VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has appointed a bishop to administer an Australian archdiocese whose archbishop was convicted of covering up for a pedophile priest.
The Vatican said Sunday that Bishop Gregory O’Kelly, an Adelaide native, will serve as apostolic administrator for the Adelaide archdiocese.
Two weeks ago, Archbishop Philip Wilson became the most senior Catholic cleric worldwide to be convicted of covering up child sex abuse. He faces a possible two-year prison term.
On May 23, Wilson had said he would “stand aside” after arrangements had been made to administer the archdiocese. He also said he was discussing the possibility of appealing his conviction with his lawyers.
Also in Australia, Cardinal George Pell, who was one of the pope’s top aides when he served as Vatican finance minister, faces trial on sexual assault charges. A magistrate recently dismissed some of the most serious charges against Pell, but ordered him to stand trial on others.
Pope Francis recently has insisted top clerics be held responsible for failing to swiftly crack down on pedophile priests, and recently all the sitting Catholic bishops of Chile submitted their resignations after being summoned to Rome for a three-day summit with the pontiff.