Convicted archbishop sparks fury with 'pray for me' letter

Convicted archbishop sparks fury with 'pray for me' letter May 25, 2018

Australian Philip Wilson, the Archbishop of Adelaide who was found guilty this week  of concealing child sexual abuse, has caused outrage by sending a letter to Catholic schools in his home state, asking pupils to ‘please continue to pray for me’.
Wilson’s letter, according to this report, first went viral on Twitter, and then Reddit, where it generated outrage over his  decision to contact children directly, via the Catholic school system.

Dr Neil McGoran, the Director of Catholic Education South Australia explained that the letter’s purpose was to inform people of Wilson’s decision to step aside and:

Reassure them that the essential pastoral aspects of the life of the Archdiocese of Adelaide would continue.

The most senior Catholic official in the world to be convicted of covering up child abuse, Wilson has denied claims he covered up child abuse by paedophile priest Jim Fletcher, who died in jail in 2006.

Wilson said he could not remember a conversation he had with an altar boy about Fletcher and alleged sexual abuse, which took place in 1976. He was found guilty on Tuesday, and faces a maximum of two years in jail.

Meanwhile, the BBC reports that a review by the Diocese of Truro reveals the Church of England ignored child sex abuse carried out by a former member of the General Synod, Jeremy Dowling, above, a lay preacher, teacher and church employee. He abused young boys in the 1970s and was jailed in 2015.
It said several bishops were told about the abuse and did not take action. It found there was a “probable misunderstanding” by church leaders over a decision not to prosecute him.
Dowling became a member of general synod in 1977 and was communications officer for the Diocese of Truro from 2003 to 2009.
The school where Dowling carried out the abuse cannot be named because of a risk of identifying the victims.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn (BBC report)

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  • L.Long

    Yes! I PRAY that you are sent to the worse prison available for a VERY long time!!!! Its too bad your too ugly to be abused while there. And no! I’m not being nasty because I do the golden rule … if you find that I have done the same PLEASE do that punishment to me!

  • Har Davids

    A letter like this one, sent to children, asking for prayer: the guy has balls, I’ll give him that. On the other hand, he may be totally deluded, which is a requirement for the job he had, after all.

  • Broga

    The word “continue” in the last sentence makes an unwarranted assumption.

  • AgentCormac

    I rather suspect that the children of Adelaide will be praying that Wilson gets sent down for life for his involvement in the abuse that the RCC has visited upon their city. And how very dare he try to offset what is probably the most vile crime a human being can commit by claiming that he and his revolting church have somehow ‘achieved great things in all facets of life’?
    It really does beggar belief that these charlatans can persist in claiming that they are somehow a force for good in the world as the evidence points most definitely in the opposite direction. However, what beggars belief even more is that the gullible continue to believe what they say. And do so in their billions.

  • RussellW

    I’m sure that there are many Catholics who will pray for the archbishop. Are they praying for his immortal soul or just to keep him out of jail?

  • Robster

    Are there like ‘levels’ for the various priestly and further up the chain Vatican employees? The arch bish signed his ghastly note as “the MOST reverend” etc. This does suggest there are levels of reverendness. What do they call the lesser reverends, I wonder? How do they measure degrees of reverendness, are pay rates commensurate with the levels achieved or do they simply get a sillier hat?

  • Tony

    So the RCC really does have clerics that are convicted criminals then, and I have to conclude that the RCC is relaxed about the fact. It begs the question … Why was this criminal not expelled from the RCC? The answer is of course that the RCC is riddled with bent criminal types from the lowliest priest right up to the Cardinals, and one could argue the pope himself, who after all is the head of the whole sick edifice. Name the crime and the RCC is guilty of it. It’s the biggest global crime syndicate and paedophile ring on the face of the earth.
    And it’s good to see the Irish seem to have voted down one foul aspect of RCC control.

  • barriejohn

    Robster: Of course the different levels of “holiness” indicate differing levels of remuneration – it’s big business.
    Anyone with a grain of sense is aware that it is absolutely not on for the perpetrators of abuse, or those who have enabled abuse, to contact the victims unless special arrangements have been made. This miscreant is obviously in a state of denial, and probably thinks that he has done nothing wrong. I bet he thinks that HE is a victim, and that he has been unjustly hounded out of office!

  • tonye

    Call me a cynic, I don’t think that Wilson will do much time. As I type I’m sure the Vatican will be pulling strings behind the scenes to ensure one of their senior members does not go to prison.

  • John

    In their heart of hearts, none of them give a damn what anyone else thinks, feels or believes.
    It is their exclusive club and they do very well out of it.
    This letter is part of the ongoing charade of the RCC.
    As long as the money rolls in, they don’t care.
    It’s the biggest con-job operation on planet Earth.
    Our job is ‘continue’ exposing them.
    All power to the Australians for bagging some big ones!

  • Tony A

    If there were regular reports of leading Humanists abusing children or covering up abuse by fellow humanists, in no time at all there would be a nation-wide outcry and the whole humanist movement would be outlawed and closed down. When such behaviour is endemic amongst the leaders of a long established world-wide religion such as the RCC, propped up by hundreds of millions of useful idiots then there is just a little talk of some rotten apples letting the side down and the whole ghastly show is allowed to rumble on virtually unscathed.

  • John

    See for a report on far right child abusers.
    It seems that as time goes by, the more the sewer at the bottom end of our society opens up.
    You seriously have to wonder just what is the matter with these people that they can’t keep their hands and other parts of their anatomies to themselves.