Monday, July 30, 2018


Australian archbishop convicted of sex abuse cover-up resigns

ROME - In his second major move on sex abuse in just three days, Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Australian Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide following a conviction earlier this month of failure to report allegations of child sexual abuse.
The Vatican announced Wilson’s resignation July 30,  just three days after Francis made a historic move in accepting the resignation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick from the College of Cardinals after accusations arose that he sexually abused a 16-year-old altar boy.

But this in another Crux article gives me hope! Let's make this Texas Bishop a Cardinal and the pope:

The most extensive response to date, however, was issued by Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth, Texas, who on Saturday issued a two-page pastoral letter, wherein he used the McCarrick allegations to address the situation within his own diocese.

“We see in the scandalous crimes and sins alleged to have been committed by now former Cardinal McCarrick, the violation of that trust and the grave damage caused to the lives and health of his purported victims,” he wrote.

“Justice also requires that all of those in Church leadership who knew of the former cardinal’s alleged crimes and sexual misconduct and did nothing be held accountable for their refusal to act thereby enabling others to be hurt,” he continued.

He went on to reaffirm the Church’s pledge of zero tolerance against sexual abuse within his own diocese against both minors and vulnerable adults, “by its clergy, staff, and volunteers, including me as bishop.”


Anonymous said...

If it would mean anything I would even vote for him for Pope. In times like this I wish the system used to replace the vacancy left by Judas would still be in effect. Could not do worse than what we have now.

James Ignatius McAuley said...

Father, start looking this Bishop up before you unduly promote him. All that gliitters is not gold. Or, a soundbite does not a pope make

John Nolan said...

The case of Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide is disturbing. He was not charged with committing abuse or using his position as bishop to cover it up. His 'crime' was that as a young priest in 1976 he received a complaint concerning another priest and did not report it to the police.

In the light of later events, perhaps he should have done so, although in those days the police would not necessarily have taken the complaints (which related to alleged offences committed five years earlier) seriously and the offending cleric (James Fletcher) was convincing and manipulative; he was also ten years older than Wilson, who had only been ordained the previous year.

The reason why a sin of omission committed 42 years ago should warrant a custodial sentence is not hard to find. The prosecution called for the maximum sentence, not because of the culpability of the defendant, but because of the message it would send to the Catholic Church. In other words, Wilson was a scapegoat. The case was heard summarily in a local magistrates court, but the PM himself, Malcolm Turnbull, saw fit to wade in and call for Wilson to be 'sacked' - a fate that, with waning support in the polls, he himself faces.

Quite apart from virtue-signalling politicians, there is a feeding frenzy in Australia at the moment which I suspect not even the head of an Archbishop will satisfy for long. All sense of proportion has gone out of the window, and if the magistrate had ruled that the accuser (or any alleged victim) was not a credible or reliable witness, he, too, would have been hounded out of office.

In view of the paucity of evidence and the lapse of time, this case would not have come to trial in England or the US (it will be remembered that Cardinal Law was never charged). The terms 'kangaroo court' and 'witch-hunt' come to mind.