Archbishop John Hepworth: Church to Hold Hearing in India

The Australian is reporting:

The Traditional Anglican Communion will conduct a special internal hearing in India next month into allegations of financial irregularities at the Australian arm of the church involving Archbishop John Hepworth, which were first raised by a priest he had tried to suspend.

Archbishop Hepworth yesterday said he had not been told what charges he was facing and would not attend the tribunal in New Delhi on October 6.

The acting primate of the breakaway church, India-based Archbishop Samuel Prakash, said the allegations against the Adelaide priest were yet to be tested.

“This matter was presented by Bishop David Robarts, a standing TAC bishop in Australia, and (is) under consideration,” he said.

Bishop Robarts yesterday refused to say what allegations he had raised with the church’s international leadership, but said he hoped the issues would be resolved at the tribunal.

Archbishop 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 Catholic priest Ian Dempsey and two others in the 1960s.

A meeting of the church leadership in South Africa this year found Archbishop Hepworth had tried to suspend Bishop Robarts from the church on “insufficient” grounds.

Yesterday, he denied any wrongdoing. “This is la-la land,” Archbishop Hepworth said. “Of course I’m not going to India – I don’t know what I’m charged with. I wasn’t even a signatory on the church’s accounts in the last six years.”

‘la-la land’?



Archbishop Hepworth, the TAC and Ecclesiastical Law

Fr Anthony Chadwick on his newer blog, As the sun in its orb, comments on the news of Archbishop John Hepworth’s suspension from the TAC College of Bishops, which I ‘reproduce [in part] without comment’ here:

I had intended to leave this subject alone as when an article come up on David Virtue’s site about allegations of Archbishop Hepworth having been fiddling money. As for that accusation, I was reassured yesterday by a trustworthy person that the Archbishop’s church accounts had been audited and that everything was perfectly in order. Passons

The story of the Archbishop’s suspension from the TAC, Archbishop John Hepworth Suspended from TAC College of Bishops has been published by David Virtue and reproduced without comment by Fr Smuts in South Africa.

I will just offer a couple of comments. Suspension in any Church is a canonical penalty, which is imposed for a canonical offence. I see no evidence of a trial and judgement…

It is also surprising that Fr Owen Buckton has been nominated to be in charge of a TAC entity whilst he is, by all accounts, fully committed to the future Australian Ordinariate soon to be established. Bishop David Robarts is also alleged to have been fully committed to the Ordinariate in spite of having participated in the College of Bishops meeting in South Africa. If this is true, he would have committed the same “offence” for which Archbishop Hepworth was being suspended.

The news about Bishop Moyer is old hat, though I am sure there is a second side to his story. In any case, Bishop Moyer has in writing expressed his acceptance of no longer being episcopal visitor for England. Postings about the TAC and the Ordinariates will remain extremely rare on this blog, and I will be especially vigilant about comments, but this one had to be answered, at least provisionally pending the availability of evidence…

Read it all.