Archbishop accused of covering up priest’s sexual abuse of girl

Pia Akerman; 3/5/10

A former school principal who discovered a priest sexually abusing young children has accused the Archbishop of Adelaide of involvement in the “cover-up” that followed.  Philip Wilson, who has served as Adelaide’s Catholic leader since 2001 and also heads the national body of Australian bishops, was a senior priest in the Maitland-Newcastle diocese in the mid-1980s when allegations regarding Father Denis McAlinden arose. McAlinden was caught fondling an eight-year old girl on his knee by Mike Stanwell, the new principal of St Joseph’s primary school in Merriwa, northwest of Newcastle. “Everybody was advising me not to do anything about it, but I thought this wasn’t right,” Mr Stanwell told The Australian.