Landmark sentencing of Archbishop falls short – and why is he still an Archbishop?


The NSW Supreme Court has today sentenced Archbishop Philip Wilson for his role in concealing child sexual abuse within the Church. The 12 month sentence that may be served at home does not fairly reflect the damage his failure to respond to child sexual abuse caused to so many young lives.

If this does not finally prompt the Catholic Church to sack the Archbishop then there really is no hope for the institution.

Greens MP and Justice Spokesperson David Shoebridge said: “Today we need to think of those whose lives were so viciously damaged by the Church’s failures, and give thanks to the courage of survivors who took this Archbishop on in court.

“While a custodial sentence is a national first, home detention hardly seems appropriate given the gross breach of trust and the proven illegality.

“Archbishop Wilson’s actions concealing child sexual abuse were extremely serious and put children directly at risk.

“A sentence like this is difficult for many survivors to accept, as they live with the life sentence of the abuse perpetrated against them.

“Whatever its limits, Wilson’s sentencing is historic, and finally sees a church leader held to account.

“It remains the case that Archbishop Wilson is the most senior Catholic official in the world to be found guilty of concealing child sexual abuse.

“We know from the Royal Commission that this is one of many such instances, and those who perpetrated abuse against children as well as those who protected them are now on notice.

“Victims and survivors will have greater confidence in the justice system, but restoring confidence in the institutions where they were abused is a different matter.

“The Catholic Church must now sack Archbishop Wilson, a convicted and sentenced criminal, whose crimes allowed a child sexual predator to keep offending,” Mr Shoebridge said.