Ex-Bishop Michael Bransfield Again Accused of Abuse

The disgraced former bishop of a West Virginia diocese is again being investigated for abuse, this time for allegedly abusing a 9-year-old girl on a field trip.

According to reports, former Bishop Michael Bransfield is accused of a inappropriately touching a 9 year old during a 2012 field trip to visit the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. We applaud the bravery of this young victim. It is incredibly challenging to come forward and report abuse at any time, so we hope that the victim in this case is getting the support and help she needs from her community.

We hope that this news will encourage any others who were hurt, whether by Bishop Bransfield or others, to come forward and make a report to law enforcement. And we hope that church officials in both Washington D.C. and in Wheeling-Charleston will make every effort to encourage other survivors to come forward, make a report to law enforcement, and start healing.

CONTACT: Becky Ianni, SNAP Board Member and Volunteer Virginia / Washington D.C. Leader (snapvirginia@cox.net, 703-801-6044), Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Regional Leader, (636-433-2511, snapjudy@gmail.com), Zach Hiner, Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.org, 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 SNAPnetwork.org)


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  • Loyolaalum Snap
    commented 2019-10-04 12:20:14 -0500
    Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore announced restrictions on the ministry of both retired West Virginia Bishop Michael Bransfield and retired Bishop Gordon Bennett (a Jesuit, originally from California) in March 2019.
    Bishop Gordon Bennett (a Jesuit) was barred from ministering in the Baltimore archdiocese following harassment allegations regarding a young adult (not necessarily a seminarian). Bishop Bennett had previously been assigned for 6-years to the Jesuit California Novitiate (seminary) which was populated with young adults.

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