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Archbishop John Aloysius Ward
Power to Abuse
Sunday November 5 2000
Reporter Phil Parry
Producers Murdoch Rogers and Jayne Morgan
Assistant Producer Tamsen Courtenay




Programme Update - 26 October 2001
The most senior Catholic bishop in Wales steps down following allegations that he failed to act in two cases of paedophile priests.

Programme Update - 20 December 2000
The Vatican will send a Papal envoy to Cardiff to restore confidence among priests after the two recent paedophilia cases that were highlighted in the programme.


BBC Wales reporter Phil Parry has uncovered disturbing new evidence of how the Roman Catholic Church in Wales behaved as paedophile priests abused children.

Scroll down for related links

The programme reveals details of warnings and recommendations that were ignored and which would have stopped one child abuser entering the Priesthood and preying on boys.

Father Philip Dixon
Father Dixon is critical of the Archbishop
Panorama discloses how the head of the Catholic Church in Wales, Archbishop John Ward, breached the Church's own guidelines designed to protect children. For the first time serving Priests call publicly for the Archbishop to resign.

Father Philip Dixon says, "This was a disaster that needn't have happened ... if the information had been properly acted on."

The Archbishop informed one paedophile Priest of allegations against him almost a week before he was arrested, giving him time to hide a computer with 500 images of child pornography.

Father Dixon goes on to say, "(The Archbishop of Cardiff) has shown on many occasions that he's incompetent. I think he's unfit for office."

Panorama investigates the career of paedophile Priest Joe Jordan who was operating in the Cardiff diocese alongside another child abuser, Father John Lloyd.

Before he turned to the Priesthood, Jordan abused an 11-year-old boy whilst teaching in Doncaster.

He would never have got into the priesthood if they looked at his recent records

Tony Smith
Tony Smith was one of Jordan's victims. He says "It was a horrible experience, I was on me own and I was eleven years old. He would never have got into the priesthood if they looked at his recent records and these boys would never have been abused. But obviously they haven't checked they haven't looked whatsoever."

One Catholic Bishop who did want checks undertaken was Bishop Budd of Plymouth where Joe Jordan was originally to be ordained. Bishop Budd tells the programme he wanted a full paedophile assessment of Jordan.

He recommended it to the Archbishop of Cardiff when Jordan decided to move to Wales. Bishop Budd says, "I was concerned that he shouldn't come into ministry if he was a threat to children."

But Archbishop Ward simply sent Jordan to a lay member of the diocese vocations panel, there was no formal paedophile screening, as had been recommended.

Bishop Budd
Bishop Budd had concerns about Joe Jordan
Bishop Budd says: "I think its a great shame because obviously people have been hurt since ... I'm not sure I would want to comment on a Brother Bishop, but obviously there was something lax about what went on in Cardiff."

Joe Jordan was admitted into the Priesthood in Cardiff after he moved from Plymouth, and there abused two boys in his care. Jordan is now serving eight years in jail.

The parents of one of the boys he assaulted tell the programme their faith in the Church has been shattered. They hear details of Panorama's investigation, that Archbishop Ward knew Joe Jordan was a potential risk to children.

"Its absolutely disgusting. He should have been stopped," says the father of the boy. His wife adds, "I find that so shocking when I'm being told that. Its just almost unbelievable to hear - its just the fact that this man had been so recently ordained and somebody at the top of the Catholic hierarchy knew he was a risk."

Related link

BBC News - Diocese's shame over past abuse

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 ON THIS STORY
Power to Abuse
Bishop Budd wanted a specialist paedophile assessment of Joe Jordan
Power to Abuse
Archbishop Ward defends his actions regarding the case of Joe Jordan

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