Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Anglican traditionalist leader reveals: abuse drove him from Catholic priesthood

Catholic World News - September 09, 2011

The prominent leader of the Anglicans seeking to enter the Catholic Church has revealed that he was driven out of the Catholic Church by sexual abuse he endured as a seminarian.

Anglican Archbishop John Hepworth, the head of the Traditional Anglican Communion, said that he was repeatedly molested by two priests and a fellow seminary student in the 1960s. He was warned that if he reported the abuse he would be dismissed from the seminary, he said. Eventually he left the Catholic Church, troubled by the psychological aftermath of the abuse.

“I fled in fear but I never wanted to leave,” the Anglican archbishop said of his departure. He became the leading figure among the Anglican bishops petitioning the Vatican for entry into the Catholic Church.

The Anglican leader disclosed that he has received an apology and an offer of compensation from the Melbourne archdiocese. Two of the three priests he accused of molesting him are now deceased. The third remains in active ministry in the Archdiocese of Adelaide.

[Note: Because of an editorial error, an early version of this story indicated that Archbishop Hepworth had received an apology and offer of compensation from the Adelaide archdiocese. That is incorrect. The Melbourne archdiocese offered compensation, while Adelaide has been slow to respond.]

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our August expenses ($21,772 to go):
$35,000.00 $13,228.44
62% 38%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Sep. 09, 2011 6:43 PM ET USA

    Perhaps we should hear from this fellow who is still in active ministry. It's wouldn't be a hard case to investigate.

  • Posted by: - Sep. 09, 2011 5:18 PM ET USA

    A completely unanticipated benefit of the outreach to Anglicans!

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

An unexpected surge in confessions? 13 hours ago
The Problem with Catholic Social Teaching 18 hours ago
In Iraq, the Pope has good reason to seek intervention, but fear unilateral US action August 20
As Catholic News Unfolds... August 19
An Iraqi archbishop's warning to the West August 19

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8