WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) - The resignation and allegations of sexual harassment against Bishop Michael J. Bransfield shocked many in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.
The announcement has left some devoted Catholics with heartbreak and a desire for answers.
Parishioners in the Wheeling area spoke out about what direction the church needs to take and the next step in the healing process.
"I think the staunch Catholics and those are who are true to their faith, and there are some very good priests who are true to their faith, I think they'll stick to that," said Wheeling resident John Powell. "I don't think you'll see them mass exit, but again if there is a real investigation I think there will be some fall out after that. You'll just have to wait and see."
"It makes me sad especially with whats coming out in Pennsylvania and now in Wheeling," said WTRF Web Producer and Wheeling Resident Sam Coniglio. "I had a very positive experience in the Catholic Church. I put a lot of trust into these people and to know that a lot of people, the exact same trust in the same entity, and that trust was not only violated but exploited, it's saddening. It's pretty heartbreaking."
A hotline has been established for those wishing to share information related to the sexual harassment investigation.
The number to call is (833) 272-4225.