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Australian bishop convicted of sex abuse cover-up resigns

Australian bishop convicted of sex abuse cover-up resigns
Archbishop Philip Wilson leaves after sentencing at Newcastle Local Court in Newcastle, Australia, on July 3. (Darren Pateman /EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of an Australian archbishop convicted of covering up the sexual abuse of children by a priest, after coming under mounting pressure from Australian priests and even the prime minister.

Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson was convicted in May of failing to report to police the repeated abuse of two altar boys by a pedophile priest in the Hunter Valley region north of Sydney during the 1970s. He became the highest-ranking Catholic cleric ever convicted in a criminal court of abuse cover-up.

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Wilson had declined to resign pending an appeal of his case. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull added his voice to those calling for his sacking in an appeal to Francis on July 19.

In a statement Monday, the Vatican said Francis had accepted Wilson's resignation.

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