Most senior Catholic cleric in the world resigns following child abuse cover-up 2 years ago

Most senior Catholic cleric in the world resigns following child abuse cover-up

On 3 July 2018, Wilson was sentenced to 12 months detention, eligible for parole after 6 months.

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Australian Archbishop Philip Edward Wilson of Adelaide on Monday, following a case which saw an Australian court finding him guilty of perverting the courts of justice.

According to Reuters, the 67-year-old was convicted in May of failing to disclose to police abuse by another priest after being informed of it in 1976 by two victims.

It's understood that one of these victims was an altar boy, who notified Wilson of the abuse inside a confessional box.

The Adelaide-based cleric, who is suffering from the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, told the court that he couldn’t remember being told about the abuse.

However, the Archbishop's crime related to the 2004 to 2006 period – following the imprisonment of the abuser in question – which led the magistrate to believe that he had obtained the level of understanding needed to report what he knew to the relevant authorities.

He was sentenced on 3 July to 12 months in prison with a non-parole period of 6 months.

Wilson had previously said in interviews that he would only resign the role of archbishop should his attempts at appealing his conviction end in failure.

Following the court case, multiple politicians, including Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, had called for Archbishop Wilson to resign.

The priests who abused a number of children in acts concealed by Wilson were Father Denis McAlinden the late James Fletcher.

Fletcher faced nine counts of sexual assault against boys as young as twelve and was found guilty of his crimes and sentenced to at least seven years in prison with no parole.

He died in prison of a stroke in 2006.

McAlinden was relocated a number of times before dying in 2005, before facing police for the sexual abuse of over 20 young girls.

Pope John Paul II appointed Wilson to the position of coadjutor archbishop of the Archdiocese of Adelaide in November 2000.