Turnbull calls on Pope to sack archbishop for concealing child abuse

Philip Wilson outside St Francis Xavier Cathedral for a 9/11 memorial service

Philip Wilson outside St Francis Xavier Cathedral for a 9/11 memorial service

As far as Philip Wilson is concerned, he should have resigned, he should have resigned, ' Prime Minister Turnbull said.

Wilson's defence barrister Ian Temby QC told a sentencing hearing last month that imprisonment is likely to worsen his client's many chronic illnesses and may put him at risk of assault from fellow inmates.

Allegations of sexual abuse cover ups have continued to rock the Catholic Church years after perpetrators of sexual abuse started regularly appearing before the courts.

In May, Wilson became the most senior Catholic cleric to be convicted of not disclosing to police abuse by another priest.

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.

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In May, Wilson had announced that he will be stepping down from his duties, but has resisted calls to resign pending an appeal of his conviction.

"I think the time has come now for the ultimate authority in the church to take action and sack him". He has remained an archbishop during the appeal process. Since that process is not yet complete, I do not intend to resign at this time, " he added.

The Adelaide Archbishop has said that he will appeal his conviction and that he would resign if that appeal failed.

The 67-year-old was given a 12-month sentence in in June, with a non-parole period of six months which is likely to be spent in home detention.

Catholicism in the largest denomination in Christian-majority Australia.

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Wilson was the bishop of Wollongong before being elevated to Archbishop of Adelaide.

New South Wales Police Minister Troy Grant, who was a police detective in the 1990s when he uncovered widespread church child molesting in the Hunter Valley, has condemned the Vatican's support of Wilson.

Today, Mr Turnbull intensified the pressure on the Catholic Church by saying "the time has come for the Pope to sack him".

The federal government has initiated a redress scheme involving churches and other non-government organisations to pay billions of dollars in compensation to victims of child sex abuse in Australian institutions.

The call came just before the prime minister was due to head into a meeting with Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference president and Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge and the incoming Archbishop of Melbourne, Peter Comensoli.

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