October 17th, 2010
10:49 AM ET

Australia gets its first saint: nun whose order fought abuse

Australia got its first Catholic saint Sunday, a feisty 19th-century nun who was briefly excommunicated when her colleagues exposed an abusive priest.

Mary MacKillop co-founded the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart  in 1867, and gained a reputation as the first Australian nun to leave the cities and minister to the rural poor.

Nuns in her order got evidence that a priest was engaged in "scandalous  behavior," according to the Rev. Paul Gardiner, who has spent decades  researching MacKillop's life. The nuns reported it to the Rev. Julian Woods, MacKillop's first  spiritual mentor who co-founded the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Woods in turn reported the abuse to church authorities, resulting in the  Rev. Ambrose Patrick Keating being sent back to Ireland from Kapunda,  Australia.

Read the full story

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI • Sex abuse

soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. TRiXKart

    I consider, that you are not right. I am assured. Write to me in PM.


    November 12, 2012 at 1:24 am |
  2. Sari

    Muneef..I love your postings!

    October 18, 2010 at 11:43 pm |
    • Muneef


      Thank you for that. We have a nice song in your name "Wo Sari Sara Allil" beside that the word Sari means the " Sail of the Ship the Sari " and it is an Indian Cultural Dress. Welcome and Thanks Again.

      October 19, 2010 at 8:40 am |
  3. Muneef

    Well guess there should be a change that allows pasters,priests or sisters,mothers or what ever you call them serving the church to get married and not with out husband and wife since they are only humans and have human needs and keeping them singals as males and females drive them to wrong doings at these weakest moments of Humans Needs!
    In Islam marriage is considered as half of the Religion and the other half is Pilgrimage,Hajj to Mecca! Doesn't matter which comes first but a man is complete as a one full moon only if did both!
    So please have mercy on those poor things otherwise their lives are burnt for nothing since God did not say so beside that they may contribute for more gays and lesbians into your Society? 
    May God forgive me.

    October 18, 2010 at 9:07 pm |
    • Muneef

      We have mentioned that one of The solutions for child abuse has to allow marriage for the priests and nuns. The Church has to consider allowing their followers the divorce between married couples, since God did not say of remaining married unable to be divorced living or kept married even if separated. Keeping them married against their will with out love or respect for each other, when the condition is that they are to live as couple in peace with love and respect for each other or are to be divorced peacefully gaining back their freedom otherwise this way we condemn them to unrest living in dungeon of wars between souls.
      Then it is essential that the divorced couples should be allowed to remarry whom they may become to love to be with for years or the rest of their lives.
      Since not allowing that would lead to further acts of adultery or your worst of fears.
      Unless it is as the forbiden fruit being more desired? Human Nature? Whether Apples or Barries.
      Give space to all God did not forbid and be tougher meajors on the things God has Sinned. 
      May God guide all to rightous.Amen

      October 19, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  4. PhillipCornstone

    Hahahahahahahhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! You shall wear a ring of coals, a robe of s–h-it c-o-lo-red p-oo-p, we can all you St. S–hit stafer!
    Us Catholics will wear little DaveDaJacka-s-s medals, and make a roasry of out of your dreadlocks. We will nail you sideways on the cross, (not upside down, thats just for bad peoples- your special, you are ho-rrible) and put a sign saying David King of the Turds, hahahahahahah! too fr-ic-kin funney dude...then we will knock you over da edge and sing Burn baby burn hahahaha

    October 18, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
    • Raison


      Aww, did David get under your skin? Poor little Catholic. Sounds like you need some meds....

      October 19, 2010 at 8:39 am |
  5. Iqbal khan

    Please Listen and read The Quran with translation in many different languages check


    October 18, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
  6. Matthew M

    David Johnson –

    Hell's been threatening you? lol
    Where can I get one of these medals? I keep forgetting that Santa is not real and could use a handy reminder. 😀

    October 17, 2010 at 11:41 pm |
  7. Raison

    God, I hate child abuse and deliberate efforts to conceal it by the perpetrators. The Catholic Church is disgusting in this respect.
    To use what they refer to as "God's authority given to them" for such things shows how religion works against humanity.

    If only there was a hell for such insanity. What irony. You can't put insanity in a "hell", it IS a hell for everyone concerned.

    October 17, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
  8. David Johnson

    I know how this nun feels. I to have stood against silliness of faith, for these past weeks. I to have endured the threats of hell!

    Will I be made a saint? Will I be canonized one day? Will Catholics wear little Dave medals around their necks to remind them there is no Santa or that other fellow who hasn't been seen for 2000 and counting years?

    October 17, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
    • Raison

      @David Johnson

      Hay David! LOL You are saintly. No question. I do not doubt that there are many amongst those you have vanquished who would love to put you in a cannon, as well. Cheers!

      October 17, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.