Clifton diocese has confirmed that a former Church of England bishop jailed for sex offences and his twin brother have said they are looking to become Catholics “to live and worship in anonymity.”
A spokesman for the diocese told The Tablet : “We confirm that Peter and Michael Ball have been in contact with the Clifton Diocese expressing an interest in becoming members of the Catholic Church. This matter is subject to discussions with the Statutory Authorities, who are the lead with regards to Peter Ball’s risk management in the community. The Church of England authorities including their Safeguarding Team are aware of this request.”
The former Bishop of Lewes and of Gloucester, Peter Ball was jailed for 32 months for offences against 18 teenagers and men. He was released in February after serving 16 months. He carried out the abuse between the 1970s and 1990s. Ball’s identical twin, Michael Ball, the former Anglican Bishop of Truro, said in an email that “the events of the last years and rightly or wrongly the battering by the Church have totally wearied and reduced us."
The email, mistakenly sent to the BBC, also said: “We love the Church of England but would like to end our days in a church where we can live and worship in anonymity and without constant fear.” The brothers, now in their mid eighties, added they would not be sending Christmas cards this year.
An independent review of Ball’s case by Dame Moira Gibb said: “The Church at its most senior levels and over many years supported him unwisely and displayed little care for his victims.”