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Did Blessed Mary MacKillop report a priest for abuse? Postulator clarifies

October 15, 2010

Blessed Mary MacKillop, who on Sunday will become the first native Australian canonized as a saint, is being hailed as the “patron of whistle-blowers” because of reports that she reported a priest for sexual abuse and was briefly excommunicated as a result. That story, however, is far from accurate.

Speaking to Vatican Radio, Sister Maria Casey, the postulator for the cause of Australia’s first saint, sets the record straight. It is true that a priest was denounced by members of the Josephite order, and angry diocesan officials took their revenge on the sisters led by Mary MacKillop. But at the time the abuse was actually reported, she herself was 2,000 miles away. In other words the abuse accusation “was a factor but not a direct factor” in her clash with the diocese.


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