Religion News Australia

January 10 – 17, 2021

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Philip Wilson, former Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide, dies aged 70 (ABC News)
Jan 16 – Former Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson has died aged 70.


Irish prime minister to make formal apology over deaths of 9,000 children at Catholic-run care homes (ABC News)
Jan 13 – An inquiry has found thousands of infants died in Irish homes for unmarried mothers and their offspring run by the Catholic Church from the 1920s to the 1990s, an “appalling” mortality rate that reflected brutal living conditions.

Also: Unwed mothers paid terrible price for ‘perverse morality’: Irish PM (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 13 – Dublin: Ireland’s prime minister said on Wednesday(AEDT) that the country must “face up to the full truth of our past,” as a long-awaited report recounted decades of harm done by church-run homes for unmarried women and their babies, where thousands of infants died.

Also: Ireland publishes report on ‘appalling’ abuse at mother and baby homes (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 13 – Ireland has ripped back the veil on a dark historical chapter that condemned tens of thousands of unmarried mothers and their babies to callousness and cruelty in institutions run by both the state and the Catholic church.

Catholic Church

Pope says women can read at Mass, but still can’t be priests (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 12 – Rome: Pope Francis has changed church law to explicitly allow women to do more things during Mass, granting them access to the most sacred place on the altar, while continuing to affirm that they cannot be priests.

Religious Violence

Mike Pompeo claims without evidence that Iran is al-Qaida’s new ‘home base’ (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 13 – The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has claimed, without providing evidence, that al-Qaida leaders have established a new “home base” in the Iran, in what appeared to be his latest effort to raise the political cost of the next administration reviving the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.

‘Our souls are dead’: how I survived a Chinese ‘re-education’ camp for Uighurs (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 13 – (Opinion: Gulbahar Haitiwaji) After 10 years living in France, I returned to China to sign some papers and I was locked up.

Mahatma Gandhi’s killer venerated as Hindu nationalism resurges in India (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 17 – Last Sunday, in a nondescript building in the India city of Gwalior, 200 miles south of Delhi, a large crowd of men gathered.

Two female judges shot dead in Kabul as wave of killings continues (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 17 – Gunmen shot dead two Afghan women judges working for the country’s supreme court in an early-morning ambush in Kabul on Sunday, officials said, as a wave of assassinations continued to rattle the nation.

Miniskirts and mujahideen: how did Afghanistan come to be defined by war? (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 17 – As Donald Trump’s aides packed boxes for the President’s final withdrawal from the White House, one of the last men he ever appointed to an important government job released a statement on Friday, January 15, local time, to say that his mission had been accomplished: the US had withdrawn all but 2500 troops from Afghanistan, the lowest number of American boots on the ground in 20 years.


Outcry as Trump officials to transfer sacred Native American land to miners (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 17 – As one of its last acts, the Trump administration has set in motion the transfer of sacred Native American lands to a pair of Anglo-Australian mining conglomerates.