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The Independent Peter Ball Review AN ABUSE OF FAITH – Dame Moira Gibb

July 9, 2017

Ball, now 83, was jailed last year after pleading guilty to abusing 18 young men, including teenagers, in Litlington, East Sussex, in the 1970s and 1980s during his time as Bishop of Lewes.

Ball accepted a police caution for gross indecency and resigned from his position as Bishop of Gloucester after one victim went to police in the early 1990s.

But it meant he avoided more serious charges until the case was finally reopened 20 years later.

“This report considers the serious sexual wrongdoing of Peter Ball, a bishop of the Church of England who abused many boys and men over a period of twenty years or more. That is shocking in itself, but it is compounded by the failure of the Church to respond appropriately to his misconduct, again over a period of many years. Ball’s priority was to protect and promote himself, and he maligned the abused. The Church colluded with that rather than seeking to help those he had harmed, or assuring itself of the safety of others.

We were asked to consider changes necessary to ensure that safeguarding in the Church is of the highest possible standard. The Church has made significant progress in recent years in its understanding of abuse. We have no doubt that the Church has a genuine commitment to meeting its responsibilities towards the victims of abuse. However we can see how difficult it is to make change across the complex structures of the Church. Progress has been slow and continuing, faster improvement is still required. It is the leadership of the Archbishops and Bishops which will determine whether change is effective.”

The report has 11 recommendations for the Church focusing on a range of issues including focusing on getting the right support in place for survivors, the leadership of bishops, strengthening guidance, reviewing the Archbishops’ Lists and the effectiveness of disciplinary measures with regards to safeguarding related cases.

Receiving the report on behalf of the Church, the Rt Revd Peter Hancock, the CofE’s lead safeguarding bishop, said: “I am truly sorry that as a Church we failed the survivors of Peter Ball; having read the report I am appalled and disturbed by its contents; as Dame Moira says in her foreword Peter Ball abused boys and men over a 20 year period and as a Church we colluded, we failed to act and protect those who came forward for help. There are no excuses.

One of the survivor committed suicide, some refuted to co-operate with the report.

Peter Ball refused to answer any questions and h shown no remorse.

His tin brother, Michael, aszlo a bishop, seems not to have realised he seriousness of the offences, calling them ‘silly.’

It’s online here

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