Controversial Anglican Archbishop John Hepworth has offered to drop demands for action over rape allegations against a senior priest identified in Parliament.
In exchange he would like help to return to the Catholic Church.
Adelaide Now has the news:
Archbishop Hepworth, the Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, said he would stop pursuing allegations against Brighton priest Monsignor Ian Dempsey if the Adelaide Archdiocese recognised he was raped by two other priests.
SA Senator Nick Xenophon used parliamentary privilege to name Monsignor Dempsey as the priest accused of rape in September, after the Church refused to stand him down pending the outcome of an investigation.
Archbishop Hepworth said “it wasn’t my will that the Dempsey matter become public” and he would gladly “drop” the matter if the Archdiocese recognised the other allegations.
He said he had no faith in a Church inquiry led by Michael Abbott, QC, and would ask Archbishop Philip Wilson to adjourn it if his other claims were recognised and the Dempsey accusation accepted “in good faith”.
That would allow him to join 31 other Traditional Anglican Communion priests who were recently approved for ordination back into the Catholic Church after high-level meetings at the Vatican.
Archbishop Hepworth has refused to cooperate with the Abbott-led inquiry because “I don’t know the terms of reference or ground rules”.
Archbishop Hepworth claims he was raped by the priests over a period of 12 years, starting when he was in the seminary in Adelaide in 1960.
He received compensation from the Melbourne Archdiocese for his abuse by one of the now-dead priests.
Archbishop Hepworth said he needed the Adelaide Archdiocese to acknowledge that abuse was the reason he fled the Church almost 30 years ago.
“In exchange for the diocese accepting the Melbourne report – and specifically the abuse in the seminary that caused me to leave the Church by (Ronald) Pickering and (John) Stockdale – and in accepting my good faith in accusing Dempsey and helping me in my approach to the Vatican I would be prepared to request the Archbishop to adjourn indefinitely the inquiry,” he told The Advertiser.
Senator Xenophon said the Archdiocese’s system for dealing with complaints had “completely failed John Hepworth”.
All this while a large number of his Bishops meet without him.
Oh and just who are these ‘31 other Traditional Anglican Communion priests who were recently approved for ordination back into the Catholic Church after high-level meetings at the Vatican’? Does anyone know?