Turnbull calls on Pope to sack archbishop over cover-up

Turnbull calls on the Pope to sack disgraced Archbishop Philip Wilson

Australian PM urges Pope to sack archbishop convicted of concealing child sex abuse

The Vatican is refusing to comment on the Prime Minister's demand for the Pope to sack Archbishop Philip Wilson, the most senior Catholic in the world to be convicted of concealing child sexual abuse.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called on the pope to fire Australian archbishop Philip Wilson.

Turnbull said on Thursday the 67-year-old cleric should not be allowed to remain an archbishop while he appealed against his conviction.

"He should have resigned and the time has come for the Pope to sack him", Turnbull said at a press briefing.

"The executive of the NCP requests that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, removes Archbishop Philip Wilson from his See", the council said in a statement issued on Friday.

"There are many leaders that have called on him to resign, it's clear that he should resign and I think the time has come now for the ultimate authority in the church to take action and sack him, " Turnbull added.

Wilson's defence barrister Ian Temby QC told a sentencing hearing last month that imprisonment is likely to worsen his client's many chronic illnesses and may put him at risk of assault from fellow inmates.

Wilson remains on bail while he is assessed by prison authorities for home detention, instead of jail.

Wilson has said he would only offer his resignation to Francis if his appeal fails in the New South Wales state District Court.

Father Frank Brennan, the chief executive of Catholic Social Services, has previously said Wilson had to quit for the good of the church. The court was told that two victims, one an altar boy, told Wilson of the abuse in 1976.

During his trial, the archbishop said no-one had ever come forward to tell him of allegations of child sex abuse during his 40 years as a clergyman. He died in jail of a stroke in January 2006.

"It may simply be the first case of a high profile person being called to civil account for knowing in 2004 that he had information which have helped in the conviction of a paedophile priest and failing to report that knowledge", Mr Gogarty said.

During the sentencing, Magistrate Robert Stone convicted Wilson of his crimes with no possibility of a suspended sentence.

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