Religion News Selection

August 2 – 9, 2020

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)


Catholic Church

Pope appoints six women to top roles on Vatican council in progressive step (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 7 – Pope Francis has appointed six women to oversee the Vatican’s finances including Ruth Kelly, the former Labour minister, in the most senior roles ever given to women within the Catholic church’s leadership.


Modi’s acolytes have reminded India’s Muslims just what he thinks of them (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 7 – (Opinion: Siddhartha Deb) Mussolini confided in his son that one of his nightmares was that he would be put on trial at New York’s Madison Square Garden, in case of capture by the Allies.


Fintech for the faithful as Pushpay answers investor prayers (Brisbane Times)
Aug 3 – Pushpay chief executive Bruce Gordon will be returning home to the company’s New Zealand headquarters this month after an eventful stint at its US offices, which began with his appointment in May last year.

Groundbreaking on Hindu temple proof Modi is transforming India (Brisbane Times)
Aug 6 – Delhi: As priests in saffron robes chanted hymns, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sprinkled sacred water and flowers into a small hole, part of a ritual marking the start of construction of a grand Hindu temple.

Trailing in election polls, Trump says rival Biden is ‘against God’ (Sydney Morning Herald)
Aug 7 – Washington: US Republican President Donald Trump asserted on Thursday that his Democratic opponent in November’s election, Joe Biden, is “against God,” even though Biden himself frequently discusses how his Catholic faith has guided his actions as a public official.

Also: Donald Trump attacked by Joe Biden for ‘shameful’ comments that he would ‘hurt God’ if elected (ABC News)
Aug 8 – Joe Biden says it is “shameful”, and “beneath the office he holds” for Donald Trump to claim the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee would “hurt God” if he were elected US president.


Woman overturns will to force parents to pay for reassignment surgery (The Age, Melbourne)
Aug 8 – A trans woman who waged a decades-long battle with her conservative Jewish Orthodox parents to compel them to pay for her gender reassignment surgery has won a multimillion-dollar payout from her deceased father’s estate.


Finding contentment is the secret to lockdown (Brisbane Times)
Aug 2 – (Opinion: Barney Zwartz) Almost everyone agrees that lockdown in Melbourne is much harder second time around and that COVID fatigue is taking a toll.

Yazidi community in Mount Gambier unites to remember Islamic State genocide (ABC News)
Aug 3 – Mount Gambier’s tight-knit Yazidi community will unite in grief tomorrow to commemorate the date when Islamic State militants unleashed brutality on their homeland.

Expansion of Pilbara mine threatens 60,000-year-old sacred site, inquiry hears (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 7 – Traditional owners in the Pilbara, whose lands are near those destroyed by Rio Tinto’s blast at Juukan Gorge in May, say two ancient rock shelters – one of which is estimated to be at least 60,000 years old – are under threat at a site where Fortescue mining is planning expansion permitted under Western Australia’s Aboriginal heritage laws.

Five Riverina Anglican churches to close, prompting call to modernise or perish (ABC News)
Aug 8 – A man who led a push to save an Anglican church in the Riverina fears more churches will close if services aren’t overhauled to appeal to modern society.

Rio Tinto’s evidence condemned by Juukan Gorge traditional owners (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 8 – The traditional owners of Juukan Gorge say Rio Tinto’s submission to a parliamentary inquiry into the destruction of two of their sacred sites has “deepened our hurt” and caused them to “question the foundations of our relationship”.

Most Queensland churchgoers say they support voluntary assisted dying (The Guardian, Australia)
Aug 8 – Queensland churchgoers of all faiths overwhelmingly support the introduction of voluntary assisted dying laws, new research commissioned by euthanasia advocates shows.