In Report to Vatican, Baltimore Archbishop Lori Deleted Mention of Gifts from Bishop He Investigated
By Jonathan M. Pitts
June 6, 2019
Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori has acknowledged that he edited a report to the Vatican to delete mention that a bishop whose conduct he investigated gave financial gifts to nearly a dozen high-ranking Catholic clerics over the years.
The list of recipients included Lori, who says West Virginia Bishop Michael J. Bransfield gave him a total of $7,500 in gifts “for various occasions” since 2012.
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The occasions included Lori’s installation as archbishop of Baltimore in 2012 and several Christmases, Lori said Wednesday in an interview with The Sun. The gifts and Lori’s editing of the report were first reported by The Washington Post.
Bransfield resigned in September as bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, W. Va., under orders from Pope Francis after clerics in the diocese raised concerns about his behavior.
Allegations had surfaced that Bransfield engaged in both sexual and financial misconduct over a course of years.
The pope appointed Lori to oversee an investigation into the charges. He and a team of five lay people completed a 60-page report on their findings in February.
The lay investigators concluded that cash gifts Bransfield gave to dozens of fellow clergymen were part of a pattern of abuse of power that included sexual abuse of young priests and out-of-control spending.