Turnbull calls on the pope to fire an archbishop for covering up child abuse

Tony Lewis/Getty ImagesPhilip Wilson outside St Francis Xavier Cathedral for a 9/11 memorial service on September 11, 2002 in Adelaide, Australia.
  • Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called on the pope to fire Australian archbishop Philip Wilson.
  • Wilson have been convicted of covering up child sexual abuse in the church in the 1970s.
  • Turnbull told reporters Thursday that Wilson “should have resigned, and the time has come for the pope to sack him.”
  • Wilson is the most senior Catholic in the world to be found guilty of helping cover up abuse allegations.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called on the pope to fire Australian archbishop Philip Wilson, who has been found guilty of covering up child sexual abuse in the church in the 1970s.

Wilson first served as an assistant priest in the state of New South Wales in the 1970s, and has been found guilty of concealing the abuse of four boys by pedophile priest James Fletcher during that time.

He also served as bishop in Woolongong, New South Wales, before his promotion to Archbishop of Adelaide in 2000.

Wilson is the most senior Catholic in the world to be convicted of helping cover up abuse allegations. He has been sentenced to 12 months jail but announced plans to appeal, the Guardian said.

“As far as Philip Wilson is concerned, he should have resigned, and the time has come for the pope to sack him,” Turnbull told reporters Thursday.

“There are many leaders that have called on him to resign, it is clear that he should resign and I think the time has come now for the ultimate authority in the church to take action and sack him.”

Turnbull joins other Australian leaders, including Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and South Australian Premier Steven Marshall in calling for Wilson’s termination.

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