Bransfield Accuser Calls Disgraced Bishop’s Apology ‘Inadequate’

The Wheeling Intelligencer

Augst 26, 2020

By Mike Jones

The former traveling secretary for Michael Bransfield — who said the disgraced bishop sexually abused him while leading the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston — called his recent apology to his victims and the faithful “inadequate and unsatisfactory.”

The man, who identified himself as VGD in a four-page letter sent to The Intelligencer, took exception to Bransfield’s brief apology dated Aug. 15 as part of his amends to leave the church in good standing.

“Unfortunately, former bishop Bransfield’s letter does not meet the basic conditions of Catholic contrition, or apology, specifically in the context of reconciliation,” VGD said in his response. “In the Catholic tradition, we do not apologize for actions ‘attributed to’ us or for hypothetical ‘ifs.’”

Bransfield resigned from his position in September 2018 following accusations of misappropriating church funds and sexually abusing young seminarians and priests during his 12-year reign.

As part of his amends, current diocesan Bishop Mark Brennan last November ordered Bransfield to pay nearly $800,000 in restitution and personally apologize to his victims. The Vatican approved a reduced restitution this month, ordering Bransfield to pay $441,000.

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