John Anthony Hepworth (born 1944) is an Australian bishop. He was the ordinary of the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia and the archbishop and primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, an international body of continuing Anglican churches, from 2003 to 2012.
Hepworth began his seminary studies in 1960 at St Francis Xavier Seminary in Adelaide. In 1968 he was ordained to the priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church for the Archdiocese of Adelaide. In 1972 he moved to Britain. After returning to Australia in 1976 he was received into the Anglican Church of Australia as a priest. From 1976 to 1977 he had permission to officiate in the Anglican Diocese of Ballarat. From 1977 to 1978 he was the assistant priest in the Colac parish and, from 1978 to 1980, was the rector of the South Ballarat parish based in Sebastopol.〔''Crockford's Clerical Directory'' (1980-1982): p457.〕
In 1992 Hepworth joined the Anglican Catholic Church in Australia (ACCA). On 29 June 1996 he was consecrated as a bishop, together with Robert John Friend, in the Pro-Cathedral of the Resurrection, Brisbane, by bishops Albert N. Haley (then diocesan bishop of the ACCA), Robert C. Crawley (Anglican Catholic Church of Canada), Wellborn Hudson (Anglican Church in America) and John Hazlewood (retired Bishop of Ballarat in the Anglican Church of Australia). Hepworth served as an assistant bishop until April 1998 when Bishop Friend (who had succeeded Haley as diocesan) resigned. From then until November 1999, Hepworth acted as bishop administrator. At the National Synod of the ACCA held 25–29 November 1999 he was elected as the new diocesan bishop. In 2002 he was elected Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) in succession to Louis Falk.
Hepworth has been involved in a process to create an Australian ordinariate for former Anglicans in the Roman Catholic Church. However, in March 2012, this was rejected by a meeting of TAC bishops who also voted to accept Hepworth's already announced resignation as primate with immediate effect.〔(TAC votes out Archbishop Hepworth, rejects union with Catholic Church )〕
Hepworth has a degree in political science and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Adelaide in 1982 with a thesis about Catholic Action entitled "The Movement Revisited: A South Australian Perspective". For five years he was a lecturer in politics at the Northern Territory University before becoming co-ordinator of international studies at the University of South Australia.〔Peter Gleeson, "The Head of his Church", ''Gold coast Bulletin'', 5 July 2003.〕 In 1998 he was elected to the Australian Constitutional Convention as a member of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy.〔Gabrielle Chan, "No stones cast as clerics strike deal", ''The Australian'', 14 February 1998.〕 He formerly chaired the Australia-Vietnam Human Rights Committee in South Australia.〔"Bishop to speak on human rights", ''Adelaide Advertiser'', 7 December 1998.〕
Hepworth is heard regularly on Adelaide's 5AA radio station where he acts as a political commentator on the conservative Leon Byner Show. He has been married twice and has three children.〔(Ed West, "Pope wants personal prelature for ex-Anglicans", ''The Catholic Herald'', 6 February 2009. )〕
Hepworth claims that he was a victim of sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in Australia during the 1960s and 1970s. He has alleged that he was raped on numerous occasions by three priests during his seminary studies〔("One man's life, and how the church he loved let him down" ), by Martin Daly, ''The Age'', 17 September 2011.〕 and that the Catholic Church had failed to follow due process.
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