Pope Francis accepts resignation of Archbishop Philip Wilson

The Australian

July 31, 2018

By Sam Buckingham-Jones

The Pope has effectively sacked Philip Wilson after the Adelaide archbishop refused to stand down despite being the most senior Catholic to be charged, convicted and sentenced for concealing child sexual abuse.

The Vatican announced last night that Francis had accepted the resignation of Wilson.

Wilson had withstood calls to go from Malcolm Turnbull, insisting he would remain in his role through an appeals process.

The Australian understands the Prime Minister, who had called on the Pope to sack Wilson, had conveyed to archbishops Anthony Fisher and Mark Coleridge that Wilson must ­either resign or be sacked by the Pope.

Mr Turnbull sent the same message to the Vatican via Australia’s ambassador, Melissa Hitchman. He was told of Wilson’s resignation on the weekend, and it was announced at noon in Rome yesterday.

“I welcome Philip Wilson’s resignation as archbishop of Ade­laide today, which belatedly recognises the many calls, including my own, for him to resign. There is no more important responsibility for community and church leaders than the ­protection of children,” he said last night.

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