NEWCASTLE, Australia (AP) — The most senior Roman Catholic cleric convicted of covering up child sex abuse has been ordered by an Australian court to serve his 1-year sentence in home detention rather than jail.
Newcastle Magistrate Robert Stone on Tuesday ordered former Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson to be detained at his sister’s house for at least 6 months before he is eligible for parole.
Wilson, 67, has denied the accusations and had refused to resign pending an appeal. But Pope Francis accepted Wilson’s resignation last month after mounting pressure including from the Australian prime minister.
Stone in May had found Wilson guilty of failing to report to police the repeated abuse of two altar boys by pedophile priest James Fletcher in the Hunter Valley region north of Sydney during the 1970s.