Religion News Selection

January 22 – 29, 2023

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



‘Unfinished business’: Ballarat abuse survivor to tie a ribbon at St Mary’s before George Pell funeral (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 26 – When the Ballarat abuse survivor Paul Auchettl flies to Sydney to tie ribbons to the fence outside St Mary’s Cathedral ahead of George Pell’s funeral, he’ll be thinking of a promise the late cardinal made to him last time they met.


National School Chaplaincy Program report backs name change, choice of wellbeing officers (ABC News)
Jan 28 – An independent evaluation of The National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP) has found there are benefits of having chaplains in schools, but has endorsed plans to broaden the scheme to include secular support staff.

War of words erupts between Opus Dei schools and the ABC (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 28 – NSW’s powerful education authority is investigating Sydney schools linked to Opus Dei amid a war of words between the ultra-conservative Catholic group and the public broadcaster.

Private schools lock in high achievers as demand for scholarships rise (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 29 – Demand for scholarship spots at Sydney’s private schools is rising, with at least 20 institutions offering places in year 4 and 5 in a bid to lock in high-achieving students before they reach high school.

Catholic Church

‘A mounting civil war’: Pope Francis’ future under renewed speculation (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 28 – London: Pope Francis has but one request. He’d like his critics to summon the courage and tell him to his face.

Religious Violence

Daniella grew up in The Family, then joined the army — where she experienced toxic control, again (ABC News)
Jan 27 – (Review) On Daniella Mestyanek Young’s first day of military training, she stands among her fellow recruits holding a duffle bag high in one arm above her head.


Bible study and work without pay: the shadowy world of sober living homes (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 27 – Kaitlyn, 32, applied for a spot at Hope Center Ministries near the end of 2021 because it seemed like her best option at the time.

‘Moral duty’ to allow family and friends to make big life choices, says Cambridge philosopher (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 27 – Dr Farbod Akhlaghi, a moral philosopher at Christ’s College, argues that everyone has a right to “self authorship”, so must make decisions about transformative experiences for themselves.

Hitler didn’t build the path to the Holocaust alone – ordinary people were active participants (The Guardian, Australia)
Jan 28 – (Opinion: James Bulgin) I have been working around the subject of the Holocaust for more than a decade at the Imperial War Museum.


Holocaust survivors call for Nazi salute to be outlawed in Victoria (The Age, Melbourne)
Jan 27 – Holocaust survivors are spearheading a push to outlaw the Nazi salute in Victoria a day after neo-Nazis used the salute at a January 26 ceremony for Indigenous Australians.


‘This was hate speech’: Hindu community alarmed by temple attacks (Sydney Morning Herald)
Jan 28 – The Indian government has expressed alarm at a spate of graffiti attacks on Hindu temples that has shaken worshippers in Melbourne and inflamed tensions within Australia’s large and growing Indian diaspora.