Religion News Selection

January 2 – 9, 2022

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Victorian Catholic diocese found vicariously liable for child sexual abuse in landmark ruling (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 5 – The Catholic church’s failed attempt to argue it was not responsible for a priest’s abuse of a five-year-old, because it took place during after-hours “social” visits, has been slammed as “ruthless” by the survivor and an “affront to common sense” by a judge.

Catholic Church

Pope says having pets instead of babies is selfish (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 6 – Rome: Deciding not to have children and lavishing affection instead on pets is selfish, according to Pope Francis.

Also: ‘Insensitive’: pet owners react to pope’s remarks on animals and children (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 7 – Whether millennials prefer to raise plants and pets over children for financial and environmental reasons or because they’re lazy and entitled has been hotly discussed in recent years.


Emma Watson accused of anti-Semitism by Israeli diplomats (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 5 – London: Emma Watson has been accused of anti-Semitism by Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations over a post supporting Palestinian protesters.

Jon Stewart denies claims he accused JK Rowling of antisemitism (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 5 – Former US talkshow host Jon Stewart says comments he made about the Harry Potter films were meant to be “lighthearted” and he was not accusing author JK Rowling of antisemitism.

Religious Violence

Arrests after female Muslim activists ‘put up for sale’ in fake auction in India (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 5 – Police in India have detained a woman accused of organising a fake online auction in which hundreds of prominent female Muslims were put up “for sale” on a website.