Archbishop Philip Wilson plans to work on despite Alzheimer’s diagnosis putting trial on hold

ARCHBISHOP Philip Wilson plans to remain head of Adelaide archdiocese for the next eight years despite his lawyers telling a Newcastle court on Tuesday that he had Alzheimer’s disease and might not be fit to stand trial.
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In a statement on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after the shock diagnosis put his landmark trial for allegedly failing to report child sex allegations on hold, the archbishop, 67, told his Adelaide archdiocese he could see out his term until the mandatory retirement age of 75.

“I am aware that the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is one that will alarm many people,” Archbishop Wilson said.

“An initial reaction by many people is to think that life is all but over, and that a person with such a diagnosis cannot continue to live a productive life and contribute to society. I am fully aware that some people will now judge me in this light. But I hope to prove them wrong!”

Archbishop Wilson said he had been prescribed medication “that may assist me greatly in slowing the progress of this disease, and indeed improve my present condition”.

“However, if a point comes in the next eight years before my mandatory retirement as Archbishop of Adelaide, at 75 years of age, and I am advised by my doctors that the effects of Alzheimer’s disease may be beginning to impair my ability to function properly as archbishop, I will offer my resignation to the Holy Father.”

Archbishop Wilson said he had informed the Pope’s representative in , the Apostolic Nuncio, of his diagnosis and would provide him with medical reports and updated tests with his neurologist “during the years ahead”.

Archbishop Wilson did not appear in Newcastle Local Court on Tuesday for the expected start of a two-week trial after he was charged in March, 2015 with failing to report child sex allegations involving Hunter priest Jim Fletcher to police between 2004 and 2006 when Fletcher died in jail after his conviction.

Archbishop Wilson has pleaded not guilty to the landmark charge that made him the most senior Catholic in the world to be charged with such an offence. His three attempts to have the charge dismissed, including a NSW Court of Appeal application in June that was dismissed by three judges, were unsuccessful.

In his statement Archbishop Wilson said his recent problems started with a fall on October 11 where he was “unconscious for a small amount of time and I lost a lot of blood”.

The court heard he required eight sutures to a head wound when he was seen in an Adelaide hospital emergency department.

“In the weeks following this event, some of my colleagues noticed that I was not myself and advised me to have a number of medical tests.As a result of those tests, it was determined that I needed a pacemaker attached to my heart, and the neurological tests have diagnosed that I have Alzheimer’s disease,” he said.

In court on Tuesday magistrate Caleb Franklin was told lawyers for Archbishop Wilson referred him to see a neurologist after they were concerned about his cognitive abilities during a meeting to discuss the Newcastle trial.

Adelaide neurologist Dr Andrew Lee told the court he gave a “working diagnosis” of Alzheimer’s disease after conducting three tests, including a “Montreal” test where Archbishop Wilson was unable to draw a clock and had difficulty drawing clock hands showing the time of 11.10am.

Archbishop Wilson was also unable to do a simple test of counting backward by seven from 100, or nominating words starting with the letter ‘f’ in under one minute.

Dr Lee agreed with barrister for the Crown, Gareth Harrison, that the archbishop might have been “malingering” in failing to complete some of the tests within the time frames. But he “didn’t get the impression he was trying to put this on”, Dr Lee said.

A YouTube video of Archbishop Wilson, posted by his diocese on October 31, might have seemed to show a senior cleric in command of his faculties, Dr Lee said. But slight verbal stumbles at several points, for a man as experienced a speaker as the archbishop, were further signs of the need for more intense assessment of his cognitive abilities, he said.

Magistrate Franklin adjourned the matter until Friday morning, when the court will hear if Archbishop Wilson can get an appointment to see a neuropsychologist for a further assessment, in time for the trial to start on Monday.

Mr Franklin rejected a Crown application to start the trial before Archbishop Wilson is assessed by the neuropsychologist, telling the court “If he’s not fit to stand trial then I can’t force the matter to proceed”.

But Mr Franklin expressed dissatisfaction with the timing of the archbishop’s adjournment application.

“I have to say it’s a completely unsatisfactory state of affairs it’sbeen left so late,” Mr Franklin said.

In his statement Archbishop Wilson said he was “at peace with the situation in which I now find myself”.

“I am in God’s hands and I trust in the love and care of the Lord on the journey of life I have before me,” he said.

“I ask that you take this information that I am providing to you calmly and peacefully. There is no cause for panic.

“I will continue to be present to you with all the love I have for the Archdiocese of Adelaide. And I intend to reach out to others who live with the Alzheimer’s condition and to be a sign of support and encouragement to them.”

The full statementTo the priests, deacons, religious brothers and sisters, and all the People of God in the Archdiocese of Adelaide,

I wish to share with you some important information about my health.

On October 11 this year, I had a nasty fall and injured my head. I was unconscious for a small amount of time and I lost a lot of blood. The blood thinner medication I take contributed to the significant blood loss.

In the weeks following this event, some of my colleagues noticed that I was not myself and advised me to have a number of medical tests.

As a result of those tests, it was determined that I needed a pacemaker attached to my heart, and the neurological tests have diagnosed that I have Alzheimer’s disease.

And all this has been occurring while I have been preparing for the trial that begins today (November 28, 2017) in Newcastle, NSW. I have informed the Court about my recent diagnoses which I hope will not prevent the process from at least starting. However, I am advised that it is now solely a matter for the Court to determine what will need to happen from this point.

Of course, I am aware that the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease is one that will alarm many people.

It is a present reality that much stigma is still associated with Alzheimer’s disease. An initial reaction by many people is to think that life is all but over, and that a person with such a diagnosis cannot continue to live a productive life and contribute to society. I am fully aware that some people will now judge me in this light. But I hope to prove them wrong!

I have been prescribed medication that may assist me greatly in slowing the progress of this disease and indeed improve my present condition and I will, of course, see my neurologist regularly for testing and medical support. However, if a point comes in the next 8 years before my mandatory retirement as Archbishop of Adelaide, at 75 years of age, and I am advised by my doctors that the effects of Alzheimer’s disease might be beginning to impair my ability to function properly as Archbishop, I will offer my resignation to the Holy Father.

I have informed Pope Francis’ Ambassador in , the Apostolic Nuncio, of my diagnoses and will provide him with the medical reports from my specialist physicians and I will update him regularly with the results of tests and consultations with my neurologist during the years ahead.

With the grace of God, I am at peace with the situation in which I now find myself. I am in God’s hands and I trust in the love and care of the Lord on the journey of life I have before me.

I ask that you take this information that I am providing to you calmly and peacefully. There is no cause for panic. I will continue to be present to you with all the love I have for the Archdiocese of Adelaide. And I intend to reach out to others who live with the Alzheimer’s condition and to be a sign of support and encouragement to them.

Yours sincerely

Most Rev Philip Wilson DD JCL

Archbishop of Adelaide

In praise of JLaw saying she’s an ‘a–hole’ around fans

Jennifer Lawrence has confessed aloud in front of another famous human being that she turns into “a huge a-hole” in order to preserve her sanity around fans.
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“Once I enter a public place, I become incredibly rude. I turn into a huge a-hole,” Lawrence told Adam Sandler in a promotional interview for Variety Magazine, (below). “That’s my only way of defending myself.”

Lawrence said that the situation only worsened when she was out with her friend, comedian Amy Schumer.

“I take my dog to the park all the time, to Central Park,” Lawrence said. “As soon as I meet her in the park, we’re f???ed.”

Lawrence is also not afraid of a quick quip in order to stop a fan taking a Selfie with her, often offering the excuse that it’s her “day off”.

On the surface, this might appear a little ungracious. Nobody thrust J.Law into the spotlight, it is her own choice. But Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar-winner, movie star, imaginary best friend to everyone under the age of 30, is still a woman. And women everywhere can relate to what she’s saying, which is that when a female asserts her right to not please everyone all the time; when she puts up boundaries, or says no, it’s interpreted as a-hole behaviour. Who among us has not been told to “smile” because it can’t be that bad? The inference being that women should be cheerful because it can’t be that serious.

But a man frowning? He’s probably got a lot on his mind!

Lawrence is no idiot, she understands that if she doesn’t make light of her boundary-setting, someone is going to accuse her of being a b—h. She also knows that, as a young woman, if she’s not firm from the outset, interactions with fans can quickly go from annoying to dangerous.

A quick glance around at the current climate shows clearly how little regard men in power have for a woman’s refusal to accommodate their wishes. How much more concentrated then, is the ordinary entitlement of a fan who believes he made Lawrence what she is today?

So let us raise our glasses to J.Law, who is unafraid of asserting herself, even if it means being perceived as an a-hole.

Real Housewives’ Krissy Marsh: In 18 months, we doubled our money

The supremely organised reality TV star even labels her egg containers.
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What is your strongest memory of your childhood home?

Growing up on acreage with my parents, three sisters, 13 horses, four dogs and 100 birds in Queensland. We loved it when it rained because the three dams overflowed and ran into each other and would we make mud slides and swim our horses.

What do you recall most about buying your first home?

I bought my first home with my three sisters – we each put in $8000 for the deposit that we had saved and bought an old Queenslander in Clayfield. In less than 18 months we had doubled our money – not only was it a very wise investment, but it gave me a taste for the property market and led me to pursue a career in real estate and become a licensed real estate agent.

What was the best part of home ownership?

For my sisters and I, it was that we had the capital appreciation and could begin to value-add to our property with renovations and furnishings – we could start to make the property our own. Because we all went into the investment with the same goals, it made for a great experience and kick-started our financial independence.

And the worst?

By far it has to be DIY reno disasters … I once ripped up old lino with a kitchen spatula as I was replacing the flooring with floorboards. It meant it took much longer to get the flooring in because the mess I had made had to be cleared up and removed properly. There was also the time I painted my windows and they dried in the closed position. Of course it was summer. I finally got them fixed in winter. Related: Krissy Marsh swaps Dover Heights for VaucluseRelated: Real Housewife Nicole O’Neal snaps up $7m houseRelated: At home with Melbourne’s Chyka Keebaugh

Can you share any tips for organising a home?

Where do I start? I have so many tips for home organisation – everything should have its place and you should constantly audit and throw things out. Go to IKEA and buy their plastic boxes in all the different sizes – one for swimming gear, one for batteries, sort the bathroom with trays for toothbrushes, soaps and other toiletries. Use larger boxes for sporting goods, crafts, bags. I love a Dyno labeller and label absolutely everything in the house, including pantry items, so I know when something has run out or needs replacing. I even label the egg container so I know which end to take the eggs from so the oldest are used first.

Do you have a favourite room?

It has to be my kitchen – it is the heart of the house and looks out into our garden. My husband and I love to cook, as do our three kids. We have a very large six-metre island bench where family and friends like to congregate. My kitchen is filled with two of everything from ovens to sinks to dishwashers.

What is the best piece of furniture or household item you have ever owned?

Without a doubt it is my 18th century antique Chinese sideboard that I bought in Shanghai. It has a drawing of Yellow Mountain on the side which I climbed when I first went to live in China. It is a much-treasured piece and suits the style of our property.

What is the worst household item?

Not a typical household item but phone chargers: with three kids, they always go missing, so we fight over who has taken them.

Do you enjoy gardening?

Gardening is one of my favourite past-times and I have spent time creating my backyard so that it is a lovely summer sanctuary for family and friends to enjoy. I also enjoy growing herbs I can use for my cooking.

If you could live in a dream house, anywhere in the world, where would it be?

My current house is absolutely my dream home – my husband is an architect and we have designed every inch of it how we want and to suit our family life. We are fortunate to overlook beautiful Bondi Beach and have a north facing sun-drenched backyard. Honestly, there is no better place in the world to live than Sydney with its beautiful beaches and fresh air (much appreciated after living in China), harbour and boating life.

Trained real estate agent and valuer Krissy Marsh starred in Real Housewives of Sydney. Sister series Real Housewives of Melbourne returns to Foxtel’s Arena channel on December 6.

Sutton to referee World Cup final as Cecchin pays price for Tonga call

Top NRL whistleblower Gerard Sutton has beaten Matt Cecchin in the race to be appointed referee for the World Cup final despite the latter widely being considered the leading official in the game.
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Cecchin, who came up with a correct last-minute split-second call to deny Andrew Fifita what would have been a match-winning try in Tonga’s stirring semi-final comeback against England, was tipped to control the decider between and the old enemy in Brisbane on Saturday night.

Tonga coach Kristian Woolf blasted Cecchin’s call not to refer the play to the video referee, but World Cup head of officiating Tony Archer later backed the decision.

Sutton, who teamed up with Cecchin to take charge of the NRL grand final last month, will officiate his first World Cup decider.

“It was obviously a difficult decision to pick the referee for the [men’s] final after Matt Cecchin’s and Gerry’s excellent performances in the semi-finals and throughout the tournament but I’m confident were have chosen the right person to do job,” Archer said.

“I’ve been very satisfied with the performances of our officials and we will certainly continue to see the benefits of having the opportunity to bring refs together from the northern and southern hemispheres into camp and learn from each other in such an environment for the first time.”

The one-referee system has had mixed reviews throughout the World Cup with some of the game’s biggest figures applauding the consistency of having just a single person making consistent decisions, while critics have bemoaned a slower ruck speed.

n players have warned the final might not evolve into the free-flowing spectacle the fans crave after a dour clash with England in the tournament opener.

On the one-referee system, England prop Chris Hill said: “I don’t think it’s affected it one little bit. I think the referees have done a great job.

“From what I’ve seen – and I’ve watched other games in the pool stages – I think they’ve done an excellent job and I don’t know why they’ve copped criticism.

“[Sutton] will do his job whether he’s English, French, n, [from] New Zealand .. it doesn’t matter. Let him get on with his job.”

England coach Wayne Bennett has named skipper Sean O’Loughlin for the final despite the 35-year-old veteran battling a quadriceps injury.

James Roby has been confirmed as Josh Hodgson’s (knee) replacement at No.9.

Meanwhile, n skipper Cameron Smith is expected to win his second Golden Boot at the grand final lunch in Brisbane on Wednesday.???

He is shortlisted alongside Jason Taumalolo, England winger Jermaine McGillvary and Smith’s Melbourne teammate, Fijian Suliasi Vunivalu, for the highest individual honour in the game in what would cap a record-breaking year.

“It’s probably the only award he hasn’t won this year, along with the Clive Churchill,” Kangaroos prop Aaron Woods said.

“The year he’s had has been phenomenal and you’d think someone at his age … it would be hard to keep producing the performances he does. The bigger the game the better the player he becomes.

“Origin, a lot of people said he was done and come game two he said himself he was quiet and game three was the best game you’ve ever seen him play. The grand final was just like game three of Origin.

“I’m hoping for another solid performance from Cameron on the weekend. He’s such a team player and that’s why he’s so deserving. He doesn’t worry about his stats, he just wants to do his job for his team and the best he can possibly do. Him doing that he’s he best player in the world.”

Interest rate rises coming sooner than we think, warns OECD

The Reserve Bank is getting close to lifting its 1.5 per cent cash rate, the OECD believes.
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In commentary accompanying its global economic outlook released in Paris on Tuesday night the organisation says stronger terms of trade and continued growth in resource exports are boosting n incomes and tax revenues.

Mining investment looks to have bottomed out, while rising capacity utilisation and high business confidence point to “a renewed cycle in business investment outside the resource sector”.

The recovery in employment growth and a rising number of vacancies indicate a strengthening labour market. However, underemployment has edged higher and wage growth and inflation remain steady. Rising household indebtedness and signs of a cooling housing market are keeping consumer sentiment “relatively soft”. Household spending remains subdued.

The OECD expects the Reserve Bank to push up its cash rate in the second half of 2018, “when the pickup in wages and prices becomes more entrenched”.

ASX futures pricing is less bullish, implying an unchanged cash rate for all of 2018.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development says the higher rate “will ease pressures on house prices and will reduce the threat of the build-up of other financial distortions,” something it says has already started to happen as regulators have taken steps to limit investor loans and loans with high loan-to-valuation ratios.

Its forecasts stick closely to those in the May budget.

Economic growth will climb from 2.5 to 2.7 per cent by 2019, inflation will climb to 2.2 per cent, the unemployment rate will remain little changed at 5.3 per cent.

In a sign of reluctance to embrace unfunded tax cuts, the OECD says the present budget settings are “appropriate” given projected growth.

Only if the economy grows more weakly than expected should the government use the improving budget position to delay the projected return to surplus or go deeper into deficit.

“Developments in commodity markets, particularly those linked to China, remain a source of uncertainty and risk,” the commentary says. “High house prices and rising household debt, amid subdued income growth, pose macro-economic and financial risks, calling for continued use of macro-prudential tools.

“Large corrections in house prices could reduce household wealth and consumption, and damage the construction sector, leading to job losses. In addition, some highly indebted households could face financial stress when interest rates rise.”

Peter Martin is economics editor of The Age.

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