Prince Charles © Dean Lewins
Prince Charles has distanced himself from a pedophile Anglican bishop with whom he was friends for many years. A letter from the prince on the case was read to a British committee on sexual abuse.
In the letter, he rejected speculation in the media that he had interfered in the proceedings against former Bishop Peter Ball.
The former Anglican bishop of Gloucester was sentenced in 2015 to 32 months in prison for "misconduct in a public office" and 15 months for "sexual assault". The 83-year-old had previously confessed to sexually abusing 18 teenagers and young men between 1977 and 1992. Already in the early 90s, one of the victims had accused the then bishop. Ball had only been warned at the time.
Not interfering in investigations
British media reported members of the royal family had intervened in the case. Prince Charles has now contradicted this in his statement, saying that while he had repeatedly exchanged letters with the bishop, he had not interfered with the police investigation.
Charles added that he regretted being wrong about the bishop: "It is important to note that in the 1980s and 1990s it was basically amed that people like bishops could be believed."Peter Ball had told him that he had been a victim of "indiscretion", which led to his resignation as bishop. After Ball's 2015 conviction, he immediately cut off contact with the bishop, Charles reported.
Bishop financially supported
However, the prince confirmed that he had financially supported the bishop after his resignation, giving him small gifts of money from time to time. In addition, he said, he helped Ball find a new home in one of Duchy's houses after he had to move out of the bishop's home.
Like many others, he had been deceived over a long period of time, Charles explained. The "true background to Mr. Ball's activities" had not been known to him. To help the inquiry committee, he said, he had agreed to volunteer to set out the facts in a letter.