*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***

Archbishop convicted of hiding child sexual abuse

25 May 2018

PA

Archbishop Philip Wilson leaves the Newcastle Local Court, on Tuesday

Archbishop Philip Wilson leaves the Newcastle Local Court, on Tuesday

THE Roman Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide, the Most Revd Philip Wilson, has been found guilty of concealing child sexual abuse when he was a newly ordained priest in the Hunter region of New South Wales, in 1976. He will be sentenced next month; imprisonment for two years is a possibility.

He has been Archbishop of Adelaide since 2001. He is believed to be the highest-ranking Roman Catholic cleric convicted of failure to report abuse.

Archbishop Wilson, who is 67, and who has not stood down from his see, was accused of not reporting allegations brought to him against another priest, Fr James Fletcher, who was later imprisoned for child sexual abuse. He has since died.

The Archbishop, who denies the allegations, has issued a statement saying that he is “disappointed” with the decision of the Newcastle Local Court, and is considering his options.

The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference has been criticised for its failure to call on Archbishop Wilson to stand down; its brief statement, however, says that “the safety of children and vulnerable adults is paramount for the Church and its ministries.”

The co-chair of the South Australian Law Society’s criminal law committee, Craig Caldicott, has said that the verdict is important because of the precedent it sets. It was, he suggested, the “tip of the iceberg”, and other church leaders could potentially face similar charges in the future.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events

Green Church Awards

Awards Ceremony: 6 September 2024

Read more details about the awards

 

Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

tickets available

 

SAVE THE DATE

Festival of Faith and Literature

28 February - 2 March 2025

The festival programme is soon to be announced sign up to our newsletter to stay informed about all festival news.

Festival website

 

ViSIt our Events page for upcoming and past events 

Welcome to the Church Times

 

To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)