A Catholic bishop under a cloud of suspicion will be investigated by another prelate

For immediate release, September 13, 2018

Statement by Judy Jones, Volunteer SNAP Midwest Regional Leader, 636-433-2511, [email protected] 
Pope Francis has asked an archbishop to look into allegations that a West Virginia bishop sexually harassed adults. We believe potentially criminal behavior is best investigated by the professionals in law enforcement.


Baltimore Archbishop William Lori is set to examine the charges against West Virginia Bishop Michael Bransfield. We believe the first step in his investigation must be to turn over every document and all witness information to the police, starting with the 2012 allegations from Philadelphia. The Archbishop should then use church websites, pulpit announcements and parish bulletins to beg every person who may have information about the allegations to contact law enforcement first as well. 
If Archbishop Lori finds the allegations to be substantiated, Bishop Bransfield should not be allowed to retire with full honors and benefits. Instead, he should be publicly disciplined, so that other clergy will be deterred from engaging in similar misconduct. 

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world's oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 supporters. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org ) 

Contact  -   Judy Jones, (636-433-2511, 
[email protected]), Tim Lennon (415-312-5820, [email protected]), Becky Ianni (703-801-6044, [email protected]

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant