Ex-arch­bishop Carey asked to ‘step down’ over pae­dophile link

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Olivia Rudgard

Re­li­gious Af­fairs Cor­re­spon­dent

A FOR­MER Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury has been asked to step down from his cur­rent role after a re­port found that he and other se­nior fig­ures in the Church of Eng­land “col­luded” with a dis­graced pae­dophile bishop to pre­vent him fac­ing crim­i­nal charges.

Ge­orge Carey, cur­rently an hon­orary as­sis­tant bishop in the dio­cese of Ox­ford, has been urged to “care­fully con­sider his po­si­tion” by Justin Welby, the cur­rent Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury.

A re­port by for­mer so­cial worker Dame Moira Gibb, the re­sult of an 18-month long in­quiry, found that the Church of Eng­land had failed to pro­tect the vic­tims of Peter Ball, who abused 18 vul­ner­a­ble men and boys over a 20year pe­riod.

Ball, a for­mer bishop of Lewes and of Glouces­ter, was jailed in Oc­to­ber 2015 for in­de­cent as­sault and mis­con­duct in pub­lic of­fice. He was released from prison ear­lier this year.

He had ini­tially been in­ves­ti­gated by po­lice in 1993 after Neil Todd, a young man who had stayed with him, told Church fig­ures there had been “sex­ual ac­tiv­ity” be­tween the two. Mr Todd killed him­self in 2012.

That in­ves­ti­ga­tion ended when Ball ac­cepted a cau­tion for gross in­de­cency and re­signed as Bishop of Glouces­ter.

The re­port, pub­lished yes­ter­day, found that Lord Carey, then the Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury, wrote to Ball’s twin brother, Bishop Michael Ball, in 1993, after the cau­tion, say­ing he be­lieved Ball was “ba­si­cally in­no­cent”.

At that stage Lord Carey was al­ready aware of six let­ters which had been sent to Lam­beth Palace by mem­bers of the pub­lic, mak­ing fur­ther al­le­ga­tions about Ball’s be­hav­iour. The let­ters were never passed on to po­lice.

The for­mer Arch­bishop also de­cided not to add Ball to the “Lam­beth List”, which iden­ti­fies cler­gy­man about whom there are ques­tions as to their suit­abil­ity for min­istry.

Ball was con­victed of the of­fences after a re­newed in­ves­ti­ga­tion into his ac­tions was opened in 2012 fol­low­ing a re­view of past cases by Dr Rowan Wil­liams, who be­came Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury in 2002.

In a state­ment, the Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, the Bishop of Ox­ford, said: “The Arch­bishop of Can­ter­bury has writ­ten to Lord Carey and asked him to care­fully con­sider his po­si­tion as hon­orary as­sis­tant bishop. In the mean­time he has vol­un­tar­ily agreed to step back from pub­lic min­istry.”

Richard Scorer, a spe­cial­ist abuse lawyer at Slater and Gor­don, who rep­re­sents a num­ber of Ball’s vic­tims, said: “Given what’s in the re­port, there is now a clear case for the po­lice and CPS to con­sider crim­i­nal charges against se­nior fig­ures, in­clud­ing Lord Carey, for of­fences of mis­con­duct in pub­lic of­fice and per­vert­ing the course of jus­tice.”

Arch­bishop Welby said the Gibb re­port, ti­tled Abuses of Faith, made “har­row­ing read­ing”.

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