Friday, September 09, 2011

Ordinariate Watch: Abused Archbishop John Hepworth ready to forgive

An Australian archbishop leading a breakaway Anglican faction that wants to reunite with Rome has revealed that he fled the Catholic priesthood after experiencing systematic sexual abuse over more than a decade.

Archbishop John Hepworth, the primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, a 400,000-member Anglican breakaway group seeking reconciliation with the Vatican, broke decades of silence after securing an apology from the Catholic church and an offer of $75,000 compensation.

The revelation of his private pain, known until today only to family, a few close friends and senior church leaders, adds an extraordinary personal twist to the creation of Anglican ordinariates that have opened the way for the largest mass defection to the Catholic Church since the Reformation.

Despite what he suffered over a 12-year period from 1960 at the hands of two priests and a fellow seminary student who went on to be ordained, Archbishop Hepworth said he was determined to continue his mission to bring the churches together. To read more, click here.

This revelation raises serious questions about Hepworth's motives for encouraging clergy and congregations of the Traditional Anglican Church to Roman Catholicism. A parallel may be seen between Hepworth and an abused wife who seperates from her abusive husband only to return to him, bringing her children with her, and subjecting them as well as herself to further abuse. When asked why she went back to the husband knowing how abusive he is, her response is that she loves him. In such cases the wife's emotional attachment to the husband colors her judgment and keeps her from protecting her children and herself from his mistreatment.


RMBruton said...

Wonderful equation, these people are sick! I knew that there were other motives driving Hepworth, perhaps financial arrangements were made for him; but are these factual? Or is this just another Hepworth fantasy? Why the Hell would Rome be so stupid as to let Hepworth come back at all, what's in it for them? Ronald Reagan put it so well, "the fish stinks from the head down."

Robert Ian Williams said...

Rome will never regularise Hepworth...we are just not that deperate.

RMBruton said...

The sad thing is that Rome has continued to provide cover for many perpetrators of violence and sexual abuse and to deny responsibility, as in the ongoing troubles in the Irish Republic. But just as sad is that they ordained someone as clearly unstable as Hepworth, to begin with.

George said...

As a member of the Anglican Church in America (apart of TAC worldwide). Seeing what he has done to our church body is madding. As though TAC/ACA are some sort of peace offering for him to get back into the Roman church. Thanks but no thanks. We are Catholics and we are Anglican and we don't need the Pope to be Catholic, but first and foremost we are faithful Christians. I just hope the ACA can repair the damage he has done.

Robert Ian Williams said...

There can be no excuse for pastoral incompetence and the sad events that have unfolded.However child abuse is as present in non Catholic denominations as well. One also has to judge things, proportionate to numbers.

All I can say, is that in my opinion a Godly man would not unfold past sinful events in such clinical detail. Indeed it is pathetic to see supporters , justifying his subsequent marriage etc