Religion News Selection

Oct 4 – 11, 2020

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



National Redress Scheme applicant numbers lower, prompting calls for urgent investigation (ABC News)
Oct 4 – David Francis is waiting for a dollar figure to be put on the sexual abuse he suffered as a child growing up in Catholic institutions in Western Australia.

Abuse survivors despair as Pell conspiracy breaks cover (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 10 – At the mention of George Pell, the old man became enraged.


Adelaide female Anglican priest barred from practising because of marriage to woman (ABC News)
Oct 5 – An Adelaide-based Anglican priest has accused the church of discrimination after she was refused permission to say mass and celebrate sacraments because of her marriage to another woman.


25 years of His Dark Materials: Philip Pullman on the journey of a lifetime (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 10 – (Opinion: Philip Pullman) It was 1993 when I thought of Lyra and began writing His Dark Materials.

Why Justin Bieber and Kanye West may be the new faces of modern Christianity (ABC News)
Oct 11 – In less than a month, Justin Bieber’s song Holy has racked up more than 50 million views.

So what’s so funny about America’s painful history of racism? (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 11 – (Review)  Several years ago, someone gave actor Ethan Hawke a copy of James McBride’s novel The Good Lord Bird as a gift.

Saint Maud review – a chilling nurse on a mission from God (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 11 – (Review)  “To save a soul, that’s quite something.” So says Maud, the newly God-fearing subject of Rose Glass’s electrifying debut feature, which establishes the writer-director as a thrilling new talent in British cinema.


George Pell’s lawyer calls for investigation into claim bribes paid to influence sexual assault case (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 5 – The barrister who led the defence of Cardinal George Pell says an international investigation should be launched into extraordinary claims that bribes were paid to influence the sexual assault case involving the senior Australian cleric.

Tasmanian chapter of Concerned Catholics says church must change or face empty pews (ABC News)
Oct 6 – Catholics in Tasmania are joining forces with a national lobby group within the Church to push for change and to “bring it into the 21st century”.


US Supreme Court nominee served as a ‘handmaid’ in conservative Christian group (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 8 – Providence: Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett served as a “handmaid”, the term then used for high-ranking female leaders in the People of Praise religious community.

Holy war: Republicans eager to focus Amy Coney Barrett hearings on religion (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 11 – When Donald Trump’s latest supreme court nominee, Amy Coney Barrett, arrives before the Senate judiciary committee for her confirmation hearings on Monday, Democrats will be out to raise an alarm that Barrett could help strike down the Affordable Care Act in the very first case she hears.


Fresh schools discrimination clash for Andrews’ government (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 10 – The Andrews government faces a clash in State Parliament this week over claims it is “turning a blind eye” to blatant religious discrimination in Victorian schools.


Sabbath seems counter-cultural but is as important as ever (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 2 – (Opinion: Philip Freier) Living through the COVID-19 pandemic certainly makes each of us aware of real-time data. Each day we wait to hear the new numbers of infections and other familiar indicators. It can often seem as if we are living in an attitude of daily hyper-awareness.

We should be counting years of life lost or saved (The Age, Melbourne)
Oct 9 – (Opinion: Peter Singer) For the past three months, Melbourne, this metropolitan area of nearly five million people, the capital of the Australian state of Victoria, has been under one of the world’s tightest lockdowns.

Margaret Court to challenge Lotterywest ban on grant funding (Sydney Morning Herald)
Oct 10 – Tennis champion Margaret Court will lodge an equal opportunities complaint against the WA government after the state’s lotteries commission refused to fund her charity because of her “biblical views on same-sex marriage”.