AMENDED RELEASE: Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Michael Bransfield; Archbishop Lori Instructed to Conduct Investigation into Allegations of Sexual Harassment

September 13, 2018 By Public Affairs Office

The following press release has been amended. Our initial release issued at 6am thismorning was based on the entire notification we received from the Nunciaturethat did not include the additional information provided by the Archdiocese ofBaltimore.

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop MichaelBransfield from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston,West Virginia. Pope Francis hasappointed Archbishop William E. Lori as Apostolic Administrator of the Dioceseof Wheeling-Charleston. He will remain Archbishop of Baltimore. The Holy Fatherhas additionally instructed Archbishop Lori to conduct an investigation intoallegations of sexual harassment of adults against Bishop Bransfield.

The resignation and appointment were publicized in Washington,September 13, 2018, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to theUnited States.

Bishop Bransfield was born September 8, 1943, in Philadelphia, PA. Hegraduated from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in 1971, where he earned amaster's in Divinity. He also earned his Master's in Philosophy from TheCatholic University of America.

He was ordained to the priesthood on May 15, 1971 by Cardinal JohnKrol for service in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Assignments after ordination included: teacher, chaplain, and Chairmanof the Religion Department at Lansdale Catholic High School. In 1980, Bishop Bransfield went on to serveas Assistant Director and Director ofLiturgy, Director of Finance, and then Rector of the Basilica of the National Shrineof the Immaculate Conception (1990).

On December 9, 2004, Pope Saint John Paul II appointed BishopBransfield the eighth Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia.  He was ordained a bishop on February 22,2005.

Bishop Bransfield served as a member of the Communications Committee,the National Collections Committee, and Treasurer of the United StatesConference of Catholic Bishops.

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston is comprised of 24,282 square milesin the state of West Virginia and has a total population of 1,844,128 of which 77,874or 4 percent, are Catholic.


Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops,USCCB, Pope Francis, ArchbishopChristophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Bishop Michael Bransfield, Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, Archbishop William E. Lori, Baltimore.


Media Contact:
Judy Keane