West Virginia bishop denies sexual abuse allegations
Bishop Michael J. Bransfield .
Bishop Michael J. Bransfield .

.- Bishop Michael J. Bransfield of Wheeling-Charelston, W.Va. denied allegations of sex abuse against him during April 18 court proceedings in the criminal trial against a Pennsylvania priest.

“To now be unfairly included in that group and to hear the horrific allegations that are being made of me is unbelievable and shocking,” Bishop Bransfield said in an April 19 statement.

A witness in the trial against Monsignor William Lynn – who is accused of covering up sex abuse accusations within the Philadelphia Archdiocese – told the court that he was sexually abused by Philadelphia priest Fr. Stanely Gana on property belonging to Bishop Bransfield over 30 years ago.

The same witness, a 48-year-old man identified as “John,” claims that Bishop Bransfield brought several teenage boys to a farm owned by Fr. Gana, who told “John” that the bishop was having sex with one of them, reported the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Bishop Bransfield, a 68-year-old native of Philadelphia, said in his statement Thursday that although he is subject to criticism as a public figure, these allegations “go way beyond any sense of fairness and propriety.”

“I have never sexually abused anyone,” he said.

As Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston since 2004, Bishop Bransfield said he has “openly been an advocate for the eradication of abusive priests in every diocese.”

The news of these allegations reached him while he was attending meetings at the Vatican. “To say I was shocked and saddened would be an understatement,” he said.

When he first heard of the child sexual abuse case involving his former colleagues from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Pennsylvania, he was “deeply saddened.”

“Over the years, I have felt devastation for both the victims and the church as I learned about the terrible actions they took with innocent victims.”

He also said the statement that the witness made about the abuse taking place in a home that he owned is “misleading” because it fails to mention that he allowed many people to use his home and that he was neither present nor aware of the incident.

Bishop Bransfield asked for prayers for himself, the parishoners in his diocese and Philadelphia and all those “who have been affected by sexual abuse.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic

Liturgical Calendar

April 20, 2014


All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 24:13-35


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Acts 10:34a, 37-43
Second Reading:: Col 3:1-4
Gospel:: Jn 20:1-9

Homily of the Day

Lk 24:13-35


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: