Religion News Selection

February 2 – 9, 2020

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)


Review unearths years of sex abuse by Jesuit priests (The Australian)
Feb 3  – Sex offence allegations against 21 Jesuit priests and lay staff have been unearthed in a review.

George Pell’s appeal ‘glosses over’ evidence that supports conviction, DPP says (The Guardian, Australia)
Feb 3  – George Pell’s appeal to the high court “glosses over” evidence that supports his conviction for child sexual abuse, Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions has argued.

Former inner west reverend charged with child sex offences (Sydney Morning Herald)
Feb 4  – A former Uniting Church minister who also ran one of the country’s most prominent gay conversion therapy programs has been charged with committing historical child sexual offences more than 30 years ago.


School apology for ‘anti-Semitic message’ (The Australian)
Feb 3  – An elite Melbourne school has been forced to apologise after complaints over its Christmas message.

Catholic Church

Pope Francis arranges for 19th century Palazzo Migliori to be converted into a homeless shelter (ABC News)
Feb 4  – A 19th-century palace in prime position in the centre of the Vatican has been converted into a homeless shelter on Pope Francis’ orders.


Indonesian woman who took a dog into a mosque acquitted of blasphemy charges (ABC News)
Feb 9  – An Indonesian woman who doctors say should receive psychiatric treatment has been acquitted of blasphemy charges for taking a dog into a mosque.


To forgive is a strength, not a weakness, so all power to the Abdallah family (The Age, Melbourne)
Feb 9  – The deaths of the three Abdallah children and their cousin, mown down by an alleged drunk driver in Oatlands last weekend, has shocked the nation.

Female genital mutilation researcher says midwives are the frontline of fight against the practice (ABC News)
Feb 6 – For Western Sydney University researcher Olayide Ogunsiji, female genital mutilation was so prevalent where she grew up in Nigeria, her own cutting was never questioned.

Couple who believe it’s a sin to be gay fight for right to be foster carers (
Feb 6  – A Perth couple who believe homosexuality is a sin that can be overcome are locked in a court battle with a West Australian organisation which denied their application to become foster parents.

Thank God I’m an atheist (The Australian)
Feb 9 – (Opinion: Phillip Adams) Many of the most savage and destructive wars have been fought within religions, not between them.