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Pope Francis issued his first excommunication since become Pope in March (AP Photo/Riccardo De Luca)

Australian priest had continued to act publicly as a priest after having priestly facilities removed

Blessed Mary MacKillop is pictured in an undated, colourised handout photo from the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart (Photo: CNS)

Claim that Mary MacKillop was excommunicated for speaking out against an abusive priest is an invention, says Fr Gardiner

Mgr Charles Scicluna, the Vatican's chief prosecutor for clerical sex abuse, left, and Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi (Photo: AP/Andrew Medichini)

New norms also strengthen penalty for attempting to ordain women as clergy