Last week, the Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion, John Hepworth, made a disclosure that shocked even those who know him best.
He revealed that when he was 15 and studying in a Catholic seminary in Adelaide, he was raped by priests and a fellow student, and that the abuse continued for many years - even when he was in his 20's. Two of his alleged abusers, Ron Pickering and John Stockdale, are now dead.
Five decades later, Archbishop Hepworth decided to approach the Archdiocese of Adelaide, and then Melbourne, with his story. From Melbourne, Archbishop Hepworth received an apology, compensation and recognition that there had been many "instances of sexual abuse by members of the clergy."
But his relationship with the Adelaide Diocese broke down after 4 years of dialogue, which seemed to lead nowhere.
Last Monday, the independent senator, Nick Xenophon, used parliamentary privilege to name one man, now a parish priest in Adelaide, who he said "violently and repeatedly raped" Archbishop Hepworth, then a 24 year-old priest. Senator Xenophon said the Adelaide Archdiocese had failed to deal with Archbishop Hepworth's grievance. This man has strongly denied the allegations.
Since then, Monsignor David Cappo, the Vicar-General of the Adelaide Archdiocese, has resigned as chair of the federal Government's new Mental Health Commission. And allegations have emerged that the real reason that Archbishop Hepworth left the Catholic Church was "financial irregularities" at the parish of Glenelg in Adelaide. Archbishop Hepworth says these are smears - but says he did face court in Ballarat some years later after misappropriating funds at an Anglican church.
But where does this leave Archbishop Hepworth?
He has been in discussions with police, but says he has not yet decided whether or not to press charges as he is waiting to see how the Adelaide Archdiocese will respond to his claims.
But some say his revelations of abuse and the public furore that followed may have put his own future on the line.
Archbishop Hepworth spoke to Sunday Profile after an explosive week, and I asked him exactly what happened to him when he was a 15 year old boy.
JOHN HEPWORTH: I was utterly uninformed and naive about sex. I knew nothing. But I was utterly idealistic. I had dreamed of being a priest and nothing else in my life, probably from around the age of seven or eight, when I told my parents and my grandparents, that's what I was going to do.
Going to the seminary, in those days, you went to minor seminary and completed the last couple of years of secondary schooling. That's how I went.
Within about a month I had been introduced to a much more senior student who was ordained a few years later, and given alcohol, and I suppose I'd now use the technical language grooming. I didn't know that then. And a violent sexual episode had taken place and I'd become deeply disturbed, haunted almost.
There was a rather pathetic scene. I can see myself in the seminary library trying to find information on what was happening, because I really didn't know. And of course knowing nothing about sex and discovering that most of the books that mentioned it were in Latin wasn't a great help.
JULIA BAIRD: So what did it mean then that you were being groomed?
JOHN HEPWORTH: Well, it meant that another student, as I say, the close friend of this student, was on one hand telling me that it was a great honour to be friends with this older student and it would be an honour if he invited me to his home in Melbourne, which he did, and that I should say nothing of this.
It was an opening up for me who had led a very simple life. And it was suddenly exciting. The discussions, the conversation, the things they knew about, were for me totally new worlds. So there was a certain thrill, a sense of fulfilment as well as a sense of pain and a situation that I had no way of knowing how to escape.
I did go up to see the then rector of the seminary and tried to start talking about what was happening. By that time, of , I'd been passed on to another priest, notorious priest, Pickering, in Melbourne, who was the most urbane, interesting, fascinating person, frequently came to Adelaide and was friends with the other student and so on.
But I went up to see the rector and began to tell the story. And he stopped me and said that I would have to leave the seminary if I was going to say things like that. So we chatted for a few minutes about generalities and I just left and went home again on the bus.
JULIA BAIRD: You told the psychiatrist working for the Melbourne Archdiocese independent commissioner for sexual abuse that whenever you saw a statue of Mary theabuse came flooding back. Is that true?
JOHN HEPWORTH: Yes. One of the things I've learned as a bishop and administering professional standards, and so on, is paedophile priests particularly tend to be known as very devout at the altar. People comment on how beautifully they say mass.
That was true of Pickering and Stockdale. They tended to be blasphemous in their sexuality. And Pickering was known, I think, and I knew him as somebody who was devout and upheld the old ways, the old Mass and Latin Mass and all those things, and argued coherently against modern ways.
And yet he would use blasphemies about Our Lady in sex that were absolutely confronting and dreadful. And I took several years of this four year process before I felt able to tell Peter O'Callaghan. I find it very hard to talk about.
JULIA BAIRD: Given the potency of those kinds of experiences, did this affect your faith?
JOHN HEPWORTH: I was in deep emotional conflict. There was part of me desperately trying to escape and part of me determined to stay where I had always wanted to be.
I had the example in those days of that Italian saint young lady who was murdered resisting rape. And this was the great example the Church put up of somebody who had chosen to resist even to death. And I thought that's not me, added to the guilt.
But deep conflict. It's amazing I survived. And I think I was putting up an extraordinarily tough shell. People say now who knew me then that I was unapproachable, difficult to talk to, a loner.
I had not much dealings even with my family then. I was terrified what my parents would say if I was charged with these things. They were still illegal.
So I think I'd characterise that, those years and in a sense all the years since as very deep conflict.
Talking about them to very experienced people now allowed me to get a better balance in terms of guilt. And there's things in my life I know are sinful but it's very difficult to sort out what was sinful and what you were driven to in trying to resolve the conflict in your life.
I'm beginning to get that balance and that's probably one of the things that is giving me a sense of peace at this stage.
JULIA BAIRD: Now you were ordained in 1968 in the Roman Catholic Church for the Archdiocese of Adelaide and appointed to a parish. And you say that not long after becoming a priest there was a further series of episodes.
JOHN HEPWORTH: Yes.
JULIA BAIRD: You were 27 now. Why were you unable to stop it?
JOHN HEPWORTH: I was, when I was ordained I was only barely, I was coming up towards 24. When I left I was 27.
By this stage my image of myself, even though I was six foot two and I was fairly light in those days, but I always thought myself a very small person, very weak person.
I was trying to befriend a few people, priests. I think it was out of a sense of loneliness, also a sense of an effort to belong. And then the experiences of Pickering particularly, of overtures that I couldn't resist and didn't know how to, repeated itself a number of times.
I don't know now why I couldn't resist other than I was weak, confused and somewhat afraid. I was still afraid of my previous life.
And when I had come close to people whose company I found thrilling, entertaining, invigorating and then these events happened, I think I was confusing the expectation of sex almost with friendship.
JULIA BAIRD: Does that mean that the people with which you were involved in these episodes would have thought that you had consented?
JOHN HEPWORTH: No. I would say things that were negative. No, not this. No, don't.
But I'd become used to people taking no notice. And as I say, I was coming into this from a position of real weakness and, I think, immaturity.
And I now understand, of course, that victims are often frozen at a certain stage and I think the sort of vulnerable, post adolescent stage that I entered the seminary in and that was a stage that I, of naivety or certainly feelings that everybody around me was bigger and more powerful than I was. And these were overwhelming feelings.
It's difficult now to say how was I such a fool. I find it hard to explain my weakness in those days and I still feel a real sense of shame about it. But I don't believe anybody could have thought I was consenting. I was taken advantage of