Monday, March 21, 2016

 

Paedophile bishop Peter Ball may have taken services in place of his identical twin brother

Peter Ball was jailed last year for abusing 18 young men in the 1970s and 1980s during his time as the Bishop of Lewes

The Church of England is investigating evidence that disgraced paedophile bishop Peter Ball took services in the place of his identical twin brother in the 1990s.

Ball, now 84, was jailed last year after pleading guilty to abusing 18 young men in the 1970s and 1980s during his time as the Bishop of Lewes.

He was previously investigated by police in 1993 and given a police caution for gross indecency.

It has now emerged that he may have taken services in Cornwall, where his brother Michael was a former Bishop of Truro.

"It does appear as if Bishop Peter went and did things which Bishop Michael should have been doing."
Right Reverend Tim Thornton.

Churches are being asked to check their records for any evidence that the sex abuser took services in the 1990s.

Current Bishop of Truro, the Right Reverend Tim Thornton told the BBC: "We have one or two bits of evidence now where it does appear as if Bishop Peter went and did things which Bishop Michael should have been doing.

"It might be that Bishop Peter thought it was clear that he was being Bishop Peter, and on some occasions might have made it very clear at the beginning that he was there in place of his brother, but it might not have been evident to everybody."
It would have been "a limited number of services in a limited number of churches", he said.

It is not known whether the congregation would have been aware if Ball had been officiating rather than his brother, if the incidents did take place.

An independent review headed by Dame Moira Gibb is currently investigating how much senior figures in the Church of England knew about Ball's activities.

The Dicoese of Truro is cooperating with the review.

Bishop Tim said: "We hope the review will be able to bring some clarity regarding the status of Peter Ball's ministry within the Diocese of Truro."

A spokesman for the Diocese of Truro said: "We can confirm that Peter Ball was granted Permission to Officiate within the Diocese of Truro in 1995 by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, George Carey.

"There was an initial permission granted for a period of six months from March 1st, 1995, and then this was then extended by three years from September 1st, 1995."

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