Religion

  • Cardinal George Pell loses child sex offences appeal

    The Victorian Court of Appeal has upheld the conviction of Cardinal George Pell for child sexual offences. Cardinal Pell was appealing his conviction by a jury in March that resulted in a sentence of six years’ imprisonment for five offences when he was the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s. In a two-one decision the Court of Appeal ruled that the former Vatican treasurer’s conviction will stand. He will be eligible for parole in ... ► Read more

  • IS claims responsibility for Afghan wedding attack that killed 63 people

    Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for an attack at a wedding in Afghanistan on Saturday (local time) which killed 63 people and wounded 182 more. A suicide bomber set off explosives during the celebrations at the Dubai City wedding hall in the Afghan capital of Kabul. As many as 1,000 people were in attendance, a witness estimated. One wounded survivor, Mohammad Aslim, still wore his bloodied clothes the day after the blast late Saturday. ... ► Read more

  • Norwegian mosque shooting investigated as a “possible act of terrorism”

    A shooting at a Norwegian mosque on Saturday is being investigated as a “possible act of terrorism”, police said on Sunday (local time). Shots were fired during the attack on the Al-Noor Islamic Centre near Oslo, but no one was killed or injured and the suspected perpetrator was overpowered by a person inside the mosque before police arrived. The suspect had expressed far-right and anti-immigrant views online, assistant police chief Rune Skjold said during a ... ► Read more

  • Police and worshipers clash outside Israeli mosque

    Israeli police clashed with Muslim worshipers at a major holy site in Jerusalem during prayers on Sunday to mark the start of the Islamic holiday Eid al-Adha. Palestinian medics said at least 14 people were wounded in skirmishes with police at the site, which Muslims refer to as the Al-Aqsa Compound and Jews call the Temple Mount. Police said at least four officers were wounded and witnesses say at least two people were arrested. Officers ... ► Read more

  • Foreign fighters bill sparks concern over Dutton’s growing power

    New legislation to prevent foreign fighters from returning home has sparked concern over Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton’s growing powers. Mr Dutton is pushing to have the Counter-Terrorism (Temporary Exclusion Orders) Bill 2019 passed by Parliament by the end of the week, as national security is high on the Coalition Government’s agenda. The Bill is a redraft of legislation introduced earlier this year, following a review by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security ... ► Read more

  • Suspected terror plotter to face court

    A man arrested in a counter-terrorism operation across Sydney’s west earlier this week will face court in Parramatta today. Isaak el Matari, 20, has been charged with three offences: planning a terror attack, being a member of terrorist organisation Islamic State (IS), and preparing to fight overseas. Police allege Mr el Matari was planning attacks on multiple Sydney landmarks, including police stations and churches. However, he had not chosen a specific target or time to ... ► Read more

  • Sri Lanka police chief and former defence secretary arrested for negligence

    Sri Lankan Police on Tuesday (local time) arrested the country’s police chief and former defence secretary for alleged negligence ahead of the Easter Sunday bombings that killed 258 people. The former defence secretary, Hemasiri Fernando, and police chief, Pujith Jayasundara, were arrested at hospitals yesterday where they were in custody, according to police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekara. The arrests came a day after prosecutors asked police why they had not arrested Mr Fernando and Mr Jayasundara ... ► Read more

  • Counter-terrorism operation: three arrested in Western Sydney over alleged links to Islamic State

    Three men have been arrested over alleged links to terrorist group Islamic State (IS) as part of a counter-terrorism operation in Sydney’s west and inner west. It is understood the men are aged 20, 23 and 30, and will be charged later today. The New South Wales Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) executed six search warrants as part of the operation, which targeted several suburbs including including Canada Bay, Chester Hill, Greenacre, Green Valley, Ingleburn ... ► Read more

  • Indonesia arrest suspected leader of terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah

    Indonesian police have arrested the man believed to be the leader of the al-Qaida-linked terrorist group Jemaah Islamiyah. Para Wijayanto was arrested on Saturday (local time) by counter-terrorism police at a hotel in the Jakarta satellite city of Bekasi. National Police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo said Wijayanto was responsible in helping make bombs that were used in the 2002 Bali bombings, which killed 202 people, and the attack on the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in 2004, ... ► Read more

  • ABC investigation: Australian mother tells of horrors in Syrian detention camp

    An ABC investigative report published on Monday has revealed horrifying claims made by an Australian woman living in a Syrian detention camp. The woman, who has lived at Syria’s notorious al-Hawl refugee camp since 2014, made several claims in an open letter to family regarding the treatment of women, children and Australians at the camp. In the letter acquired by the ABC last week, the woman made a desperate plea to the Australian Government and ... ► Read more

  • Folau unable to reach settlement with Rugby Australia

    Israel Folau was unable to reach an agreement with Rugby Australia (RA) today at a Fair Work Commission hearing over his sacking in May. The matter will now be referred to the High Court. Following the Fair Work hearing, Mr Folau said: “Very, very disappointed about the outcome today, but I would like to thank all those who have supported me throughout this time, and I’ll continue to stand up for the freedoms of all ... ► Read more

  • Australian Christian Lobby donates $100k to Israel Folau, launches fundraiser

    The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) has launched a new fundraising campaign for Israel Folau on their own website after GoFundMe removed the controversial rugby player’s fundraising page. The ACL made an initial $100,000 donation to the new fundraiser, which has already raised over $400,000. “There is an outpouring of support for Israel Folau from the Australian community, who see Israel’s case as their case,” said ACL Managing Director Martyn Iles. Regarding the $100,000 donation for ... ► Read more

  • Pell sued over failure to respond to abuse complaints

    A man abused by notorious paedophile Christian Brother Edward “Ted” Dowlan has filed suit against George Pell, alleging the Cardinal did nothing to protect him from abuse. The victim was a student at Cathedral College in East Melbourne when he was abused by Dowlan, who in 1996 was imprisoned for the sexual abuse of 11 boys in the 1970s and ‘80s, and convicted again in 2015 for offences against a further 20 victims. In taking ... ► Read more

  • Iraqi court sentences three French IS members to death

    An Iraqi court sentenced three French nationals to death on Sunday, after finding them guilty of joining Islamic State (IS). Thousands of suspected IS members are being tried in Iraqi courts, including hundreds of foreigners arrested as the militant organisation’s strongholds collapse throughout the country. Kévin Gonot, Léonard Lopez and Salim Machou were extradited to Iraq in February and were among the 14 French nationals included in a group of 280 detainees handed over by ... ► Read more

  • Pope compares abortion to hiring a hitman

    Pope Francis has said that abortion can never be condoned, even when the foetus is likely to die, and has urged medical practitioners and priests to encourage families to continue with such pregnancies. At a Vatican-sponsored anti-abortion conference, the Pope said opposition to abortion is not a religious issue, but a human one. “Is it licit to throw away a life to resolve a problem?” he asked. “Is it licit to hire a hitman to ... ► Read more

  • Six dead in attack outside Catholic church in Burkina Faso

    Gunmen have killed six people, including a priest, in an attack outside a Catholic church in Burkina Faso, according to the Government. Attendees were leaving the church in Dablo at about 9:00 am on Sunday when they were encircled by about 20 men, who shot six dead. The attackers then burned the church, looted stores and left. It is the second attack on Christians in two weeks, as the country struggles against increasing Islamic militancy. ... ► Read more

  • No enforcement of death penalty for gay sex, claims Brunei

    Brunei will not enforce the death penalty for persons convicted of having gay sex, following fierce global criticism of the country by international human rights organisations and celebrities. Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah extended a moratorium on the death penalty to legislation prohibiting gay sex, after celebrities called for tourists to boycott a string of luxury hotels owned by the country, of which the Sultan, as absolute monarch, is both head of state and head of government. ... ► Read more

  • Election: MP Kerryn Phelps targeted with “disturbing” emails

    MP for Wentworth Dr Kerryn Phelps says she has referred “disturbing” emails about her to the Australian Federal Police (AFP). Emails sent yesterday to an unknown number of voters contained incorrect voting information, claims that Dr Phelps is ineligible for election, and several anti-Semitic remarks. The emails falsely claim that Dr Phelps is ineligible to stand for election because she is an Israeli citizen. The emails say “Kerryn Phelps has been disqualified from election, she ... ► Read more

  • Israeli and Palestinian officials reach truce after weekend of violence

    Israeli and Palestinian officials have reached a ceasefire following three days of violence in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip. Four Israeli civilians and at least 19 Palestinians, half of whom were civilians, were killed. Fighting began after a sniper from the Islamic Jihad militant organisation shot and wounded two Israeli soldiers. Hamas official Hamed Ahmed Abed Khudri was killed by Israel in a targeted strike. The United States has backed Israel’s response, while Iran ... ► Read more

  • Facebook bans prominent controversial figures in hate speech crackdown

    Facebook has permanently banned several prominent controversial figures in a crackdown on hate speech on the social network. In a statement on Thursday (local time), Facebook said it has “always banned individuals or organizations that promote or engage in violence and hate, regardless of ideology.” Among the most notable figures banned are far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who called the Sandy Hook school massacre in the United States “completely fake”; far-right political commentator Milo Yiannopoulos, ... ► Read more

  • Sri Lanka: Easter attack death toll lowered by more than 100

    Sri Lankan authorities have lowered the death toll from last Sunday’s Easter bombings by 100 fatalities, blaming a calculation error for the mistake. The final death toll is now officially 253, with the Sri Lankan Government admitting that more than 100 bodies had been double-counted. “Many of the victims were badly mutilated,” the Health Ministry said. “There was double counting.” The initial death toll was reported as 359 but autopsies and DNA crosschecks resulted in ... ► Read more

  • “My wife and my daughter were on the floor”: Australian man describes moment bomb detonated in Sri Lanka

    An Australian man whose wife and daughter were killed in the Sri Lankan terrorism attacks has described the moment a bomb went off during an Easter Sunday church service. At least 290 people were killed and 500 injured in a series of coordinated blasts in churches and hotels, in Sri Lanka’s deadliest violence since a devastating civil war ended in 2009. Australian woman Manik Suriaaratchi and her 10-year-old daughter Alexendria were killed in the attack ... ► Read more

  • Sri Lanka bombings: Government confirms knowledge of imminent attack

    The Sri Lankan Government has confirmed it had “prior information” of an imminent attack on churches up to 10 days before the Easter Sunday bombings. At the time of this report, 207 people have died and at least 450 others left injured following a series of explosions that tore through churches and luxury hotels in three Sri Lankan cities, including the capital Colombo. It is estimated that 30 foreigners are among those killed. The Department ... ► Read more

  • Christchurch terror suspect sent death threat two years before mosque attack

    A Melbourne man has revealed suspected Christchurch shooter Brenton Tarrant sent him a death threat after he criticised the far-right United Patriots Front (UPF) extremist group in 2016. Screenshots of a Facebook Messenger conversation between the man and Mr Tarrant show the alleged right-wing terrorist defended the anti-Islamic UPF as “the leading ethno-nationalist group within Australia.” “When you speak against the UPF you speak against my right to a home for my people and my ... ► Read more

  • Brunei introduces stoning for gay sex and adultery

    The Sultan of Brunei has introduced new laws that make anal sex and adultery punishable by stoning to death. In a move towards stricter interpretation of Islamic law, the new measures came into force on Wednesday, and also include harsher punishments for other offences. The new measures will primarily apply to Muslims, which account for about two-thirds of the country’s population of 420,000. Brunei is an absolute monarchy in which Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah is both ... ► Read more

  • IS sympathiser Saeed Noori sentenced to life for 2017 Flinders St attack

    Islamic State sympathiser Saeed Noori was today sentenced to life imprisonment for the 2017 Flinders Street attack that killed an 83-year-old grandfather and injured 15 others. On 21 December 2017 Mr Noori, 37, drove his mother’s SUV into pedestrians outside Flinders Street station in Melbourne’s CBD. He was sentenced in the Supreme Court of Victoria to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 30 years. Justice Elizabeth Hellingworth said it was “sheer good fortune” that ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 10 March – 16 March 2019

    49 killed in NZ mosque shootings Three suspects are in custody following deadly shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday. See OPMagazine’s coverage of this story here. Major parties launch NSW election campaigns On Sunday the New South Wales branches of the Liberal and Labor parties officially launched their election campaigns, two weeks ahead of the 23 March polling date. See OPMagazine’s coverage of this story here. George Pell ... ► Read more

  • Israeli warplanes bomb gaza

    Explosions were heard in the Gaza Strip early Friday and Palestinian witnesses said Israeli planes bombed two Hamas security positions. The Israeli military said it was attacking “terror sites” in Gaza, hours after it said two rockets were launched from the enclave at the Tel Aviv area. The attacks were taking place in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis, about 25km south of Gaza City. An OPMagazine contact in Khan Younis said the bombing ... ► Read more

  • PM says Australian IS members will not return home

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has reiterated that his government will not allow Australian Islamic State members to return to the country. In response to pleas for help from an Australian woman trapped with her two children in a refugee camp for IS families, Mr Morrison declared that he would not put Australians at risk by helping home-grown extremists to return from the Middle East. The woman is being held at a refugee camp in north-east ... ► Read more

  • George Pell sentenced to 6 years in gaol

    Cardinal George Pell has been sentenced to six years in prison for sexually abusing two choirboys during his tenure as Archbishop of Melbourne in the 1990s. Mr Pell, 77, will serve a minimum of three years and eight months before he is eligible for parole. County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd described the cardinal’s offences as “a brazen and forcible sexual attack on the victims”. “The acts were sexually graphic, both victims were visibly and ... ► Read more

  • Cardinal George Pell may be stripped of titles and honours following conviction

    Cardinal George Pell may be stripped of his titles and honours, following his conviction for child sexual offences, with some institutions and organisations already moving to revoke his positions. In December Cardinal Pell was convicted of five counts of child sexual offences committed against two 13-year-old boys in late 1996, but this was subject to a suppression order that was lifted on Tuesday. Vatican spokesperson Alessandro Gisotti confirmed that Cardinal Pell is no longer the ... ► Read more

  • Institutional structures create monsters like Pell

    For those who haven’t heard, the verdict on Cardinal Pell has just come out. Shocker — he’s been found guilty. If you’ve been living under a rock, Cardinal George Pell — the highest ranking member of the Roman Catholic Church in Australia — was accused of sexually assaulting underage boys a while ago. Strangely enough, he denied this claim. Back in December he was found guilty, and now that verdict has been released to the public. It’s ... ► Read more

  • Cardinal George Pell convicted of sexually abusing two choir boys

    Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic cleric, has been found guilty of sexually abusing two choir boys while he was Archbishop of Melbourne. Cardinal Pell was convicted on all charges, including one count of sexual penetration of a child under the age of 16 and four counts of committing an indecent act with, or in the presence of, a child. The abuse took place in 1996 at St Patrick’s Cathedral. Cardinal Pell pleaded not ... ► Read more

  • Personae non grata — how ISIS members are being stripped of their citizenship and potentially left stateless

    Neil Prakash, Shamima Begum and Hoda Muthana share a lot in common. All three were born in western countries. They all left their home countries to join Islamic State. And they have all now been stripped of their citizenships. Mr Prakash was born in Melbourne, Australia. He converted to Islam in 2012 and left for Syria in 2013. Ms Begum was born in the United Kingdom and flew to Syria with two friends in 2015, ... ► Read more

  • UK strips ISIS teen of British citizenship

    The United Kingdom has cancelled the citizenship of a London teenager who left Britain to join Islamic State (IS), according to her family’s lawyer. Shamima Begum left Britain four years ago, when she was 15, to join the fundamentalist terrorist organisation. Ms Begum was found in a refugee camp in Syria by The Times newspaper this month. Now 19, Ms Begum recently gave birth to a baby boy, and wants to return to the UK. She says ... ► Read more

  • Amnesty International: Myanmar military shelling villages

    Security forces in Myanmar have bombed villages and are blocking civilians from accessing food and humanitarian assistance amid a crackdown targeting rebels in the troubled Rakhine State, Amnesty International says. Citing villagers and local activists, the human rights watchdog said soldiers were also using vague and repressive laws to detain civilians as part of the offensive that began on January 4, when Arakan Army guerrillas raided police stations and killed 13 officers. At least 5200 ... ► Read more

  • PM promises conscience vote on LGBTI+ students after Parliament delays bill

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been accused of breaking a promise to end discrimination against LGBTI+ students, after the Federal Parliament failed to reach agreement on a bill and delayed the matter until next year. Mr Morrison has responded by pledging to introduce his preferred version of the legislation as a private member’s bill, with Coalition MPs to be given a conscience vote on the issue. Under his proposal, religious schools would not be able ... ► Read more

  • Cabinet divided over Israel embassy policy

    Defence Minister Christopher Pyne has said that keeping the Australian embassy in Tel Aviv is “like Israel saying that they intend to put their embassy in Sydney and pretend that Canberra isn’t our capital”, as Cabinet remains publicly divided on the issue. Last month Prime Minister Scott Morrison suggested that his government is considering relocating the Australian embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, which has been claimed by Israel as its capital since its occupation in ... ► Read more

  • Week in Brief: 10 November – 18 November 2018

    UK, EU agree on draft Brexit deal In a diplomatic breakthrough, UK and European Union officials have agreed the draft text of a Brexit agreement after months of negotiations. See OPMG’s coverage of this story here. Morrison reverses “foolish” decision to cut Foodbank funding Prime Minister Scott Morrison has intervened to boost the Government’s food relief budget to ensure a charity that feeds 710,000 people a month retains its funding. See OPMG’s coverage of this ... ► Read more

  • Moving Australian embassy to Jerusalem could increase terror attacks, warn Indonesia and Malaysia

    Indonesian and Malaysian politicians have warned that moving the Australian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem could result in increased Islamist terror attacks against Australians. Prime Minister Scott Morrison indicated in October 2018 that the Australian Government is considering relocating its embassy from Tel Aviv to the de facto capital Jerusalem, although Jerusalem is not recognised by the United Nations. The potential policy change has caused concern regarding Australia’s relationship with Muslim-majority nations, ... ► Read more

  • Gaza Strip: three Palestinians killed in Israeli air raids

    At least three Palestinians have been killed in Israeli air raids in the Gaza Strip, according to health officials, in the latest escalation less than 24 hours after a deadly covert Israeli operation in the besieged enclave. Hamas, the group administering the Strip, said one of Monday’s air attacks destroyed the building of its television station. There was no immediate word of any casualties in the strike on Al-Aqsa TV, which reportedly took place after ... ► Read more

  • Nearly $100,000 raised for man who charged terrorist with trolley

    An online fundraiser has raised over $100,000 for a homeless man who confronted the Bourke Street terrorist with a shopping trolley during the attack on Friday. Michael Rodgers has drawn widespread attention since he repeatedly pushed a trolley at Hassan Khalif Shire Ali while the 30-year-old man attempted to stab police. “I ran, threw the trolley straight at him, got him, but didn’t get him down,” Mr Rogers told 7 News. “I did that motion ... ► Read more

  • Gaza officials: 7 killed in Israeli raid

    Israeli forces killed seven Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in a clandestine raid targeting a Hamas commander and air strikes that provided cover for the commandos to escape back into Israel by car, according to Gaza officials. The Israeli incursion and air attacks drew rocket fire from the Hamas-controlled enclave late on Sunday. A senior official of Hamas, the group administering the Gaza Strip, said the Israeli special forces team infiltrated an area near the ... ► Read more

  • Pope Francis open to visiting North Korea

    Pope Francis has indicated that he is open to an official visit to North Korea, a country recognised as the worst in the world for persecuting Christians. South Korean President Moon Jae-in relayed an invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to the Pope during a private audience at the Vatican on Thursday. The South Korean presidential office said President Moon “conveyed [Kim’s] desire for a papal visit to North Korea”, and that a formal ... ► Read more

  • PM considering recognising Jerusalem as Israel capital

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has reportedly said he is open to moving Australia’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem following talks with Dave Sharma, Liberal candidate in this weekend’s Wentworth by-election and former ambassador to Israel. According to the ABC, nearly 13% of voters in Wentworth are Jewish and the Government needs to win the seat to retain its one-seat majority in the Lower House. Speaking at a forum in Bondi on Monday, ... ► Read more

  • Week In Brief: 7 – 13 October 2018

    Government promises to fast track company tax cuts ahead of federal election The Morrison Government has promised to fast track company tax cuts ahead of the next federal election, with legislation to be introduced to Parliament in the next fortnight. See OPMG’s coverage of this story here. AFP raids Home Affairs Dept over au pair scandal leaks Federal Police are raiding the Department of Home Affairs over suspected leaks in relation to the au pair ... ► Read more

  • Religious schools shouldn’t expel gay students, Prime Minister says

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he would “not be comfortable” with gay students being expelled from religious schools, he said in response to leaked recommendations of the Ruddock review into religious freedoms. A list of 20 recommendations leaked to the media on Friday included the recommendation that amendments be made to the Sexual Discrimination Act to ensure religious schools can discriminate against both students and staff “on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity or ... ► Read more

  • Nyiyaparli community wins 20-year native title battle

    The Nyiyparli community has won a 20-year legal battle to be recognised as the native title holders of approximately 40,000 square kilometres of land in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, which includes the mining town of Newman. The Aboriginal community lodged its first claim on 29 September 1998, and Federal Court Justice Michael Barker handed down his decision — which has not yet been published — in an on-country at Coondiner Pool (Kuntinha) hearing ... ► Read more

  • Bali announces crack down on “insolent” tourists

    Authorities on the Indonesian resort island of Bali will issue new rules on visiting religious sites, a Hindu leader said on Wednesday, after disrespectful behaviour by foreign tourists sparked anger among adherents. The Balinese provincial government is preparing a decree to regulate temple visits in order to preserve the sanctity of the holy sites, according to I Gusti Ngurah Sudiana, chairperson of the Bali-based Indonesian Hindu Society. A working group comprising of government representatives and ... ► Read more

  • Federal Government giving Catholic schools 10 times what they need, claims Grattan Institute

    The Federal Government’s controversial plan to give independent schools a funding boost of $4.5 billion would give Catholic schools more than 10 times what they need to remain an “affordable choice” for parents, the Grattan Institute claims. Under the proposal championed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan, $1.2 billion of the funding injection will form a “choice and affordability” fund to help prevent an escalation of fees in the private ... ► Read more

  • Federal and NSW Governments clash over private school funding boost

    The New South Wales Government has rejected Canberra’s proposed education funding model, under which independent schools would receive a funding boost of $4.5 billion. In saying that the NSW Government would not accept “special deals” for independent schools, NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes said the extra $4.5 billion over 10 years was “not fair”. “We welcome additional money into NSW schools — our simple message is, it’s got to be distributed fairly,” Mr Stokes said. ... ► Read more

  • Saipov defence cites Trump tweets in argument against death penalty

    The defence team of accused “bike path terrorist” Sayfullo Saipov has argued that tweets from US President Donald Trump and the President’s criticisms of the Department of Justice would make it impossible for Attorney-General Jeff Sessions to fairly and impartially seek the death penalty. Mr Saipov, an immigrant from Uzbekistan, is accused of driving a rented pickup truck into cyclists and runners in Lower Manhattan, New York City, killing eight people and injuring 11 others ... ► Read more

  • 48 dead in Kabul education centre suicide bombing

    A suicide bombing at an education centre in Kabul has killed 48 people and left 67 injured, according to Afghan officials. Police say a suicide bomber entered the centre while tuition was taking place and detonated his bomb belt at about 4:00 pm (local time) on Wednesday afternoon. “We can confirm the attack was caused by a suicide bomber on foot,” police spokesperson Hashmat Stanikzai said. “The bomber detonated himself inside the education centre.” Many ... ► Read more

  • Former Archbishop Philip Wilson to serve child sex abuse concealment sentence in home detention

    Former Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson will serve his sentence for concealing child sex abuse in home detention. Mr Wilson was sentenced to 12 months detention with six months non-parole for covering up child sex abuse that occurred in the 1970s in the NSW Hunter region. He has spent the last few weeks on bail while he and his sister’s homes were being assessed for home detention. He will be eligible for parole on February 13, ... ► Read more

  • US sanctions Turkish officials over jailed pastor

    The United States Government has imposed sanctions on Turkey’s justice and interior ministers over the ongoing detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson. Mr Brunson has been held in custody for almost two years over alleged links to political groups. White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the US Government believes Mr Brunson is “a victim of unfair and unjust detention”, adding that the Government has “seen no evidence that Pastor Brunson has done anything wrong.” ... ► Read more

  • Archbishop Philip Wilson resigns after conviction of concealing child sex abuse

    Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson, the most senior Catholic official to be convicted of concealing child sex abuse, is now resigning from his position. Pope Francis accepted the resignation after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and other political leaders increased the pressure on Mr Wilson to step down from his role. The soon to be former Archbishop was convicted in May for concealing child sex abuse that dated back to the 1970s, where he covered up for ... ► Read more

  • Seven killed in Kabul suicide bombing

    The Islamic State (IS) terrorist organisation has claimed responsibility for a suicide bomb attack that killed seven civilians in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Sunday. In addition to those killed, 15 staff of the nearby Rural Development Ministry were wounded when the bomb went off at evening rush-hour. The attack is one of many that have terrorised civilians in Afghanistan’s major cities this year, creating the highest number of conflict-related casualties in one year since records ... ► Read more

  • Archbishop Philip Wilson sentenced to 12 months detention for child abuse cover up

    Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson, 67, has been sentenced to 12 months detention by the Newcastle Local Court on Tuesday. Archbishop Wilson is the most senior Catholic official to have been convicted of concealing child sexual abuse. He will serve half of the maximum sentence of two years imprisonment. The Archbishop was previously found guilty for failing to report to the police the historical indecent assault of two altar boys by the hands of priest Jim ... ► Read more

  • Greens push to replace Lord’s prayer in Senate sittings

    The practice of opening Senate sessions with the Lord’s prayer may be replaced with the recitation of an “inclusive” statement. Outgoing NSW Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon successfully moved on Wednesday afternoon to have the matter examined by a parliamentary committee. Senator Rhiannon has proposed that the prayer be substituted with: “Senators, let us, in silence, pray or reflect upon our responsibilities to all people of Australia, and to future generations.” The change is supported by ... ► Read more

  • Indonesian terrorist Aman Abdurrahman sentenced to death for 2016 attack

    Aman Abdurrahman, the radical Indonesian cleric behind a 2016 attack on a Starbucks café in Jakarta, was sentenced to death on Friday. Abdurrahman ordered militants affiliated with Islamic State to carry out attacks, including the Starbucks suicide bombing that left seven dead. Considered to be Indonesia’s most dangerous terrorist, he formed the group responsible for suicide bombings in Surabaya last month, which were carried out by families, including young children. Prosecutors have called Abdurrahman a ... ► Read more

  • Australian nun permitted to remain in Philippines after deportation scare

    The Philippine Justice Department has nullified an order to deport Australian nun Sister Patricia Fox. Sister Fox’s visa was revoked by the Philippine Bureau of Immigration on the basis of alleged political activity. However, the Justice Department granted her appeal just hours before the 71-year-old nun was due to leave the country. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte personally ordered the investigation of Sister Fox for “illegal political activities”. The Bureau of Immigration arrested her in April ... ► Read more

  • BREAKING: Malcolm Turnbull to give child sex abuse victims national apology

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will deliver a national apology to victims 0f child sex abuse on October 22, as part of the Government’s response to the recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Mr Turnbull said he would accept 104 out of the 122 recommendations made by the Royal Commission to the Federal Government, and that a national Office for Child Safety would be established this year. Speaking to the press in ... ► Read more

  • Catholic Church signs up for national redress scheme for victims of child sex abuse

    Image credit: Liam Kidston The Catholic Church has signed up for a national redress scheme for victims of child sex abuse, bringing victims closer to receiving compensation. The church has now become the first non-government organisation to join the national scheme, making it a major step forward to bringing consolation and justice to the institutional abuse inflicted upon thousands of young children. The church’s governing bodies, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) and Catholic Religious ... ► Read more

  • Archbishop Phillip Wilson found guilty of covering up child sexual abuse

    Image credit: Sky News Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson is now the most senior Catholic official to be convicted of concealing child sexual abuse after he was found guilty by a New South Wales court on Tuesday. The 67-year-old was accused of covering up abuse by priest Jim Fletcher in the NSW Hunter region in the 1970s in an attempt to protect the church’s reputation, Magistrate Robert Stone said. The archbishop could spend two years ... ► Read more