Letter to the People from Archbishop Paul Martin SM

Archdiocese of Wellington [Wellington, New Zealand]

March 7, 2024

By Archbishop Paul Martin, SM

Archbishop Paul Martin SM, the Archbishop of Wellington, has today written a letter to the people of all the country’s parishes, schools and Catholic agencies. It follows media stories about Cardinal John Dew.

This is the text of the letter, an image of which is depicted above.

7 March 2024

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

I am writing to you regarding recent media coverage of an allegation against Cardinal John Dew about events alleged to have taken place in the 1970s.

The New Zealand Police investigated the allegation. They have stated that they have concluded their investigation and no charges will be laid.

Cardinal John retired as Archbishop of Wellington in May last year on reaching age 75, the normal retirement age for Catholic bishops. In accord with our protocols, Cardinal John stood aside from all public church activities when the allegation was brought to the attention of the Church. Cardinal John has asserted his innocence throughout.

Inquiries by the Church are not run concurrently to those being undertaken by the Police. Now that the Police investigation has concluded, Cardinal John continues to stand aside while Church inquiries proceed.

This has been a distressing situation for all involved. I would ask that we pray for all those affected and offer support where we can.

Yours in Christ

+Paul Martin SM
Archbishop of Wellington

• The Bishops and Congregational Leaders of the Catholic Church in Aotearoa New Zealand encourage anyone who has a complaint or report of abuse to approach the Police. Church authorities will always cooperate with Police investigations. Church leaders have established the National Office for Professional Standards (NOPS) to ensure that people who have suffered abuse can disclose this in the expectation of receiving a sensitive response and be supported.