Response by Reverend
Monsignor Ian Dempsey
Pursuant to Resolution
5(7)(b) of the Senate of 25 February 1988
Reply to comments by Senator Nick
Xenophon in the Senate
(12 and 13 September 2011)
Senator Nick Xenophon,
You have shot the wounded. I am the priest whom you named in
Parliament under privilege. You state your reason for doing so was the
frustration you had with the lack of progress John Hepworth has in his false
complaint about me to the Adelaide Archdiocese.
I was, and am, in no position to influence the timing and
course of action in this matter by the Archdiocese. You have chosen to shame me
publicly in order to address a matter which I have no way of influencing. Why?
I am also a victim of process. Hepworth wrote to Monsignor
Cappo on 23 February 2011(note this year) - to make a formal complaint against
me. I received written notification of this complaint from the church lawyers
on 3 March 2011.
For over forty years I have served with integrity and honour
as a Catholic priest. I have been a parish priest, Director General of Navy
Chaplains, for which service I received the award of Officer in the Order of
Australia, a Vicar General in both the Military Ordinariate and Adelaide
Dioceses – at 2121 last Tuesday night you irreparably smeared and denigrated my
reputation. You have acted on the information of one person whom you state is
credible. Time will give a different picture.
Despite your attack on my character, the people who know me
whether they be family, parishioners, Navy personnel, priests, and friends
around Australia, know I am incapable of perpetrating the false accusations
made against me. I am innocent of these allegations which you used
parliamentary privilege to name me. I have emails from Navy personnel whom I served
with since 1972 affirming me as an honourable and trustworthy chaplain. Hardly
the accolades an alleged serial rapist would receive.
This has not prevented those who have grudges against the
church to send me hate mail. This has greatly disturbed the parish staff.
You say you had a restless night – I have had many thanks to you.
I have not been charged with any offence, there is no police
investigation, the Archbishop has not stood me down, I have not been
interviewed by the Archbishop’s lawyers, I have a reputation of honesty and
integrity. You did not even bother to find out about any matter relevant to
this case except from the one source, John Hepworth. You refused the offers of
the Archdiocese to give you a briefing. You never contacted me. You still went
ahead to name and shame me.
This is all happening as I recover from a life-threatening
illness and is not helping me to return to full health.
You have shot the wounded – you who proclaim to be an
advocate of those who are hurting in our society.
Dempsey AO PP KSJ RAN(rtd)
Navigation: Previous Page | Contents
Back to top