Religion News Selection

April 12 – 19, 2020

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Pell’s jail diaries detail ‘petty humiliations’, job as roof gardener (The Age, Melbourne)
April 14  – Cardinal George Pell has released excerpts from his prison diary, which discuss aspects of his life in jail including the attitudes of corrections staff, humiliations he endured and his brief job as a gardener.

Cardinal George Pell reportedly facing fresh criminal investigation (
April 14  – Police have arrived at the NSW seminary where Cardinal George Pell is living amid reports he is facing fresh criminal investigations.

George Pell warns against regarding accusations as ‘gospel truth’ in first TV interview since acquittal (ABC News)
April 14  – Cardinal George Pell has warned the pendulum of justice should not swing too far “so that every accusation is regarded as gospel truth” in a sit-down television interview with Sky News commentator Andrew Bolt.

Andrew Bolt and the ABC: did the reporting on George Pell step over a line? (The Guardian, Australia)
April 15 – (Opinion: Margaret Simons) This week I rang the ABC investigative journalist Sarah Ferguson to ask what she thought of the attacks on Revelation, her television series about sex abuse in the Catholic church.

Victoria to blacklist institutions that fail to sign up to National Redress Scheme for sexual abuse (ABC News)
April 19  – The Victorian Government is threatening to deny funding to organisations that fail to join the National Redress Scheme for institutional child sexual abuse survivors by the June 30 deadline.


Paris Jackson to star as Jesus in upcoming movie ‘Habit’ (
April 16  – The 22-year-old daughter of Michael Jackson will play Jesus in the upcoming movie Habit, which has already filmed and is currently in the post-production phase, the film’s producer Donovan Leitch told Fox News.


How Istanbul won back its crown as heart of the Muslim world (The Guardian, Australia)
April 19  – A ruined yali, or Bosphorus mansion, is still standing on the shore of the largest island of the Istanbul archipelago.

More than a billion Muslims anticipate ‘sad and quiet’ Ramadan in coronavirus isolation (ABC News)
April 19  – Some 1.8 billion Muslims around the globe will celebrate the most important month of the Islamic calendar very differently this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Religious Violence

Opportunity or threat? How Islamic extremists are reacting to coronavirus (The Guardian, Australia)
April 16  – Islamic extremists hope to exploit the Covid-19 pandemic to launch new attacks, motivate followers and reinforce their credentials as alternative rulers of swaths of unstable countries across the Middle East, Asia and Africa.


After coronavirus, the penny has dropped that wellbeing isn’t individual but social (The Guardian, Australia)
April 12 – (Opinion: Tobias Jones) Hannah Arendt once wrote that in times of deep crisis “we have a right to expect illumination”.

‘It is part of my spiritual life’: the people who take running to the extreme (The Guardian, Australia)
April 16  – You might think that running around the same New York city block for 52 days straight would be an exercise in futility.

Oxford professor arrested on suspicion of ancient papyrus theft (The Guardian, Australia)
April 17  – An international mystery concerning the alleged theft of priceless ancient papyrus biblical fragments from a collection held at Oxford University has led to the arrest of a classics professor on suspicion of theft and fraud.


Yazidi survivors’ bush refuge (The Australian)
April 18  – They survived the horrors of ISIS and landed in the welcoming arms of country Australia. How are the Yazidi faring?