The decision today by NSW courts to find Archbishop Wilson guilty of concealing child sexual abuse is a very real step towards justice, and highlights the urgent need for the church to respond to the recommendations of the Royal Commission

Greens MP and Justice Spokesperson David Shoebridge said:

“Archbishop Wilson is the most senior Catholic official in the world to be found guilty of concealing child sexual abuse.

“His wilful failure to act on the abuse in the Hunter Valley in the 1970s put children at direct risk of harm.

“It is well past time for the church to formally respond to the recommendations of the Royal Commission, and urgently commit to delivering justice for victims.

“The Council of Bishops have a duty to survivors, their families and the broader community to take steps to address obstacles to justice including the confessional, and the Ellis Defence.

“Thousands of survivors’ stories have given weight to the findings of the Royal Commission, and implementing all of its recommendations is a task for all institutions, including churches, charities and Parliaments.

Today’s conviction is about accountability and gives some measure of justice for what was a gross breach of trust.

“We know from the Royal Commission that this is one of many such instances, and those who perpetrated abuse against children as well as those who protected them are now on notice.

“Victims and survivors will have greater confidence in the justice system, but restoring confidence in the institutions where they were abused will require action,” Mr Shoebridge said