Lawsuit accusing Bransfield of sexual misconduct settled


(UPDATE: 8/22/19 6:00 AM)

A lawsuit brought by a seminarian against former Wheeling- Diocese Bishop Michael Bransfield has been settled.

The Lawsuit alleges drunken molestation by ex-bishop Bransfield, negligence from diocese and USCCB

“The Diocese can confirm that the case has been dismissed. The case was settled by agreement of both parties. At the request of the plaintiff the terms of the settlement are confidential. The Diocese will have no further comment regarding the case.”

Tim Bishop- Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston 

The plaintiff, who is only identified as J. E., is a former altar server and secretary of Bishop Bransfield.  J.E. claims to have come in contact with Bishop Bransfield during his participation at the Cathedral of St. Joesph. 

The origins of the lawsuit can be read here at WTRF.Com

SNAP made their official response.

We hope this outcome brings some healing to the survivor and will encourage other victims of Catholic clergy to come forward, find support, and help prevent future cases of abuse by exposing perpetrators.

Despite repeated pledges of openness and transparency, church officials continue to be secretive, offering ?no comment? instead of helpful details that might shed more light on this troubling situation. For example, church officials could share information related to when the allegations against former Bishop Michael Bransfield were first received and what was done in response to them. This kind of transparency will help protect the vulnerable. We hope that parishioners and the public in West Virginia demand answers from about this case and push  church officials to be more honest about abuse and cover ups.

A survivor’s need for privacy must, of course, be honored. Yet at the same time, we believe that Catholic officials can and should share as much information about these crimes as they can. Only when abusers are exposed and those who enabled the abuse are identified and disciplined can we be confident that future cases will be prevented rather than covered-up.

This news is released a day before a new Bishop, Bishop Brennan is installed as the new Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston Diocese.

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