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Priests Call For Sacking Of Adelaide Archbishop

Australia's Catholic priests have called on the Pope to sack Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson, saying his refusal to resign from the role is "galling."

In May, Wilson became the most senior Catholic cleric to be convicted of not disclosing to police abuse by another priest.

The National Council of Priests say his position has been compromised and the welfare of Adelaide's Catholics must come first.

"The executive of the NCP requests that the Holy Father, Pope Francis, removes Archbishop Philip Wilson from his See," the council said in a statement issued on Friday.

"Archbishop Wilson remained in office for the duration of his trial. He only stood down after his conviction. This appearance of inequity is an affront to natural justice and galling to both priests and laity."

Wilson, who was sentenced to a year's detention this month, has stepped aside as Adelaide Archbishop, but has not resigned, insisting he will do so only if he is unsuccessful in an appeal.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Thursday called for the Pope to sack Wilson.

The council said when an an accusation is levelled at a parish priest or when he is charged with a criminal offence, he is automatically stood down until his guilt or innocence is established.

"The Archbishop has been convicted of the crime of concealing knowledge of criminal behaviour while he was a priest of the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle," the NCP statement said.

"While the Archbishop is exercising his constitutional right to appeal his conviction, his tenure as Archbishop of Adelaide has been compromised.

"The welfare of the People of God of the Archdiocese of Adelaide must take precedence over the desire of an individual to remain in office."

-AAP

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