Australian prime minister calls on pope to fire archbishop Philip Wilson

Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called on the pope to sack an Australian archbishop who is the most senior

Malcolm Turnbull has called on the pope to step in and sack Philip Wilson, after the Adelaide archbishop said he would not step down until after his appeals process has been exhausted.

A number of bishops have privately counselled Wilson to resign since his conviction, with Archbishop Comensoli going on the record last week.

Mr Turnbull said "the time has come for the Pope to sack" Wilson because it was "clear that he should resign".

Turnbull, who has previously called on Wilson to resign, escalated his criticism of Wilson remaining in office.

"I think the time has come now for the ultimate authority in the church to take action and sack him".

Wilson was found guilty in May of concealing abuse committed in the 1970s by paedophile priest Jim Fletcher in the NSW Hunter region.

He has been sentenced to 12 months jail but announced plans to appeal, the Guardian said.

Australian Archbishop Philip Wilson has appealed his conviction of failing to report to police the repeated abuse of two
Turnbull calls on Pope to sack Archbishop Wilson over child sex cover-up

The Vatican had no comment on Turnbull's remark, one of the sharpest interventions by a politician concerning the Catholic Church since former Irish prime minister Enda Kenny accused the Holy See of obstructing investigations into sexual abuse by priests in 2011.

Wilson stood aside from his duties following the verdict but was steadfast in his refusal to resign as archbishop, while he appeals the decision.

Newcastle Local Court magistrate Robert Stone found Wilson guilty of concealing a serious indictable offence of another person, concluding his primary motive was to protect the church.

Peter Creigh, an altar boy repeatedly sexually assaulted by Fletcher, told the court he told Wilson about the abuse.

However, he ordered that Wilson is assessed for home detention which would allow him to serve his sentence in the community.

Accusations of sexual abuse coverups have continued to rock the Catholic Church years after perpetrators of sexual abuse started regularly appearing before the courts.

In Chile, the country's 34 bishops in May offered to resign over allegations of a cover up of sexual abuse.

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