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BBC Wales's Liz Shankland reports
"The decision by the Catholic Church is understood to be unusual"
 real 28k

Bishop John Regan, Bishop of Wrexham
"This seems a very christian thing to do on the part of the church"
 real 28k

Tuesday, 19 December, 2000, 11:15 GMT
Pope appoints stand-in archbishop
Archbishop John Ward
Archbishop John Ward, pictured left, has been replaced
The Roman Catholic Church has replaced the Archbishop of Cardiff John Aloysius Ward from the day-to-day running of the Archdiocese of Cardiff.

In a surprise move, it has been announced that the Bishop of Wrexham Edwin Regan has been appointed as an Apostolic Administrator to run the Archdiocese.

He will replace John Ward, who is recovering from deep vein thrombosis.

The archbishop had been under increasing pressure to step down over his handling of the cases of two paedophile priests from his diocese, who have been jailed.


I want to listen to people and discern with them the best way forward

Edwin Regan, Bishop of Wrexham
One source told BBC Wales's Good Morning Wales programme the appointment of Bishop Regan was a highly unusual move, usually restricted to a diocese where the sitting Bishop had died.

Fresh calls for the leader of the Catholic Church in Wales to go followed a BBC documentary, which uncovered evidence that Archbishop Ward ignored serious warnings about paedophiles working in his diocese.

It was revealed the archbishop had ignored serious warnings about Father John Lloyd - jailed in 1998 - and father Joe Jordan.

St Mary's church, Canton
Father Jordan was on secondment at St Mary's church, Canton
The Archbishop of Cardiff had expressed sorrow over events and he said he always acted in good faith.

A spokesman for the Catholic Media Office said: "Pope John Paul II has appointed the Rt Rev Edwin Regan, Bishop of Wrexham, to be apostolic administrator for the Catholic Archdiocese of Cardiff.

"The position will be a temporary appointment to provide episcopal governance for the diocese while the current Archbishop, the Most Rev John Aloysius Ward, is convalescing.

"Archbishop Ward has been recovering from deep vein thrombosis since November."

Archbishop Ward wrote to the Pope asking him to appoint another Archbishop to work alongside him.

Bishop Regan is now due to meet the chapter of canons to present himself to the diocese.

He told BBC Wales he would do his best to fulfill his new role.

"It gives the church in south Wales a chance to come to terms with what has happened.

'Be a bridge'

"I want to listen to people and discern with them the best way forward.

"I am sure a lot of the administration can be dealt with in north Wales. I will give the archdiocese of Cardiff my attention without neglecting my duties here."

Bishop Regan added he would act according to the motto: "Let him who wishes to be a leader, be a bridge."

The Bishop of Wrexham was born in Port Talbot in 1935 and was ordained as a priest of the Cardiff Archdiocese in 1959.

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