Friday, October 1, 2010

Learning More About That Saint

Last year around this time, I wrote about Mary Mackillop, the nun who is going to become Australia's first saint. During my research I learned that at one point, MacKillop had been excommunicated from the church. I wasn't clear of the details.   All I knew was that a bishop un-excommunicated MacKillop on his death bed.  Nice of him to change his mind.  

Now I'm looking at the news and seeing more of the story has been uncovered.  Apparently, we now have a reason for the excommunication. What did MacKillop do wrong?  She spoke out against priests who were sexually abusing children. According to this USA Today article I'm reading, MacKillop reported the abuse to a vicar-general.  What's that? Is he part of the church, or outside of it?    Okay.  Lord Wiki says he works with the bishop, so it's a job within the church.

Anyway, so she reported the priest to this vicar-general. He actually listened to her accusations, and took action against the priest. I'm actually kind of impressed by that. But then things went downhill from there.   A priest with strong influence over the bishop got the bishop to excommunicate MacKillop.  I wonder if this priest was the same one doing the abusing?  Or maybe he was friends with the abuser?

It sounds like it would be a really great novel and/or miniseries?  Has one been made yet?

Well, I see there's a children's book written about her.; The Black Dress.  It's maybe young adult or middle reader. The author is Pamela Freeman.  I don't know if Freeman had the information about the  child abuse when she wrote the book, or not.  I'm assuming she did write about the excommunication though.  I think that's an important part of MacKillop's story.  There's something kind of nice about someone being extremely highly honored by an organization that once banished them.  

I'm looking at IMDb right now. In 1994, there was a movie about MacKillop called Mary. Maybe I mentioned it in my old post.   I'm not sure.  Anyway, Lucy Bell played Mary MacKillop. Her name sounds familiar for some reason.....

Do I know of her?

Oh!  Wait.  I'm probably  thinking of Drake Bell....that guy we watch with Jack on Nickelodeon.   But Lucy Bell has been in a lot of shows. I may have come across her name before.   

Well, I wonder if the new information will inspire people to write new novels, and make new movies about MacKillop.   

I wonder if Oprah will talk about her when she comes to Australia. Maybe? Or will she be too busy comparing the size of Australia to Europe and counting kangaroos.  Okay. Yeah. I'm still annoyed with that Oprah quiz.  What can I say.