Catholic Diocese in West Virginia Knowingly Employed Abusers

Today, West Virginia’s top law enforcement official sued the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and disgraced former Bishop, Bp. Michael Bransfield, alleging they “knowingly employed pedophiles and failed to conduct adequate background checks” for church employees in schools and camps.

Failing to conduct background checks for those working or volunteering around children is bad enough. Employing known perpetrators is far worse. These decisions put children at unnecessary risk and why? To save some time on paperwork or make a hiring process easier? Such actions are absolutely mind-boggling.

We are grateful to West Virginia A.G. Patrick Morrisey for undertaking this investigation and bringing these egregious oversights into the light. Knowing what went wrong and who oversaw these failings is the best way to make changes and prevent this from happening in the future. 

We hope that this move by A.G. Morrisey will prod other law enforcement officials to think outside the box, but will also encourage survivors, witnesses, and whistle blowers in West Virginia to come forward and report to police. 

CONTACT: Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Regional Leader, (636-433-2511, [email protected]),  Zach Hiner, Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is

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