Diocese Adds More Names to Priests List

WHEELING — The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston has added nine additional names to the list of priests associated with the diocese accused in sexual abuse incidents since the1950s, bringing the total number to 40.

The diocese released its original list in November, and updated it this week following a visit to Wheeling by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey. Morrisey called for more cooperation and transparency from the Diocese as investigations continue into sexual abuse claims made against diocese priests — including former bishop Michael Bransfield.

Phone messages left with the diocese Friday afternoon were not immediately returned.

“We are glad that the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston has updated their list of priests publicly accused of abuse,” said Judy Jones, midwest regional leader for SNAP — The Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests. “We are disappointed, however, that they did so without notifying the public.

“The entire point of these lists is to keep parishioners and the public informed. When people are aware that those listed have abused others, they know to look within their own communities for survivors who might be struggling in silence. And when survivors see the name of the person that abused them listed, it often helps them realize that they are not alone and encourages them to come forward and get help.”

She called for Catholic church officials in Wheeling-Charleston to publicly announce the changes they have made to their list, and ex...

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SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant