London, Jan 23 : A Roman Catholic priest has confirmed Paul Burrell's claim that he made inquiries on Princess Diana's behalf over a theoretical marriage to a Muslim, the inquest into her death has heard.
In a statement read to the jury at the High Court in London, Father Anthony Parsons told the inquest that the topic had come up during a conversation he had with Burrell.
Father Parsons also told the jury that though he had understood the question referred to Diana, he had not been aware of the identity of the man she was interested in.
"It was on an evening in 1997 that I was again invited round to their home, this was nothing out of the ordinary," the Sun quoted him, as saying in the statement.
"At some point during the course of the evening Paul Burrell asked me: 'Is it possible for a Muslim to marry a non-Catholic in a Catholic church?'"
When Father Parsons said he would find out the information required from the "powers that be", Burrell asked him to be discreet.
"He said something along the lines of 'obviously I would appreciate your discretion'," the priest revealed.
He added that he had asked his fellow clerics at the Carmelite Church in Kensington, but it was 'laughed off'.
"I remember I mentioned the theory in passing with my Carmelite brothers but I certainly did not mention the provenance of the question posed," he said.
"The question was passed over and simply laughed off.
"Had I wanted to find out whether marriage under the circumstances was a possibility I would have needed to approach the Bishop or members of his marriage tribunal at the Diocese of Westminster."
Burrell told the inquest into the British royal's death that Diana had wanted to marry her Pakistani heart surgeon beau Dr Hasnat Khan, and that he had made enquiries on her behalf.
Diana and Khan split in the summer of 1997 just before she began a relationship with Dodi Fayed.