ABC Online and Fairfax newspapers in Australia last month said that she was excommunicated from the Church in 1871 because she had exposed a Kapunda priest’s abuse of children in South Australia. The claims were based on remarks made by Fr. Paul Gardiner in a documentary made for ABC TV’s “Compass” program.
Both Fr. Gardiner and Rose Hesp, the executive producer of “Compass,” deny they made such an inference in the program, which airs on Sunday. [And they call it "freedom of the press".]
Fr. Gardiner, chaplain of the Mary MacKillop Penola Centre, said the claims were false. According to The Australian, he [Fr. Gardiner] is considered Australia’s foremost authority on the history of the saint-to-be and was postulator for her canonization cause.
"Early in 1870, the scandal occurred and the Sisters of Saint Joseph reported it to Father Tenison Woods, but Mary was in Queensland and no one was worried about her," Fr. Gardiner told The Australian.
"There was a long chain of causation. Somehow or other, somebody typed it up as if to say I said Mary MacKillop was the one to report the sex abuse," he continued. "I never said it -- it's just false -- it's the ill will of people who are anxious to see something negative about the Catholic Church. There's already enough mud to throw, though." [Maybe they need their own kind of Rational Heroes down there, eh?]
Bl. Mary MacKillop was excommunicated in late 1871 during a dispute with a local bishop concerning the governance of her order. [The bishop used the reason of "insubordination" to excommunicate the saint.] The excommunication was lifted in early 1872. [The same bishop lifted it after the excommunication was deemed uncanonical. Indeed, you cannot excommunicate someone based on insubordination. There are processes to follow.]
Dang! Maybe the RH people and other rabidly anti-catholics out there are so mad at themselves they almost got away with a lie once again!
See the connection?
A fiesty woman (Feminist) .....CHECK!
A bishop who tries to hide the crime....CHECK!
...and who excommunicates the woman who reported the crime...CHECK!
Calling Carlos Celdran!
Where's Ron Howard and Dan Brown when you need them?