Holy

Australia Gets Its First Saint

Australia got its first saint Sunday when the pope canonized Mother Mary MacKillop, who in the 19th century exposed sexual abuse and was punished for her whistleblowing. As tens of thousands watched in a St. Peter’s Square ceremony, Pope Benedict XVI made MacKillop and five other Catholics saints. Chants of "Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi" rang out in the square. The daughter of Scottish immigrants, MacKillop was a nun who founded the Sisters of St. Joseph of the Sacred Heart, which educated poor kids, in 1867. She often clashed with the male-dominated hierarchy within the church, and those battles eventually led to her excommunication in 1871 for her exposure of a pedophilic Irish priest. MacKillop was later brought back into the church; many hope she will become the patron saint of people abused by priests.