Catholic Archbishop Ward Resigns
CARDIFF, Wales (AP) _ The Catholic archbishop of Cardiff, who has been accused of ignoring warnings that two priests were molesting children, has retired after offering his resignation to the Vatican, the church announced Friday.
The Most Rev. John Aloysius Ward met last week with Pope John Paul II, who accepted the resignation.
He will be replaced by the bishop of east Anglia, Peter Smith.
In December, Ward became ill and his duties were taken by an apostolic administrator, the Right Rev. Edwin Regan, bishop of Wrexham.
Ward, 72, has insisted he did nothing wrong in supporting the Rev. Joe Jordan and Rev. John Lloyd despite warnings about both men.
He ordained Jordan in 1998, knowing that Jordan had been tried and acquitted of assaulting a young boy. Last year, Jordan was sentenced to eight years in jail for indecent assaults on two 9-year-olds after he was ordained, and for assaulting a 12-year-old boy in the 1980s.
Lloyd, one of Ward’s close colleagues, was jailed for eight years in 1998 for pedophile offenses.
Ward said he resigned only because he feared his health could again deteriorate.
``I am weary of an environment characterized by a lack of loyalty,″ he said in a statement.
``I have been shocked and deeply hurt by those sections of the media and members of the Catholic Church who did their utmost to attack me when I was struck down by illness.″