The heavy media presence "may amount to perceived pressure for a court to reach a conclusion which seems to be consistent with the direction of public opinion, rather than being consistent with the rule of law that requires a court to hand down individual justice in its decision-making processes."
"The potential for media pressure to impact judicial independence may be subtle or indeed subversive in the sense that it is the elephant in the room that no one sees or acknowledges or wants to see or acknowledge," Ellis said.
He added that Archbishop Wilson could not be convicted merely because the "Catholic Church has a lot to answer for in terms of its historical self-protective approach" to clerical sex abuse. "Philip Wilson when he appears before this court is simply an individual who has the same legal rights as every other person in our community."
"It is not for me to punish the Catholic Church for its institutional moral deficits, or to punish Philip Wilson for the sins of the now deceased James Fletcher by finding Philip Wilson guilty, simply on the basis that he is a Catholic priest."
Archbishop Wilson did not attend the court in person, but watched the decision via media link.
The Crown has said it will appeal Ellis' decision.
The archbishop has maintained his innocence throughout the process, saying he had no recollection of the accusations, and insisting that if he had been notified of the scandal, he would have offered pastoral care to the victims and their families, and reported the event to his superiors.
Fr. Philip Marshall, administrator delegate of the Archdiocese of Adelaide, said we "welcome the conclusion of a process that has been long and painful for all concerned. We now need to consider the ramifications of this outcome."
"The survivors of child sexual abuse and their families are in our thoughts and prayers, and the Archdiocese remains committed to providing the safest possible environments for children and vulnerable people in our care," Fr. Marshall added.
Archbishop Wilson had been convicted May 22, and was sentenced to 12 months of home detention in July. He had been serving the sentence at the home of a relative in New South Wales, wearing a tracking device.
Archbishop Wilson resigned as Archbishop of Adelaide in July, after having said initially he would only do so if his appeal failed.
(Story continues below)
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He said he changed his mind because "there is just too much pain and distress being caused by my maintaining the office of Archbishop of Adelaide, especially to the victims of Fr. Fletcher," and he had become "increasingly worried at the growing level of hurt" his conviction had caused.
Wilson was ordained a priest in 1975, and consecrated a bishop in 1996.