Religion News Australia

October 11 – 18, 2020

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



ABC ignores story that doesn’t fit its Pell narrative (The Australian)
Oct 12 – (Opinion: Chris Mitchell ) The idea George Pell could in fact be the victim here just doesn’t suit the ABC which failed to cover Vatican corruption revelations.


Former Lismore teacher Garry Mulroy home after Cambodian prison ordeal (ABC News)
Oct 14 – A former school teacher from Lismore says he was the victim of an extortion racket after serving time in a Cambodian jail charged with indecently assaulting boys.

Penola flourishes under Mary MacKillop’s legacy, 10 years on from her canonisation at Vatican (ABC News)
Oct 17 – It has been 10 years since 8,000 Australians travelled to the Vatican to stand in St Peter’s Square and watch Pope Benedict XVI declare Mary MacKillop Australia’s first saint.

Catholic Church

Cardinal George Pell meets with Pope Francis for first time since sex abuse convictions quashed (ABC News)
Oct 12 – Cardinal George Pell has met with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Also: Pell back in favour, has talks with Pope (The Australian)
Oct 13 – George Pell has met Pope Francis for the first time since his jail term and sex abuse convictions were overturned.

Also: Pope meets George Pell for first time since cardinal’s abuse acquittal (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 13 – Pope Francis has met George Pell in his first audience with the cardinal since Pell was cleared of child sexual abuse charges in Australia this year.

Beatified millennial: Pope sets late tech whiz on path to sainthood (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 13 – Pope Francis said the beatification of an Italian computer whiz-kid was a sign to young people that “true happiness comes from putting God first”.

Religious Violence

Teacher beheaded near Paris after showing class images of Mohammed (ABC News)
Oct 17 – A history teacher who opened a discussion with high school students on caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed has been beheaded in a French street and police have shot dead the suspected killer, authorities say.

Also: French police shoot dead man who ‘decapitated victim’ near Paris (Brisbane Times)
Oct 17 – Paris: A middle school history teacher in France was knifed to death near the school where earlier this month he had shown his pupils cartoons of the prophet Mohammad, considered blasphemous by Muslims, French officials said on Friday.

Also: Teacher killed in France after showing class caricatures of Muhammad (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 17 – French police have shot dead a man who decapitated a teacher with a large kitchen knife near a school in a Paris suburb after he showed his class caricatures of the prophet Muhammad from the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

Also: Teenager asked pupils to identify French teacher before beheading him (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 18 – Paris: The teenager who beheaded a teacher outside the school in a Paris suburb where he taught had approached pupils in the street and asked them to point out his victim, anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard said on Saturday.

Also: French teachers vow to ‘teach difficult subjects’ after colleague’s murder (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 18 – Shocked French teachers vowed to continue encouraging their pupils’ “critical spirit” by raising contested subjects after an Islamic terrorist beheaded a secondary school teacher who showed his students caricatures of the Prophet as part of a freedom of speech discussion.

After Isis, Yazidi women forced to leave their children behind (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 17 – As bombs crunched into the ground around them in February last year, three young Yazidi women cowered in holes dug in the eastern Syrian desert, cradling their terrified children.

Jihadists kill 14 soldiers in attack on Nigerian army base (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 18 – Jihadists linked to the Islamic State group have killed 14 Nigerian soldiers in an attack on an army base, military sources have said.


Priest allegedly filmed ‘S&M porn’ with two women in church (
Oct 12 – A Catholic archbishop has burned an altar after the church’s priest allegedly had an S&M threesome on it.

Amy Coney Barrett faith group would expel members over gay sex, leader said (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 14 – The Christian community where Amy Coney Barrett has previously served as a female leader – or handmaid – expels members who engage in gay sex, according to a 2018 interview with Craig Lent, the group’s current head.

Jewish leaders call COVID rules ‘blatantly anti-Semitic’ (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 16 – New York: Three Jewish congregations, based in Rockland County, are suing New York state and Governor Andrew Cuomo, saying he engaged in a “streak of anti-Semitic discrimination” with a recent crackdown on religious gatherings to reduce the state’s coronavirus infection rate.

From mute to menacing: why TV’s portrayal of Muslims still falls short (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 16 – (Opinion: Mariam Khan) In 2017, Emmy-winning actor and activist Riz Ahmed gave a speech in Parliament about diversity on screen.

November miracle: Why Christians still back Trump (The Australian)
Oct 17 – (Opinion: Greg Sheridan) For all his personal failings, Trump enjoys the support of both Protestants and Catholics.

Overzealous profanity filter bans paleontologists from talking about bones (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 17 – Participants in a virtual paleontology session found themselves caught between a rock and a hard place last week, when a profanity filter prevented them from using certain words – such as bone, pubic, stream and, er, beaver – during an online conference.


Christian lobby backs council candidates based on attitudes to same-sex parenting, abortion (The Age, Melbourne)
Oct 14 – The Australian Christian Lobby has endorsed candidates in Victoria’s council elections based on their views of same-sex parenting, transgender rights and abortion.

‘Anti-Semite’ defamation case withdrawn (The Australian)
Oct 14 – Former ALP MP Melissa Parke has abandoned her defamation suit against Liberal MP Dave Sharma.

Queensland election: LNP tries to keep anti-abortion push out of sight (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 17 – At a campaign stop this week, the Queensland opposition leader, Deb Frecklington, was asked about the Liberal National party’s policy to review the state’s abortion laws.

Also: LNP senator and Broncos chairman back Queensland anti-abortion campaign  (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 17 – The Liberal National party senator Gerard Rennick and the Brisbane Broncos chairman, Karl Morris, are among the financial backers of a prominent anti-abortion “disinformation” campaign targeting marginal seats ahead of the Queensland election.


‘Find your roar’: Queensland’s first transgender priest on living bravely (Brisbane Times)
Oct 12 – Australia’s first transgendered priest Reverend Josephine Inkpin hopes to inspire others to “find your roar” and live lovingly and bravely.