We wake up to the news this morning:
Archbishop John Hepworth Suspended from TAC College of Bishops. Two New Appointments Made. US-based ACA Bishop David L. Moyer relieved of his role as Episcopal Visitor to England.
The governing body of the Traditional Anglican Communion yesterday suspended TAC Archbishop John Hepworth from the Church’s College of Bishops, which rendered him ineligible to function as Bishop Ordinary of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia.
The authority has been transferred to Vicar General Fr. Owen Buckton assisted by Bishop David Robarts as Episcopal Authority with immediate effect.
The announcement was made by India-based Archbishop Samuel Prakash, Acting Primate of the TAC. The new administrators of the TAC in Australia are both members of ACCA.
“Hepworth is no longer permitted to serve as Bishop Ordinary of Australia,” Johannesburg-based Bishop Michael Gill, Secretary to the College of Bishops, told VOL.
Fr. Buckton is based in Rockhampton and Bishop Robarts lives in Launceton, Tasmania.
The suspension as Bishop pertains to both the TAC and ACCA. Bishop Hepworth had sought to enter the Roman Catholic Church through the Pope’s offer of an Ordinariate but had been rebuffed following allegations that he had been raped by three priests four decades ago.
He was offered laicization by the Roman Catholic Church but rejected it.
Gill told VOL that Australian traditionalist Anglicans were exceedingly unhappy with all the negative publicity surrounding Hepworth and wanted their voices heard and some action taken by the College of Bishops.
“Our need was to stabilize our people. Archbishop Prakash facilitated that, and is providing wonderful leadership in bringing this to a satisfactory conclusion.”
Gill confirmed that Hepworth indicated that he was intending to tender his resignation just prior to the meeting of the College of Bishops in Johannesburg.
“We accepted his resignation. Now Archbishop Prakash has relieved him of every administrative duty.”
When asked about the current position of Bishop Moyer, Gill said Moyer needs to respond to a letter from Bishop Marsh, Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church in America (ACA) the US branch of the TAC, indicating his intentions for the future.
Bishop Craig Botterill of Canada had been appointed as TAC Episcopal visitor to England, replacing Bishop Moyer.