Growing Calls for Australian Archbishop Who Concealed Child Abuse to Resign

Voice of America

July 7, 2018

By Phil Mercer

The Australian archbishop convicted for covering up child abuse says he will appeal his sentence and will not resign. His defiance has prompted criticism from the Prime Minister and other political leaders, who are urging Philip Wilson to quit. He is the most senior Catholic in the world to be convicted of concealing child sexual abuse.

Archbishop Wilson has been given a maximum sentence of 12 months in custody, but is likely to avoid jail and serve his time in home detention.

He has said he would only resign if his appeal against his conviction for covering up child abuse fails. It is, however, a stance that has been widely condemned. Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he was surprised the 67-year old Catholic cleric had decided not to quit immediately, and urged him to do so. There is also mounting pressure within the Catholic Church for Wilson to stand down from a position he has held for 18 years.

Members of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, which represents the Church’s hierarchy, are also reported to have advised him to resign.

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