South East Wales

Archbishop of Cardiff George Stack sets out priorities

Cardiff's Catholic Archbishop says his priorities are to address a decline in church attendance, and repair damage caused by abuse scandals outside Wales.

The Most Reverend George Stack said the catholic church in Wales needed to balance its core teachings with changes in people's lifestyles.

The 66-year-old, who was born in the Republic of Ireland, was speaking after being installed as archbishop in June.

He previously spent most of his life in the church in London.

Church attendance has been falling for some years, and Archbishop Stack felt it was something that should be addressed.

He said: "When we talk about declining numbers we have to fit that into the context of the pressures that people are under in a way that wasn't true 25 to 30 years ago, and the church needs to adapt its structure, its organisation."

In recent years the Catholic Church has faced a raft of allegations of child sex abuse and an inadequate response from members of the clergy.

He said evil had touched the life of the church.

"The damage is done and no matter what you say it can never really touch the depths of the pain that an individual has experienced.

"All we can do as fellow human beings is our best and we try to reconcile, to heal, to forgive, but there's always that corner in our lives which is broken."

He added: "The tragedy, of course, it's something which effects everybody's view, everybody's perspective on the life of the church, and we have to try to hold on to what is good and true and wholesome and holy, and never let that be distorted by the very real evil that goes on in the world."

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