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Sunday, 5 November, 2000, 01:22 GMT
Diocese's shame over past abuse

By the BBC's religious affairs correspondent Emily Buchanan

Catholic parishioners in Wales were told on Sunday their archbishop of 17 years, the Most Reverend John Ward, had decided to ask the Pope to appoint a co-adjutor or parallel archbishop.

The new man will work alongside the archbishop until he decided to retire or resign.

The decision follows revelations about two Catholic priests in Wales, John Lloyd and Joseph Jordan, who were jailed for sexually abusing children.

In a letter to be read out at masses throughout Wales, the archbishop expresses his "deep sorrow and regret at the unhappy events that have so seriously marred our Catholic community over these last two years.

"These have been a source of painful distress anguish, hurt, betrayal and anger for John Lloyd's and Joseph Jordan's victims."

Complaint letters ignored

Father Lloyd was once the archbishop's press officer. When parishioners wrote to the archbishop to complain about alleged abuse of children he simply sent their letters back to Fr Lloyd.

A senior priest in the diocese, Father Bill Boxall described what Fr Lloyd did with them: "He would hold these letters in his hand as he stood at the altar in the church in Chepstow and name these people who had written them.

Archbishop John Ward
Archbishop John Ward: "Acting in the interests of the diocese"
"He would wave these letters and he would say, 'I have told you it's no point in writing to him as he sends these letters back to me'. This madness was always accepted as the norm."

As a result parishioners stopped complaining and Lloyd continued to abuse women, girls and boys, until he was finally stopped in 1998 and sentenced to eight years in jail.

The second priest was Father Jordan.

Before he was ordained he was an English teacher at Don Valley High School in Doncaster. There he used to abuse boys like Tony Smith.

Panorama revelations

Tony told Sunday's Panorama programme how he once complained to Jordan that his back hurt, Jordan pretended to be a qualified physiotherapist and took Tony back to his house for 'treatment'.

Tony takes on the story: "He were like massaging from me knees, me thighs, up towards me underpants, I had my underpants on and he were coming up towards me private parts...then he grabbed me hand and tried to pull me hand over his private parts."

A string of allegations led to tough child protection rules
Tony eventually went to court, but Jordan was acquitted. He was barred from the classroom though and decided to apply for the priesthood instead.

Warnings about his character during training were ignored, but when Fr Jordan, then working in Devon, applied for a job in Wales, the Bishop of Plymouth Christopher Budd wrote a letter to the Archbishop of Cardiff to tell him about Jordan's previous court case.

Guidelines breached

The archbishop did not apparently tell the appointments board about this case.

A psychiatrist appointed to examine Jordan was also not told to make a paedophile assessment.

This was in breach of the Catholic Church's own guidelines on protecting children from abuse.

Two weeks ago Fr Jordan was jailed for abusing children in Wales and Doncaster.

Archbishop Ward says he always tried to act in the best interests of the diocese.

It will be nine months before the co-adjutor archbishop will be appointed.

The archbishop can then retire any time after that.

'Power to Abuse' will be shown on BBC 1's Panorama on Sunday 5 November at 2215 GMT

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