STUMBLING ON THE WAY HOME

TRADITIONAL ANGLICAN COMMUNION HEAD AND ONE TIME CATHOLIC PRIEST
JOHN HEPWORTH




On 15th September,2011 , in the post entitled "Qui Bono?" ("Who benefits?") we looked at the allegations of homosexual rape by TAC Head and former Catholic Priest John Hepworth. If Hepworth had hoped the situation he alleged would advantage him in any way , he is disappointed.


As we indicated in that 15th September, 2011 post, the Complementary Norms issued with ANGLICANORUM COETIBUS on 4th November, 2009 seemed clearly framed with the Hepworth particulars in mind.It was confirmed on 25th November,  by the Secretary of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference that the provisions of the Complementary Norms would prevent Hepworth from returning to Priestly ministry in the Catholic Church. There was no surprise in this, the prohibition has been there , publicly available in the Norms, for two years.


If anyone thought the allegations made by Hepworth against two deceased Priests and a former Seminarian, now a senior and much respected Parish Priest, would lead to Hepworth being given special treatment, they were wrong. The Norms have held fast, an important test in the Ordinariate history which will face many and varied exceptional cases.


Now the Archdiocese of Adelaide has resolved the case of the allegations Hepworth made. The process set up by the Archdiocese involved an independent inquiry by Mr Michael Abbott Q.C. who questioned 29 witnesses who were involved at the time and the examination of contemporaneous documents relating to the events.It has now been announced that the inquiry has found that there is no substance in the claims.


Monsignor Dempsey, the the Seminarian referred to but not named by Hepworth when he made his allegations, was named by Senator Nick Xenophon the well known Media Tart from the coward's castle of Parliamentary Privilege. Monsignor Dempsey has consistently denied any sexual involvement with Hepworth whether involuntary or consensual. He remains on leave from his Parish responsibilities.
AN ENIGMATIC CHARACTER JOHN HEPWORTH MUST BE SALUTED
FOR LEADING THE TAC BACK TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH


John Hepworth must have our undying gratitude for his undoubted role in leading the Traditional Anglican Communion of some 400,000 souls worldwide back to every Christian's true home, the Catholic Church. In fact his effectiveness may extend far wider, for the Holy Father's generous provision of Anglicanorum Coetibus ( pronounced "choytibus") has led to enquiries not only from mainstream Anglicans(outside the TAC) but also from some groups of Lutherans, hoping for a similar structure to accommodate their communities.

Nevertheless , it must be said that his life is a very sorry case, being the beneficiary of one of God's most Precious gifts, the Catholic Priesthood, he has voluntarily given it up to associate himself with the heretical English State Church, and compounded that error by seeking "ordination"as an Anglican Bishop. He has forsaken Celibacy and married then gone through either divorce/Anglican Annulment(there are conflicting reports) and then re-married . By any standard it is a messed up life. He is reported to have consistently said over the years that if his circumstances proved an obstacle to re-union of the TAC and Christ's Church, he would step aside.

Now it is clear that that is just what will be necessary.

We should certainly pray for John Hepworth, in gratitude for his leading the TAC home, and for his final happy reconciliation with the Church as a layman.It will require great humility on his part, and, whatever the reality may be behind his allegations, he will need the strength to set them aside and find a new life in the Ordinariate as a layman.

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