Cath News report: The national president of United Retail Federation (URF) has written to Pope Benedict, appealing him to petition the Australian government against restricting the corporate use of the name Mary MacKillop.
Scott Driscoll, whose industry body represents idependent small business operators, says the government's decision announced on Monday was a "knife in the heart" of business operators, said an AAP report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
"I implore you to make representation to the Australian government so that they are encouraged to reverse this concerning decision and thus allow the demand for merchandise recognising Mary MacKillop to be created and distributed more freely," Mr Driscoll asked the Pope in the letter, seen by AAP.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said the amendment will provide the highest level of protection for the name of any individual Australian.
Mr Driscoll said the move was "extreme" and that Mother Mary's name should be owned by the people and not be restricted in its use by a government.
"Using a similar example, are we going to have to get the government's permission to reference God, Jesus or any religious icon?
"It's not illicit drugs we're dealing with, it's an Australian saint."