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Anglican prelate offers to drop sex-abuse complaint with Australian Catholic archdiocese

November 04, 2011

Anglican Archbishop John Hepworth has offered to drop complaints of sexual abuse against Catholic clerics if the Adelaide archdiocese will help him to re-enter the Catholic Church.

Archbishop Hepworth, the head of the Traditional Anglican Communion, revealed earlier this year that he was sexually abused while he was a Catholic seminarian. He has expressed keen disappointment in the failure of the Adelaide archdiocese to pursue an investigation of his complaints. But he said that he would drop his complaint if the archdiocese would acknowledge the gravity of his report.

The Anglican prelate told reporters that he had not consented to the public identification of one of his accused molesters. An Australian legislator, Senator Nick Xenophone, used his parliamentary privilege to announce that Msgr. Ian Dempsey was the only survivor among the three priests accused by Hepworth.


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  • Posted by: Gaby - Nov. 05, 2011 3:56 PM ET USA

    Why would he make these two issues interdependent? There's a proper proceedure for re-entering the Church and nobody can "help" him with it: he simply needs to confess his sin and satisfy whatever obligations canon law imposes. And nobody (hopefully) is going to put up uncessary barriers just because he filed complaints of sexual assault.

  • Posted by: Salome - Nov. 04, 2011 5:20 PM ET USA

    Blimey! Is it THAT hard to get a priest to hear your confession in Adelaide? I'd have thought that was all he'd need to return to Mama, if that's what he really wants.