Published: Sun, July 22, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Aussie PM Turnbull calls on Pope to fire disgraced archbishop

Aussie PM Turnbull calls on Pope to fire disgraced archbishop

The Prime Minister is calling on the Pope to intervene and sack Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson.

"What many people find more troubling is his decision not to resign as Archbishop of Adelaide pending his appeal".

Malcolm Turnbull says Archbishop Wilson's position is untenable.

"He should have resigned and the time has come for the Pope to sack him", Turnbull said at a press briefing.

"I am conscious of calls for me to resign and have taken them very seriously", Wilson said the day after he was sentenced.

"There are many leaders that have called on him [Wilson] to resign - it is clear that he should resign", he told reporters in Sydney.

"You're not doing anything to help the archdiocese of Adelaide, you're not doing anything to help the victims, you're not doing anything to help the Australian community heal after what we've been through with the royal commission", Fr Brennan told Sky News after Wilson's conviction.

Lawyers for Wilson, who maintained his innocence throughout his trial, had argued that he did not know priest James Fletcher had committed child sex abuse throughout the 1970s.

Wilson suffers from diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease and depression - conditions that would further deteriorate behind bars and "may even threaten his survival", said Mr Temby.

On August 14, the Australian judiciary is set to announce if the archbishop should serve his detention under house arrest or in jail, since the sentence mandated that he has to serve six months of the sentence without a parole option. He said he would appeal against the verdict, the BBC reported.

Peter Creigh, an altar boy repeatedly sexually assaulted by Fletcher, told the court he told Wilson about the abuse.

Wilson remains on bail while he is assessed by prison authorities for home detention, instead of jail.

'The offender is not just a man. who has no prior convictions but is, in fact, a man of prior positive good character with particular reference to the general field of prevention of child sexual abuse, ' he said.

During the sentencing, Magistrate Robert Stone convicted Wilson of his crimes with no possibility of a suspended sentence.

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