Australian archbishop finds guilty of concealing sex abuse by priest

An Australian court has found a catholic archbishop guilty of concealing child sexual abuse in the 1970s.

Philip Wilson, the archbishop of Adelaide, becomes the most senior catholic in the world to be charged and convicted of the offence.

He was found to have covered up the abuse of altar boys by a pedophile priest colleague in New South Wales.

In a statement issued by the church, Wilson said he was “obviously disappointed” with the verdict and would consider his legal options.

Last month, Wilson told the Newcastle local court he had no knowledge of Priest James Fletcher’s actions, which took place when he was an assistant priest in Maitland, North of Sydney.

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

Magistrate Robert Stone rejected Wilson’s claimed that he had no memory of the conversation.

Wilson’s lawyers had tried to get the case thrown out on four occasions, after the 67-year-old was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

He will be sentenced in June and faces a maximum two-year jail term.

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