Religion News Selection

Nov 8 – 15, 2020

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Priest urges Vatican to intervene as sexual misconduct allegations emerge from Diocese of Broome (ABC News)
Nov 9 – A second priest has broken ranks with the Catholic Church, going public with concerns about what he has described as the “abysmal and extremely unjust” Vatican response to sexual misconduct allegations at an outback diocese.

Senior Jesuits charged with historic sex offences at Sydney’s St Ignatius College Riverview (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 10 – Former Jesuit brothers at two of Australia’s most prestigious Catholic schools have been charged with historic child sex offences after allegations against them emerged recently.


Gay marriage wasn’t quite settled for the faithful – but at last, there’s blessed relief (Sydney Morning Herald)
Nov 14 – (Opinion: Julia Baird) On Wednesday afternoon, the Venerable Dr John Davis, a priest in Wangaratta, was sitting at home with his husband, Father Rob Whalley, in his sunny living room, staring out at the garden and anxiously pressing refresh on his computer screen.

Sydney Anglican priest forced to resign because his marriage broke down (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 14 – One of Sydney’s most high-profile Anglican priests has been forced to resign from his church or face the sack because his wife walked out on him.


Ibac won’t investigate allegations Vatican funds were sent to Australia to frame George Pell (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 11 – Victoria’s Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission says it will not investigate claims that Vatican funds were sent to Australia as part of a conspiracy to frame George Pell for child sex offences.


Departing UQ law dean bound for Ramsay Centre program role (Brisbane Times)
Nov 12 – University of Queensland law school dean Patrick Parkinson AM, whose comments about transgender children made him the target of criticism during his two-year tenure, will join the university’s Ramsay Centre-backed program.

Anglican Church

Church of England could rethink stance on LGBTQ+ issues by 2022 (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 10 – The Church of England could make a historic change to traditional teaching on sexuality in less than two years after bishops promised that decisions on issues that have riven the church for decades would be taken in 2022.

Religious Violence

‘They just slaughter them’: how sorcery violence spreads fear across Papua New Guinea (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 14 – In the highland villages and the lowland towns of Papua New Guinea, it is the crime that everybody knows about, that many see, but that few can, or do, anything to stop.


Soul of the nation: how Joe Biden’s faith will shape his presidency (The Guardian, Australia)
Nov 10 – He carries a rosary in his pocket, one that belonged to his dead son, Beau.


Muslims, Chinese Australians and Indigenous people most targeted in racist media coverage (ABC News)
Nov 13 – When Nayma Bilal went to a Sydney beach wearing a niqab, a stranger walked up to her and told her to “get out of this country, you don’t belong here”.


Fringe Church pastor Ron Hutchinson rehabilitates domestic violence offenders through conversation (ABC News)
Nov 9 – Can you keep someone out of prison, off drugs or stop them from lashing out violently just by having a conversation?

Why a good philosophical aphorism can be so powerful (ABC News)
Nov 15 –  (Opinion: David Rutledge) When we think about philosophy, we usually think big.