The archbishop appointed to investigate the former leader of the Roman Catholic Church in West Virginia says he should not have redacted from his report to the Vatican the names of clergy, including himself, who received a portion of $350,000 in cash gifts from Bishop Michael Bransfield.
Archbishop William Lori oversaw a probe of alleged sexual and financial misconduct by Bransfield, who has denied wrongdoing. His team’s confidential findings in February prompted Bransfield’s ouster from ministry.
What Lori didn’t say in his final report to the Vatican in March is that he himself is among the high-ranking clergy who accepted these cash gifts.
The Washington Post reported that the before and after versions of the still-secret report to the Vatican show names of Lori and others removed.
“If I had to do it over again, especially at a time when we are trying to create greater transparency and accountability, the report would have included the names of those bishops who received gifts, including my own,” Lori said in the video.
Lori and other clergy told the Post that they thought the gifts from Bransfield came from his personal funds — and that they had no idea he was getting reimbursed for each check with church money. Lori said he returned the $7,500 Bransfield gave him over the years, and asked the diocese to donate it to Catholic Charities.
Read more at The Public’s Radio