Thinking Anglicans

IICSA Peter Ball hearings Day 1

The transcript of the first day is now available here.

Three documents have been published:

  • Press release – message from the Archbishop of Canterbury being read out in churches throughout the Gloucester Diocese on the first Sunday of the New Year 3rd January 1993
  • Letter from Peter Ball to AN-A117
  • Correspondence between Bishop John Yates and and AN-A10 in 1992-1993 regarding Peter Ball

The lawyer representing the Archbishops’ Council read this opening statement.

Media reports:

IICSA video recordings:

 

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Michael MulhernCRSRichard W. SymondsDavid LammingSimon Sarmiento Recent comment authors
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David Lamming
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David Lamming

In the wake of the £200,000 fine imposed on IICSA by the Information Commissioner (which, effectively, taxpayers will pay) for a serious breach of data protection laws, and for which the Inquiry Chairman, Professor Alexis Jay, failed to take the opportunity to issue a public apology at the outset of this morning’s first day of the ‘Bishop Peter Ball’ case study hearing, it takes the biscuit that, having thanked core participants and their legal teams for their assistance in preparing for the hearing, she then announced a ‘leak inquiry’ (a better description might be a witch hunt) to attempt to… Read more »

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

I hope we are going to hear today from Lord Carey on what the then Crown Appointments Commission thought it was doing nominating monk bishops as diocesans. Maybe it was a novelty initiated by Lord Runcie with Michael Ball’s nomination to Truro. Certainly the reference on Peter Ball read out by Sir Robin Catford was of the ‘nice old chap’ variety. Being a monk, how could there be any doubt about his integrity? Sibling rivalry being what it is (especially with identical twins), I can well imagine that Peter Ball did all he could to play catch up with his… Read more »

David Lamming
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David Lamming

Anthony, what was shocking (and shocked Lord Carey when he heard it for the first time when it was read out to him today) was the advice given to John Major by the then Prime Minister’s Appointments’ Secretary (apparently revealed by the Cabinet Office to IICSA only last week) promoting the cause of Peter Ball for the see of Gloucester above the second name submitted (not mentioned in evidence) and, effectively, usurping the function of the Crown Appointments’ Commission (as the CNC was then known.)

Anthony Archer
Guest
Anthony Archer

The Catford memorandum raises all sorts of issues, including the shocking involvement of the Prime Minister’s Appointments Secretary in the appointment of bishops in the name of the Crown, a practice which I believe may have continued. Thatcher it seems took more interest (politically) than Major. Gordon Brown had the good sense to decide that in the future the Church’s first name should go forward and adopt the same convention for diocesans that had long been developed regarding suffragans. We learn a number of things from the memorandum, although my attempts to discover the first name have so far proved… Read more »

David Lamming
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David Lamming

I have now read the redacted memo from Robin Catford (PM’s appointments secretary) to John Major. It is truly shocking in showing that Catford effectively chose Ball for the see of Gloucester (the CAC’s second name) over that of the CAC’s first choice, even if the vote for that first choice was only by a narrow 8-4 margin. (Though, along with Anthony, my understanding is that a two-thirds majority is required for both the names that go forward, with only a simple majority required if the CAC—now the CNC—wishes to express a preference.) My detective work, coupled with access to… Read more »

Anthony Archer
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Anthony Archer

Think I am more angry about this revelation than I first thought. A middle-ranking civil servant arrogating power to himself in the name of the State in the most prejudicial memorandum I have ever seen written in Whitehall, with not so much as a courtesy to discuss it with George Carey or Hector McLean. Taking advantage of the fact that Carey was new in post and that Major (almost as new in post) had little apparent interest in the system. ‘O.K. Ball’ scribbled on the memorandum was the limit of the PM’s engagement. They clearly did not meet. Carey went… Read more »

Mark Osborne
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Mark Osborne

What on earth difference does it make if someone is a monk?

linda woodhead
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linda woodhead

What we heard in IICSA yesterday took us into the heart of the established Church of England — and the monarchy its ‘supreme governor’. It also started to take us into the CPS and how it may have colluded. All are on trial this week – as is the way that they may have worked together to support Peter Ball but marginalise and harm his victims. We heard from victims about Peter Ball’s crimes, some of which had already been exposed when he was convicted in 2015 (and served 16 months). We knew that they included: naked prayer with him… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Guest

I think the words of Reverend Graham Sawyer are worth repeating here, shedding light not just on how the Church//CPS/Police have treated victims of sexual abuse (eg Neil Todd & Reverend Graham), but also how ‘they’ have treated victims who have been wrongfully/falsely accused of abuse (eg Lord Bishop Bell and Sir Cliff Richard): IICSA Transcript – Monday July 23 2018 Page 171-172 Reverend Graham Sawyer: Let me make this very clear. The sexual abuse that was perpetrated upon me by Bishop Peter Ball pales into insignificance when compared to the enduringly cruel and sadistic treatment that has been meted… Read more »

David Lamming
Guest
David Lamming

Richard, you can’t sensibly apply Graham Sawyer’s evidence to the case of Bishop Bell. If the bishops had acted collectively in the way Sawyer describes, acting to “seek to destroy the person who is making complaints about one individual,” then, surely, they would have acted to defend Bishop Bell against the allegations made against him. As Lord Carlile revealed, Bell was a case of the Church ‘oversteering’ in the light of the appalling safeguarding record in the diocese of Chichester. We don’t advance the case for justice for George Bell by making inappropriate comparisons with the way genuine survivors of… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Guest

David, in defence, I can but make defence to your GS colleague Martin Sewell: March 5 2018 – IICSA Transcript – Monday March 5 Page 129 -Paras. 2-19 – Fiona Scolding QC: “…this is not simply an issue of attitude but of competence too. This is a point which has been made powerfully by Martin Sewell, who is both a lay member of the General Synod and a retired child protection lawyer. He points out that diocesan staff are typically trained in theology and Canon law, not in safeguarding or child protection law. As a result, he says, many of… Read more »

David Lamming
Guest
David Lamming

Richard, while I fully agree with Martin Sewell’s assessment of the need for those in the Church making safeguarding decisions to be competent and have relevant specialist knowledge, Graham Sawyer’s evidence was not about competence but directed to the attitude of bishops and their tendency to protect each other and the reputation of the church as being worse than the abuse he suffered at the hands of Peter Ball. [By the way, the passage you quote from page 129 of the IICSA transcript of 5 March 2018 was from the opening statement of Richard Scorer (representing 21 core participants who… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Guest

No David, it was definitely Fiona Scolding QC – not Richard Scorer.

The point I was trying to get across is that chaos, lack of expertise, bullying, naïveté and incompetence reigns within the Church hierarchy regarding ‘safeguarding’, with manipulative interference from powerful ‘outside agencies’ with their own agendas.

This means that victims of abuse AND victims of false accusations suffer injustice and pain.

David Lamming
Guest
David Lamming

Sorry to have to contradict you, Richard, but it was part of Richard Scorer’s opening statement, not that of Fiona Scolding. Fiona Scolding’s opening statement ends at page 120, line 13 of the transcript. Mr Scorer’s statement then follows, commencing at page 120, line 18 and ending at page 138, line 14, just before the mid-afternoon break.

Richard W. Symonds
Guest

I stand corrected and red-faced. You are right. I am wrong. The quote below is attributable to Richard Scorer of Slater and Gordon, not Fiona Scolding QC. Apologies to all concerned. March 5 2018 – IICSA Transcript – Monday March 5 – Page 129 – Paras. 2-19 – Richard Scorer: “…this is not simply an issue of attitude but of competence too. This is a point which has been made powerfully by Martin Sewell, who is both a lay member of the General Synod and a retired child protection lawyer. He points out that diocesan staff are typically trained in… Read more »

Richard W. Symonds
Guest

Someone of considerable authority on the law said [regarding Church ‘Safeguarding’ errors]:

“It shows again the chaotic way alleged and real sexual abuse has been dealt with”

Janet Fife
Guest
Janet Fife

I wouldn’t class the Church, the police and the CPS together re. their treatment of victims and complainants. Most victims have praised the police for their sensitive and thorough handling of their case, but many (like Graham Sawyer, Matthew Ineson and Gilo) have spoken of their treatment by the Church as a re-abuse. I have nothing but praise for the way the police treated me as a witness in the Gordon Rideout case; they were superb. I just wish I could say the same of the Church, but I can’t. It’s a terrible thing that a secular law-enforcement body should… Read more »

CRS
Guest
CRS

If I may, in response to the last paragraph, just how much of this is linked inextricably to the manner in which preferment–the term itself tells a story–functions in the established church. I am no whig. But looking at the verbatims is really nauseating stuff. Children will be hopefully safer, as you indicate is possible, but what about way in which secrecy and cronyism and purple club conduct is simply endemic to the entire idea of “preferment.”

Michael Mulhern
Guest
Michael Mulhern

I’ve only just come to this thread, and Anthony Archer’s (understandable) interest in the role of the PM’s Secretary for Appointments in swinging the Peter Ball appointment for Gloucester. What struck me more forcefully was George Carey’s outrage at Robin Catford’s influence over the Ball appointment. Did he – doe he – not realize that this is precisely what happened a couple of years earlier to secure Carey’s own appointment to Canterbury? We will only know for sure once the papers are released under the 30 year rule next year (or 2020). But it is the worst kept secret in… Read more »

CRS
Guest
CRS

Chemin Neuf, for the record, has no one model re: celibacy. Couples, young people, vows of different kinds. Good educational training. Charismatic gifting. I’m not sure how close this is to the Ball brothers…

Michael Mulhern
Guest
Michael Mulhern

@CRS, I think this is the point I am making about bishops with a monastic background. Don’t assume the Ball brothers provide the only paradigm. They ‘invented’ their order (based loosely on the Franciscan charism); whereas Anglican SSF (which has gifted many bishops to the Anglican Communion) and CR at Mirfield have a much longer pedigree – and proper structures of accountability to the wider Church. The Balls’ CGA had no Visitor, for example. SSF at Hilfield have couples and others living alongside professed members of the order.