Church condemns sex pest naming

2011-09-14 08:56

Sydney - A Catholic Church diocese on Wednesday condemned as "inappropriate and unfair" the naming by an Australian lawmaker of a priest who allegedly raped an Anglican archbishop decades ago.

Independent senator Nick Xenophon used parliamentary privilege to identify Monsignor Ian Dempsey on Tuesday after the Church declined to stand him down in connection with the alleged abuse of Archbishop John Hepworth.

Hepworth, who was trained and ordained as a Catholic, but shifted to the Anglican church in the 1970s, said he was violently 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, Dempsey, runs a parish in South Australia state, where Xenophon said he was being allowed to practise despite Hepworth's allegations, which he first raised with the Church in 2007.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Adelaide said in a statement that it was "surprised and disappointed" by Xenophon's action, saying he was "aware of the extremely sensitive and highly complex" background to the matter.


"The fact that the Senator has taken this action is a matter of grave concern to us because it has the potential to interfere with the orderly process of what is already a very difficult and complex matter," it said.

"We now fear for the consequences on all parties concerned, but in particular Archbishop Hepworth himself and also the priest concerned.

"In our view it is inappropriate and unfair for these matters to be aired in public whilst our investigation is not yet complete and when the priest concerned has categorically denied the allegation."

The diocese on Tuesday defended its decision not to suspend the priest as consistent with both religious and civil law.

Xenophon said that since he outed the priest his office had received calls from people making allegations of abuse.

"My office has received many calls this morning from people making allegations about abuse generally," he told reporters without elaborating.

He added that the Church should act to "restore public confidence".

"Rape is rape as a matter of criminal law, therefore any allegation of sexual acts without consent is something that needs to be taken very seriously by anyone who has those allegations brought to them," he said.

Hepworth, head of a breakaway Anglican group seeking reconciliation with the Vatican, raised the matter in public for the first time after decades of silence with a media interview on Saturday.

It followed an apology and offer of A$75 000 compensation from the Archdiocese of Melbourne in relation to the two men he accused of abuse who are now dead.

Hepworth, 67, has not sought to bring criminal charges over the case.

  • IC1 - 2011-09-14 09:12

    The catholic church must clean up it's act, get rid and prosecute these buggers

      Badballie - 2011-09-14 09:28

      The Catholic church must be abolished and wiped from the face of the earth.

      Oxygen - 2011-09-14 09:46


      stephen scott - 2011-09-14 09:51

      Clean up its act? They must close their doors, it's an insane institute.

      Buffalo - 2011-09-14 10:03

      `Buggers' being the operative word there?

      Sedick - 2011-09-14 13:12

      It is not fair to the Rapist that he be named? What about the poor assaulted? These guys are sick to the extreme.......

      Die Baas - 2011-09-14 13:28

      They have screwed everybody for more than a millennium without any repercussions, how can one person be named now? That just distasteful!

      Amsterdammer - 2011-09-14 13:47

      Catholic Church = UNION OF BUGGARY!!!

  • GLY - 2011-09-14 09:16

    Provided the same rules are applied to everyperson irrespective of their faith then I see no reason that the man should not be named. EVERYBODY is accountable and needs to face the consequences of their actions. Irrespective of who they are.

      Krush - 2011-09-14 13:16

      I completely agree, however in this instance there has been no trial yet and nobody has been found guilty. I do however believe that once a person is found guilty they should be NAMED AND SHAMED.

  • Hein - 2011-09-14 09:25

    Name them and shame them. There should be nowhere to hide for these animals who abuse vulnerable children. What a shame on the church for protecting these wicked, false people....

      JMan - 2011-09-14 09:52

      "What a shame on the church for protecting these wicked, false people...." Agreed...Says a lot about the church doesn't it?

      Bored - 2011-09-14 10:01

      First thing, these are allegations, and not facts. These allegations still have to be proven. So before you open your brain (or whatever you call it), think (if you can)!

      JMan - 2011-09-14 10:14

      @ bored...really? So the past FACTUAL rapes in the church don't count? we were talking about this in general...and you know ( or you should know if you 'practise what you preach' about thinking etc) that there have been many of these sick bastards tried and convicted of raping boys in the church..and almost every time the church wants to defend them and keep it a secret.... so even IF this case is not proven yet, the above still says a lot about the church. Btw - why would a Archbishop make up false allegations about his own church??

      Krush - 2011-09-14 13:17

      JMan, it doesn't say anything about the church - it just says a lot about PEOPLE. I've never met a perfect person, in or outside of church. Have you? I have however met plenty of people who go around thinking they are "GOOD" and "RIGHTEOUS" and that nobody has the right to tell them what to do...both in and out of the church.

  • Bill - 2011-09-14 09:30

    Name and shame these bastards...!

  • nicci.eaglestone - 2011-09-14 09:51

    Catholic Church - largest group of Paedophiles in the world!! and they are all protected!! is that what they teach in the bible.... No wonder the world is the way it is....

      Bored - 2011-09-14 10:03

      LOL! Your comment is pathetic! Just remember one thing moron, there are always 'bad apples' in every basket of 'good apples'.

      JMan - 2011-09-14 10:17

      Nothing pathetic about the comment. Maybe the 'largest group of Paedophiles' part is a bit over the top, but still a valid comment.

      Sum1 - 2011-09-14 10:23

      @Bored... Look at you trying to defend your "religion". "The 2004 John Jay Report was based on a study of 10,667 allegations against 4,392 priests accused of engaging in sexual abuse of a minor between 1950 and 2002. The report stated there were approximately 10,667 reported victims (younger than 18 years) of clergy sexual abuse during this period: Around 81 percent of these victims were male. 22.6% were age 10 or younger, 51% were between the ages of 11 and 14, and 27% were between the ages to 15 to 17 years. A substantial number (almost 2000) of very young children were victimized by priests during this time period." Facts...

      Albo - 2011-09-14 11:59

      @Bored - disguisting how those "bad apples" are the actual LEADERS AND TEACHERS!!!

      Stryder - 2011-09-14 12:03

      Not to mention that the Catholic Church is the "whore of Babylon". Idolatry, Praying to saints etc. etc. I am no Christian, but I know enough about the teachings to see the contradictions in the Catholic Church. Christian my ass.

      Krush - 2011-09-14 13:20

      The catholic church is not the "whore of babylon" referred to in the scriptures. I do however not agree with Catholicism as they do not follow the bible but their own traditions.

      Fred - 2011-09-14 15:08

      @ bored, why the insults, the fact that the catholic church has protected many paedophile priests, even going as far as to hide them away and protect them from the law, proves that the church as a whole is rotten to the core, by reading your comments I can see you're not a christian, therefore why the rage, are you or do you support paedophilia?

  • GSXA - 2011-09-14 09:54

    The clergy of the Catholic Church is a cancer which must be destroyed. My apologies in advance if I offend good Catholics who uphold the basic principles of basic decency. The Catholic Church has been rocked by scandal of this nature for years yet chooses to do nothing about it. They try and hide behind all kinds of excuses just so as not to have to take action against their own. They are out of touch with the times and since when must a Church have its own police force and have all the secrets that the RC church does. The RC actually stands for Rape of Children. The clergy of the RC church are indeed a sick bunch of old men who have lost touch with reality and religion.

  • Fedup - 2011-09-14 09:58

    I left the Catholic Church because of things like this, always protecting the priest's that do wrong, whether raping or fondling or whatever I cannot tolerate them anymore.

  • stephen scott - 2011-09-14 10:03

    Wait a minute, doesn’t the bible advocate incest? Adam and Eve, at some point Adam must have started shagging the kids, or we wouldn't be here.

      JMan - 2011-09-14 10:20

      Haha...don't get me started! :)

      Sean M - 2011-09-14 10:46

      True. And don't forget that the bible bans us from eating shellfish. If you read leviticus you would realise that shellfish is a terrible terrible evil. We need to picket CTFM and get them to take it off the menu.

      Messenger - 2011-09-14 12:05

      @Stephen Scott The Bible does not advocate incest, but in those days it was practised for the proliferation of mankind. :-) @Sean Some animals are regarded by God as not fit for human consumption. This applies especially to scavangers.

      Messenger - 2011-09-14 12:07

      correction - scavengers

      InternetMan - 2011-09-14 16:17

      @Messenger My god is better than your god. Fact.

      Messenger - 2011-09-14 17:27

      @InternetMan Which one is yours?

  • Bored - 2011-09-14 10:05

    So this guy was 'molested and raped' supposedly by a Cathilic Church priests and fellow students. Just surprising that they always take this long to report it. He was 15 after wall when it supposedly happened. Why the long wait? Fear? Fear of what?

      JMan - 2011-09-14 10:19

      Fear of the usual BS these 'priests' tell children (and all people) of what will happen if they don't do what they say. BTW...this 'guy' is an archbishop in the church.

      Sean M - 2011-09-14 10:41

      Bored, you seem to be in denial of the sex claims against the catholics. It goes like this: since 1950's (at least) the church has become a paedo-ring raping young children. Not possibly, DEFINITELY! Time to close this porno pit down, jail them from that dirty nazi pope to the raping priests- GUILTY ALL!

      Linda Whelan - 2011-09-14 11:25

      He was a trainee priest in a seminary and at the total mercy of these paedophiles who controlled his every move. Do you think his parents would have believed him if he said the priest was raping him? He probably tried to put it out of his mind and not 'rock the boat'. Even now the Catholic Church does its best to shut up and intimidate its victims as this story shows.

      Albo - 2011-09-14 12:02

      @Bored - exactly the same can be said to children who were molested when very young by family members who only break the silence years later. The psychological damage is terrible. I can`t believe you are condoning this to protect your faith - pathetic!!!

      Fred - 2011-09-14 15:15

      He is part of a group that want to reunite with the Catholic Church, there's no way he'd jeopardise the reunification of the church with a load of lies surely?

  • Dan - 2011-09-14 10:12

    Naturally the Catholic Church would condemn the naming of sex pests as the list will look like their honorary roll.

      Chilliginger - 2011-09-14 11:03

      Lmao Dan! You killed me dude. It's true though whether we like it or not. This has been going on since forever.

  • Robbie - 2011-09-14 10:12

    Appalling logic from the church...

      Shawn - 2011-09-14 10:39

      what else did you expect, there is no logic in religion!

  • Daemos1 - 2011-09-14 10:13

    Yeah, unfair, you ruined his chances with the other altarboys Sick bastards

  • lisa777 - 2011-09-14 10:18

    If this continues, churches will continue to lose congregations and eventually no one will trust their 'authority'

      Sean M - 2011-09-14 10:47

      You mean people still trust them? Huh? I call on any decent catholic here to renounce their church and join another one.

  • george60 - 2011-09-14 10:18

    Those in power regardless profession in religion, politics,justice or education etc., their names will never be blacklisted because you will see names and faces of persons currently in high places that we trust. Report them and castrate them, it works for cats and dogs, what is wrong with society?.

      Fred - 2011-09-14 15:19

      I've never seen a dog raping little boys, dogs have miles to much self -respect to try that, give him his balls back.

  • BnQE - 2011-09-14 10:19

    Catholic Church - 2000 years past it's sell-by date ...

      Sean M - 2011-09-14 10:43

      2000 year old paedo-ring. Paying the catholic church tith is just tax on the foolish.

      OzzyInSA - 2011-09-14 12:00

      Actually the Catholic 'church' was only formed in the 300's, so it has been around for 1,600 years or so. Do not confuse them with the works of Jesus.

      voltaire - 2011-09-14 12:24

      They determined (mostly) what are considered to be the works of Jesus.

  • Garry - 2011-09-14 10:21

    NAME AND SHAME HIM, EVEN BETTER STONE HIM TO DEATH. Homosexuality in the Catholic Church must be exposed

      rantoftheday - 2011-09-14 11:09

      and what is so wrong with homosexuality? Are you suggesting that paedophilia and homosexuality are analogous?

      x - 2011-09-14 11:18

      It is rape irrespective of who does it. When girls get raped, people don't say 'Heterosexuality needs to be exposed'. Seriously.

      Fred - 2011-09-14 15:21

      It's not homosexuality, its rape, buggery. I've no problem with them pushing putty amongst themselves just leave the kids alone.

  • Sum1 - 2011-09-14 10:26

  • Shawn - 2011-09-14 10:28

    "We can be thankful that Gods ways are not our ways." < there is no GOD!!! all religions stem from Pagan rituals. If we get over the fact that all religions are used to persecute and imprison people and there minds, acts like this wont occur...religion extremists are the most dangerous!!!

  • DEVILS SON - 2011-09-14 10:28

    you dirty scum, the change is apon us, you will pay for your deeds.

  • old boy - 2011-09-14 10:29

    I attended a catholic school for 12 years and went to a catholic church - yes I was an altar boy too - for 20 years. I am no longer a catholic ( for more than 30 years now) and am aware of the wrongs of the church. At a recent school old boys re-union a group of about 15 of us were discussing the amount of sexual abuse cases surfacing arond the world linked to catholic priests. None of us ever had any suggestion of inappropiate behaviour aimed at us, nor did any of us know anyone else who had. I am in no way defending anyone here - I believe that rape is rape irrespective of the sex of the pitcher or receiver and should be dealt with by the criminal justice system very harshly - but I would be surprised if the prevelance of this sort of behaviour is any higher in the catholic church than in any other church or social organisation. We all need to be vigilant and educate our kids to the dangers out there if we hope to stop this type of disgusting abuse

  • Abdulrazak - 2011-09-14 10:29

    like in politics, transparency is important.having done so much damage to the reputation of the church, it is high time this stops-and the church should not "apologize" for the misdemeanors of past colleagues!

  • Abdulrazak - 2011-09-14 10:32 "overlook the misdemeanors..........." instead of "apologize"

      Chingchao - 2011-09-14 10:41

      Relax Abdul no one is marking your script.

  • Skietlood - 2011-09-14 10:36

    RC has been guilty of hiding truth matters since inception centuries ago.

  • Fran - 2011-09-14 10:48

    Hey Bored, it is never ok to rape anybody even in biblical days Jacob's sons killed a man who raped their only sister then offered to marry her after that. Crime is crime and maybe it will be better if it was done to you?? No church or Christian is innocent of any sin but the Catholic Church has been worse all along. If you know you want to have sex why join a church that you know forbids men of getting married then? And be aware that the choice of not marrying is not from God but from you as an individual. So my conclusion is; all this paedos chose to join the church knowing very well that they will go after the youg boys at the Convert? I know Catholic could be your church but you should be ashamed for standing up for it while many lives have been destroyed all over the world by these sexpests. I say name and shame.

      Stryder - 2011-09-14 12:05

      Fran - you need to read your old testament better. It is full of God sanctioned rape and pillage.

      InternetMan - 2011-09-14 16:21

      It pisses me off how people can not see it. I might consider being a christian if we can all rape and pillage in the name of our God who is obviously better than other people's god. That sounds fun

      pokum - 2011-09-15 08:57

      no stryder you should read your bible better, God did not at any point sanction rape.

  • Chilliginger - 2011-09-14 10:57

    Name him and shame him! I'm sick and tired of the Catholic Church telling everyone how damned they are and how they must be purified. THEN ONE OF THEIR OWN RAPES A CHILD WE MUST SUDDENY "forgive" the Holy man!!

  • JDWP - 2011-09-14 11:00

    The abomination of such abuse is horrific. The permanent scars it leaves behind. The church does condemn these acts,and as far as i have seen is contrite and compassionate towards the victims. HOWEVER, THE CHURCH MUST ALSO show compassion and love for the sinner the transgressor, not to cast him out as a leper. It must do so because that is what Christ would do!!! Otherwise it stops being the church. Now that doesnt make the victim feel very powerful, what victim wants be be left in a 'no-mans land' it seems where an 'eye is not demanded for an eye'. Leaves you without power. We all feel like that when we are hurt,want to punish those who have hurt us in some way. But Christ only showed forgiveness as the way and we know we are all in need of and hope to get more forgiveness from God than what we actually deserve.This Sundays readings were illustrative. It was about the servant who was forgiven his debt by his Master. Yet when the servant could not be paid by one who owed him he exacted punishment and sent him to jail.Then his Master called him back and asked him.... why had he not forgiven when he himself had been forgiven by his Master. Makes you think!!

      Valis - 2011-09-14 12:42

      You're a sick, twisted excuse of a human being for making excuses for these evil scum child-rapists. Your Bronze Age superstitions are not relevant in a modern society. These priests committed horrific crimes against children and must be held accountable and punished, despite what your sick, evil book says.

      FrankLee - 2011-09-14 12:57

      Right now the RC Church is SHIELDING the offenders from punishment - even before they've repented. Nowhere in the bible does it state that that is how we should treat the guilty parties in normal human-human interactions. The RC church seems to be only interested in protecting it's own image but ironically through shielding the guilty parties instead of expelling them, it's digging it's own grave.

      BrixtonBriefcase - 2011-09-14 13:04

      JDWP: Forget about christ and god and focus on the crimes that have been committed. You should be locked up and never, ever be put in any type of position where you contribute to decisions being made. Sick, sick, sick and exactly the kind of thinking that these pedophiles use to justify their criminal actions. You're dangerous.

  • Ben - 2011-09-14 11:03

    Pedophelic Inquisitors...

  • CapeTownJunk - 2011-09-14 11:31

    I want to see a headline saying "Church condemns sex pest" before I see a headline saying "Church condemns sex pest naming". What the Catholic Church doesn't seem to appreciate is that they seem quick to jump to the defence of their priests, but getting a word of sympathy for the victims of their priests' crimes seems next to impossible - and this duplicitous morality is why more and more people regard them as a disgustingly immoral institution.

  • bullincapeto - 2011-09-14 11:59

    Die pous is n p@es.

  • astrix1 - 2011-09-14 12:42

    No problem to name and shame sex offenders once found guilty. The public must be protected against these animals

  • mac-sdi - 2011-09-14 13:08

    From the age of 15 to 27? I'm sorry but thats hard to believe. I understand the 15yr old but a 18,19,20... you probably liked it and role played too..!

      InternetMan - 2011-09-14 16:23

      So those 3 years 15-18 are excused? YOU ARE SUPPORTING RAPE?!

      TD - 2011-09-29 15:08

      mac-sdi. You are either sick or recovering from a melt down. How dare you say that 18,19,20 year olds probably like it. You are sick. I am a Catholic and not proud of the what the priests did or continue to do. But again I do not pray or worship an individual. I believe in God and that's it. Yes I could leave the Catholic church, and join what? Rhema, TD Jakes, Anglican, Church of England?? Any establishment with people will have its own issues. I would be moving from church to the next and end up being very very confused. So yes I am still with the Catholic church and totally wish that all the perpetrators could be brought to book or even castrated.

  • RobertKay - 2011-09-14 13:24

    Bunch of piepie jollers should be castrated! And offering $75 thou is peanuts. The guilty party should be sued for a couple of million. The Catholic Church is rich enough!

  • Tsundzuka - 2011-09-14 13:56

    I would never allow my child be raised in an Anglican church, these guys don't mess around, they molest/rape like nobody's bussiness

  • Monstaronis - 2011-09-14 14:21

    Religion is evil and must be outlawed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Messenger - 2011-09-14 15:27

      Mmm, sounds like the Communist Soviet Union regime to me.

  • Fred - 2011-09-14 15:01

    Strange how the church condemns the namimg of the paedophile but don't condemn him as a paedophile, the catholic church is still protecting and hiding criminals as they have been for hundreds of years.

  • haszard - 2011-09-14 21:29

    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

  • Salty - 2011-09-15 03:36

    Reading these reactions gives me hope that we as a people might move out of the dark religion ages and start thinking for ourselves and refuse to praise and fear an unseen "god" that allows this to happen in the first place.

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