CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The head of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston has reacted to comments from state Attorney General Patrick Morrisey on the proposed “plan of amends” of former Bishop Michael Bransfield.
The diocese announced Tuesday that Bransfield should make public apologies and pay $792,638 in restitution in connection to allegations of sexual misconduct and inappropriate financial activities during his 13-year tenure.
Morrisey called the announcement a good start, but said the diocese should do more to improve transparency; this includes releasing the investigation on Bransfield, increasing controls to protect children and providing assistance to victims of sexual abuse.
Morrisey’s office has filed a lawsuit alleging the church did not do enough to inform people about the allegations of sexual misconduct involving young people.
In a press release Wednesday, Brennan reiterated previous statements that the diocese has controls in place to protect young people and the diocese began its review and compilation of accused clergy in July 2018.
A Wood County judge earlier this month dismissed claims by Morrisey that the diocese violated state law by failing to disclose sexual misconduct with parents and the diocese knowingly hire pedophiles.
“The decision of the Circuit Court of Wood County, which was released on November 6, 2019, was obviously adverse to the Attorney General. We can only assume this is why he continues to criticize the Diocese and the Church,” Brennan said.