Religion News Selection

July 4 – 11, 2021

A selection of religion news stories from Australia

(Research: Greg Spearritt)



Gay married couple told to separate, be celibate to keep job in church (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 9 – A same-sex married couple claims they were discriminated against and had to leave their leadership roles and a paid job at a small church in northern NSW.


‘Blasphemous? Of course not.’ Director of lesbian nuns film hits back at critics (The Guardian, Australia)
July 11 – It might be based on a scholarly study of medieval nuns in Tuscany, but Benedetta, the new film from controversial director Paul Verhoeven, is full of lust, gore and brutality, and it has split opinion with equal violence at the Cannes film festival this weekend.


In Tasmania’s Huon Valley, Catholic parishioners say there’s unrest over a return to the 1960s (ABC News)
July 11 – Jack Driessen has been going to Mass in Tasmania’s Huon Valley for the past 66 years.


The old school tie has lost potency, but a private education still opens doors (Brisbane Times)
July 7 – (Opinion: Julie Szego) Every so often Australia’s education debate flares up like eczema, marring what’s left of the nation’s egalitarian self-image.


Canada’s reconciliation movement enters new phase following discovery of children’s graves (ABC News)
July 10 – Fernie Marty considers himself pretty resilient, but lately, the news has been the sort that stirs up personal and painful memories.

Religious Violence

Tibetan monks charged in secret Chinese trials with unknown offences, sparking renewed concerns (ABC News)
July 7 – China’s crackdown on ethnic minorities has once again been pushed into the spotlight, this time in Tibet, after a new report revealed for the first time that four monks were sentenced up to 20 years in prison on unknown charges.


Catholic doctors urged to back George Christensen’s ‘nonsensical’ abortion bill (The Guardian, Australia)
July 6 – Catholic doctors are being urged to support George Christensen’s “nonsensical” abortion bill, leading to concerns medical professionals could impose their religious beliefs on patients.


A Tibetan monk’s journey from Chinese jail to country NSW (Sydney Morning Herald)
July 7 – Venerable Bagdro, the Tibetan monk, sits alone in the former Catholic monastery in Mayfield.