Pope Canonizes 1st Aussie Saint

Mary MacKillop was excommunicated for outing pedophile priest
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 17, 2010 8:50 AM CDT
Pope Canonizes 1st Aussie Saint
Pope Benedict XVI arrives in St. Peter's square at the Vatican to lead a Canonization Mass, Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010.   (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

Excommunication is an interesting path to sainthood, but Pope Benedict today canonized Australia's first saint, Mary MacKillop, a nun who was once booted from the church in part for outing a pedophile priest. Thousands of Australians were in attendance at the Vatican ceremony, in which five others were also canonized, reports the BBC. "We've always believed that Mary was a saint," said a nun from the order MacKillop helped found.

Some have called for MacKillop, who died in 1909, to become the patron saint of abused children. Others recognize her work with the poor: "She supported Aboriginal people because she believed in supporting people who were disadvantaged," says one pilgrim. But MacKillop has also become something of a celebrity Down Under; stamps, pop songs, and a musical have all appeared in her honor.
(More Mary MacKillop stories.)

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