The news is out: [CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A former Roman Catholic bishop in West Virginia has issued an apology two years after resigning amid allegations of sexual and financial misconduct, and the diocese said Thursday that he has repaid $441,000.
The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston on Thursday released a letter from former Bishop Michael Bransfield on its website.
“I am writing to apologize for any scandal or wonderment caused by words or actions attributed to me during my tenure,” Bransfield wrote in the letter, dated Aug. 15.
Bransfield said he was reimbursed during his time as bishop for “certain expenditures that have been called into question as excessive.” He said he has paid the money back to the diocese “even though I believed that such reimbursements to me were proper.”
The $441,000 repayment is far less than the $792,638 sought by the church that was presented to Bransfield last November. Current Bishop Mark Brennan said the final repayment was approved by the Congregation for Bishops in Rome. He said the money will be placed in a fund to pay for counseling victims of sexual abuse, added to money already set aside by the sale of Bransfield’s former residence.
A church investigation last year found Bransfield misused diocese funds for lavish spending on dining out, liquor, vacations, luxury items and church-funded personal gifts to fellow bishops and cardinals in the U.S. and the Vatican.
The investigation also found sexual misconduct allegations against Bransfield to be credible.]
Michael Bransfield is not different from any other crook or thief, currently peddling the manure of religion.