Australian Senator to Name Catholic Priest Involved in Sex Abuse Scandal

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By Vittorio Hernandez | September 13, 2011 3:04 PM EST

Australian independent Senator Nick Xenophon said Tuesday he will name in Parliament a Catholic priest involved in a sex abuse scandal despite a request from the church to refrain.

He plans to make the disclosure using his parliamentary privilege.

The scandal stems from Anglican Archbishop John Hepworth's allegation that when he was still a Catholic seminarian, two priests and another student repeatedly molested him sexually. Two of them are now dead, while the third one is still an active priest in the Adelaide Archdiocese.

In a bid to contain the scandal, the archdiocese offered Hepworth an apology and financial payment.

An archdiocese spokesman said it was aware of the Anglican bishop's complaint since 2007, but the hierarchy took no action because Hepworth then said he was ready to make a formal complaint, but only did it this year.

Xenophon sought for the suspension of the surviving priest involved otherwise he threatened to publicly name the priest. He gave the Archdiocese until 12:30 p.m. Tuesday to suspend the priest.

The senator also pushed for a federal government probe into the abuse scandal. 

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