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Thu Aug 13, 2020, 12:28 PM

Disgraced West Virginia bishop Michael Bransfield was told a year ago to make restitution.

Religion

Disgraced West Virginia bishop Michael Bransfield was told a year ago to make restitution. His successor says Bransfield has gone incommunicado.

By Michelle Boorstein
August 11, 2020 at 9:35 a.m. EDT

More than a year after Pope Francis ordered ousted West Virginia Bishop Michael Bransfield to make personal amends for alleged sexual and financial misconduct, his successor bishop says he has yet to hear from Bransfield about a restitution proposal.

Last Tuesday, MetroNews, a West Virginia news site, quoted Bishop Mark Brennan as saying that he had not heard from Bransfield in “many months, and I would not expect to. … Whatever he is doing, he is doing and is in a dark hole. We do not know exactly what he is up to; we have not been in communication.”

In July 2019, Francis forbade Bransfield, a well-connected Philadelphian who had held prominent national spots in the Catholic Church, from celebrating Mass and from living in West Virginia. Bransfield had led the church there for 13 years. In November, Brennan had proposed, per Francis’s demand, a specific proposal for Bransfield’s restitution.

Some experts say the restitution package was a first for a bishop. Brennan called for his predecessor, now 76, to pay the diocese nearly $800,000, to apologize to victims, to lose his place in the diocesan cemetery, and to lose the normal bishop retirement package and instead receive a lower stipend equal to that of someone who had been a priest for 13 years.

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Michelle Boorstein
Michelle Boorstein is a religion reporter, covering the busy marketplace of American faith. Her career has included a decade of globe-trotting with the Associated Press, covering topics including terrorism in the Arizona desert, debates on male circumcision, Ugandan royalty, and how strapped doctors in Afghanistan decide who lives and who dies. Follow https://twitter.com/mboorstein

NEWS
Brennan: I have not heard from Bransfield in months about his amends

By Jake Flatley
August 4, 2020 - 2:46 pm

WHEELING, W.Va. — Mark Brennan, the Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston said he has not heard from disgraced former Bishop Michael Bransfield in months since the diocese proposed Bransfield a plan of personal amends for his misconduct spanning more than a decade.

After an order from Pope Francis, the diocese laid out the plan in November following an investigation that concluded Bransfield sexually harassed young priests he oversaw and committed financial improprieties during his time leading the Catholic Church in West Virginia from 2005 to 2018.

The investigation into Bransfield by the diocese concluded last summer. Brennan said he has not heard from Bransfield since the plan of amends was released.

“I have not heard from him in many months and I would not expect to,” Brennan said on Tuesday’s MetroNews ‘Talkline.’ “Whatever he is doing, he is doing and is in a dark hole. We do not know exactly what he is up to, we have not been in communication.”

Brennan said the Pope’s ambassador to the church in the United States has not heard from Bransfield either. Pope Francis and the Holy See at the Vatican required amends by Bransfield following the investigation into his wrongdoing.

The proposed plan included for him to make public apologies to those he harassed and pay $792,638 restitution if he accepted his actions of financial improprieties and sexual harassment and abuse of adults and former students.

In reports detailed in The Washington Post, Bransfield misused millions of dollars of the church’s money such taking millions from church-owned Wheeling Hospital for the bishop’s fund, lavish spending on vacations and millions spent on the bishop’s mansion in Wheeling while the diocese looked the other way with abuse allegations.

{snip}

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@DWC1850
Bishop Mark Brennan talks with
@HoppyKercheval
about the two new third-party reporting systems at the Diocese for concerns and allegations of abuse and harassment, and Michael Bransfield. WATCH: http://wvmetronews.com/channel/


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Reply Disgraced West Virginia bishop Michael Bransfield was told a year ago to make restitution. (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Aug 13 OP
3Hotdogs Aug 13 #1

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Aug 13, 2020, 12:45 PM

1. Oh nooooos.

He can't be buried in the diocesan cemetery.

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