Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey faces possible censure over his conduct regarding paedophile Peter Ball, formerly Bishop of Gloucester.
Ball was jailed last year for sex offences and misconduct in public office.
After serving as Bishop of Lewes, he was made Bishop of Gloucester in 1992. He received a caution in 1993 for gross indecency, rather than being charged with with indecent assault, and resigned his bishopric though he later returned to ministry.
Carey wrote to the director of public prosecutions at the time expressing concern at Ball's "fragile health".
While Carey was Archbishop, Lambeth Palace received six letters after Ball was cautioned revealing that he encouraged victims to pray naked, perform sex acts in front of him and share his bed. Lambeth Palace officials reviewing the letters in 2009 noted that had such evidence as provided by the letters been given to detectives in 1993, Ball may have been convicted of serious sexual offences as opposed to merely being cautioned.
Carey's role is to be scrutinised by the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA).
According to The Times, IISCA chair Prof Alexis Jay has agreed that Lord Carey should be legally represented at the inquiry as a "core participant".
Jay said: "The inquiry will consider the extent to which any failings identified in relation to the diocese of Chichester and Peter Ball are representative of wider failings within the Church of England and/or the Anglican Church in general, and the nature and extent of any failings of institutions to protect children from abuse. It is possible that Lord Carey, in his capacity as former Archbishop of Canterbury, may be subject to explicit criticism by the inquiry in due course."
Carey has denied that his correspondence with the Crown Prosecution Service at the time of Ball's caution in 1992 amounted to attempts at a cover-up.