Saturday, 13 December 2014

New Committee for 2015

Sydney Atheists elected a new committee at the AGM on Wednesday the 10th of December. The committee members are:

President:          Steve Marton
Vice President: Tina Khakpour
Secretary:          Jenny Howatson
Treasurer:          Semih Ilhan
Public Relations: Thomas Kraemer
Public Officer:   Mike Beecham
Assistant Secretary / Treasurer: Mohamed Farahat

The committee represents people from seven different countries and five former religions.

Jane Caro

The Sydney Atheists Finale with Jane Caro on Friday 12th of December was a great success with 83 attendees who were informed and entertained by this great lady. We thank Jane very much for participating in this event.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Catholic Church report links celibacy to abuse

The Australian has reported that a landmark report from the Catholic Church's leaders that the vow of celibacy "may have contributed to decades of child sex abuse committed."

For the first time, the church establishment within Australia says “obligatory celibacy” may have resulted in the abuse of thousands of children and that priests should undergo “psycho-sexual development” training as a result. In a report to be released today, they also criticise a church culture “geared to power over others” and call for “greater clarity around the role of the Vatican and its involvement with the way in which church authorities in Australia responded to abuse allegations”.
By publicly acknowledging the potential role of celibacy in this way, the report sets an international precedent. Issued by the Australian church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council, whose supervisory group includes the archbishops of Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Canberra and Adelaide, its findings are in stark contrast to a recent US study that said celibacy could not be blamed for the epidemic of abuse.
Francis Sullivan, the council’s chief executive, said the church must now examine “how individuals who have chosen to be celibate, how they can remain healthy and not begin acting out of a dysfunctional sense of self”.
The report is critical of a culture of “obedience and closed environments”,  openly criticising “the impact of ‘clericalism’, which can be understood as referring to approaches or practices involving ordained ministry geared to power over others, not service to others”.
“Church … leaders, over many decades, seemed to turn a blind eye, either instinctively or deliberately, to the abuse happening within their diocese or religious order, protecting the institution rather than caring for the child,” it says...  
In July, Pope Francis estimated 2 per cent of Catholic clergy worldwide were child abusers. “I would be absolutely certain that in Australia the proportion of child abusers and pedophiles in the church would be at least double that,” Mr Sullivan said
The Victorian Parliament’s Betrayal of Trust report, published in November 2013 discusses the culture in religious organisations that permitted their members "closing ranks"
"[I]n any organisation, a misguided sense of group loyalty or personal empathy can influence the nature of the organisation’s response to offences by its members. In the case of the Catholic Church, many perpetrators of abuse were members of a relatively closed community. They had formally dedicated their lives to the service of their religion, giving up the prospect of the ordinary relationships of marriage and family. They had taken vows of obedience, poverty and celibacy. In that situation, it seems almost inevitable that a protective mentality, an inappropriate empathy among peers and superiors, and a desire to guard the reputation of the religious order, should develop, unless Catholic Church leadership squarely confronted the issues. But the latter was certainly not the case for many years. Many people who provided evidence still questioned whether, in spite of many statements to the contrary by the Catholic Church leadership, and although much has been and is being done, the basic priorities have changed. They wondered whether the Catholic Church still gives central significance to organisational self-protection. This cynicism is a consequence of the Church’s self-created damage to its own reputation."

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

December Finale - Jane Caro

In 2014 Sydney Atheists have presented some blockbuster events. Now yet another to finish off the year.....
Sydney Atheists are proud to announce that on Friday the 12th of December we will present "An evening with Jane Caro". Sydney Atheists attendees will have a unique opportunity to have questions answered by Jane.

About Jane Caro: 
Jane is a renowned Atheist, journalist, broadcaster and author.
Her titles include:
Destroying the Joint:Why Women Have to Change the World;  For God's Sake. An Atheist, a Christian, a Muslim & a Jew Debate Religion;  Just a Girl;  The F word. How we learned to swear by feminism - co-authored with Catherine Fox; The Stupid Country; How Australia is Dismantling Public Education - co-authored with Chris Bonnor;  What makes a good school? - co-authored with Chris Bonner. She is currently currently working on a memoir for Pan Macmillan called “Plain Speaking Jane” and her sequel to ‘Just a Girl’, ‘Just a Queen’ which will be out in April 2015

Jane has appeared on Channel Seven's Sunrise, ABC television's Q&A, as a regular panelist on The Gruen Transfer, at the Global Atheist Convention and at the Festival of Dangerous idea at the Opera House. She also undertakes regular radio work. Jane has worked in the advertising industry and lectured in advertising at the School of Humanities and Communication Arts at the University of Western Sydney.[2]

This is a ticketed event with an entry fee  through Trybooking for $11.00 at:

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Please send questions to Steve at with your name for priority consideration. There will also be opportunities to ask questions on the night.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Sydney Atheists AGM

The AGM for Sydney Atheists Incorporated will be held on Wednesday the 10th of December at 6.30. The venue will be 2nd Floor Strattons Hotel 249 Castlereagh Street Sydney.

All Sydney Atheists Meetup members are welcome to attend, however only Sydney Atheists financial members are entitled to vote. Current financial members have been emailed details. If by any chance you have missed out on your email, please contact either Steve at moralmovement@gmail or Jenny at

There will be elections for Office bearers for 2015

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Richard Dawkins is coming to Sydney:
8pm Thursday 4 December | Sydney | Seymour Centre

For information and booking, please go to:

Saturday, 25 October 2014


Sydney Atheists are proud to announce that another comedian has been added to our lineup for the Heathen Comedy Show on Friday 14th of November. He is American Comedian Al Del Bene.

For details and booking, please go to:

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Heathen Comedy Show
A night of uproarious merriment and laughter.

For details and to RSVP for the Heathen Comedy Show on Friday the 14th of November please go to