MELBOURNE, Australia, SEPT. 9, 2011 (Zenit.org).- A decade of systemic sexual abuse at the hands of priests and an older seminarian was what drove Father John Hepworth to flee Australia and the Catholic priesthood in the 1970s, the leader of the Traditional Anglican Communion has revealed.
Archbishop Hepworth, 67, is primate of the traditionalist communion of Churches that separated itself from the Anglican Communion in 1991, and formally expressed a desire to reunite with the Holy See in 2007.
In an exclusive interview published today in The Australian, the archbishop broke the silence regarding more than 12 years of abuse he suffered as a seminarian and young priest until he finally "fled in fear" to England.
"I never wanted to leave," he acknowledged. "The Church is full of sinners, ... but it is God's gift to the human race through Jesus Christ. ... I have never lost the sense of vocation of being a priest."
Read the rest at Zenit.
Hat tips to Fr. Zuhlsdorf at What Does the Prayer Really Say? and Fr. Chadwick at English Catholic.
See also "Clergyman's long road to resolution" and ""Abused Archbishop John Hepworth ready to forgive", both in The Australlian
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