Washington D.C., Nov 4, 2019 / 16:25 pm America/Denver (CNA).
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has canceled their invitation for Bishop Michael Bransfield, former head of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, to attend their upcoming annual fall meeting due to allegations of sexual abuse and financial misconduct.
Chieko Noguchi, the director of public affairs for the USCCB, confirmed that Bransfield had been disinvited from the meeting, per a new protocol that was approved by the bishop’s conference in June.
According to the new Protocol Regarding Available Non-Penal Restrictions on Bishops: “The President of the USCCB, in consultation with the Administrative Committee, can instruct the General Secretary that a bishop emeritus who resigned or was removed from his office due to sexual abuse of minors, sexual misconduct with adults, or grave negligence in office, or who subsequent to his resignation was found to have so acted or failed to act, is not to be invited to attend the Plenary Assembly or to serve on any USCCB body.”
“In this case, Bishop [Mark] Brennan, the current ordinary for Wheeling-Charleston initiated this process by reaching out to USCCB president Cardinal DiNardo, who in consultation with the Administrative Committee, moved this forward,” Noguchi told CNA.
The USCCB’s General Assembly meeting is scheduled to take place November 11-14 in Baltimore, Maryland.