Catholic News Service
Oct. 31, 2019
Bishop Mark E. Brennan of Wheeling-Charleston told Catholics in the statewide diocese he was working to have his predecessor “make amends for harm he caused during his tenure” as mandated by Pope Francis.
The announcement regarding retired Bishop Michael J. Bransfield came in an Oct. 31 letter to West Virginia Catholics on letterhead from the bishop’s office.
The brief letter expressed how Brennan was “dismayed by the continued revelations concerning former Bishop Michael Bransfield’s misdeeds, as confirmed by the penalties which the Holy Father has imposed on him” and detailed in media reports.
When Pope Francis accepted Bransfield’s resignation Sept. 13, 2018, he left under a cloud of allegations of sexual and financial misconduct. Subsequent media reports during the last 13 months have detailed some of the alleged activity in detail.
Francis announced in July disciplinary actions Bishop Bransfield, prohibiting him from living in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and from presiding or participating anywhere in any public celebration of the liturgy.
As part of those disciplinary actions, a communique from the apostolic nunciature in Washington posted on the diocesan website in July also said Bransfield would be obligated “to make personal amends for some of the harm he caused; the nature and extent of the ame
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