Archbishop Philip Wilson To Stand Down From Duties After Guilty Ruling
But he did not go as far as to resign from the position altogether.
Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson will stand down from official duties later this week, after being found guilty in a NSW court of concealing historic child sex abuse.
Wilson, the archbishop of Adelaide, was found guilty on Tuesday of failing to report abuse of altar boys by former priest James Fletcher, who was later convicted of sex abuse.
He is the most senior Catholic official in the world to be charged with the cover-up of child abuse, and now faces the prospect of two years jail.
In a statement on Wednesday, Wilson said he would stand aside from his duties as archbishop by the end of the week, but did not go as far as to resign from the position altogether.
"It is appropriate that, in the light of some of his Honour's findings, I stand aside from my duties as Archbishop," he said in the statement.
"I am now putting in place the necessary administrative arrangements to ensure that the affairs of the Archdiocese are managed responsibly. I therefore intend to step aside as of Friday this week once those arrangements are in place."
"If at any point in time it becomes necessary or appropriate for me to take more formal steps, including by resigning as Archbishop, then I will do so."
Wilson did not reveal whether he would appeal the court verdict, but hinted that further legal avenues may be explored.
"In the meantime, while the remainder of the legal process runs its course, I want to assure the Catholic faithful in the Archdiocese of my continued prayers and best wishes and assure everyone that the affairs of the Archdiocese will be appropriately managed in my absence," he said.
On Tuesday, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said it was "not yet clear" if Wilson would appeal the judgement.
More to come.