Religion News Australia

May 23 – 30, 2021

Religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Malka Leifer’s lawyers want medical records of one of her accusers (The Age, Melbourne)
May 28 – Lawyers for accused paedophile Malka Leifer want the medical reports of one of the former school principal’s alleged victims that were used in a previous civil trial.

86-year-old paedophile priest loses Federal Court appeal (Sydney Morning Herald)  
May 29 – An 86-year-old paedophile former Catholic priest came a step closer to deportation to Ireland when a court on Friday upheld a decision to strip him of his Australian citizenship.

Australia’s Holy See ambassador under fire for saying she wants to change ‘narrative’  (The Guardian, Australia)
May 29 – The new ambassador to the Holy See told a Catholic publication that her aim was to change the Vatican’s “narrative” about Australia away from the child abuse royal commission and cardinal George Pell – comments that have infuriated abuse survivors.


The Holocaust is not a feel-good story (The Australian)
May 29 – (Review)  We cannot afford to turn the murder of six million Jews into tales of heroism and romance.


Catholic group makes legal threat over Sydney cemeteries plan (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 29 – The Catholic Cemeteries Trust will launch an injunction to stop a NSW government merger of the five trusts managing Sydney’s cemeteries.


‘Never had it so good’: Archbishop says cashed up Catholic schools must learn from state schools (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 27 – Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher has called for an examination of what state schools were getting right and the humility to learn from them because they regularly perform better in academic results.

St Paul’s warns demand for all-male colleges is waning amid co-ed backlash (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 28 – Sydney University’s all-male St Paul’s College warns it will struggle to fill rooms unless it enrols women amid a backlash from students and alumni against a proposal for the historic college to become co-ed.


Indonesian cleric jailed for eight months for breaking COVID-restrictions (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 28 – Jakarta: An Indonesian court has sentenced a politically influential firebrand cleric to eight months in prison for violating health protocols by holding gatherings attended by thousands of supporters during the coronavirus outbreak.

Model behind ‘hands off my hijab’ post is named Vogue Scandinavia editor (The Guardian, Australia)
May 28 – Rawdah Mohamed, the Somali-Norwegian model whose protest against a proposed ban on the hijab in France went viral, has been announced as editor of the soon-to-be-launched Vogue Scandinavia.

Religious Violence

Jerusalem’s lesson: why we shouldn’t mistake ‘quiet’ for peace (Sydney Morning Herald)  
May 29 – (Opinion: Tareq Baconi) The Israeli foreign ministry has described what is happening in Sheikh Jarrah as a real estate dispute.

Taliban threaten Afghan security guards who work for Australian embassy in Kabul (The Guardian, Australia)
May 29 – The Taliban have publicly threatened Afghan security guards who have worked for the soon-to-be-shut Australian embassy, circulating pictures of them online and warning they would be targeted for cooperating with a foreign government.

French policewoman stabbed by ex-prisoner on potential threat watch list (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 29 – Paris: A radicalised French ex-prisoner on a watch list of potential terrorist threats stabbed a policewoman inside her station in western France on Friday and died following a shootout with police, a government minister said.

‘The first group they will kill’: why Afghan allies are terrified about Australia’s exit (The Guardian, Australia)
May 30 – As Australian forces prepare to leave Afghanistan, local workers who helped coalition troops fear they have been left to the mercy of the Taliban.


Albany Baptist Church pushes ahead with ‘gay conversion therapy’ event despite backlash  (ABC News)
May 25 – A church on WA’s south coast is pushing ahead with an event labelled as “gay conversion therapy” by the LGBTQI+ community.

Religion, romance and rejection: dating when you’re devout (ABC News)
May 28 – Australians are becoming less open to dating someone who is devout. So, how do young people of faith find a partner?

QRL could use code of conduct to terminate registration if Folau makes anti-gay posts (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 26 – The Queensland Rugby League could use clauses in its code of conduct to terminate the registration of Israel Folau should he post anything similar to the inflammatory remarks that ended his rugby career.

Also: Israel Folau launches legal action against Queensland Rugby League, alleging discrimination (ABC News)
May 28 – Israel Folau is taking legal action against the Queensland Rugby League (QRL) on the grounds of discrimination following the sporting body’s decision not to register the dual international.

What being trapped in a cult taught filmmaker Lynette Wallworth (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 29 – “Does this look OK?” Lynette Wallworth is fiddling with a lovely loop of black-and-white fabric that’s twisted around her neck and shoulders.