Paedophile priest controversy forces archbishop's retirement
A British archbishop under pressure to resign for ignoring warnings about two paedophile priests apologised to parishioners on Sunday and announced his retirement.
The Archbishop of Cardiff, Archbishop John Ward, 71, acted hours before a BBC TV documentary was broadcast in which fresh calls were made for him to stand down immediately.
The Daily Telegraph claims he has been under pressure from the Vatican to relinquish his position since it was revealed last month that he ordained Joseph Jordan, a candidate for the priesthood, despite being warned by another bishop that he was a suspected paedophile.
Jordan went on to sexually assault two nine-year-old boys. He is now serving an eight-year sentence for sex attacks on children.
In the same year that Jordan was ordained, the Archbishop's press officer and close associate, Fr John Lloyd, was jailed for eight years for rape and child sex offences. Last year the Archbishop himself was arrested after being wrongly accused of assaulting a young girl in the Sixties.
In a letter read to parishioners across the diocese yesterday the Archbishop announced his decision to ask the Pope to appoint an archbishop-in-waiting who would take over on his retirement. He spoke of "difficult and trying days," and also expressed his sorrow for playing a part, albeit "unwittingly", in the events of the last two years. Later he said the co-archbishop would be able to "help me, stand by me, keep an eye on me" and, once "settled in", take over.