Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Thursday called on Pope Francis to sack archbishop Philip Wilson who was convicted of covering up child sexual abuse.
Wilson was sentenced to a year in prison in July, two months after he was found guilty of covering up a priest’s sexual abuse of children in New South Wales. He is the most senior Catholic official in the world to be convicted of such charges.
“He should have resigned, and the time has come for the Pope to sack him,” AFP quoted the prime minister as saying in Sydney. “There are many leaders that have called on him to resign, it is clear that he should resign, and I think the time has come now for the ultimate authority in the church to take action and sack him,” he said ahead of a meeting with senior Catholic officials.
Wilson announced in May that he will be stepping down from his duties, but has resisted calls to resign pending an appeal of his conviction. “At this time, I am entitled to exercise my legal rights and to follow the due process of law,” The Australian quoted the archbishop as saying. “Since that process is not yet complete, I do not intend to resign at this time.” Turnbull was speaking ahead of a meeting with senior Catholic officials.