Atheist leader enthusiastic about first Australian saint
August 05, 2010
Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard, an avowed atheist, joined Cardinal George Pell at a dinner to raise funds for the October canonization of Blessed Mary MacKillop, who will be Australia’s first native saint. Gillard remarked that the canonization will be important ''for all of us who may not share the Catholic faith but still deeply respect the great contribution of the church and of Australian Catholics to the social fabric of our nation.'' She promised to contribute $1.5 million in government support for the ceremony and for pilgrims traveling to Rome for the occasion—provided that she wins re-election.
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