Religion News Selection

Oct 11 – 18, 2020

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)


Catholic Church

Beatified millennial: Pope sets late tech whiz on path to sainthood (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 13 – Pope Francis said the beatification of an Italian computer whiz-kid was a sign to young people that “true happiness comes from putting God first”.

Religious Violence

Teacher beheaded near Paris after showing class images of Mohammed (ABC News)
Oct 17 – A history teacher who opened a discussion with high school students on caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Mohammed has been beheaded in a French street and police have shot dead the suspected killer, authorities say.

Also: French teachers vow to ‘teach difficult subjects’ after colleague’s murder (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 18 – Shocked French teachers vowed to continue encouraging their pupils’ “critical spirit” by raising contested subjects after an Islamic terrorist beheaded a secondary school teacher who showed his students caricatures of the Prophet as part of a freedom of speech discussion.

After Isis, Yazidi women forced to leave their children behind (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 17 – As bombs crunched into the ground around them in February last year, three young Yazidi women cowered in holes dug in the eastern Syrian desert, cradling their terrified children.


Amy Coney Barrett faith group would expel members over gay sex, leader said (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 14 – The Christian community where Amy Coney Barrett has previously served as a female leader – or handmaid – expels members who engage in gay sex, according to a 2018 interview with Craig Lent, the group’s current head.

From mute to menacing: why TV’s portrayal of Muslims still falls short (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 16 – (Opinion: Mariam Khan) In 2017, Emmy-winning actor and activist Riz Ahmed gave a speech in Parliament about diversity on screen.

November miracle: Why Christians still back Trump (The Australian)
Oct 17 – (Opinion: Greg Sheridan) For all his personal failings, Trump enjoys the support of both Protestants and Catholics.

Overzealous profanity filter bans paleontologists from talking about bones (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 17 – Participants in a virtual paleontology session found themselves caught between a rock and a hard place last week, when a profanity filter prevented them from using certain words – such as bone, pubic, stream and, er, beaver – during an online conference.


Christian lobby backs council candidates based on attitudes to same-sex parenting, abortion (The Age, Melbourne)
Oct 14 – The Australian Christian Lobby has endorsed candidates in Victoria’s council elections based on their views of same-sex parenting, transgender rights and abortion.

Queensland election: LNP tries to keep anti-abortion push out of sight (The Guardian, Australia)
Oct 17 – At a campaign stop this week, the Queensland opposition leader, Deb Frecklington, was asked about the Liberal National party’s policy to review the state’s abortion laws.


‘Find your roar’: Queensland’s first transgender priest on living bravely (Brisbane Times)
Oct 12 – Australia’s first transgendered priest Reverend Josephine Inkpin hopes to inspire others to “find your roar” and live lovingly and bravely.