Senator Nick Xenophon has today named the Catholic priest, Ian Dempsey, accused of numerous sexual assaults of fellow seminarian, John Hepworth, 50 years ago. Hepworth is now an Archbishop for a breakaway Anglican sect. He states that Dempsey and two other priests raped and assaulted him a dozen times over a 3 year period while he was a teenager in the seminarian.
Xenophon was forced to name Dempsey after giving the Catholic Church the ultimatum of standing him down, two which the Church refused. Surprise surprise, right? The archdiocese said it was:
…shocked and dismayed that Senator Xenophon has ignored our pleadings. The priest concerned has categorically denied the allegation and has been a person of good standing in the archdiocese for a very long time.
The Catholic Church never seems to get it do they? As victim Hepworth stated when interviewed on the matter:
Sexual abuse flourishes because people keep secrets.
The rate at which people are coming forward with horror stories of sexual abuse from within the Catholic Church seems to be exponential these days. I can’t imagine how many more people are holding onto similarly terrible secrets…