New saint’s order blew whistle on abuser priest

October 18, 2010

The religious congregation co-founded by Blessed Mary MacKillop has confirmed a media report that one reason clergy pressured a bishop to “destroy” her was that members of the order reported a suspected child-abusing priest.

The Australian Broadcasting Corp. program Compass was broadcast Oct. 10 that angry clergy pressured Adelaide Bishop Lawrence Shiel to “destroy” the nun after they heard that sisters reported Irish Father Patrick Keating, from the Kapunda parish north of Adelaide, was allegedly abusing children.

The nuns reported the abuse to Blessed MacKillop’s co-founder, Father Julian Tenison Woods.

Woods then went to the diocesan vicar general, who sent Keating back to Ireland.

MacKillop, excommunicated from the Church for five months from September 1871, will be canonized a saint Oct. 17.