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Archbishop accused of paedophile cover-up

AUSTRALIAN Catholic archbishop of Adelaide Philip Wilson was arrested yesterday and charged with covering up for a paedophile priest during the 1970s.

He said that he was disappointed that New South Wales state police had decided to charge him with concealing a serious child sexual abuse offence, adding that he would fight the charge, which carries a potential two-year prison sentence.

It is alleged that he failed to report child-sex abuse carried out by James Fletcher in the 1970s when they both served in the town of Maitland, north of Sydney.

Mr Fletcher died in prison in 2006, one year into an almost eight-year sentence for raping an altar boy between 1989 and 1991.

A victim of Mr Fletcher’s paedophilia, Peter Gogarty, expressed relief over the charge yesterday, saying: “I think it’s a very, very important day for Australia that we’ve now had someone in such a high position charged.”

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