Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Australian Catholic Child-Abuse Archbishop Sentenced

Archbishop Philip Wilson
Archbishop Philip Wilson sentenced for concealing child sex abuse - BBC News

Archbishop Philip Wilson, the most senior Catholic cleric to be convicted of covering up child sex abuse by fellow priests, has been sentenced to 12 months detention.

The Archbishop of Adelaide, News South Wales, Australia, was convicted in May of covering up the child sex abuses of his friend and colleague, James Patrick Fletcher, and had been awaiting sentence by Adelaide magistrate, Robert Stone. In sentencing Wilson, Stone said he had shown no remorse.

The sentence will probably be served in home detention rather than a prison. Wilson's sister's house will now be assessed for it's suitability for home detention. He will be eligible for parole in just 6 months.

Wilson, then a priest in the Maitland region, had ignored young victims in order to protect the reputation of the Catholic Church when they reported being sexually abused by fellow priest, James Fletcher. Fletcher was convicted in 2004 of nine child abuse offences and died in prison 2 years later.

Fletcher's victims and their supporters have expressed astonishment at the lightness of the sentence and of the fact that Wilson is still refusing to resign as Archbishop of Adelaide. He voluntarily stepped aside in his duties after his conviction in May but continues to draw his salary as an Archbishop.

There appear to be no moves by the Church to remove him from his post and the person who could do so, Pope Francis, has been entirely silent on the issue.

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