Adelaide, Australia, Jul 6, 2018 / 09:56 am
In the continued fallout of his conviction for failing to report allegations of child sexual abuse, Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson has faced calls both inside and outside of the Church to resign.
Wilson, who earlier this month received a 12-month detention sentence, most of which is likely to be spent under house arrest, said he intends to appeal.
In a July 4 statement posted on the Archdiocese of Adelaide's website, Wilson said he is aware of the calls for his resignation, and has “taken them very seriously.”
“However, at this time, I am entitled to exercise my legal rights and to follow the due process of law. Since that process is not yet complete, I do not intend to resign at this time,” he said, adding that should his appeal prove unsuccessful, “I will immediately offer my resignation to the Holy See.”
Until that time, “the legal process must now be allowed to proceed in the normal way,” he said, adding that he plans to make no further public statements for the time being.
Wilson, 67, stepped aside from his role as Archbishop of Adelaide after being convicted in May of failing to report multiple allegations of child sexual abuse disclosed to him in the 1970s; however, he did not resign.
On June 3, Pope Francis named Bishop Greg O'Kelly SJ of Australia's Diocese of Port Pirie as apostolic administrator of Adelaide, entrusting him with day-to-day leadership responsibilities. At 76, O'Kelly is unlikely to take over for Wilson should the latter tender his resignation.
In a July 5 statement, published the day after Wilson issued his, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, president of the Australian Bishops Conference, noted that “a number of survivors, prominent Australians and other members of the community have publicly called on Archbishop Wilson to resign.”