Catholic cleric quits over sex scandal

2011-09-15 14:19

Sydney - A senior Catholic official embroiled in a sex abuse scandal in Australia resigned from government duties on Thursday, saying he did not wish the issue to become a distraction.

Adelaide vicar-general Monsignor David Cappo stepped down as chair of the Mental Health Commission after claims that he failed to properly investigate the rape of a young man who is now an Anglican archbishop in the 1960s.

One of the alleged perpetrators, a practising priest, was named in parliament this week by independent Senator Nick Xenophon, who accused Cappo of not acting on the victim's complaints, made some four years ago.

Cappo said he "emphatically rejected any suggestion that I or the Church handled the complaint by John Hepworth with anything other than proper and due diligence", but he had decided to leave his government role.

"This matter has the potential to distract from the important work of the newly-formed Mental Health Commission. I cannot allow that to occur," he said in a statement.


He also resigned as deputy chief of the government's social inclusion policy panel.

Xenophon had questioned whether Cappo's failure to act in a "timely and decisive manner" on Hepworth's allegations made him unsuitable for the mental health role.

Hepworth, who was trained and ordained as a Catholic but converted to the Anglican church in the 1970s, said he was raped and sexually abused over 12 years from the age of 15 by two priests and a seminary student.

Two of the men are now dead but the third, named in parliament on Tuesday as Monsignor Ian Dempsey, still runs a parish in the state of South Australia.

Dempsey categorically denied Hepworth's allegations, currently being investigated by the Archdiocese, saying they were unsubstantiated and "are said to relate to events that occurred some 45 years ago".

  • Martin du Plessis - 2011-09-15 14:31

    If he quits the RC, is he still able to cast his Domain Spells? /obscure

      Moron - 2011-09-15 14:58

      Let him go and have sex with dogs - he qualifies

      patrickb - 2011-09-15 15:24

      What do you have against dogs?

      Succubus - 2011-09-15 16:31

      Yeah, shame, poor dogs!

  • j4truth - 2011-09-15 14:35

    People in this false church should leave and join a true Church where the Word of God is preached and not compromised! The cross is empty - Jesus is not on the cross but is risen and glorified and coming back soon like He promised

      x - 2011-09-15 14:42

      How incredible arrogant to think YOUR church and YOUR God is the "real" one and everyone who believes differently is wrong.

      daaivark - 2011-09-15 14:59

      I agree, but j4truth is beyond reason.

      Gazzah - 2011-09-15 15:06

      @j4truth, before you attack the Roman Catholic Church, please check your facts before you prove your ignorance to the world!

      NuttyZA - 2011-09-15 15:15

      j4trhuth... actually, according to your bible, he promised to come back just a little under 2000 years ago... we are all still waiting!!!

      Messenger - 2011-09-15 15:22

      “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” —Matthew 22:29 "Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols" —Psalm 97:7 Matthew 6:7 and 15:8-9, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. ... This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” Sounds like what the Catholic Church is doing.

      Messenger - 2011-09-15 15:28

      @NuttyZA "just a little under 2000 years ago"? Where did you get that?

      NuttyZA - 2011-09-15 15:31

      @Messenger... from your bible "Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place." Matthew 24:34

      Gazzah - 2011-09-15 15:32

      @Messenger, its amazing that someone who calls them self a Christian, has no idea as to what the Catholic Church teaches. I need not refer to the bible that was written buy the Catholic Church. All I want to know is if you have photo's of your loved ones on your desk or at home? Please learn the history of religion before flying off at a tangent!

      Succubus - 2011-09-15 16:43

      Gazzah, The modern Christian bible was not written by the Catholic church my dear, it was 'compiled' by the catholic church. Never the less, all three of the Bible, Quran and Torah, are all wrong. If it isith the truth that you seeketh, theneth the only way is to followeth the word as teached through, The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

      Messenger - 2011-09-15 16:48

      @NuttyZA That is a rather superficial way of interpreting that scripture, something typical of atheists. Jesus was referring to the end times, just before his second coming, the time we are actually living in. @Gazzah If I offended you, I'm sorry. I am actually quite sensitive about this. I just wish that Catholics study the Bible thoroughly (both Old and New Testaments) and do away any unnecessary traditions. If you're doing that, it's a good thing. :-)

      Messenger - 2011-09-15 16:55

      @Succubus "Never the less, all three of the Bible, Quran and Torah, are all wrong." Have you got any substantial proof that the Bible is wrong, or are you just going to repeat us the typical "we atheists use logic and common sense" argument?

      Succubus - 2011-09-15 16:57

      Messenger, That is a rather liquid way of interpreting the scriptures, something typical of brainwashed sheep. In Matthew 24:34, Matthew is speaking of his generation, and he got it wrong, 2000 years, and possibly more as we are still waiting. It always amuses me how the various religious texts are either literal or figurative, depending on which meaningless point a brainwashed follower is attempting to convince another of at any point in time.

      Messenger - 2011-09-15 17:18

      Succubus, have you read the complete chapters of Matthew 24 and 25? Matthew wasn't speaking of his generation, he was quoting Jesus' words. It is imperative that Matthew 24-25 be seen as speaking of a future time and that the word generation is referring to the people alive when the events of Matthew 24-25 are occurring.

      Succubus - 2011-09-15 17:37

      It is only imperative for 'you' to interpret Matthew as speaking of future generations regardless of what Matthew is actually speaking of, because it supports what you 'want' to believe, rather than what may 'actually' be true or not.

      NuttyZA - 2011-09-15 19:32

      Thank you my little daemon temptress :) i have just logged back in and I see you have responded perfectly to Messengers posts!!!!

      Messenger - 2011-09-15 23:20


      Romans8 - 2011-09-16 08:35

      @daaivark - and your not beyond reason?

      Romans8 - 2011-09-16 08:37

      Have you seen those relious clowns with the big tea cozies on their heads lately! Actually it is called a mitre and comes straight out of paganism and is representative of the fish god Dagon.

  • Vredehoek Rentals - 2011-09-15 15:00

    This post is to everyone that generalizes about all Muslims being terrorists - I would like to generalize that all clergymen are sex pests. My point being - stop generalizing. You always get a few rotten apples in any religion.

      Howzitekse - 2011-09-15 15:13

      Who was it that said something to the effect that a deseased tree can not produce good fruit?

      Han Solo - 2011-09-15 15:18

      Religion is one big rotten apple.

      patrickb - 2011-09-15 15:26

      The Catholic church have turned being rotten into an art form.

  • TheNwsReader - 2011-09-15 15:28

    Maybe so but moral decay in Austraila is everywhere. The vicar is just a religious case thereof but 90% of the public is wrotten with moral decay.

      NuttyZA - 2011-09-15 15:40

      Judgemental much??? Sure, we all hate Aussies 'cos they happen to be really good at Cricket and are really arrogant about the fact, but moral decay???? Really???

      OzzyInSA - 2011-09-15 17:18

      @TheNwsReader, care to elaborate?

  • preshen govender - 2011-09-15 15:30

    never tie your shoe lace infront of a catholic priest

  • Proudly.South.African - 2011-09-15 16:03

    Why is it whenever something pops up about the HEAD'S OF CHURCHES then the only thing you read is about Scandals and Paedophilia, are all priest, high ministers, etc. SEX OFFENDERS? and Muslims ONLY TERRORISTS?, i'd rather be a TERRORIST then to be a SEX OFFENDER..

  • Tozama - 2011-09-15 16:13

    I alwayz say what catholics are practising is totally untrue, not all of us human beings can 100% abstain from being sexual active hence these scandals. More embarasing statements and accusation will stil come if the catholics do not change unreal practise.

  • Currie_Mafia - 2011-09-15 16:28

    Catholicism: Satanism disguised !

  • haszard - 2011-09-15 22:10

    Not to diminish the serious sin of the RCC but Please examine the Jehovah's Witnesses who go door to door and come on our property. Jehovah's Witnesses pedophiles. Many court documents and news events prove that Jehovah's Witnesses require two witnesses when a child comes forward with allegations of molestation within the congregation. Such allegations have customarily been treated as sins instead of crimes and are only reported to authorities when it is required to do so by law, (which varies by state). It has also been shown that child molesters within the organization usually have not been identified to the congregation members or the public at large. These people engage in a door to door ministry, possibly exposing children to pedophiles. The Watchtower corporation has paid out millions in settlement money already. -- Danny Haszard abuse victim FMI dannyhaszard(dot)com

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