Church of England Braced for New Sex Abuse Claims

Via the BBC:

Fresh allegations of child sex abuse against the Church of England (CofE) are likely to surface, the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned.

The Most Rev Justin Welby said he was braced for an abuse inquiry to reveal “bad stories” about the Church.

He told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show that he dealt with the issue daily and that the Church needed to be transparent.

It comes after the Home Office backed Baroness Butler-Sloss as the right person to lead that inquiry.

Concerns have been raised about her over a previous review role in which she is alleged to have told an abused choirboy that she wanted to exclude some of his allegations in order to protect the CofE.

She has said she never put institutions before victims.

Archbishop Welby said abuse survivors needed to be shown justice and called for transparency from the Church in how it dealt with the issue.

Asked if he was prepared for more “bad stories” of child abuse within the establishment, the archbishop told the BBC: “I would love to say there weren’t, but I expect there are. There are in almost every institution in this land.

“This is, it’s something I deal with every day and it is becoming clearer and clearer that for many, many years things were not dealt with as they should have been dealt with.”

He added that the Church needed to apologise and explain how “utterly devastated” it was about the “terrible things” that were done in the past.

There is more here.




At least 10 teenage boys or young men under the age of 21 were surgically castrated “to get rid of homosexuality” while in the care of the Dutch Roman Catholic Church in the 1950s…


You can read more appalling details in the reputable Telegraph here.



No Substance Archbishop John Hepworth’s Rape Claim

There is no substance to a breakaway Anglican church leader’s claim to have been raped by a Catholic priest, Catholic Archbishop Philip Wilson says.

So it in other words: Archbishop John Hepworth is lying.

Traditional Anglican Communion Archbishop John Hepworth said earlier this year he had been the victim of violent rapes by three priests that began in 1960, when he was 15.

Senator Nick Xenophon named an Adelaide priest  as one of the rapists under federal parliamentary privilege, saying the Catholic Church had taken too long to investigate.

Adelaide Archbishop Wilson said today that an independent inquiry into the allegations by Michael Abbott QC had found there was no substance to the allegations.

The investigation included interviews with 29 witnesses, many of whom were present at the time the events were alleged to have occurred, and examination of a large number of documents including those dating back to the relevant period, Archbishop Wilson said.

“I am satisfied that Mr Abbott examined every aspect of the allegations raised by Archbishop Hepworth,” he said in a statement today.

Archbishop Wilson said Mr Abbott also found there was no basis to Senator Xenophon’s criticism of the Archdiocese’s handling of the complaint.

“He found the matter was handled in a completely appropriate and professional way … and in accordance with proper procedures and sensitivity towards Archbishop Hepworth.”

Monsignor Dempsey earlier said it was “totally unfair and unjust” of Senator Xenophon to have named him under parliamentary privilege as a rapist.

He said he had never had sex of any kind, consensual or not, with Archbishop Hepworth.

Archbishop Hepworth, who is primate in Adelaide of the splinter group Traditional Anglican Communion, has said he was an adult when he was allegedly raped by Monsignor Dempsey.

Archbishop Hepworth has said he broke away from the Catholic Church because of the abuse. The two other accused priests are dead and his claims about them have been settled with the Catholic Church.



Parents Angry at Anglican Convent Abuse Claims

SABC News here in South Africa reports:

The parents of 24 children removed from an Anglican convent in New Hanover in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands are up in arms. They accuse government of removing their children from the facility without their consent.

The children were taken away after reports emerged that they were being abused. But government has rejected the claim.

Sibusisiwe Majozi is one of many angry parents. She says social workers refused to place her two children in homes, and she then turned to the convent. Majozi claims she frequently visited the convent and was satisfied with the children’s well being. She is now demanding answers from government.

“I was so upset because no one told me anything. These children were staying there for a long time. There was nothing wrong,” explained Majozi.

As a department it’s our obligation to ensure that the kids are protectedMany other parents say government should have informed them. But social development authorities are unapologetic. The say the interests of the children come first.

“We don’t need permission from anyone. As a department it’s our obligation to ensure that the kids are protected,” stressed Social Development MEC, Meshack Radebe.

This week, three nuns from the convent appeared in court. They face assault charges, after allegations that they beat up five children under their care. The case was postponed to the 23rd of this month.



Priest Denies Any Sex with Traditional Anglican Archbishop

‘You did not even bother to find out about any matter relevant to this case except from one source, John Hepworth.’

The Age reports on this apparent injustice:

The Catholic priest accused of raping Archbishop John Hepworth says he’s never had sex of any kind with the breakaway Anglican group leader.

Monsignor Ian Dempsey says it was “totally unfair and unjust” of Independent South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon to name him under parliamentary privilege as a rapist and to raise the spectre of pedophilia.

The senator says he named Monsignor Dempsey because the church had taken too long to address rape claims raised four years ago. However, he made no reference to underage sex.

In a letter to the senator, Monsignor Dempsey said he had irreparably damaged his good name.

He said the rape allegations were false and were only formally raised earlier this year. He also had no influence over the timing of church investigations.

“I have a reputation for honesty and integrity,” Monsignor Dempsey wrote.

“You did not even bother to find out about any matter relevant to this case except from one source, John Hepworth.

“You never contacted me.

“You have shot the wounded – you who proclaim to be an advocate of those who are hurting in society.”

Monsignor Dempsey, who is recovering from a life-threatening illness, said he had never had sex of any kind, consensual or not, with Archbishop Hepworth.

“Certainly not,” he told ABC radio in Adelaide.

Senator Xenophon had been totally unjust, he said.

“In the Senate … I remember Senator Xenophon said that parents and children attending the church should be aware of my activities, or alleged activities.

“That, I thought, was totally unfair and unjust.”

Senator Xenophon said he never suggested Monsignor Dempsey raped Archbishop Hepworth when he was underage.

“What I have said at all times, both in and out of the Senate chamber, relates to allegations between two adults, and I want to make that absolutely clear,” he told ABC radio.

Archbishop Hepworth, 67, recently said he was the victim of violent rapes by three priests that began in 1960, when he was 15.

Archbishop Hepworth, who is now the primate of the splinter group Traditional Anglican Communion in Adelaide, was an adult when allegedly raped by Monsignor Dempsey.

Archbishop Hepworth has said he broke away from the Catholic Church because of the abuse.



The Archbishop John Hepworth Saga Continues…

This time from The Courier:

The Anglican archbishop at the centre of controversy in Federal Parliament over alleged sexual abuse faced a Ballarat court on theft charges 30 years ago, it was revealed yesterday.

Independent South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon this week used parliamentary privilege to name a priest accused of sexual abuse against Archbishop John Hepworth of the breakaway Traditional Anglican Communion more than 40 years ago.

A decade after the alleged abuse took place, Archbishop Hepworth was charged with misappropriating funds from an Anglican parish in Sebastopol.

He pleaded not guilty in a Ballarat court to the misappropriation of $1200 and said the magistrate failed to find a verdict.

He said he used the funds to pay for his son’s baptism party.

‘’My marriage was breaking up. I was really gone to pieces. And yes, there was a court case. I pleaded not guilty. The magistrate refused to find any verdict. And that was the end of it,’’ he said.

‘’I was trying to stop the marriage breaking up. My then wife wanted a big party and I could not afford it.

‘’The [Anglican] diocese brought [the charge] because I had wrongly used … [a parish account] and regretted it afterwards … I had paid an account intending to pay it back.

“It was as common as that. And it was wrong.’’

Archbishop Hepworth later left the Anglican church and lived in Europe.

It was reported that further allegations of financial irregularities faced the Archbishop during his time in a South Australian parish.

Archbishop Hepworth denies these allegations.

He told The Age he believed his detractors were using the information to smear him as he calls for action from the Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide over the alleged sexual abuse which has generated another round of unwanted controversy.

The Courier contacted the registrar of the Anglican Diocese of Ballarat yesterday, but he declined to comment and said the incident was long before any of the current diocesan leaders were in place.

Calls and emails to Archbishop John Hepworth were not returned yesterday.

I must confess that these (ongoing) revelations are all extremely embarrassing. If anything, the Archbishop has exposed himself.


Vatican Publishes Internal Abuse Files

The Huffington Post:

The Vatican, reeling from unprecedented criticism over its handling of sexual abuse cases in Ireland, took a pre-emptive strike Wednesday and published some internal files about a priest accused of molesting youngsters in Ireland and the U.S.

The files published on the website of Vatican Radio represent a small, selective part of the documentation the Holy See must turn over to U.S. lawyers representing a man who says he was abused by the late Rev. Andrew Ronan. The man, known in court papers as John V. Doe, is seeking to hold the Vatican liable for the abuse.

A federal judge in Portland, Oregon, ordered the Vatican to respond to certain requests for information from Doe’s lawyers by Friday, the first time the Holy See has been forced to turn over documentation in a sex abuse case.

The partial documentation released Wednesday includes the 1966 case file with Ronan’s request to be laicized, or removed from the clerical state, after his superiors learned of accusations that he had molested minors in Ireland.

The Vatican said the files, a few dozen pages, some handwritten and culled from its internal books, represented the full, known documentation held in the Vatican about Ronan. Assuming it’s complete, the relatively small amount of documentation appears to bolster the Vatican’s contention that Ronan’s crimes were unknown to the Vatican until 1966, when it learned of the accusations and after the abuse against Doe occurred.

The Vatican’s decision to publish some of the discovery documentation on its website marked an unusual attempt at some transparency, particularly given the sensitivity surrounding internal personnel files of accused priests. Victims groups have long denounced the secrecy with which the Vatican handles abuse cases and demanded the files of known abusers be released.

But it comes amid unprecedented criticism of the Vatican’s handling of sex abuse cases in Ireland, and as it still seeks to recover from the fallout over the abuse scandal that erupted last year. Thousands of people in Europe and elsewhere reported they were raped and molested by priests as children while bishops covered up the crimes…

Read on here.

You can read the Vatican documentation released by downloading it here (pdf).