Charleston, W.Va., Mar 19, 2019 / 14:58 pm
The attorney general of West Virginia has filed a lawsuit charging that the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and its former bishop knowingly employed sex abusers in roles that worked with children and failed to disclose their backgrounds to parents.
The lawsuit alleges that the diocese advertised a safe learning environment in its schools while employing personnel who had been convicted or credibly accused of sexual abuse.
It says the diocese and retired Bishop Michael Bransfield covered up potentially criminal behavior, failing to be transparent with parents while allowing abusers to work around children.
In a March 19 statement, the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston said that it "strongly and unconditionally rejects" the assertion that it "is not wholly committed to the protection of children, as reflected in its rigorous Safe Environment Program, the foundation of which is a zero tolerance policy for any cleric, employee or volunteer credibly accused of abuse."