Peter Ball, the former Bishop of Lewes and Gloucester who boasted of links to royalty, has asked to join the Roman Catholic Diocese of Clifton, in Bristol, a spokesman for the Church confirmed.
His identical twin brother, the former bishop of Truro Michael Ball, also sent an email – seen by Press Association – to friends telling them of the idea.
Peter Ball, now 85, was jailed for 32 months in October 2015 for offences dating back to the 1970s against 18 young men at his home in East Sussex.
The email sent on Wednesday morning said the pair would not be sending Christmas cards after recent events had “totally wearied and reduced” them.
In it, Michael Ball said: “Peter and Michael will not be sending Christmas Cards this year.
“The events of the last years and rightly or wrongly the battering by the Church have totally wearied and reduced us.
“We will proabably [sic] be joining the Roman Catholic Church soon.
“We love The Church of England but would like to end our days in a church where we can live and worship in anonymity and without constant fear.
“We send our love and are enormously grateful fo [sic] the kindness and continued support of so many.
“We hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a joyful New Year.”
The message was mistakenly sent to a BBC journalist and subsequently shown to Peter Saunders, the child abuse campaigner who founded support charity NAPAC.
Speaking to Press Association on Wednesday…
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