John Hepworth in 2013… This picture in the Couriermail just says it all:
Bishop John Hepworth, the former global primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, made public allegations in September 2011 that he had been sexually abused in the 1960s, while he was in an Adelaide seminary, by Monsignor Dempsey and two other Catholic priests – both of whom are now dead.
Bishop Hepworth reported the allegations to the police after a three-month investigation commissioned by the Catholic Church found no substance to the allegations…
Exactly (!) because there WAS NO SUBSTANCE to the wild and clearly false allegations. Hepworth wanted in the Ordinariate and the Catholic Church was being firm, fair and predictable:
John Hepworth will be forced to relinquish his role as the primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion if he is to reconcile with the Catholic Church, after being informed he will only be accepted as a layperson.
Archbishop Hepworth has been notified by the Catholic Church that his bid to reunify the TAC with Rome has been successful, but his own case is conditional…
… the document confirmed any Catholic priest or bishop who became an Anglican and then wanted to return to Catholicism would only be able to do so as laity.
A toxic Hepworth was defiant and his malicious response was to go public via Senator Nick Xenophon who, using some kind of parliamentary privilege, named and humiliated poor Msgr Ian Dempsey by dragging him into Hepworth’s fanciful world of lies and deception.
Adelaide Now well captured his warped yet plain intentions:
CONTROVERSIAL Anglican Archbishop John Hepworth has offered to drop demands for action over rape allegations against a senior priest identified in Parliament.
In exchange he would like help to return to the Catholic Church.’
Blackmail? You decide. The sex abuse allegations date to over four decades ago (!) and suddenly they are on the table simply because you don’t get your way?! Well, a column in the Herald Sun points out what any other reasonable person should be able to see:
Hepworth has a history. One more reason to wonder why the media treats every contested thing Archbishop Hepworth says as the gospel truth, and why Senator Nick Xenophon even publicly named the priest Hepworth claims raped him as an adult, some 45 years ago…
Msgr Dempsey is a former Director-General of the Chaplaincy in the Australian Navy, Vicar General, an Officer of the Order of Australia, and an otherwise functioning Priest in good standing with an impeccable pastoral record. His reputation was trashed despite even the most basic facts of the case [having] raised grave doubts. Throughout, Hepworth has shown little or no regard for anyone but himself.
There is an Afrikaans saying that goes like this: Wat jy saai, sal jy maai. Taken from Gal. 6:7-9, God’s system of natural justice is always at work. Slow, sure, sometimes, but always at work. You cannot get away with making a mockery out of God and His Holy Church. That should serve as fair warning to all. Hepworth will get everything he deserves here. Would but that he repent (Matt. 3:8; 11:20; Lk. 13:3). Sadly repentance, to date, has simply been beyond this man whose public arrogance, pride and defiance has known absolutely no limits, leaving nothing but destruction in its wake.
Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin…
– Ezekiel 18:30
I have long blogged on Hepworthian matters. A ‘litany’ of sorts, covering his wicked dealings, can be found here.
UPDATE I: Fr Anthony Chadwick: My Former Archbishop.
UPDATE II: Catholic Priest Ian Dempsey wants Nick Xenophon to apologise.