Page 7, 3rd November 2000

3rd November 2000
Page 7
Page 7, 3rd November 2000 — Jordan and the campaign against Archbishop Ward

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Locations: Cardiff


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Jordan and the campaign against Archbishop Ward

From the Revd WI. Isaac Sir, Thank you for the editorial and the article in last week's Catholic Herald regarding the Archbishop of Cardiff.

I felt that for the first time in the Catholic press, the other side of the argument was published. It is not true that the archbishop has no support in his diocese.

I feel, and this is shared by others, that mistakes might have been made, and it is always easy in hindsight to see how things might have been done, but the campaign to remove Archbishop Ward from office has a wider agenda.

I know of many people who are supporting the archbishop by prayer.

Only a short time ago, about 40 priests joined the Archbishop in a day of prayer at Llantarm Abbey. Last week a dozen priests met to celebrate Mass and pray before the Blessed Sacrament for the Archbishop and the Archdiocese.

Sometimes silence can be interpreted as a lack of support, hut in this case many people who are silent are praying for the Archdiocese and the Archbishop at this difficult time Yours faithfully, Wi ISAAC Bridgend CF31 3HS From Mgr Kieran Conry Sir, I would wish to comment on two points made in last week's Catholic Herald in connection with the case of Joseph Jordan and the Archbishop of Cardiff.

Your report suggests that I went to Cardiff and suggested to the archbishop "that he should take early retirement".

It is not my place to make any such suggestion to a bishop. I am a press officer. A suggestion like that from me would be impertinent and misguided.

Your editorial then asks (quite fairly) who the "senior Church source" was who told the Daily Telegraph that the Archbishop should retire.

That source was a freelance Catholic journalist who described himself to the Press Association as a leading Catholic writer. If anyone wants more details I am happy to supply them.

Yours faithfully, KIERAN CONRY Catholic Media Office From Mr J. Reddy Sir, I am a most infrequent writer of letters to newspapers, but as a result of your unbiased editorial and report last week I wish to add my views regarding the extensive media coverage of the call for the

resignation of Archbishop Ward. This suggestion from a minute number of people in no way reflects the view of the majority.

For a decade or more Archbishop Ward has loyally and effectively served the Archdiocese of Cardiff. During this time he has had to confront many difficult issues. We all could look to moments when with the benefit of hindsight we would have been encouraged to take a different action.

For this reason I must express a feeling of resentment that sections of the media persist in bombarding us with the views of a small number of discontented people. As long as this minority view is allowed to flourish then many more people might become improperly influenced.

I am confident as a result of my many conversations with parishioners throughout the archdiocese that the call for Archbishop Ward's resignation does not reflect their wishes. Experience tells us that many paedophiles have a proven ability to deceive even the most dedicated and skilful assessors. Sadly, several young people and the Archdiocese of Cardiff have suffered from such cunning deceit.

Does this really justify the action taken by a small number of clergy in creating a "witch-hunt" based on the assumption that they were better informed (hindsight?) than either Archbishop Ward or Bishop Budd? I share together with the vast majority of parishioners of the archdiocese and its clergy, total confidence that Archbishop Ward should remain our pastoral leader.

Yours faithfully J REDDY Bishop Hedly High School Merthyr Tydfil CF47 9AN.

From Mrs Christine Edwards Sir, In response to your articles regarding the Archdiocese of Cardiff and in particular Archbishop Ward, I would like to make it clear that I have certainly not been hearing word from our parishioners here in Bridgend that His Grace should resign. There is a majority support among the faithful and most of the priests for His Grace, and I just feel that we are hearing all the negatives and would like it to be heard that most are in tune with the archbishop, who can in no way be held responsible for what has been happening with John Lloyd and Joseph Jordan (no way can I give them the title "Father").

It is well known and accepted that these sort of persons are well able to get themselves into positions of trust and areas of work where they have the opportunity to act as they do, and also become very clever at hiding any evidence of such depravity.

Please, when you do another article, do assure the public that His Grace is not alone — the majority of the Catholic population are with him and praying for the strength he needs at this time. I hope this makes sense, but I do feel I want to express my support for the archbishop at this time.

Yours faithfully CHRISTINE EDWARDS Bridgend CF31 3DN From the Deputy Lord Mayor of the City of Cardiff Sir, The recent attacks on Archbishop Ward of Cardiff , by socalled friends and members of the Catholic Church, on the Joe Jordan affair, seem unbalanced and unfair.

The Catholic Church, and I am sure, the archbishop, feels wounded and betrayed by Joe Jordan, but for people to call for the resignation of the archbishop because he appointed a priest who turned out to be rotten, seems hysterical, to say the least.

The archbishop followed the same procedures in appointing Joe Jordan as he would for any other prospective candidate for the priesthood coining through the system, it was based on information supplied by other, and on his own investigations.

Some of the critics of the appointment seem to mistake foresight for hindsight (what a wonderful world that would be). One wonders if these self-styled critics have ever had to make a serious decision themselves. If so, have they never made a mistake; remember "he who casts the first stone".

In conclusion, I have not seen or heard any groundswell of opinion

against the archbishop from the lay members in the diocese. Until that happens then Archbishop Ward will still lead the Catholic Church in Cardiff.

Yours faithfully GORDON HOULSTON Splott CF24 2LF From the Cardiff County Councillor for Pentwyn

Sir, The recent conviction of Welsh paedophile priest Joe Jordan has, I am sure, moved us all and it has caused particular hurt and soulsearching for members of the Catholic faith. However, calls for the Archbishop of Cardiff to resign are totally unwarranted.

The fact is that although the archbishop was aware of the allegations against Joe Jordan, he was also aware that he had been acquitted.

Are people really suggesting that we should ignore the outcomes of trials under what is regarded as one of the fairest legal systems in: the world? Are they suggesting that even if people are acquitted of crimes then we should still regard them as guilty? I dread to think what sort of society that would lead to.

We must all fight to protect our, children and we must give the archbishop our support as he redoubles the efforts of the Church to do just that.

Yours faithfully VITA JONES Cardiff CF23 6SZ From Mr J. G. Thomas Sir, With reference to your editorial (Oct 29) concerning Archbishop Ward I wish to make it clear that I. and almost the whole diocese, are fully supportive of His Grace in the present situation in which he has become involved by the pressure of the media, and concerning which he has stated that he has no intention of resigning.

Yours faithfully JG THOMAS Cardiff CF4 5JG We have received very many other letters of support for Archbishop Ward, and regret that we cannot publish more — Editor

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