More than 30 years after Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson ignored an altar boy's claims he'd been abused by a pedophile priest he sent $1000 to the parents of another boy abused by the same priest, a court has heard.
Wilson, accused of concealing sexual abuse by the now-dead priest James Fletcher in the NSW Hunter region when told about it in 1976, sent the cheque in 2009, Newcastle Local Court was told on Friday.
The family of the abused boy refused to accept Wilson's cheque and sent it back.
The abused boy's sister, who cannot be named, told the court Wilson had been a family friend who had officiated with Fletcher at her wedding.
She said Wilson claimed to have been shocked in 2004 when told Fletcher had abused her brother and asked what the victim planned to do.
Five years later he sent the $1000 cheque to the boy's parents as they were struggling to cope with what had happened to their son.
Wilson told the boy's sister he'd been putting money away each week from his personal account and wanted to help out her distressed parents.
The boy's mother had earlier told the court she called Wilson in April 2004 after finding out her son had been abused by Fletcher, but Wilson said there was nothing he could do as he had become Adelaide Archbishop and it was out of his area.
Wilson told the mother to contact her local bishop.
The mother said Wilson visited the Hunter area a few months later and came to her home, claiming not to have known her son had been abused by Fletcher, but she believed he did know.
The mother told the court Wilson had been planning to visit Fletcher the following day at a time when the pedophile priest was facing trial for sexually abusing another young boy.
Fletcher was found guilty in December 2004 of nine counts of child sexual abuse and died in jail of a stroke in January 2006.
The crown case against Wilson is that he covered up the sexual abuse of an altar boy by Fletcher
The victim, Peter Creigh, has told the court he was preyed on by Fletcher in 1971 in the NSW Hunter region when he was a 10-year-old altar boy.
Mr Creigh, whose name had been the subject of a suppression order before he asked for it to be lifted, said he went to see Wilson in the presbytery of a Hunter region Catholic church in early 1976 to tell him about what Fletcher had done to him five years earlier.
He said Wilson promised to tell the parish priest about the abuse claims and have the matter looked into.
After hearing nothing for six months, Mr Creigh said he went to again see Wilson, who told him he knew nothing more about the situation and the church was still looking into his abuse claims.
Mr Creigh said Wilson never contacted him again.
Wilson, 67, is the most senior Catholic official in the world to be charged with concealing child sex assault.
The trial has been adjourned to April 9.