Report: Baltimore auxiliary bishop to be next bishop of Wheeling-Charleston

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Mark Brennan will be the next bishop of the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese, according to reports that surfaced just hours before a Tuesday morning news conference in Wheeling.

The Annapolis-based Capital Gazette newspaper reported Brennan, 72, an auxiliary bishop with the archbishop of Baltimore, was chosen by Pope Francis to replace former Bishop Michael Bransfield who resigned last fall.

The Wheeling-Charleston Diocese announced Monday evening there would be a news conference Tuesday morning to discuss the “future leadership of the diocese.”

It’s scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. at the main Chancery office.

Pope Francis announced disciplinary action last Friday against Bransfield.

Wheeling-Charleston Diocese officials said last week they hoped the Pope’s announcement on a replacement would come soon.

The Capital Gazette reported Brennan is known for his “great pastoral sensitivity.” He’ll assume the leadership of a struggling diocese that’s seen the results of an investigation into Bransfield that said sexual harassment allegations against him were credible and his lavish spending of church money was inexcusable.

Reports indicate it will be up to Brennan to decide the specific discipline against Bransfield when it comes to what Pope Francis  described as his harm to others.

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