Church

No Charge for Priest Accused by John Hepworth

Amen! Msgr Dempsy has been vindicate and the truth is out!

The Director of Public Prosecutions in South Australia has recommended that no charges be laid against Catholic priest Ian Dempsey, after he was accused of sexually assaulting a fellow seminarian in Adelaide in the 1960s.

John Hepworth, the global primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion until April last year, raised allegations in September 2011 that he had been abused by three Catholic priests while in an Adelaide seminary in the 1960s. Two of the priests have since died.

Independent senator Nick Xenophon used parliamentary privilege to name Monsignor Dempsey as one of the alleged perpetrators.

After a three-month investigation commissioned by the Catholic Church, which found no substance to the allegations, Bishop Hepworth reported the allegations to police.

It is understood that DPP Adam Kimber SC advised the police and both parties yesterday that there was insufficient evidence for a jury to have a reasonable chance of convicting Monsignor Dempsey and that no charges would be laid. When contacted late yesterday, Bishop Hepworth said he was considering the decision.

Monsignor Dempsey said he had been waiting for four years to hear he had been cleared, after Bishop Hepworth sought an initial response from the Catholic Church.

“When Nick Xenophon made it public, that was when it was totally humiliating and there was the loss of my good name,” Monsignor Dempsey said.

“My immediate reaction when I heard was of the prayerful support from so many people, who knew me and knew I was innocent, has come home.”

The Vicar General of the Adelaide archdiocese, Philip Marshall, said the matter could now be brought to a close.

Monsignor Dempsey was stood down from his role as the Brighton parish priest in Adelaide’s southern suburbs when the allegations were made public, returning to duties a year later.

Bishop Hepworth left the Catholic Church after the alleged abuse, joined the Anglican Church and was later instrumental in the formation of the TAC and its bid for reunification with Rome. He was stripped of his role within the breakaway church late last year.

The TAC board argued Bishop Hepworth was no longer supportive of its bid to unite with the Catholic Church, and alleged he had mismanaged church funds.

A TAC College of Bishops investigation found him guilty of several charges but refused to release any details publicly.

A particular Scripture comes to mind:

Though they plot evil against you and devise wicked schemes, they cannot succeed.

– Psalm 21:11

UPDATE I:   Oh how the mighty have fallen.

UPDATE IICatholic Priest Ian Dempsey wants Nick Xenophon to apologise.

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Church

ELCA Lutherans Elect First Openly Gay Bishop

Religion News Service notes what must be the beginning of the end:

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has elected its first openly gay bishop, the Rev. R. Guy Erwin, to oversee churches in Southern California, four years after the church allowed openly gay men and lesbians to serve as clergy.

Following a wider trend within other mainline Protestant denominations to appoint gays and lesbians to leadership positions, the ELCA’s five-county Southwest California Synod elected Erwin on Friday (May 31) to a six-year term.

“It’s historic and a turning point, as was the ordination of women,” said Martin Marty, the dean of American church historians at the University of Chicago and a member of the ELCA. “This is just one of many indications that the culture has shifted”…

Aha, the ordination of women… Perhaps that was the real start?

Some U.S. congregations have already left the ELCA to join the North American Lutheran Church, and some overseas churches have severed ties with the denomination. Earlier this year, the Lutheran church in Ethiopia parted ways with the ELCA…

While nearly twice as big, the ELCA has not seen the same kind of public division as the Episcopal Church, which confirmed V. Gene Robinson, an openly gay priest, as bishop a decade ago. The Episcopal Church has fought several court battles with departing congregations over property ownership.

Erwin will serve alongside the first openly lesbian Episcopal bishop, Mary Glasspool, who was elected as a suffragan (assistant) bishop in Los Angeles in 2009.

LA? Hmmm…

The NCR further notes:

In addition, financial support for the denomination hit an all-time low of about $60 million in 2009, the church announced. ELCA Treasurer Christina Jackson-Skelton said the economic recession and “disagreements within congregations” about the decision on gay clergy had contributed to the decline.

And also the ELCA has lost half a million members.

Yes, they are dying, and deservedly so for having abandoned plain Biblical teachings.

 

Bible Archaeology

Israel’s Capital City of Samaria Neglected and Vandalized

As reported on the Bible Places Blog:

One of the most important sites from biblical times is neglected and deteriorating today. Samaria, the third and most significant capital of the kingdom of Israel, is prey to looters and vandals, as reported in yesterday in an article by the Associated Press.

“Sebastia, the archaeological site, is abandoned without any control from 2000. It’s 13 years,” said Osama Hamdan, a Palestinian architect who has coordinated the restoration works of Crusader-era buildings with [Carla] Benelli. “A lot of destruction of cultural heritage in this area has happened.”

He said statues, vases, coins and glasses have all been taken by looters.

Weeds grow freely among the archaeological ruins, sticking out from the ancient stones. Plastic bottles and food bags are littered at the bottom of the staircase that leads to a Crusader cathedral – also site of a mosque – where the tomb of John the Baptist is said to be located in the village of Sebastia. Finely decorated stone Roman tombs in the center of the village are smashed and abandoned.

At a Byzantine church dedicated to John the Baptist, located in the Israeli-controlled part, graffiti hailing the Hamas militant group is spray-painted on a column. The Islamic expression of faith – “There is no god but God” – is written in Arabic over the entrance.

The full article is here.

Samaria Roman basilica, tb050106554

Roman basilica of Samaria
Photo from Samaria and the Center