Religion News Australia

February 14 – 21, 2021

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Joy fills room in rare Jewish exhibition (The Australian)
Feb 19 – There’s something special about Mirka Mora’s work that makes it a rare sight on the auction block, according to her son William Mora.


Archbishop Anthony Fisher outraged over ‘provocative’ use of Sydney cathedral in LGBT concert ads (ABC News)
Feb 18 – The City of Sydney ordered the removal of an image of St Mary’s Cathedral from advertising of an LGBT concert after Sydney’s Catholic Archbishop described it as “frustrating and upsetting”.


Catholic leader dismisses school funding reform as ‘flight of fantasy’ (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 17 – The NSW Catholic schools leader has dismissed former education minister Adrian Piccoli’s proposal for radical school funding reform to remedy growing segregation in schools as a “think tank fantasy”.

Victorian independent schools grow four times faster than Catholic sector (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 19 – Enrolments at Victorian independent schools grew four times faster than in the Catholic sector in 2020, official figures show.

‘It’s a difficult culture to break’: Sydney private schools respond to sexual assault claims (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 21 – The principal of a Sydney private school believes an outpouring of testimonies about sexual assault experienced by former schoolgirls will become a powerful learning device for male and female students to understand the gravity of the issue.

Catholic Church

Ancestor of Britain’s Prince William on path to Catholic sainthood (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 21 – Vatican City: Pope Francis has put a 19th century English Catholic priest who was a distant relative of Britain’s Prince William on the path to sainthood.


There’s a reason Muslim women struggle to make their voices heard (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 15 – (Opinion: Nesrine Malik) Zesha Saleem is a young, hijab-wearing freelance journalist at the start of her career.

Sheikh Mohammed: disturbing glimpses beneath a refined public image (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 19 – Dubai ruler cultivates an image as a business visionary and poet, but haunting videos and court rulings offer a shadow biography

Religious Violence

US President Joe Biden says China will face repercussions on human rights abuses (ABC News)
Feb 17 – China will pay a price for its human rights abuses, United States President Joe Biden has warned.

Smuggled diary tells how abducted women survived Boko Haram camp (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 21 – The resistance began three months after the young women were taken from their school dormitory by Islamist militants and hidden in the depths of a forest.


In the UK, 800 year-old cathedrals have become makeshift COVID vaccine clinics (ABC News)
Feb 15 – When it came to finding venues to host Britain’s enormous COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the UK government had to get creative.

France on hunt for centuries-old oaks to rebuild spire of Notre Dame (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 17 – French experts are combing the country’s forests for centuries-old oaks to rebuild the Notre Dame spire that was destroyed by fire.

‘An eyesore’: thousands protest against Spanish cathedral’s new doors (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 19 – Plans to mark the 800th anniversary of Burgos’s magnificent gothic cathedral with three enormous new bronze doors have ushered in an unholy row, with Unesco advising against the project and critics attacking the €1.2m portals as an “artistic outrage”.


WA Liberal kicks own goals as Labor revs up for a landslide election win (
Feb 21 – A Liberal candidate for the West Australian state election is being dogged by comments her husband made about COVID-19 being part of God’s “reset” for humanity, but says she is a woman with her own views.


Apology for Aboriginal art and cultural thefts to Tasmanian Indigenous communities long time coming (ABC News)
Feb 16 – Two of Tasmania’s oldest institutions have apologised to the state’s Aboriginal community for “nearly 200 years of practices were morally wrong”.

Hillsong founder’s shock decision (The Australian)
Feb 19 – The founder of scandal-plagued church group Hillsong will hand over the global reins to ‘younger’ pastors following a barrage of lawsuits.

Presbyterian church head says Victorian ban on gay conversion practices should be ignored (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 19 – The head of the Presbyterian church in Australia says its pastors will not be directed to obey the Victorian government’s new law banning gay conversion practices, calling the bill “a declaration of war on scripture”.

Academic tussle as ancient relics from black market brought into country (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 20 – A pair of 2000-year-old bark manuscripts that promise to unlock some mysteries of the birth of Buddhism have turned up in Australia, sparking an ethical and legal debate about whether they should be here.