Philip Wilson, Archbishop of Adelaide, has been sentenced to twelve months in jail for concealing the sexual abuse of altar boys by fellow Priest, James Patrick Fletcher. Despite the Magistrate’s observance that Wilson has shown “no remorse or contrition” for his part in the cover-up, he is being assessed for home monitoring and will probably avoid serving his sentence behind bars. The 67-year old Wilson is the most senior Catholic Church clergy to be convicted in the church’s sexual abuse scandal. He will be eligible for parole in six months.
There is a growing call among Australia’s political leaders for Wilson to resign. The premier of South Australia, Steven Marshall, has joined the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and the opposition leader, Bill Shorten, in calling for Wilson to resign immediately. During an interview with the local press, Marshall commented: “He’s been convicted, he’s been sentenced. I think it’s untenable to remain in that position.” Wilson has stated he does not plan to resign, pending the outcome of an appeal of his trial, although he has withdrawn from active ministry due to a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and his conviction last month.
For coverage of Wilson’s sentence, please click here to review information published by the BBC news outlet.