NEWCASTLE, Australia – A Roman Catholic archbishop has denied under oath in an Australian court that two former altar boys ever told him that they had been sexually abused by a priest.
Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson is the most senior cleric in the world to be charged with covering up for a pedophile priest.
The 67-year-old was tried in the Newcastle Local Court on Wednesday after Magistrate Robert Stone rejected his application to have the case thrown out. Wilson has pleaded not guilty and faces a potential two-year prison sentence if convicted.
Pedophile priest James Fletcher was found guilty in December 2004 of nine counts of child sexual abuse and died in prison of a stroke in 2006, a year into an almost eight-year sentence.