2019 In Review: Bishop Accountability

Patheos blog

Dec. 27, 2019

By Brian Fraga

Over the next several days, I’ll be posting links to some of the in-depth Catholic news stories I wrote this year for Our Sunday Visitor.

In 2019, I wrote several articles on bishops’ accountability for their handling of the clergy sex abuse crises. I interviewed bishops on their plans to restore trust, especially if they followed in the heels of disgraced predecessors who resigned amidst allegations that they had mishandled abuse cases. I also spoke with lay Catholics who shared their frustrations and, in some cases, disillusionment with their shepherds.

In this Sept. 13 Q&A, I profiled Bishop Mark Brennan of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia and the challenges he was facing following in the footsteps of Michael Bransfield, who resigned after being accused of misusing Church funds to support his lavish lifestyle and of sexually harassing priests and seminarians. Bishop Bransfield has denied those allegations.

“A lot of people are upset, understandably,” Bishop Brennan told me. “I can’t wave a magic wand to make the past go away. I think it’s just the day-to-day attempt to be faithful to my ministry as a bishop, that over time I hope people of goodwill see that and be encouraged that they can trust their Church.”

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.