Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide

December 30, 2015

To my dear priests, deacons, religious and to all people of the Archdiocese of Adelaide.

By now most of you would be aware that in March 2015 I was charged with an offence in New South Wales under section 316 of the Crimes Act 1900.

When I learned about this charge, I decided that it was appropriate that I take time on leave to enable me to reflect and consult widely about the charge. I have done so over the last 9 months and after deep thought, prayer and reflection, I have decided that it is now appropriate for me to end my leave and resume my duties as Archbishop of Adelaide.

I have taken this decision now for many reasons, including the fact that I do not know how long it will take for the charge against me to be resolved. I cannot responsibly remain on leave indefinitely given my serious responsibilities as Archbishop of Adelaide. I have made a commitment in faith to the People of God in the Archdiocese of Adelaide and it is a commitment that I feel I can longer defer.

I will therefore end my period of leave and resume my duties in January 2016.

Some people may disagree with my decision and I respect that. In no way should this decision be interpreted as my not taking this matter very seriously. On the contrary, I take the charge extremely seriously. In recognition of that, and also in recognition of the importance of public accountability and transparency, when I resume my duties I will take no role in professional standards matters in the Archdiocese of Adelaide, and nor will I be involved in the professional standards work of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference or my former work with the Truth Justice and Healing Council until this matter is resolved.

Finally, I would like to thank all of those people who have expressed support and good wishes during what has been a very trying and difficult time. I have been greatly heartened by this and I thank you so very much.

I am limited in the further comments I am able to make at this time because the matter is still before the Court but insofar as I am able to do so I will keep you all informed of any updates.

Philip Wilson
Archbishop of Adelaide

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