Australian Archbishop, Philip Wilson, the most senior Catholic official in the world to be convicted of concealing child sexual abuse, has resigned, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said in a statement on Monday.
The 67-year-old Catholic cleric was convicted in May and later sentenced to 12 months in jail for failing to report to the Police, the sexual abuse of two altar boys, by a paedophile priest in the 1970s.
According to the statement, Pope Francis accepted Wilson’s resignation.
Wilson, the archbishop of Adelaide, has launched an appeal against his conviction, which is set to continue.
Calls for his resignation came from all quarters, including Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, who welcomed Wilson’s resignation.
Turnbull said: “I welcome Philip Wilson’s resignation as Archbishop of Adelaide today, which belatedly recognises the many calls, including my own, for him to resign.
“There is no more important responsibility for community and church leaders than the protection of children.’’