Request for a statement from the Prince Charles’s private secretary
Prince Charles has been summoned by a British court to give a witness statement for a public inquiry into how abuse allegations were handled against a pedophile priest.
The request for a statement from the Prince Charles’s private secretary was announced on Wednesday during an Independent Inquiry into child sexual abuse hearing.
The public inquiry is investigating the handling of abuse allegations against ex-bishop Peter Ball, who was sentenced to 32 months in prison for child abuse dating back to the 1970s.
According to Inquiry lawyer Fiona Scolding, Prince Charle’s lawyers have agreed to assist with the inquiry with a number of issues being raised.
The Daily Mail reports: “This has led to lengthy and complex discussions and we are currently considering the latest points they have raised. We hope to be able to provide an update to core participants on this in the next couple of weeks,” she said.
Charles had exchanged letters with Ball, whose diocese includes Charles’ country estate, Highgrove. The contents of the letters have not been made public.
Charles’ office said in a statement that the prince is “more than willing to provide context on his contact with Mr. Ball, as his former local bishop, if that would help the inquiry.”
The statement said Charles has “made it clear that he was unaware of the extent of Mr. Ball’s behavior.”
The disgrace of the ex-bishop has been a major embarrassment for the Church of England.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby last year apologized to Ball’s victims as the church published a detailed report revealing that senior figures did little about numerous allegations against the bishop over the years.
Welby said the Church of England had “colluded” to help hide the long-term sexual abuse of young men.
Ball was convicted for misconduct in public office and indecent assault against teenagers and young men from the 1970s to 1990s.
He admitted to abusing 18 young men. He was released after serving 16 months.