Fr Stephen Smuts

Posts Tagged ‘Sex Scandal

Priest Accused by Archbishop Hepworth – Future Up in the Air

with 11 comments

This is so sad. The whole thing.

The priest accused of raping Archbishop John Hepworth 40 years ago remains suspended from duties six months after the allegations were raised.

Monsignor Ian Dempsey, the parish priest at Hallett Cove and Brighton has been unable to return to his work because the police investigation remains open.

An Adelaide priest, speaking to The Advertiser on the condition on anonymity, has criticised the Adelaide Archdiocese’s handling of the incident, saying Monsignor Dempsey, Archbishop Hepworth and the Church had all suffered as a result.

Monsignor Dempsey’s suspension comes despite the fact a church investigation cleared him of the allegations in November last year.

The results of that investigation prompted breakaway Anglican Archbishop Hepworth to raise the matter with police.

The priest said Archbishop Philip Wilson’s failure to act when Archbishop Hepworth first made the allegations more than four years ago set into motion a chain of events that caused damage to all involved.

Monsignor Dempsey was last year named in Federal Parliament as an alleged rapist by Independent Nick Xenophon. “They bungled the entire procedure and as a consequence nobody is the better,” the priest said. “Dempsey claims to be innocent, but he can’t come back to ministry. He remains suspended.

“His reputation could have been salvaged if four years ago they would have followed a procedure.

“When you don’t follow a procedure you are bound to make mistakes and grave errors.” Police have refused to confirm whether there is an ongoing investigation or even if they ever opened an investigation.

Prominent Adelaide businessman Graham Spurling, a parishioner and close friend of Monsignor Dempsey, said he was extremely frustrated that the case had not yet been resolved, leaving Monsignor Dempsey’s future in limbo.

 

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

June 19, 2012 at 13:35

Peter Slipper an ‘Ordained Freemasonic Priest’?

with 19 comments

It just keeps getting worse!

And don’t get me started on Freemasons. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – and I don’t care who you are – Christianity and Freemasonry are incompatible! If you claim to follow Christ (especially being a leader: Bishops and Priests), you have no right to come with your satanically inspired spirits into the Church. So I challenge those meddling in Masonry to denounce your false religion, before you are denounced.

HT:  In via e-mail

 

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

April 26, 2012 at 12:36

Archbishop John Hepworth Speaks on Peter Slipper

with 3 comments

ABC Online has the recording and transcript of the interview with Archbishop John Hepworth on Peter Slipper.

Also with ABC:

The head of the Australian Anglican Catholic Church says Speaker Peter Slipper is a “complex” man who has taken a “strong” stand on “conservative moral issues” but has another side to his character.

Mr Slipper, who is facing allegations he rorted Cabcharge vouchers and sexually harassed a male staffer, is an ordained priest in the Traditional Anglican Communion.

Earlier this week, Archbishop John Hepworth asked Mr Slipper to stand aside from his role as a priest and legal adviser to the synod until the harassment allegations are resolved.

So far Mr Slipper has failed to do so.

This morning, Archbishop Hepworth told AM Mr Slipper was “in the tradition of the Australian larrikin MP … that is, people who are interesting, have bad patches and very good patches”.

“He’s a daily mass Christian when he’s in Canberra. And his speech-making and voting record in the House, over many years, has been consistent on the life issues, abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, on religious freedom issues,” he said.

Archbishop Hepworth said he had been “surprised” by the recent allegations which have forced Mr Slipper to stand aside from the Speaker’s job.

“I’ve heard rumours,” he said.

“I’ve pursued some of these rumours in connection with Peter Slipper and I have been satisfied that there was no proof existing, so I carry on.

“There are a number of Peter Slippers. There’s the very devoted husband to [wife] Inge, and she is a strong defender of Peter, [a] strong Liberal woman you’d say in the Menzies tradition.

“I’ve also seen Peter drink too much. I’ve spoken to him about this. I’ve seen the arrogance that comes about when that happens.

“So I’ve seen the complexity of Peter Slipper. And what we’re seeing at the present time is one of those sides, although he, let it be said, denies the moral and sexual wrongdoing in the harassment case and also denies the criminal matter.”

Stand aside

Archbishop Hepworth repeated his calls for Mr Slipper to stand down from his church roles while the allegations against him are investigated.

“I’ve said to Peter that I think it is not appropriate to stand aside from the speakership and not stand aside from an important office in a church position,” he said.

“We’re having an exchange of texts. I’m meeting him later in the week in Brisbane and his wife. They’ve both actually got flu at the moment, so I’m not pursuing that until Friday when I’m in Brisbane.

“He’s obviously quite shattered by this. I think he had – well I know that he had made a very significant personal effort to improve the standing of Parliament, and particularly Question Time.

“I’m just trying to qualify the good with the bad and to note that Peter Slipper is a complex character.

“I have an open mind about the current things because I’m in no position to make a judgment.”

Complex?

 

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

April 25, 2012 at 14:06

Fr Peter Slipper’s Conscience

with 6 comments

A Catallaxy File:

An essential (one would think) aspect of an ordained priest is the ability to distinguish right from wrong. Peter Slipper was ordained a priest of the Traditional Anglican Communion in 2008. In being ordained, Slipper would have taken a vow along these lines:

I do believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments to be the Word of God, and to contain all things necessary to salvation; and I do solemnly engage to conform to the Doctrine, Discipline, and Worship of the Traditional Anglican Communion.

In Matthew 19:23-24 we have Jesus saying

I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God

Surely Mr Slipper’s conduct over many years is not only inconsistent with the duties of Speaker of the House of Representatives but represents a fundamental breach of his duties and vows as a priest? It brings disrepute to the House and to his Church.

We are not only talking about alleged sexual harassment, and alleged fraud of Commonwealth resources (ie: the Cabcharge vouchers), but it is clear that Slipper has been rather injudicious in his judgement over travel entitlements.

Just because the travel entitlements make something legal, doesn’t make it ethical for a public official to exploit any loopholes or grey areas.  There have been numerous incidents where Slipper has been forced to repay money to the Commonwealth – he stating that it was a difference in the interpretation of the travel entitlements.

That’s just not good enough. Travel entitlements are a privilege  provided by the taxpayer to public officials to assist in them undertaking their jobs. It is not a form of remuneration. The guidelines are relatively flexible so that good judgement can be brought to bear, but this allows some scope for MPs and public servants to misuse the system. That is clearly unethical.

It would be expensive to tighten the rules, allowing more checks and balances, but that would be necessary if a significant number of people exploited the entitlements.

Slipper has only one option to redeem himself. He must resign from Parliament. He must confess his sins and promise to lead a better life. And he must return his future superannuation payments to the taxpayer and live a life of modesty, frugality if not poverty, respect for the law, and devotion to his Church.

 

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

April 24, 2012 at 19:11

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