BIG NEWS: In Australia, Catholic priest accused of rape was named in parliament

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

In Australia, Catholic priest accused of rape was named in parliament

A Catholic priest is seeking to clear his name after being accused in the Australian parliament of raping a trainee priest 40 years ago.

Adelaide priest Monsignor Ian Dempsey was named by Senator Nick Xenophen under parliamentary privilege last week as the alleged rapist of former Catholic priest John Hepworth, who is currently primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion.

“For four years allegations have been outstanding that priest Ian Dempsey raped John Hepworth, and that church leadership has failed to make appropriate inquiries into this matter,”

Dempsey said he had “absolutely not” had a sexual relationship with Hepworth, and may make a statement in the Senate to clear his name.

In a letter to Xenophen, Dempsey accused the senator of smearing and denigrating his reputation.

“I have a reputation for honesty and integrity. I am innocent of these allegations for which you used parliamentary privilege to name me.”

“You did not even bother to find out about any matter relevant to this case except from one source, John Hepworth. You never contacted me.”

Hepworth told the Church of the allegations in 2007, but Xenophen told parliament that Adelaide Archdiocese vicar-general Monsignor David Cappo failed to properly investigate.

Cappo denied allegations were investigated inappropriately, and resigned his appointment as chair of the Australian government’s new Mental Health Commission.

Hepworth said he broke from the Catholic Church because of rapes by three priests, two of whom are deceased.

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1 Comments:

Blogger pixymagic said...

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September 23, 2011 at 8:31 PM  

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