Archbishop Wilson denies charge of concealing child sexual abuse

Archbishop Wilson

The Archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Wilson, has vowed to clear his name after being charged by NSW police with concealing a serious offence regarding clerical child sexual abuse in the Hunter region nearly 30 years ago.

In a statement released yesterday, Archbishop Wilson said: “I am disappointed to have been notified by the NSW Police that it has decided to file a charge in respect of this matter.

"The suggestion appears to be that I failed to bring to the attention of police a conversation I am alleged to have had in 1976, when I was a junior priest, that a now-deceased priest had abused a child.

"From the time this was first brought to my attention last year, I have completely denied the allegation.  I intend to vigorously defend my innocence through the judicial system.

"I am unable to make any further comment at this stage, but I would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm my commitment to dealing proactively with the issue of child sexual abuse and the implementation of best-practice child protection measures which I have pioneered since becoming a bishop."

The President of the ACBC, Archbishop Denis Hart, said in a statement yesterday: "The presumption of innocence applies to Archbishop Wilson as it does to all citizens subject to criminal charges before the court. I urge people not to make any judgement until the charge against Archbishop Wilson has been dealt with by the court." 

RELEASES

Statement by Archbishop Philip Wilson

Statement from ACBC President, Archbishop Denis Hart

Statement by Bishop Peter Ingham

FULL COVERAGE

Archbishop Philip Wilson: I didn’t hide child sex abuse (The Australian)

Archbishop Philip Wilson becomes world's most senior Catholic charged with concealing child abuse (SMH)

Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson charged with concealing child sex abuse (ABC)

Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson charged with concealing child sex abuse (Nine News)

Prelate could face two years jail over charges of concealing sex abuse (The Daily Telegraph)

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