Lay Group Calls For Action On Bransfield

A group called Lay Catholic Voices for Change has sent a letter to Bishop Mark Brennan of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia, asking that the diocese investigate charges of sex abuse of minors by former Bishop Michael Bransfield. The letter also asked that Bransfield be ordered not to use the title bishop emeritus to describe himself.

Bransfield served as bishop of Wheeling-Charleston, which includes the entire state of West Virginia, from 2005 to 2018. He retired after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75. Information from a church investigation released in June of last year said he misused millions of dollars from diocesan funds and sexually harassed adult seminarians.

The investigation, completed under the supervision of Baltimore Archbishop William Lori, metropolitan for the region that includes West Virginia, said that accusations that Bransfield had abused minors were unable to be confirmed. But a section on allegations of sex abuse of minors, not made public, was published by The Washington Post late last year.

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