Archbishop Philip Wilson must be Sacked
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PHOTO: Archbishop Philip Wilson was known as the "Healing Bishop". (Facebook: Lithuanians in South Australia)
Monsignor Rob Egar, a respected and influential cleric in South Australia, told the Sunday Mail that many, if not most South Australian based priests, now believed Archbishop Philip Wilson, aged 67, should quit.
We in the Child Protection Party believe he should be SACKED.
On Tuesday, 3rd July 2018, Wilson was sentenced to 12 months jail with a 6 month non-parole term for his part in covering up child sex abuse. He was charged under Section 316 of the NSW Crimes Act for failing to bring to the attention of the Police a serious indictable offence that, in this case, Wilson knew or believed had been committed by another person, paedophile priest Jim Fletcher. Wilson is being assessed to serve his sentence in home detention. Wilson first learned of Fletcher’s abuse in the 1970s. He failed to report it then and he failed to divulge information to the Police between 2004 and 2006 when Fletcher was facing justice for his crimes.
During his time as Bishop of Wollongong, Wilson earned the nickname “the Healing Bishop” for his work with victims of child abuse. However, this does not relieve him of his gross negligence in not reporting the sexual abuse committed by Fletcher.
There is no evidence or allegation that Wilson took part in any child sex abuse but, by failing to report it when it came to his attention, his silence effectively allowed the abuse to continue.
Wilson’s failure to report Fletcher not only let down the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) but, more egregiously, he failed to protect the children in his diocese. For this he deserves the approbation of society and to be stripped by the RCC of his position as Archbishop.
Wilson is appealing his conviction and sentence and has said he will immediately offer his resignation should that appeal fail. However, we in the Child Protection Party believe that Pope Francis should immediately sack Wilson since only the Pope can sack a bishop or archbishop. The Pope is more likely to ask Wilson to resign since sacking him would cause deep embarrassment to the RCC.
Sadly, the RCC has a long history of covering up child sex abuse with 68% of the reports of such abuse made to the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Sex Abuse were made against the RCC.
Sacking Wilson would, in some small measure, go some way towards restoring the reputation of the RCC.
More importantly, it would signal to members of the Catholic clergy, that such abuse will no longer be tolerated and abusers would no longer be quietly shuffled off to some other diocese.
Most importantly, it would bring some measure of healing to the victims of Wilson’s gross negligence and Fletcher’s crimes.
Sack Archbishop Philip Wilson NOW!
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