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Archbishop Hepworth to resign as head of Traditional Anglican Communion

Catholic World News - December 13, 2011

The leader of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) has announced that he will step down next year. But other bishops of the Anglican group want his resignation immediately.

Anglican Archbishop John Hepworth said that his resignation would take effect in May 2012, on Pentecost Sunday. He said that move was prompted by the “considerable dissension” that has arisen within the TAC in recent months.

The House of Bishops of the TAC has voted to seek Archbishop Hepworth’s immediate removal. But the Australian prelate said that vote was not binding.

As leader of the TAC, Archbishop Hepworth was the most prominent Anglican leader in the drive to secure a means of corporate entry into the Roman Catholic Church. He said that he remains proud of his role in the process that led to the release of Anglicanorum Coetibus and the establishment of Anglican ordinariates within the Catholic Church.

More recently, however, Archbishop Hepworth has been in the headlines because of his charge that he was sexually molested while he was a seminarian, studying for the priesthood in the Catholic Church. The Melbourne archdiocese has acknowledged that Hepworth had grounds for his charge, and offered an apology. But the Adelaide archdiocese has said that the charge was without merit.

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  • Posted by: Salome - Dec. 13, 2011 5:47 PM ET USA

    'The Melbourne archdiocese has acknowledged that Hepworth had grounds for his charge, and offered an apology. But the Adelaide archdiocese has said that the charge was without merit. ' That's because the 'charges' involved different people. In the case of Melbourne, it was one of two known abusers who are both now dead. In the case of Adelaide, it was a living, serving priest with no cloud over him apart from Hepworth's allegation.

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