago, she had no idea it would end up becoming her full-time job.


The renegade philosopher who’s still ‘cancelled’ after 300 years (ABC News)
Oct 4 – Cancel culture is often viewed as a contemporary phenomenon, but as early as the 17th century, philosopher Baruch Spinoza’s “evil opinions” left him ostracised by his Jewish community.


Fred Nile’s political party faces axe over lack of members (Sydney Morning Herald)
Sept 30 – The Reverend Fred Nile’s Christian Democratic Party is facing extinction with dwindling membership as the party’s treasurer launches legal action against Mr Nile, his wife and others, accusing them of invalidly claiming more than $100,000 in party funds for their own benefit.


Heavenly views and a heritage listing for 1880s Brisbane homestead (Brisbane Times)
Oct 2 – An 1880s Brisbane homestead – now a Catholic monastery – with sweeping views of the Brisbane River has been entered into Queensland’s Heritage Register.

Want an awesome life? Meet an octopus and watch yourself shrink (Brisbane Times)
Oct 3 – (Opinion: Julia Baird) Octopuses have often been likened to creatures from other planets, or galaxies.

Secularists drive anti-Catholicism (The Australian)
Oct 3 – (Opinion: Gerard Henderson) Amy Coney Barrett is not the church’s choice to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg.