But the full story is that Mary MacKillop was excommunicated out of "revenge," in the words of one priest familiar with her life, for uncovering a case of sex abuse by a Father Keating, in a nearby parish. Paul Gardiner, S.J., the former postulator of MacKillop's canonization process, told an Australian television documentary a few days ago, "Priests being annoyed that somebody had uncovered it--that would probably be the way of describing it--and being so angry that the destruction of the Josephites was decided on." A statement from the Sisters of St. Joseph has confirmed that the documentary's reports are "consistent with" studies of the event.
October 19, 2010
This weekend Pope Benedict XVI canonized six saints, including the great Br. André (of Montreal), and St. Mary MacKillop, the first Australian born saint. According to reports, Australia had quite a party celebrating Sr. Mary of the Cross.
The first nun, and mother superior of the Josephite Sisters, Mary MacKillop is also somewhat of a rarity in the canon of saints--she was excommunicated for "insubordination" by a bishop. (Her excommunication lasted less than a year.)
The story goes as follows:
She was clearly a remarkable woman, and a wonderful reminder to us that not only is there a role for women in the Church, but that we have something powerful to fight for: the protection of innocence in all its forms through our witness to the faith.