Priest Wants Xenophon to Apologise

And so he should!

An Adelaide priest who says he was wrongly named by Nick Xenophon in federal parliament as a perpetrator of sexual abuse wants Senate President John Hogg to discipline his fellow senator and is calling for parliamentary privilege to be reviewed.

Senator Xenophon used parliamentary privilege in September 2011 to name Monsignor Ian Dempsey as one of three priests who allegedly abused former head of the Traditional Anglican Communion, John Hepworth, in a Catholic seminary in the 1960s.

The South Australian Director of Public Prosecutions recommended earlier this month that no abuse charges be laid against Monsignor Dempsey, after a 19-month investigation found there was insufficient evidence for a jury to have a reasonable chance of convicting.

Monsignor Dempsey has written a letter to Senator Hogg, expected to arrive today, asking him to address the use of parliamentary privilege to name a person without accountability.Advertisement

“As well as reasonably expecting a public apology from Senator Xenophon, it may be time for the Senate to address the unique privilege of naming any Australian citizen without any accountability — and, as in my case, getting it terribly wrong,” Monsignor Dempsey wrote.

“I request that the Senate take steps to ensure other innocent people like myself will not be used for political purposes with no accountability for the accuser for destroying a person’s life.”

Monsignor Dempsey, who was suspended from his Adelaide parish of Brighton for 12 months, said in the letter that the “unjust act shamed my life forever”.

Monsignor Dempsey asked that the letter be circulated to all senators, and that Senator Xenophon apologise for his “cruel and false public condemnation”.

Senator Xenophon yesterday said he welcomed any scrutiny by the Senate. “I remain deeply dismayed with the appalling way the Adelaide Archdiocese of the Catholic Church failed to appropriately address in a timely manner Archbishop Hepworth’s allegations — in stark contrast to the Melbourne Archdiocese.”



Ex-Anglican Ministers Ordained as Catholic Priests

The Anglican Use of the Roman Rite:

They are Roman Catholic priests but each has a wife and children. They don’t report to Bishop of Victoria Richard Gagnon, although Bishop Gagnon was the person who ordained them. They don’t even report to any other Roman Catholic offices in Canada.

Instead, they report to a special office in Houston, Texas, called the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter. And from there, the hierarchy leads directly to Rome.

“We are not part of the Diocese of Victoria,” said Catholic the Rev. Michael Birch, 70, of Victoria, who is married with two grown children.

Birch was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest on June 14 at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, along with the Rev. Don Malins, 74, of Victoria, married with one grown son, and the Rev. Peter Switzer, 70, of Port Alberni, married with three children and two grandchildren.

All three began their careers in the clergy as Anglican priests, which was when they started their families. After retirement, they left the Anglican Church to join breakaway Anglican organizations, like the Anglican Catholic Church or the Anglican Network.

They have now been ordained as Roman Catholic priests, by special dispensation from the Vatican. “This all comes from the Holy Father,” Fr. Switzer said from Port Alberni. “If someone has a problem with it, go talk to the Pope. “This was his idea, not mine.”

Two years ago, Pope Benedict XVI issued the Apostolic Constitution Anglican [sic] Coetibus, allowing Anglicans to join the Roman Catholic Church.

Benedict also ordained [sic] the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter in Houston and gave it responsibility for all of North America. Canada is now a deanery in that jurisdiction, headquartered in Calgary…

Read the full story at“>the Times Colonist

From Left, Msgr. Peter Wilkinson, Bishop Richard Gagnon of Victoria, Fr. Peter Switzer, Fr. Don Malins, Fr. Michael Birch, and Msgr. Jeffrey Steenson. From the blog of St. John’s Church Calgary, Alberta.