In Brief

How Australian archbishop was found guilty of child sex abuse cover-up

Philip Wilson becomes the most senior Catholic in the world to be convicted of concealing abuse

An Australian archbishop has become the highest ranking Catholic official in the world to be convicted of covering up historic child sex abuse.

Philip Wilson, now archbishop of Adelaide, was found guilty of concealing the abuse of altar boys by a paedophile priest in New South Wales where he worked in the 1970s.

Wilson has always denied he knew about the actions of James Fletcher, a colleague who was later convicted of nine sexual abuse charges in 2004, and died in jail in 2006.

One of Fletcher’s victims, Peter Creigh, told the court he had described the abuse to Wilson in 1978, and the magistrate Robert Stone rejected claims by the archbishop he had no memory of the conversation.

Another victim told the court Wilson had accused him of telling lies and ordered him to recite 10 Hail Marys as punishment, after he had disclosed abuse by Fletcher in the confessional when he was 11.

Following the verdict, Creigh told reporters: “The decision will hopefully unravel the hypocrisy, the deceit and the abuse of power and trust that the Church has displayed”.

A royal commission set up in 2012 to look into institutional responses to child sex abuse in Australia concluded last year that churches, schools and sports clubs had “seriously failed” to protect children, with Catholic institutions coming in for “particular criticism”, reports the BBC.

Wilson’s conviction and possible jail sentence is a precursor to the upcoming trial of the Vatican’s treasurer Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s highest-ranking Catholic and effectively the third most powerful person in the Church, who is charged with historical sexual assault offences.

Recommended

Shareholder power, Serbian threats and Anglican angst
Stockmarket prices
Podcast

Shareholder power, Serbian threats and Anglican angst

Pope Benedict ‘turned blind eye’ to child sex abuse
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - DECEMBER 25:Pope Benedict XVI waves to the faithfuls as he delivers his Christmas Day message 'urbi et orbi' blessing (to the city and to the world) from the central b
Getting to grips with . . .

Pope Benedict ‘turned blind eye’ to child sex abuse

Does the Anglosphere exist?
Joe Biden announces Aukus pact
Getting to grips with . . .

Does the Anglosphere exist?

‘Jews don’t count?’: the debate about racism and anti-Semitism
Police car outside synagogue
Why we’re talking about . . .

‘Jews don’t count?’: the debate about racism and anti-Semitism

Popular articles

What would a Russian ‘lightning war’ against Ukraine look like?
Members of the Kiev territorial defence forces take part in drills outside Kiev, Ukraine
Getting to grips with . . .

What would a Russian ‘lightning war’ against Ukraine look like?

Is Bosnia on the brink of another civil war?
Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik
In Depth

Is Bosnia on the brink of another civil war?

Why is New Zealand shutting its borders again?
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern adjusts her face mask following a press conference
In Depth

Why is New Zealand shutting its borders again?

The Week Footer Banner