West Virginia Record

Thursday, August 22, 2019

WEST VIRGINIA ATTORNEY GENERAL: Attorney General Morrisey: Bransfield Punishment ‘Only One Step’ Toward Full Transparency

By Press release submission | Jul 23, 2019


West Virginia Attorney General issued the following announcement on July 19.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey issued the following statement in light of Pope Francis’ discipline of Michael J. Bransfield, former bishop for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.

“The allegations against former Bishop Bransfield have caught the attention of nearly everyone in the Catholic faith, including the Pope himself, who has now given disciplinary measures for Bransfield.

“Pope Francis’ call for Bransfield to ‘make personal amends for some of the harm he caused,’ is a first step, but it is just that – only one step – since the public cannot know the full extent of harm caused by Bransfield’s actions until the Diocese fully complies with our subpoena and releases the full Bransfield report.

“After decades of covering up and concealing the behavior of priests as it relates to sexual abuse, it is time for the Diocese to come clean with what it knows and release the Bransfield report and any other relevant materials. None of the allegations of financial improprieties and sexual abuse may have been revealed if not for our investigation – the public shouldn’t have to wait any longer for transparency.”

The Attorney General filed suit against the Diocese and former Bishop Michael J. Bransfield in March alleging the Diocese knowingly employed pedophiles and failed to conduct adequate background checks for those working at the Diocese’s schools and camps, all without disclosing the inherent danger to parents who purchased its services for their children.

The Attorney General added claims in May, including a count of unfair competition and new evidence of the church’s failure to conduct background checks and report abuse.

Original source can be found here.

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