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Josephite nuns sexual misconduct

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Updated October 07, Mary MacKillop, the nun who will soon be Australia's first Catholic saint, was excommunicated by the church because she discovered children were being abused by a priest and went public, the ABC's Compass program can reveal.

Inafter only four years as a nun, she was excommunicated from the Josephite nuns sexual misconduct Catholic Church and turned out onto the street with no money and nowhere to go.

MacKillop's cause for sainthood began in and has had the tireless backing of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart, the order she founded. But these new revelations show there were some in the church who set out to destroy the order that put her on the path to sainthood.

The nun no longer goes...

While serving with the Sisters of St Joseph, MacKillop and her fellow nuns heard disturbing stories about a priest, Father Keating from the Kapunda parish north of Adelaide, who was allegedly abusing children. The Vicar General subsequently sent Father Keating back to his home country of Ireland, where he continued to serve as a priest.

Father Paul Gardiner, who has pushed for MacKillop's canonisation for 25 years, says Father Keating's fellow "Josephite nuns sexual misconduct" priest Father Horan swore Josephite nuns sexual misconduct on the nun for uncovering the abuse.

Father Horan was by now working for Adelaide's Bishop Shiel and urged him to break the sisters up by changing their rules. She submitted to a farcical ceremony where the Bishop had Five months later Bishop Shiel was gravely ill and dying.

From his deathbed he instructed that MacKillop be absolved and restored. A statement from the Sisters of St Joseph says the events of September have "been comprehensively documented".

Mary MacKillop, the nun who...

This is consistent with the information contained in the Compass program. ABC's Compass program containing the revelations and the story of Mary MacKillop's life will screen on Sunday October 10a week before the historic canonisation ceremony.

The nun no longer goes...

First posted September 25, More stories from South Australia. If you have inside knowledge of a topic in the news, contact the ABC.

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