Abuse in Appalachia

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Investigation of Bishop Michael Bransfield and the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston

Former seminarian alleges sex assault by former bishop of West Virginia
Colleen Rowan, The Catholic Spirit, April 9, 2019

Lori: Church has many reasons to get right response to child sex abuse
Christopher Gunty, National Catholic Reporter, April 9, 2019

Lawsuit: Former Bishop Michael Bransfield ‘Sexual Predator’ and ‘Binge Drinker’
Wheeling Intelligencer, March 26, 2019

One of Bransfield’s employees files lawsuit, claims former bishop sexually molested him
Chris Dickerson, West Virginia Record, March 26, 2019

West Virginia AG using consumer protection law in suit against diocese
Christopher White, Crux, March 26, 2019

Morrisey seek information on Catholic Church sexual abuse
Brett Dunlap, Parkersburg News-Sentinel, March 25, 2019

Diocese Outlines Efforts to Protect Children
Linda Comins, Wheeling Intelligencer, March 23, 2019.

Morrisey calls for victims to step forward in wake of lawsuit against diocese
Megan Osborne, Huntington Herald-Dispatch/Charleston Gazette-Mail, March 23, 2019.

Letter to the Faithful of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston
Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, March 22, 2019.

Morrisey explains reasoning behind consumer protection suit against Wheeling-Charleston diocese
Alex Wiedelspiel, WAJR, March 22, 2019.

State Lawsuit Against Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, Background and Reactions
Glynis Board, West Virginia Public Radio, March 22, 2019.

SNAP shows support for A.G.’s lawsuit against the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston
WTRF, March 21, 2019.

West Virginia Accuses Catholic Diocese Of Covering Up Clergy Abuse
Rachel Martin, NPR Morning Edition, March 20, 2019

West Virginia’s attorney general files suit against diocese and former bishop
Michael J. O’Loughlin, America Magazine, March 20, 2019

West Virginia’s attorney general files suit against diocese, bishop
National Catholic Reporter/Catholic News Service, March 20, 2019

“Mind-boggling”: SNAP responds to lawsuit against Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston
WTRF- Wheeling, March 19, 2019

Catholic Diocese in West Virginia Knowingly Employed Abusers
SNAP, March 19, 2019

WV AG sues Wheeling-Charleston Diocese, alleging knowing employment of abusers
Jake Zuckerman, Charleston Gazette-Mail, March 19, 2019

Statement from the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston on AG Lawsuit
Tim Bishop, Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, March 19, 2019

West Virginia Sues Bishop and Diocese, Saying They Knowingly Employed Pedophiles
Elizabeth Dias, New York Times, March 19, 2019

West Virginia attorney general sues Catholic bishop, saying he ‘knowingly employed pedophiles’
Daniel Burke, CNN, March 19, 2019

Authorities: Philly native and W.Va. bishop Michael Bransfield knowingly employed pedophiles
by Jeremy Roebuck, Philadelphia Inquirer, March 19, 2019

W.Va. Suit Accuses Diocese of Knowingly Employing Pedophiles
West Virginia Public Radio, March 19, 2019

West Virginia Attorney General sues diocese and former bishop over sex abuse
Staff, Catholic Herald UK, March 19, 2019

West Virginia’s attorney general sues former bishop, diocese
Christopher White, Crux, March 19, 2019

Attorney General Morrisey Files Suit Against Wheeling-Charleston Diocese
WBOY, March, 19, 2019

W.Va. Attorney General Sues Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston
Christoper Lawrence, WV Metro News, March 19, 2019

West Virginia Accuses Catholic Diocese and Former Bishops of Sex Abuse Cover-Up in Unusual Consumer Protection Lawsuit
Michelle Boorstein, Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Tom Jackman, Washington Post, March 19, 2019

In “Almost Heaven,” The Hammer Falls – With Rome’s Consent, WV Probe Ends With Bishop’s Suspension
Rocco Palmo, Whispers in the Loggia, March 11, 2019

Tim Bishop Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Director of Marketing and Communications
Steve Novotney, The Watchdog Network, March 11, 2019

SNAP Responds to the Conclusion of the Investigation into Wrongdoing by Former WV Bishop
SNAP, March 11, 2019

Results of former WV bishop investigation sent to Vatican
Rebecca Carballo, Charleston Gazette-Mail, March 11, 2019

Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston: Bransfield can no longer exercise ministry here
Jake Flatley, WV Metro News, March 11, 2019

Philly native and former W. Va. Bishop Michael Bransfield barred from serving in two dioceses
William Bender and Julia Terruso, Philadelphia Inquirer, March 11, 2019

Archbishop William Lori’s Investigation into Former Wheeling-Charleston Diocese Bishop Michael Bransfield Complete; Matter Forwarded to Vatican
Wheeling Intelligencer, March 11, 2019

Diocesan officials give new details on Bishop Bransfield investigation
Sam Coniglio, WTRF Wheeling, March 11, 2019

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Priests’ Convocation; Diocese of Wheeling–Charleston
Archbishop William Lori, Feb. 28, 2019

Web Extra: Restoring Trust in the Catholic Church (Lori interview)
Kathryn Ghion, WTRF, Feb. 22, 2019

Restoring Trust in the Catholic Church
Kathryn Ghion, WTRF, Feb. 22, 2019

Parishioners still seeking answers after Bransfield’s resignation
Kathryn Ghion, WTRF, Feb. 21, 2019

Catholics pray for abuse survivors, more lay involvement in church
Colleen Rowan, Catholic Philly/Catholic Spirit, Feb. 7, 2019

Bishop Bransfield’s name comes off two buildings in Wheeling
Jaime Baker, WTOV9, Feb. 7, 2019

Former Bishop Michael Bransfield’s Name Removed From Wheeling Central Catholic High School Gym
Heather Ziegler, Wheeling Intelligencer, Feb. 6, 2019

Jesuits Release List of Accused Priests, Including Three Who Served in Wheeling
Wheeling Intelligencer, Dec. 18, 2018

Jesuit provinces release names of accused priests; three former local priests named
Sam Coniglio, WTRF, Dec. 17, 2018

Faithful Urged To Remain Vigilant
Heather Ziegler and Alex Meyer, Wheeling Intelligencer, Dec. 2, 2018

Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston: Former Bishop Michael Bransfield Didn’t Belong on List
Jess Mancini, Wheeling Intelligencer, Dec. 1, 2018

Catholic diocese discusses list of clergy members connected to abuse cases
WTAP, Nov. 30, 2018

SNAP Responds: The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Releases Names of Accused Priests
SNAP, Nov. 29, 2018

Interview with Bryan Minor and Tim Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston
WKKX – The Watchdog, Nov. 29, 2018

W.Va. diocese releases names of clergy accused of sexual abuse
Brad McElhinny, WV Metro News, Nov. 29, 2018

Wheeling-Charleston Diocese Releases List of Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse Since 1950
Wheeling Intelligencer, Nov. 29, 2018

Diocese Releases Names of Clergy Accused of Sexual Abuse
AP & John Raby, WV Public Radio, Nov. 29, 2018

Priests ‘credibly’ accused of sexual abuse in WV named
Rebecca Carballo, Charleston Gazette-Mail, Nov. 29, 2018

Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston releases list of priests credibly accused of abuse against minors
Annie Moore, WWVA, Nov. 29, 2018

Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston releases names of 31 accused priests
Sam Coniglio, WTRF, Nov. 29, 2018

Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Releases List of Priests Credibly Accused of Abuse Against Minors
Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, Nov. 29, 2018

Announcement from the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston
Nov. 6, 2018

Newspapers examine U.S. bishops’ responses to abuse allegations
Carol Zimmermann, Catholic News Service, Nov. 5, 2018

Catholic bishops promised reform in sex-abuse scandal. But they didn’t look at their own misdeeds
Jenn Abelson, Thomas Farragher of the Globe Staff, Jeremy Roebuck, Julia Terruso and William Bender, The Boston Globe, Nov. 3, 2018

Failure at the top: America’s Catholic bishops vowed to remove abusive priests in 2002. In the years that followed, they failed to police themselves.
Jenn Abelson, Thomas Farragher of the Globe Staff, Jeremy Roebuck, Julia Terruso and William Bender, Philadelphia Inquirer, Nov. 3, 2018

Recent diocesan appointments by Archbishop Lori
Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, Oct. 26, 2018

Bryan Minor interviewed by Talkline News about forthcoming DWC list
Hoppy Kercheval, Talkline, Oct. 25, 2018

Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Plans To Identify Priests Accused of Abuse
Matt Saxton, Wheeling Intelligencer, Oct, 25, 2018

Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston set to release list of officials accused of sexual abuse
Rebecca Carballo, Charleston Gazette-Mail, Oct. 24, 2018

Wheeling-Charleston diocese to release names of sexual abuse suspects
Brad McElhinny, WV Metro News, Oct. 24, 2018

Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston to Release Names of All Priests That Have Been Credibly Accused of Abuse of Children of Which it is Aware Since 1950
Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, Oct. 24, 2018

Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston to release names of credibly accused priests
WTOV, Oct. 24, 2018

An Update on the Investigation into Bishop Bransfield
Brendan Lyman, Medium, Oct. 21, 2018

CCA’s Efforts in the Abuse Crisis
Jeannie Kirkhope, Oct. 19, 2018

West Virginia cathedral hosts Forty Hours devotion for Church healing
Colleen Rowan, Crux/Catholic News Service, Oct. 17, 2018

Archbishop Lori: Catholics living out their God-given vocations will help church heal
Colleen Rowan, Archdiocese of Baltimore/Catholic News Service, Oct. 15, 2018

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time; Charleston, WV
Archbishop William Lori, Oct. 6, 2018

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Professional Development Day; Ministry of Catholic Education, Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston
Archbishop William Lori, Oct. 5, 2018

New delegate of administrative affairs named for West Virginia diocese
Colleen Rowan, The Dialog/Catholic News Service, Oct. 1, 2018

Lay-led investigation begins into claims bishop sexually harassed adults
Colleen Rowan, National Catholic Reporter/Catholic News Agency, Sept. 28, 2018

Archbishop Lori: Investigation Begun in W Va. Into Allegations Against Bishop Bransfield
Colleen Rowan, National Catholic Register/Catholic News Agency, Sept. 27, 2018

West Virginia, Steubenville dioceses take steps on sexual misconduct
Peter Smith, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Sept. 26, 2018

Letter from Archbishop Lori to Clergy of the Diocese
Sept. 25, 2018

Archbishop Lori assures diocese he’s with them in journey toward healing
Colleen Rowan, National Catholic Reporter/Catholic News Service, Sept. 18, 2018

Archbishop Lori’s Homily: 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Archbishop William Lori, ArchBalt.org, Sept. 17, 2018

Baltimore Archbishop Lori aims to bring ‘truth and justice’ to West Virginia Catholics rocked by scandal
Jonathan M. Pitts, The Baltimore Sun, Sept. 15, 2018

Attorney General Wants Review of Bransfield Sexual Harassment Allegations
Linda Comins, Wheeling Intelligencer, Sept. 15, 2018

A Message from Dean Borgmeyer, Vicar of Charleston Vicariate, to the priests of the vicariate
Fr. Dean Borgmeyer, Sept. 14/15, 2018

Resignations, Rome meetings and investigations: A week of major developments in the sexual abuse crisis
Michael J. O’Loughlin, America Magazine, Sept. 14, 2018

Fall of a West Virginia Bishop Widens the Catholic Crisis Over Sex Abuse
Laurie Goodstein, New York Times, Sept. 13, 2018

Pope Francis calls for investigation into Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston
Jaime Baker, Kristen Tuell, WTOV9.com, Sept. 13, 2018

Catholic bishop in West Virginia resigns amid sexual harassment investigation
Jason Hanna, CNN, Sept. 13, 2018

West Virginia bishop resigns over sexual harassment allegations

Pope OKs investigation into harassment allegations against WV bishop
Charleston Gazette-Mail, Sept. 13, 2018

Bishop Bransfield Resigns, Being Investigated
Linda Comins, Wheeling Intelligencer, Sept. 13, 2018

Bishop Bransfield resigns; investigation into sexual harassment claims begins
Jeff Jenkins, WV MetroNews, Sept. 13, 2018

Bishop Bransfield retires; pope orders investigation of allegations
Catholic Philly/Catholic News Service, Sept. 13, 2018

In Mountain State, A Fresh Scandal – Pope Bumps WV Prelate Over Harassment Claims
Rocco Palmo, Whispers in the Loggia, Sept. 13, 2018

Pope Francis orders investigation of W.Va. bishop on sexual harassment charges
Julie Zauzmer, Washington Post, Sept. 13, 2018

Pope OKs probe into West Virginia bishop as he meets with US delegation
Nicole Winfield, Religion News Service, Sept. 13, 2018

Bishop Michael Bransfield resigns; sexual harassment investigation launched
WDTV.com, Sept. 13, 2018

Pope sends Baltimore archbishop Lori to investigate sexual harassment allegations against West Virginia bishop
Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun, Sept. 13, 2018

Pope Francis Appoints Archbishop William Lori Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston
Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, Sept. 13, 2018

AMENDED RELEASE: Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Michael Bransfield; Archbishop Lori Instructed to Conduct Investigation into Allegations of Sexual Harassment
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Sept. 13, 2018

Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Michael Bransfield of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Sept. 13, 2018

Bransfield’s listing on Catholic-Hierarchy.org

Bransfield assignment record via BishopAccountability.org

Bransfield’s listing on “accused bishops” page at BishopAccountability.org

Philadelphia Grand Jury Report

Accused Wheeling-Charleston priests at BishopAccountability.org

2004 abuse statistics released by Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston

Editorials/opinion on Bransfield and Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston

Troubling Questions Not Answered by Diocese
Vincent DeGeorge, Wheeling Intelligencer, April 14, 2019
[See also: Charleston Gazette Mail, Huntington Herald-Dispatch]

Predator Priests Were Protected
Editorial, Wheeling Intelligencer, March 20, 2019.

Reveal Details on Bransfield
Editorial, The Weirton Daily Times, March 13, 2019

Reveal Bransfield List
Wheeling Intelligencer, Feb. 10, 2019

West Virginia Catholics Want to ‘Follow the Truth Wherever it Leads,’ Including to Philadelphia
Michael J. Iafrate and Jeannie Kirkhope, Philadelphia Inquirer, Feb. 4, 2019

The laity is the Catholic Church’s last earthly hope
Jeannie Kirkhope and Michael J. Iafrate, Associated Press, Jan. 13, 2019
See also: Herald-Dispatch (Huntington, WV), Willliamson Daily News (Williamson, WV)

“Follow the Truth Wherever it Leads”: Resisting the Jurisdictional Mentality that Protects Abusers in the Church
Michael J. Iafrate, Medium, Dec. 13, 2018

Can Baltimore’s archbishop bring accountability to West Virginia’s Catholic Church?
Vincent DeGeorge, Baltimore Sun, Dec. 5, 2018

Iafrate Fighting for a Better Church
Nora Edinger, Weelunk, Nov. 29, 2018

‘Lay investigation’ of diocese doesn’t equate transparency
Michael J. Iafrate and Jeannie Kirkhope, Charleston Gazette-Mail, Nov. 22, 2018

The Present Predicament of the Catholic Church as Seen From the Sidelines
Bill Hogan, Weelunk.com, Nov. 18, 2018

Lists May Not Tell Full Story
Wheeling Intelligencer, Nov. 4, 2018

“Lay Involvement” in Church Investigation Does Not Guarantee Truth or Transparency
Michael J. Iafrate, Medium, Oct. 29, 2018

Special Report: A Few Good Men
Brooke Chaplain, WTRF-Channel 7 Wheeling, Oct. 25, 2018

Bishop Bransfield and the Catholic crisis
Charleston Gazette-Mail, Sept. 17, 2018

Open Letter to the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston: WV Catholics Want ‘Specific, Achievable Actions,’ Full Investigation
Jeannie Kirkhope and Michael J. Iafrate, Charleston Gazette-Mail, Sept. 15, 2018
See also: Wheeling Intelligencer, Register-Herald (Beckley), Appalachian Chronicle, Lenoir Voice (NC), Herald-Dispatch (Huntington)

West Virginia Catholic Diocese Challenged to Reject Coal’s ‘Dirty Money’
Michael J. Iafrate, Appalachian Chronicle, April 2016

Dirty Money in the Appalachian Church: Six Years After Deadly Coal Mine Disaster, Where Are We Now?
Michael J. Iafrate, Religion Dispatches, April 2016

Pope Francis’ environmental encyclical gets waylaid in West Virginia
Michael J. Iafrate, National Catholic Reporter, July 1, 2015

Huntington Catholics questioning diocese
David Gutman, Charleston Gazette, Jul 27, 2013

Abuse in the Catholic Church
Jeannie Kirkhope, Appalachian Catholic Worker, Aug. 28, 2007

News/analysis/court documents on abuse in other Appalachian dioceses

Protest claims ‘injustice’ by diocese
Amy Neeley, Steubenville Herald-Star, March 22, 2019.

Archdiocese: 48 Louisville priests, others credibly accused of sex abuse
Chris Kenning, Louisville Courier Journal, Feb. 8, 2019

Attorneys to determine if Lexington Diocese handled abusive priests appropriately
Mike Stunson, Lexington Herald-Leader, Dec. 17, 2018

Charlotte diocese to delay releasing names of priests accused of sexual abuse
Nathan Morabito, WCNC, Nov. 13, 2018

Plaque’s removal from Franciscan University exposes abuse by former chaplain
Jenn Morson, National Catholic Reporter, Oct. 31, 2018

Diocese of Steubenville Releases List of Priests Accused of Abuse
The Times Leader, Oct. 31, 2018

‘Wave’ of local victims may come forward: Diocese of Steubenville will publish names of abusers in October
Michael Kelly, Marietta Times, Sept. 28, 2018

2nd Ohio diocese to release abusive priest list
Mark Gillispie and and John Seewer, Crux/Associated Press, Sept. 26, 2018

Maryland attorney general will review church records on child sex abuse
Christopher Gunty, National Catholic Reporter/Catholic News Service, Sept. 25, 2018

Kentucky attorney general to ask legislature on Catholic Church probe
Associated Press, Sept. 11, 2018

Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report

Dioceses Won’t Name Sex Offenders
Linda Comins, Wheeling Intelligencer, April 21, 2018

CCA Statement on Sex Abuse in the Roman Catholic Church
November 2017

Appalachian Dioceses’ Lists of Priests Credibly Accused of Abuse of Minors

Albany (NY)
Baltimore (MD)
Birmingham (AL)
Buffalo (NY)
Charleston (SC) (delayed)
Charlotte (NC) (in process, but delayed and/or cancelled by Bishop Jugis)
Cincinnati (OH)
Columbus (OH)
Covington (KY) (in process)
Erie (PA)
Greensburg (PA)
Harrisburg (PA)
Jackson (MS) (in process)
Knoxville (TN)
Lexington (KY) (in process)
Louisville (KY)
Nashville (TN)
Pittsburgh (PA)
Richmond (VA)
Rochester (NY)
Scranton (PA)
Steubenville (OH)
Syracuse (NY)
Wheeling-Charleston (WV)

Other resources

Canon lawyers explain how Vatican abuse trials function
Cindy Wooden, Crux/Catholic News Service, Aug. 11, 2018

Vatican’s glossary of terms associated with handling of sexual abuse claims
Vatican.va

A Catholic Abuse Crisis Syllabus
Catherine R. Osborne, Daily Theology, Sept. 18, 2018

Worldliness is the very heart of the Catholic Church’s crisis
Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter, Sept. 12, 2018

McCarrick, the bishops, and unanswered questions
J.D. Flynn, Catholic News Agency, July 23, 2018

SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

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