Dear Frank,

It will not surprise you that I am having problems with George again.

It appears that, not only does he behave inappropriately in retirement, but that he was pretty incompetent in office. I don’t mean that silly Archbishops’ Council – one puts up with that – but when dealing with child abuse (which will get us all in the end if we are not careful!).

George’s downfall, it appears, was a pair of brothers called Ball, who stole pixie-hoods from the dressing-up box and called themselves monks. One even became the Bishop of Gloucester. How no one noticed that they were downright loony, I cannot imagine. (‘Odd-ball’ is a saying in our language, you may remember).

Anyway, Peter Ball got into trouble in the usual way, and was cautioned by the police. When George received letters from some of the alleged victims, he failed to forward them to the police. You will not be surprised that it has all come out in the wash. And I have had to suspend from office one of my own predecessors!

Poor George! He was so easily taken in. And the Ball brothers had glamorous connections with the Royal Family which would have dazzled someone of his humble origins. Still, the child protection juggernaut trundles on, and one can only gasp at the thought of who might be its next victim.

Your friend,


PS. How are you getting along with George Pell and the Australians? You were very wise, in my opinion, to keep the boys in the playground.


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