Welcome to another NSL Weekend Wrap, summarising the latest Australian secular-related news and views.
Don’t forget that the Weekend Wrap, which aims to help secular-minded Australians keep abreast of the latest news on current issues, is also published on our Facebook page!
At the National Level
An ABC investigation has found that a group of religious, taxpayer-funded aged care homes, including St Basil's in Melbourne, where 45 residents died in Australia's deadliest COVID outbreak, funnelled $31 million back into the coffers of the Greek Orthodox church. (ABC)
Tensions between the two rival Sunni Muslim bodies in Australia, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) and the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC), have increased after AFIC appointed a new grand mufti in conflict with a title held by an existing appointee. (SBS News)
The second volume of Cardinal George Pell's "prison journals" is about to be published, written during the 16 months spent in prison before his conviction for historic sexual offences was overturned in April 2020. (SMH)
Around the Country
VIC: A survivor of sexual abuse by multiple priests, a former student at the St Alipius Christian Brothers Primary School in Ballarat from 1971-73 has won a $1.5m payout from the Catholic Church. (The Daily Mail)
VIC: Eastern Palliative Care, a large Victorian palliative care organisation, is refusing to verify the deaths of patients who have died at home under the state’s voluntary assisted dying laws in a move described by some doctors as “discriminatory and unethical.” (The Age)
NSW: The Voluntary Assisted Dying bill planned for introduction into NSW parliament later this year by independent MP Alex Greenwich may be a make-or-break deal for the Berejiklian government.
NSW: Catholic schools have split over Mark Latham’s proposal to ban any discussion of gender diversity in NSW classrooms, with the state’s main Catholic education body supporting the bill but the large Parramatta diocese lodging a strong objection.
QLD: Queensland’s Liberal National Party is set to turn to Lawrence Springborg, an architect of the conservative merger to create the LNP in 2008, to quell bitter infighting between traditional and so-called "Christian Right" elements that threatens to engulf the division and damage the Morrison government’s re-election prospects. (The Australian)
VIC: Abuse survivors in Victoria are being urged to give feedback on the Catholic Church's proposed new process for handling complaints and redress, which will replace the widely-criticised Melbourne Response model, set up by Cardinal George Pell 25 years ago. (Yahoo News)
VIC: The Council of the City of Port Phillip, home to the upcoming Victorian Pride Centre, has voted down a motion to make the council’s services Rainbow-inclusive and set up an LGBTQI+ advisory committee. (Star Observer)
TAS: The Gray sisters became the face and heart of the campaign supporting Voluntary Assisted Dying legislation in Tasmania after losing their mother Diane to stomach cancer in 2019. (The Mercury)
NSW: Christian Democratic Party founder Fred Nile will retire from the NSW parliament after 40 years – and he has nominated Queenslander and conservative lobbyist Lyle Shelton to replace him. (The Australian)
NSW: Lyle Shelton, former head of the Australian Christian Lobby, is set to take Reverend Fred Nile’s Christian Democratic Party seat in the NSW upper house, following Rev. Nile's retirement. (SMH)
Commentary and Analysis
Primary school teacher Sam Guerra writes from his perspective about the need to oppose Mark Latham's Education Legislation Amendment bill. His Change.org petition opposing the bill now has over 110,000 signatures. (Junkee)
Alastair Lawrie shares a letter he wrote to NSW Parliamentarians on behalf of trans and gender diverse kids, asking them to unequivocally oppose Mark Latham’s proposed Education Legislation Amendment bill. (alastairlawrie.net)
Claire Allan, manager of ACON’s Pride in Heath + Wellbeing Program, writes of the report from the royal commission into aged care that it "failed to adequately address the discriminatory treatment of sexually or gender diverse people in the aged care sector." (SMH)
Monica Doumit, Director of Public Affairs for the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, writes in support of Mark Latham's Education Legislation Amendment bill, stating that religious discrimination is a bigger problem than discrimination based on sexual orientation or sexual identity. (Catholic Weekly)
Benjamin Law chats with Rev. Bill Crews about, amongst other things, religion in politics, where Crews states that "the wrong sorts of religion" have "too much" influence in politics, highlighting the problems of gay conversion therapy and the school chaplaincy program. (SMH)
Michael Easson discusses the meaning and history of the ALP's push to recognise a Palestinian state and the reactions this is having in Australian political and religious circles.
Eternity News speaks to the Centre for Public Christianity about their recent McCrindle survey on Australians' spiritual beliefs and the way in which the survey results were reported. (Eternity News)