Religion News Selection

May 8 – 15, 2022

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Marist Brothers appointed known child abuser as principal of Melbourne school in 1980, court told (The Guardian, Australia)
May 15 – A Catholic order made the “unthinkable” decision to appoint a known child abuser as the principal of one of its Melbourne schools, allowing him to molest boys in his office unchecked on a “regular basis”, a court has heard.


‘Fundamentally awry’: bishops block move to reject same-sex marriage (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 11 – Australia’s Anglican bishops have thwarted an attempt by the powerful, conservative Sydney diocese to have the national church affirm that marriage is only between a man and a woman, prompting dire warnings from Sydney’s archbishop that the unity of the Australian church is in peril.

Also: Anglican disunity on same-sex marriage in Australia threatens to tear the church apart (The Guardian, Australia)
May 12 – The powerful Sydney diocese this week moved to impose its anti same-sex marriage agenda nationally, but it was thwarted by bishops


‘Goes against our beliefs’: Parents and church clash over school values (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 13 – Last weekend, St Catherine’s – Australia’s oldest private girls’ school – held its biennial magnolia fundraising fair, featuring a petting zoo, glitter face painting, and a LEGO-building expo.

Religious Violence

Female student in Nigeria beaten to death over ‘blasphemy’ (The Guardian, Australia)
May 13 – A female student in Nigeria was beaten to death and set on fire by fellow students who accused her of posting “blasphemous” statements in a WhatsApp group, two witnesses have said.


Labor commits to religious freedom and LGBTQ protections but no timeline (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 10 – Labor will seek to legislate a religious discrimination act and scrap the ability of schools to expel gay and transgender students at the same time should it win government, but won’t give a timeline for pursuing the issue in the next parliament.

MP Rebekha Sharkie threatens legal action against Australian Christian Lobby over election flyers (The Guardian, Australia)
May 13 – Federal MP Rebekha Sharkie has threatened the Australian Christian Lobby with legal action after the group distributed flyers featuring her driving a wrecking ball through religious schools.

‘Idiotic’: Holocaust museum photo op boils over in Goldstein campaign (The Age, Melbourne)
May 15 – The fight for Melbourne’s bayside electorate of Goldstein has boiled over as a key Jewish volunteer for independent candidate Zoe Daniel called a photo opportunity for incumbent Tim Wilson at the Holocaust Museum “all bullshit”.


Sacred sites being put at risk due to native title law, Queensland review told (The Guardian, Australia)
May 12 – Thirty years after the landmark Mabo decision relegated terra nullius to legal fiction, a number of Indigenous Queenslanders say the resulting native title laws can be used to “box tick” approvals for the destruction of sacred sites.

Was this ancient vessel a hand grenade? If so, it backs up a long-debated theory about the Crusades (ABC News)
May 15 – Much is known about life in the Middle East at the time of the Crusades, but one type of vessel still presents something of a mystery.