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Archbishop John Ward
"I take responsibility for what has happened"
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Nicholas Coote
"It does mean that the dfficult gap between the resignation and appointment of a bishop is avoided"
 real 28k

BBC Wales's Nick Palit
"The Archbishop expressed deep sorrow and regret about the events"
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Sunday, 5 November, 2000, 18:07 GMT
Cardiff may get second archbishop
Archbishop John Ward
A second Archbishop would work alongside John Ward
The Roman Catholic archdiocese of Cardiff may have a second archbishop to work alongside John Ward until he retires.

In a letter read out at masses this weekend, Archbishop Ward says he's asking the Pope to appoint a 'co-adjutor' to share his responsibilities, and who would then succeed him in the role.

The move comes only weeks after calls were made for the Archbishop to resign, for failing to pass on warnings about a priest, who was later jailed for sexually abusing children.

The procedure is extremely unusual in the Roman Catholic church and has not been used for seventeen years

I have always acted in what I believed was the best interests of the Archdiocese and all its people

Archbishop John Ward
Archbishop Ward announced his intention to ask the Pope to bring in a second archbishop in an official letter to all church members.

The letter was read out to congregations in masses across south Wales.

The Archbishop read his message personally at St Aloysius church on the Gurnos estate in Merthyr Tydfil on Sunday morning.

A large congregation heard him describe the additional Archbishop as a man who would succeed him when the time was right.

He said he had not taken the decision lightly and had been considering it for some time.

He referred to his own age as nearly 72 and spoke of health problems following a stroke.

I take responsibility for what has happened...I deeply regret what has happened.

Archbishop John Ward
He also called for sympathy and help for the priests of the diocese.

"Our priests have been deeply hurt, ridiculed and treated with suspicion because of recent events," the Archbishop explained.

He said he felt the greatest sense of betrayal, and mentioned the two priests from the archdiocese John Lloyd and Joseph Jordan who have been jailed for abusing children by name.

"These difficulties have taught us the need to examine existing ways of doing things ," he said.

In an interview for the BBC Wales programme All Things Considered , Archbishop Ward expressed his regret over all that had happened.

"I take responsibility for what has happened...I deeply regret what has happened. The pain its caused. The pain its caused the whole Archdiocese," he told the programme.

'Something worthwhile'

Nicholas Coote, Assistant General Secretary of the Bishops of England and Wales, said Archbishop Ward may have decide on the route because of his own past experience.

"I think it is important the Archbishop Ward has chosen to ask for a co-adjutor because he has had experience himself of being a co-adjutor to another bishop in another Welsh diocese, so perhaps he thinks there is something worthwhile in doing that," he said.

"It does mean that the dfficult gap between the resignation and appointment of a bishop is avoided"

The second Archbishop or " Co-adjutor" is a very rare appointment. The last was made in 1983.

Archbishops are required to retire when they reach the age of 75.

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05 Nov 00 | Wales
Diocese's shame over past abuse
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