Religion News Selection

December 6 – 13, 2020

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Anglican Church ‘on a path to disintegration’ over blessing same-sex unions (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 13 – The conservative Anglican Diocese of Sydney has told its top personnel the church is “on a trajectory towards disintegration” over a decision to allow the blessing of same-sex unions.

Catholic Church

Vatican risks going broke slowly, George Pell says (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 9 – Rome: Former Vatican treasurer Cardinal George Pell said the world’s smallest state risked slowly “going broke” unless it tamed ballooning deficits, and expressed hope his successor would be spared the resistance to reform that he said thwarted him.


France bans homeschooling in sweeping anti-Islamist reforms (The Age, Melbourne)
Dec 10 – Paris: The French government unveiled a draft law on Wednesday, local time, aimed at better arming France against Islamist radicalism, a project promoted by President Emmanuel Macron to root out what he calls “separatists” undermining the nation.

After Christchurch, New Zealand’s Muslim women shouldn’t have to rebuild on their own (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 12 – In New Zealand, strong women leaders are regularly referred to as wāhine toa.

Iranian teenager who posted distorted pictures of herself is jailed for 10 years (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 12 – An Iranian woman who posted heavily distorted images of herself online has been sentenced to 10 years in jail, her lawyer has said, a year after she was arrested over her social media activities.


Incomprehensible to us’: Roald Dahl’s family apologises for his anti-Semitism (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 7 – London: The family of Roald Dahl has apologised for “the lasting and understanding hurt” caused by anti-Semitic comments the author made during his lifetime.


Just the Job: Bill Murray biblical reading seeks to bridge US partisan divide (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 7 – Against the backdrop of a pandemic and an acrimonious election, a group of acclaimed actors were on Sunday set to stage an online reading of an appropriate religious text: the Book of Job.

Tower of human skulls reveals grisly scale to archaeologists in Mexico City (The Guardian, Australia)
Dec 12 – Archaeologists have unearthed new sections of an Aztec tower of human skulls dating back to the 1400s beneath the center of Mexico City.


For Muslims, sex can be ‘an act of worship’ — yet intimacy and pleasure are often taboo topics (ABC News)
Dec 12 – When Zoya Patel was in high school, dating wasn’t just a no-go, it was scandalous.


Mission from God: O’Neill seeks to reunite Labor with faithful (Sydney Morning Herald)
Dec 13 – If the old adage to never discuss religion or politics in polite company was meant to be taken literally, then nobody told Deb O’Neill.


Juukan inquiry calls for freeze on projects threatening sacred sites (
Dec 9 – A federal inquiry investigating Rio Tinto’s destruction of the 46,000-year-old Juukan Gorge rock shelters has called for a moratorium on all mining projects that threaten sacred Indigenous sites across Western Australia until new legislation has been passed.