W Virginia’s Catholic bishop says emeritus Bishop Bransfield not in contact

Missing Bishop Michael Bransfield

Title: W Virginia’s Catholic bishop says emeritus Bishop Bransfield not in contact

Author: Kevin J. Jones
Publisher: Catholic News Agency (CNA)
Date: 15AUG2020

.- Bishop Michael Bransfield, who headed West Virginia’s only Catholic diocese before retiring amid scandal, has not communicated with his successor in months. A plan to ensure he makes some reparation for financial and sexual misconduct has still not been implemented.

“I have not heard from him in many months and I would not expect to,” Bishop Mark Brennan of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston told the MetroNews call-in radio show Talkline Aug. 4. “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 apostolic nuncio in Washington, D.C. has not heard from Bransfield either.

“The Holy See in Rome imposed upon Bishop Bransfield the obligation to make amends for some of his wrongdoing. I wasn’t sent in to demand that, they demanded that,” Brennan continued. “What they asked me to do was work with him and let me tell you, that was not easy to do.”

According to Brennan, Bransfield did not admit wrongdoing and refused to make his own plans to make amends. The Washington Post on Aug. 11 said Bransfield declined to comment.

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston told CNA Aug. 14, “We have no further comment other than what has already been reported.”

Wheeling-Charleston is West Virginia’s only Roman Catholic diocese. About 1.8 million people live in the state, and about 110,000 of them are Catholic.

Bransfield headed the diocese from 2005 to 2018. Pope Francis accepted his resignation in September 2018, just after Bransfield turned 75.

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