Australian Roman Catholic Monsignor Ian Dempsey was cleared of all charges relating to accusations of homosexual assault made by the former Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) John Hepworth. Monsignor Dempsey returned to work last week after he had stood aside for 12 months.
“I think my case rests that I have been unjustly and maliciously, falsely accused by John Hepworth of acts that were never committed,” he wrote in an e-mail to VOL.
The Monsignor said the Director of Public Prosecutions, Adam Kimber SC, issued the following statement, “Today this Office has advised both Bishop Hepworth and Monsignor Dempsey’s solicitor that no charge/s will be laid with respect to the matter. The Director does not propose to make any further comment about the matter”.
Dempsey, who holds the rank of Monsignor, is also a parish priest of Brighton/Hallett Cove parishes in the southern suburbs of Adelaide. He has also been Director General of Navy Chaplains, Vicar General of the Adelaide Archdiocese, and was awarded Officer of Order of Australia (AO).
Dempsey thanked VOL for its support of him through the crisis. “The support of all who know me is the good that comes from the evil.”
Hepworth has fallen on hard times. He was expelled as Archbishop of the Traditional Anglican Communion when eight bishops brought charges against him for financial irregularities. He was subsequently found guilty. Following his expulsion he formed the Saint Benedict Fellowship. It is not known if he has any followers or how many.
Hepworth, who was instrumental in seeking his church’s reunion with Rome, was forced to resign as the global head of the TAC in April, seven months after he raised allegations that he had been raped by Adelaide priest Ian Dempsey and two others in the 1960s.
His American disciple, David Moyer, was created a bishop in the Anglican Church in America (ACA/TAC), but has since renounced that position. He was formerly a priest in the Episcopal Church, The Diocese of Pittsburgh, The Anglican Province of Central Africa, The Anglican Church in America and, more recently he has sought entry into the Roman Catholic Church through a papal offering of an Ordinariate for Anglicans wishing to enter Rome while still retaining certain Anglican practices. His application was denied.
Hepworth who lives in Adelaide did not return e-mails seeking a response to this story.
How strange, he used to love Virtue Online.
I wrote in support of Msgr Dempsey from the start. And again, I think he should seriously consider suing Hepworth for his good name that was so viciously slandered.