Religion News Selection

May 3 – 10, 2020

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



‘I’m not a used car salesman’: Can the archbishop chart a new course? (The Age, Melbourne)
May 10  – It’s August 2018, and Peter Comensoli is standing on a stage in a packed city restaurant, daring to do something none of his predecessors have ever done: subject himself to the scrutiny of the Melbourne Press Club.

ABUSE – Royal Commission findings about Pell

Pell knew in 1982 that Ridsdale was being moved to keep lid on scandal (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 7 – Cardinal George Pell knew nearly 40 years ago that notorious paedophile priest Gerard Ridsdale was being moved out of a small, Victorian country parish to protect the Catholic Church from scandal, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has found.

Royal commission finds Pell ‘conscious’ of priests abusing children in early ’70s (The Age, Melbourne)
May 7 – Cardinal George Pell was “conscious of child sexual abuse by clergy” as early as 1973 and failed to act on complaints about priests, according to royal commission findings released for the first time.

Cardinal George Pell: Victoria police to assess unredacted royal commission findings (The Guardian, Australia)
May 7 – Victoria police will receive a copy of the unredacted child abuse royal commission report findings relating to Cardinal George Pell.

History will not be kind to George Pell, as royal commission reveals its secret findings (ABC News)
May 8 – (Opinion: Louise Milligan) For more than 1,400 days, they waited. Little kids but now grown up, the childhoods they’d left behind stained by trauma.

Cardinal Pell: a legacy of shame and failure (The Age, Melbourne)
May 8 – (Opinion: Barney Zwartz) It may be possible – remotely – as Cardinal George Pell claims, that he did not know about the crimes of paedophile Gerald Ridsdale until much later than the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse thinks he did.

Catholic Church’s legal deluge compounded by damning Pell findings (Sydney Morning Herald)
May 9  – The Catholic Church is facing hundreds of civil claims by victims of clerical sex abuse, bolstered by the royal commission’s findings about Cardinal George Pell’s role in the “catastrophic failure of leadership” in the Ballarat diocese.

‘Why didn’t he help those little boys?’: how George Pell failed the children of Ballarat (The Guardian, Australia)
May 9 – (Opinion: Melissa Davey) “Why isn’t all of Australia talking about what happened here in Ballarat?” That’s the question Clare Linane remembers asking her husband, Peter Blenkiron, 12 years ago as they were sitting in the kitchen talking about his abuse.

Why George Pell likely won’t face charges over royal commission findings (ABC News)
May 10  – After a two-year wait, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse has released its findings on what Cardinal George Pell knew about clergy abuse.

Cardinal truths (The Saturday Paper)
May 10  – (Opinion: Editorial) He knew. When he walked into Melbourne Magistrates’ Court in 1993 beside Gerald Ridsdale, a man facing dozens of counts of indecent assault against boys, George Pell knew the priest had been abusing children in the church.


Sick Souls, Healthy Minds by John Kaag review – can William James save your life? (The Guardian, Australia)
May 7  – (Review)  From Plato to Heidegger, philosophers have taken a dim view of the common people.


Australian ‘healing church’ defends bleach sales after US coronavirus cure claims (The Guardian, Australia)
May 6 – Representatives of an international group that calls itself a “healing church” and promotes industrial bleach as a cure for coronavirus say they should be allowed to continue selling the potentially toxic “miracle” solution in Australia on religious freedom grounds.

The real Lord of the Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months (The Guardian, Australia)
May 10  – For centuries western culture has been permeated by the idea that humans are selfish creatures.