Wheeling diocese sells bishop’s residence; proceeds to assist sex abuse victims

Wheeling diocese sells bishop’s residence; proceeds to assist sex abuse victims September 13, 2019

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The Wheeling diocesan home of former Catholic bishop Michael J. Bransfield has been sold for $1.2 million, and the proceeds will be placed into a special fund to assist victims of sexual abuse in West Virginia.

The Most Rev. Mark E. Brennan, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston released the information in a letter Friday to Catholics throughout the diocese.

The home was sold Aug. 23 to David H. and Meredith McKinley, according to Ohio County real estate records. David is the son of Congressman David B. McKinley.

Proceeds from the sale of the former bishop’s home on Elmwood Place will be used to provide professional counseling, psychological and spiritual support for victims of sexual abuse in the state, Brennan said Friday.

Brennan also said that in addition to requiring an extensive audit of diocesan finances during Bransfield’s tenure, he has engaged in extensive discussions with members of the Diocese Finance Council, the priest consultors, chancery staff, lay professionals, parishioners and victims of the former bishop’s sexual harassment.

“It is my intention in the coming days to define the terms of Bishop Bransfield’s required restitution for the harm he caused and the Church resources he squandered,” Brennan said in the letter. “It is my hope that the former bishop will see this as an opportunity to acknowledge his offenses and to truly make amends to the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston and the good people across the state who have been so deeply affected by this scandal.”

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