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Catholic World News

Australian court refuses to dismiss charges against archbishop for failure to report abuse

June 07, 2017

An Australian court has rejected a bid by Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide to dismiss charges against him for alleged failure to report sexual abuse by a priest.

Archbishop Wilson has been charged with failure to report what he knew about complaints against another priest, Father Jim Fletcher, who was eventuallly convicted of having molested a young boy. The archbishop reportedly was informed in 2004 of the charge against Fletcher, but did not tell police.

Lawyers for the archbishop had said that at the time when Fletcher molested the young boy, the abuse was not a “serious indictable offense” under existing Australian law, and therefore the archbishop should not be charged for his failure to report it. An appeals court rejected that argument.

Archbishop Wilson has now been rebuffed in three attempts to have the criminal charge against him dismissed.


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