SNAP responds to list of priests

The Intelligencer

December 1, 2018

By Jess Mancini

A support group for victims abused by priests says the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston omitted the bishop who resigned earlier this year when it released a list of names this week.

However, the case on Bishop Michael Bransfield is a separate investigation, Tim Bishop, director of marketing and communications for the diocese, said.

“That investigation is still underway and we cannot comment further on it as it is still open,” he said.

Bransfield resigned in September, which was accepted by Pope Francis, amid allegations of the sexual harassment of adults. Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore was appointed apostolic administrator with the instruction to conduct an investigation of Bransfield.

On Thursday, the diocese released a list of priests with credible accusations against them.

“We appreciate this move by church officials in West Virginia, especially for including the names of priests who served in West Virginia, but were accused of abuse in dioceses outside Wheeling-Charleston,” said Judy Jones, Midwest regional leader of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “However, we cannot help but note the omission of Bishop Michael J. Bransfield, who has been accused of abusing at least one minor and resigned in September over allegations that he had sexually harassed a number of adults.”

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