So a week and a half ago I reported media claims that Blessed Mary had been excommunicated after reporting a priest for paedophilia with some scepticism. And guess what? Today The Australian reports that the claims were false:
"THE priest who spent 25 years lobbying for Mary MacKillop's canonisation has angrily dismissed recent media reports....
Paul Gardiner, chaplain of the Mary MacKillop Penola Centre, said the claims, published on ABC Online and in Fairfax newspapers last month, were false, and he feared the misleading coverage was an attempt to take a swipe at the church and distract the public in the lead-up to MacKillop's canonisation on October 17.
ABC Online and Fairfax both reported that MacKillop's ousting from the church in 1871 was prompted by her exposure of a Kapunda priest's abuse of local children. The claims were based on remarks made by Father Gardiner in a documentary made for ABC TV's Compass program.
But both Father Gardiner and the program's executive producer deny ever making such an inference. "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," Father 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," Father Gardiner said."
So why did it take so long to correct the report?