The bishop said the while he prayed the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston would find a good leader, he "never thought it would be me."
Brennan's archbishop in Baltimore, Archbishop William Lori, was the apostolic administrator over the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston during the search for a new bishop. Lori also led the investigation into Bransfield's financial and personal misconduct, and, in March, banned Bransfield from public ministry in the diocese and archdiocese.
During the press conference, Brennan was asked to elaborate on how Bransfield will be censured for his misconduct. On July 19, the Vatican announced sanctions on Bransfield, and forbade him from living in the diocese, celebrating Mass in public, and requiring him to "make amends," as decided by his successor. Brennan was asked to clarify what "amends" might consist of.
The bishop said that he would have to discuss the matter with the Holy See, and consult with Catholics in West Virginia. He said he would pursue a just remedy "to the extent that's possible."
Brennan also defended the fact that Bransfield was not laicized and removed from the clerical state, as was former archbishop Theodore McCarrick, because, he said, the Church is still able to exert some sort of control over the bishop. McCarrick was also found guilty of sexual misconduct.
"Not being thrown out, he is still subject to the authority of the Church," said Brennan. "I'm hopeful that will be enough to get him to cooperate."
Emphasizing a move forward, Brennan said it is necessary for the Church in West Virginia to "put our trust in God and recommit ourselves to the fundamental mission of his Church."