Religion News Selection

August 20 – 27, 2023

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Malka Leifer: former ultra-Orthodox Jewish principal sentenced to 15 years for child sex abuse (The Guardian, Australia)
August 24 – Ultra-Orthodox Jewish principal Malka Leifer will spend up to 15 years behind bars for the sexual abuse of two young high school students.

Catholic Church loses bid to restrict family’s lawsuit against Pell and church (The Age, Melbourne)
August 25 – The Catholic Church has lost a bid to restrict the family members of victims of child abuse by clergy from bringing civil cases against the institution.

Reforms needed after ‘horrendous’ Catholic church approach in paedophile priest cases, lawyers say (The Guardian, Australia)
August 25 – Lawyers for two Indigenous abuse survivors have called for reforms to address the “horrendous” Catholic church strategy of seeking to permanently block cases where alleged paedophile priests have died.


Schools force Anglican backdown on statement opposing same-sex marriage (Sydney Morning Herald)
August 27 – Principals at Sydney’s Anglican schools will no longer be forced to sign a document affirming they believe marriage should only be between a man and a woman under a new proposal by the church that is set to abolish the controversial requirement.

Catholic Church

Catholic school system directs students to use pronouns assigned at birth (Sydney Morning Herald)
August 21 – Boston: A Catholic school system in the US state of Massachusetts has issued a new policy that orders students to use their names and pronouns assigned at birth and to conduct themselves in a manner “consistent with their biological sex,” drawing criticism in the latest clash between religious leaders and proponents of gender and sexual fluidity.


Why the COVID-19 pandemic made some Australians ditch religion and others turn towards it (ABC News)
August 22 – COVID-19 has changed the way we connect to the world around us.

Losing our religion: Inside the plan to future-proof Sydney’s faith (Sydney Morning Herald)
August 24 – In many parts of modern-day Sydney, churches are an anachronism – the sandstone relic on the hill.