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Abuse-concealing bishop to be held at home

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© Reuters Philip Wilson was convicted in May of concealing child sexual abuse

BBC News
A former Catholic archbishop will serve a maximum 12-month sentence in home detention for concealing child sexual abuse, an Australian court has confirmed.

The decision means Philip Wilson, who resigned as archbishop of Adelaide after his conviction, will avoid jail.

Wilson is the world's most senior Catholic cleric to be convicted of covering up sexual abuse.

His lawyers said they would lodge an appeal on Tuesday.

[post_ads]Wilson will immediately serve his sentence at a relative's home, where he will be monitored by a tracking device.

The court in New South Wales had previously ordered Wilson to be assessed for home detention. He will be eligible for parole after six months.

During his trial, Wilson denied knowing that paedophile priest James Patrick Fletcher had abused altar boys in the 1970s.

However, the court ruled in May that Wilson had been alerted to the abuse by victims, and failed to report it.

A judge said Wilson had stayed silent out of a desire to protect the Church's reputation.
  • Sex abuse and the Catholic Church
  • Australia sexual abuse 'a national tragedy'

Fletcher was convicted of nine child sexual abuse charges in 2004, and died in jail in 2006.

Wilson resigned as archbishop last month, days after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called on him to be sacked by Pope Francis.

Wilson remains an ordained bishop but has no official role.

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