BREAKING: Lawsuit Accuses Former Bishop, Charges He ‘Knowingly Employed Pedophiles’

BREAKING: Lawsuit Accuses Former Bishop, Charges He ‘Knowingly Employed Pedophiles’ March 19, 2019

From The Washington Post: 

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey Wednesday sued the Catholic diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and its former bishop, Michael J. Bransfield, charging that they “knowingly employed pedophiles and failed to conduct adequate background checks” for people working in Catholic schools and camps, a Morrisey press release says.

Some experts on child abuse said the move was precedent-setting.

“This is the most that we’ve seen so far in terms of prosecution, in terms of someone in the higher levels of the hierarchy. This is the first time we’ve seen a comprehensive claim against a whole diocese and a bishop,” said Marci Hamilton, a law scholar and head of CHILD USA, a non-profit focused on child abuse.

The news comes a week after Baltimore Archbishop William Lori – who the pope appointed last fall to investigate allegations including that Bransfield sexually harassed adults — barred Bransfield from any priestly duties. Lori on March 11 said his preliminary investigation, which involved five lay experts, was being forwarded to the Vatican for a final judgment.

That probe was looking into allegations of sexual harassment of adults and financial improprieties.

Stay tuned.

You can read the full account of the civil complaint from the attorney general here. 


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