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On September 13, 2018, the Holy See announced the retirement of Michael J. Bransfield as Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston in West Virginia and appointed Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori as Apostolic Administrator of Wheeling-Charleston, with a mandate to conduct a preliminary investigation into allegations of sexual harassment of adults and financial improprieties by Bishop Bransfield.
The preliminary investigation, which took place over five months, was conducted by Archbishop Lori with the assistance of a team of five lay experts. The investigative team examined multiple allegations of sexual harassment of adults and financial improprieties. It involved interviews with more than 40 individuals, including Bishop Bransfield. The investigation has now been completed and will be sent to the Holy See for final judgment.
Assessment - Findings - Holy - See - Apostolic
“Pending the assessment of the findings of the Holy See, as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, I have directed that Bishop Bransfield is not authorized to exercise any priestly or episcopal ministry either within the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston or within the Archdiocese of Baltimore,” Archbishop Lori said.
As part of recently announced protocols governing the conduct of bishops in the Archdiocese, Archbishop Lori determined that similar restrictions were warranted in the case of former Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore, Gordon Bennett, S.J., who served within the Archdiocese of Baltimore from 1998 until 2004, when he was appointed Bishop of Mandeville, Jamaica. Since that time, he has not resided in or received any assignment in the Archdiocese of Baltimore or the Diocese of...
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