A bishop in the Church of England, who was convicted of several sex abuse crimes, is believed to have impersonated his twin brother so he could be present at church services.
Peter Ball, who served as Bishop of Lewes between 1977 and 1992, received a police caution for gross indecency and resigned as bishop of Gloucester in 1993, according to Christian Today. Several new pieces of evidence indicate Ball may have stood in for his identical twin brother, Michael, who was bishop of Truro at the time, and carried out duties relevant to the position.
"It might be that Bishop Peter thought it was clear that he was being Bishop Peter, and on some occasions might have made it very clear at the beginning that he was there in place of his brother, but it might not have been evident to everybody," Tim Thornton, the current bishop of Truro, told BBC Radio Cornwall.
The switch may have happened an unknown number of times between 1993 and 1997, according to Thornton, whose diocese has called on its churchgoers to provide any information they know about the incident. The Diocese of Truro has also confirmed that Peter Ball was granted "Permission to Officiate" in 1995 by then Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey.
This has raised a number of questions about why he was allowed to come back to the church, as well as why no criminal action was taken when his sex abuses were discovered in 1993.
To answer these questions, in February the Church of England appointed an independent panel to review its handling of the case, according to The Guardian. Peter Ball was jailed for 32 months starting in October 2015 for his sexual exploitation and grooming of 18 boys and young men while serving as bishop of Lewes.