Prince Charles has been criticised by an official sex abuse inquiry for his “misguided” friendship with a paedophile bishop.
The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) today published its report on the investigation into Diocese of Chichester and response to allegations against Peter Ball.
In 2015, Ball was convicted of sexual offences against 18 young men – one of whom took his own life – and sentenced to 32 months in prison. An independent inquiry last year found that senior figures in the Church of England had engaged in collusion to cover-up the case.
IICSA has examined how the Church of England handled allegations of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Chichester, where disgraced bishop Peter Ball and several other convicted paedophile priests once officiated.
However the report published today found that Ball, 87, sought to use his friendship with the Prince of Wales “to further his campaign to return to unrestricted ministry” following a police caution in 1992.
Furthermore, Prince Charles’s own correspondence with the Archbishop of Canterbury at the time “could have been interpreted as expressions of support” and an attempt to influence Lambeth Palace, investigators found.
It was Ball’s “charm, charisma and reputation” which enabled him to avoid a criminal conviction until 2017, the report concluded, while the Church responded to his 1992 arrest by minimising his offending, without any kind of assessment of his risk to children.