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Friday, 26 October, 2001, 13:28 GMT 14:28 UK
New Archbishop's reconciliation call
Archbishop Peter Smith
Archbishop Peter Smith hopes to "bind the wounds"
The man who is set to replace John Ward as Archbishop of Cardiff has called for a period of healing and reconciliation.

The Most Reverend Peter Smith, 58, acknowledged the difficult times faced by the archdiocese, priests and the children abused.

Speaking about new procedures being put in place by church authorities to counter paedophiles, he said: "Child abuse is a dreadful wrong and there is no justification for it," he said.


"I want to help people to bind up the wounds and bring healing I think that is so important, its not done easily it takes time and great deal of effort and it takes patience.

The Most Reverend Peter Smith
"In the last 12 months steps have been taken to address the problem.

"The bishops are intent of getting rid of it but there are no guarantees."

When asked about the decision of former Archbishop Ward to resign Bishop Smith said he felt that it was the correct course of action.

"Our concern must be for the good of the whole church," he said.

Formerly the bishop of East Anglia, Archbishop Smith is expected to be installed in his new post in a ceremony to take place at the beginning of December in St David's Cathedral.

And as he begins his new role, he predicts much of his time will be spent helping to "bind the wounds" and bring people together.

"Life is difficult, life is not a bed of roses, but we ought not let these things drag us down they do at times and we need to encourage each other and build each other up," he said.

Message of hope

"The Christian message is a message of hope and both individuals and communities go through difficult patches, but I am great optimist, I hope not a foolish optimist but I always look ahead with hope.

"I want to help people to bind up the wounds and bring healing I think that is so important, its not done easily it takes time and great deal of effort and it takes patience.

"It is only as I get into the task and begin to fulfil my ministry as archbishop that I hope what will come across is that I am intent on building good relationships not only within the church but within the wider community, because the church is there to serve the community. I will do whatever I can."

See also:

06 Nov 00 | Wales
Diocese's shame over past abuse
17 Apr 01 | UK
A victim speaks out
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