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Thursday, December 8, 2016
New archbishop for Cardiff
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¬†Pope John Paul II has appointed Bishop Peter Smith to be the new Archbishop of Cardiff. Bishop Smith has been Bishop of East Anglia since 1995. Bishop Smith succeeds Archbishop John Aloysius Ward OFMCap, Archbishop of Cardiff since 1983. Bishop Edwin Regan, Bishop of Wrexham, has been Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Cardiff since December 2000. He will continue in this role until Bishop Smith's installation as Archbishop of Cardiff. This will take place at St David's Cathedral, Cardiff in due course. Bishop Smith said: "I feel both privileged and humbled to have been appointed as Archbishop of Cardiff in succession to Archbishop Ward who is now retiring. I wish him a happy and contented retirement after his many years of pastoral ministry in the Archdiocese. I also want to thank Bishop Edwin Regan for his pastoral care of the Archdiocese during his time as Apostolic Administrator. He will continue in office until my installation as the new Archbishop. I am very sorry to be leaving East Anglia after six very happy years in the Diocese, but at the same time I very much look forward to meeting and working with the clergy, religious and people of the Archdiocese. I am very aware of the great challenges and the opportunities which we face in the Church and in our world which needs so much to experience God's love, mercy and forgiveness. I pray that we will all look forward with hope and with confidence in God's grace so that we can proclaim and live the Gospel with integrity, trust and deep joy. Bishop Regan said: "I thank Archbishop Ward most sincerely for the pastoral guidance and care that he has given to the Archdiocese of Cardiff since 1983. I acknowledge the difficult and sensitive situation of the last few months. It is good that this period of uncertainty is now over. On behalf of the Archdiocese, I wish Archbishop Ward every blessing and happiness in his retirement. The priests and people of the Archdiocese look forward to working with his successor, Bishop Peter Smith, in continuing the mission of the Church to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to the people of South Wales and Herefordshire. Archbishop Ward said: "Recently, I asked Pope John Paul II for a private audience. He readily agreed to my request. On Thursday 18 October I had a private audience with him in his study at the Vatican. The audience lasted almost half an hour and the Holy Father was well briefed and was therefore able to listen carefully to what I had to say. That itself lifted a great burden from me. I was determined that no one - be it sections of the media or other critics Ů would force me out of office. For six months, I was aware of serious doubts concerning my health. When those doubts were resolved during early October, I made it known that I was fully recovered and ready to resume my office. I did not ask the Holy Father to allow this, no more then he forced me to resign as Archbishop of Cardiff. At the end of my audience I came to the conclusion that my present good health could quickly return to incapacity. Consequently, I offered my resignation to Pope John Paul II and I immediately felt at peace. I am weary of an environment characterised by a lack of loyalty. 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. They were and are poor servants of justice and truth. I thank the clergy, religious and laity of the Archdiocese of Cardiff for their prayers and support. I am deeply conscious of their constant encouragement and concern. I ask God to bless them. Not only must I ask forgiveness of anyone I have hurt during my 18 years as Archbishop of Cardiff. I also forgive those who have been the cause of scandal to so many. I heartily welcome the appointment of Bishop Peter Smith of East Anglia as Archbishop and Metropolitan of the See of Cardiff. I congratulate him and pray that he will have a long and successful ministry. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor said: "On behalf of the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales, I would like to thank Archbishop Ward for his ministry as a Bishop in Wales over many years, and wish him a long and happy retirement." Biographies Bishop Peter Smith Bishop Smith was born on 21 October 1943 in Battersea, London. He was educated by the Xaverian Brothers at Clapham, and at Exeter University, where he gained a LLB. He studied for the priesthood at St John's Seminary, Wonersh, and was ordained on 15 July 1972. Following two years as Assistant Priest in Stockwell, he pursued further studies in Rome, and was awarded a Doctorate in Canon Law (JCD) summa cum laude from the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas in 1977. On returning to England, Bishop Smith was appointed Professor of Canon Law at St John's Seminary. In 1984, he was appointed to St Andrew's, Thornton Heath, but returned to St John's Seminary the following year as Rector. On 21 March 1995, he was appointed second Bishop of East Anglia, and was ordained Bishop on 27 May 1995 at St John's Cathedral Norwich. Bishop Smith has been Chairman of the Bishops' Conference Department of Christian Responsibility and Citizenship since November 1998. He has been Chair of the Catholic Truth Society since 1993, and was appointed Chairman of the Central Religious Advisory Committee (CRAC) in 2001. He was a member of the independent Review on Child Protection in the Catholic Church which was chaired by Lord Nolan. The final report of the Review, A Programme for Action, was published in September 2001. Archbishop John Aloysius Ward OFMCap Archbishop Ward was born on 24 January 1929 in Leeds. He was educated at Prior Park College, Bath, and joined the Capuchin Friars at Holywell, Clwyd. He was ordained in 1953 in the Franciscan parish at Peckham, London. He directed the travelling mission in north Wales for seven years, before becoming Guardian of the Community and Parish Priest at Peckham. In 1969 he became Minister Provincial, and was elected an advisor to the Father General in 1970. Archbishop Ward was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Menevia on 1 October 1980 and succeeded to the Bishopric on 5 February 1981. He was appointed Archbishop of Cardiff on 29 March 1983. He attended the 1994 Synod of Bishops in Rome. Following a deep vein thrombosis in November 2000, Archbishop Ward was relieved of the pastoral care of the archdiocese. Following a meeting with Pope John Paul II on 18 October, the Archbishop's resignation was accepted. source: CMO
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