District Attorney Reviews Claim Against Bishop


Click here to read: “Montco reviewing case against cleric first reported in ’07,” by John P. Martin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 8, 2012

The wheels of justice turn slowly, but they keep turning.

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51 Responses to “District Attorney Reviews Claim Against Bishop”

  1. Sadly, it’s like a game of chess. We see want happened with a pawn, Monsignor Lynn. Now it’s time to see what happens as we move up to a bishop.

  2. Our parish priest this morning was at a loss for words. He said he knows nothing more than us about the six priests announced on Friday. Now this, and I am trying to put together an email to the archdiocese to talk about the Lynn trial and failed leadership in general.

    • Integritcc, yea all of them say “I know nothing” but there is no way priest, Bishops and staff at 222 did not know or hear talk at the “water cooler” during the reign of Krol, Bevalaquia, and Rigalli!

      • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply July 8, 2012 at 7:36 pm

        Joe,

        To be honest with you, I think the Philly AD priests have been in the dark as much as the faithful since Chaput took the helm. I believe the priests know next to nothing in terms of the developments that have taken place during his reign. I think the priests are as angry and disillusioned as we are, not only with Chaput but with the USCCB. Still waiting to hear from the priests! C’mon, guys. Unify. Say something. Act intelligently.

    • Integrity..good for you and for Steve W who contacted the AD the other day…they need to hear from the people in the pews.

  3. I believe that Archbishop Chaput is trying to take some correct steps — but until he cleans out the “good old boy network” at 222 we will not see change. Monsignor Lynn was NOT the only individual at 222 that knew what was going on about the “cover-up” and untul the others are transferred out of Administrative postions change will not happen.

    • Joe..you got that right. if you read the “Commonwealth’s Response to Lynn’s Motion to Dismiss”,that we posted a few months ago,it amazing how many people mentioned in the memo’s meetings,etc..are still active in the AD.

      • Kathy…how about reposting the “Commonwealth’s Response to Lynn’s Motion to Dismiss”?

      • Exactly they all need to go and those that are in other archdiocese ‘s now also.

      • Joe, you’re right for one simple reason. Priests are trained to keep secrets. Which means they keep secrets with other clerics. Most human beings could not keep this kind of information to themselves. It would drive them crazy. They would look for advice and try to find help. Obviously, in Lynn’s case, he got bad advice. But, for sure, others knew, and there were plenty of them that knew and kept quiet.

    • How can chaput clean out the good ol’boy network when he himself is a member of the network? Remember you don’t get promoted if you don’t play along!

      • Unabletotrust – “Remember you don’t get promoted if you don’t play along!”

        The RCC “good ol’boy network” is like the mob; don’t play along and one way or the other you’ll just disappear. You better suck-up to the God-Father (Holy-Father) or you’re GONE!

        We’re all familiar with the positions taken by the bishops B16 has fired. I can’t find many pedophile protectors in that group (any?).

      • Just one example, “One of the biggest of those stories concerned the attempt of a courageous bishop to come to grips with the Vatican’s finances. For two years Carlo Maria Viganò labored at the work, uncovering appalling scandal and waste. But in 2011, Cardinal Bertone gave Viganò his marching orders.”

        In Newsweek Magazine
        Vatileaks Scandal Exposes Secrets Of Pope’s Empire

        http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/07/08/vatileaks-scandal-exposes-secrets-of-pope-s-empire.html

      • Unabletotrust — based on your view — no one will ever be a suitable leader…..come on, we must believe that leadership will be found who brings the teaching of Christ into the Administration of the church locally and in the Vatican.

      • Joe, in a post of yours not far from here you suggested that until the ‘good old boys network’ was cleaned up….and that there were many in that network who knew of the ‘cover-up…that until a major clean up occurred, problems might not get resolved.

        I don’t think that folks on this site would disagree with you.

        But the challenge of a ‘clean up’ is Herculean.

        I would like to see a very extensive and unprogrammmed and unfiltered LISTENING process, in which the AD simply sets up (without Pre organized agenda) an opportunity in every parish for folks to simply come together and discuss their concerns, feelings, et al relative to the abuse issues, and other diocesan matters.

        I think such a process could, if honestly executed without defensive hierarchical input, could provide the AD with some direction for the future. I also think it might be the beginning of ‘restoring trust’.

      • Kate FitzGerald (hadit) Reply July 10, 2012 at 5:52 pm

        Yes, Joe Gable. There will never be suitable leaders until the priesthood is reinvented and reformed.

      • Joe, the system is sick and self-perpetuating. The previous/current Vatican administration(s?) appointed the current bishops. They chose for compliance. They have a rule not to criticize any other bishop publicly. If a good bishop were appointed, the system would attack and reject him like a virus.

  4. S. Reid Waren, III Reply July 8, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Men like to brag about their sexual conquests – of whatever type. That’s their nature.

    Don’t tell me there weren’t fellow priests at the abbey or wherever who didn’t know that theirecolleagues were doing this and did not report them Just like at Penn State.

    Reid

    • It may take a lot longer for US laity to require transparency from the hierarchy, but right now in Ireland, laity are organizing, big time….see below:

      Ireland: Concerned laity join forces to push for reform

      DUBLIN
      Calls for reform have spread from the Association of Catholic Priests to a group of lay faithful

      MARIA TERESA PONTARA PEDERIVA
      ROME
      It is no longer just priests pushing for reform in the Catholic Church, but the laity as well; this is apparently what has been happening in Ireland over the past few weeks according to The Irish Times.
       
      Patsy Mc Garry reported that a group of lay people who got together at the end of May is planning to run a series of meetings across the whole country, between August and September, to be followed by a bigger meeting in late autumn.
       
      The group was apparently formed after a meeting on 30 May at All Hallows College in Dublin, which dealt with issues relating to the full implementation of the Second Vatican Council and to the urgent need to introduce some reforms considered necessary for the Church in the Third Millennium. Its heads – 4 men and 4 women – are putting together a work platform comprising individuals and structured groups.

      The group is collaborating closely with ACP, the association of Catholic priests with which a meeting is due to be held soon (the ACP is in touch with German, Austrian and American priests who are appealing for the same things).
       
      In the meantime, specific work groups will be set up to deal with and analyse the various issues that are to be raised, focusing in particular on the subject of faith and young people. The discussion drafts for this should be ready. Noel Mc Cann, one of the group’s heads stated: “A structured group needs to be created because too many people are experiencing the frustration of being lay people in the Church. We felt the need to do something: one thing we can do is to organise ourselves in such a way that we become more united and assertive. Then we will see where this takes us.”

    • Reid,

      I’ve heard stories from other victims that their abusive priests “did” brag about the boys they were abusing. The Oblates of Saint Francis De Sales, better known as the sickest institution on the planet, had a lot of the worst of the worst, and they DID brag about it.

      Nobody cared.

  5. “Blessington told Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina that the bishop could still face charges because the statute of limitations on the crime froze when Bransfield moved from the Commonwealth in 1980.” (John P. Martin, The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 8, 2012.)

    That’s exactly the way they got Fr. Mercure from the Albany diocese. The SOL were frozen because Mercure committed the crimes in the State of Mass, then fled back to NY State, where the SOL had expired.

    “PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Former priest Gary Mercure had nothing to say and only smiled (me hate these guys) Wednesday after a Berkshire County judge sentenced him to more than two decades behind bars for raping two altar boys in the 1980s.”

    “You are no more than a common thug,” Berkshire County Judge John A. Agostini told Mercure, 62, before sentencing him to 20 to 25 years in prison on three counts of forcible rape.”

    I bet that smile have been wiped of his face after his first year and a half in prison.

    http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Off-to-prison-with-a-grin-1016033.php

    Former Fr. Gary Mercure was one of Bishop Howard Hubbard’s priests.

    http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/Hubbard_Howard_J.htm

    • Correction – (makes me hate these guys)

    • MackerelSnapper Reply July 8, 2012 at 7:27 pm

      This also happened in Philly when Father Behan of North Catholic was reassigned to North Carolina by his order. Can’t recall the years involved, but I believed Behan’s case was covered in the 2005 GJ report.

  6. This is how the diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, W. VA, officially responded, at the time, to trial testimony implicating Bishop Bransfield:

    “They (prosecutors) seem to want to bludgeon witnesses, smear individuals not on trial, anything to bolster their persecution of the Church.”

    Can’t wait to see the “persecution of the Church” card trumped again!

    Come to think of it, why shouldn’t the Church be persecuted? How else do normal people, in a normal society, close down a corrupt and sick institution?

    • It’s amazing how everyone plays the victim and no one takes responsiblity for their actions…………the leadership is not only corupt but a bunch of cowards.

  7. Reflecting on this situation with Bishop Bransfiel from WVA, so much testimony involved former Father Gano. Supposedly they were classmates in the seminary and visited each other frequently and according to the testimoney, Gano even pointed out one of the young men in the front seat of the bishop’s car as being more than just a friend so stated the witness at the trial. I have wondered all along why Gano could not be called to testify in such a hearing that would verify the allegations which are now just floating in the “cloud” some where. It appears that Gano is supposed to be ensconsed at the shore somewhere and I am sure he does not want to appear in Philly, but I think that the DA needs to visit him and get his testimony on record. If he verifies the facts as described in the present trial, then Bishop Bransfield has to do what every priest would do if so charged. He needs to resign until all the facts are on the table. If he was a “simple” priest he would be suspended until the investigators proved his innocence.
    By the way, a friend of mine at St. Maria Goretti Parish told me that Bishop Senior was there for Mass this morning and praised the associate who has managed the parish in the absence of Father Peterson, the former pastor who was just reinstated but not back to his own parish.
    Fondly the parishoners applauded Father Brownholtz(?sp), the administrator, twice. But nothing at the mention of the former pastor. Once again, the pastor is removed and no one has any idea of why all the “accusations”, why so long the investigation, suddenly exonerated, but then to be transferred at another date.
    Another sad day for the people of this parish and for the archdiocese.

    • Father W ….thought you might like to see the 2011 Grand Jury discussion of Father Gana:

      Rev. Stanley Gana
      Rev. Stanley Gana, ordained in 1970, sexually abused countless boys in a succession of Philadelphia parishes. He was known to kiss, fondle, anally sodomize, and impose oral sex on his victims. He took advantage of altar boys, their trusting families, and vulnerable teenagers with emotional problems. He took groups of adolescent male parishioners on overnight trips, and would rotate them through his bed. He collected nude pornographic photos of his victims. He molested boys on a farm, in vacation houses, in the church rectory. Some minors he abused for years.

      During and even before Msgr. Lynn’s tenure as Secretary of Clergy, he was aware of much of the sexual abuse committed by Father Gana. Yet Msgr. Lynn thwarted efforts to have him removed from active ministry. Two victims came forward in the 1990s to describe specifics of their abuse and provide the names of other victims. They begged Msgr. Lynn and his colleagues in the Archdiocese to take away Father Gana’s cover as a priest in good standing, to stop facilitating his exploitation of minors.

      Soon after the second victim came forward, Msgr. Lynn even learned that Father Gana had admitted the sexual abuse during therapy sessions. Moreover, both victims provided Msgr. Lynn with corroborating witnesses, and at least one of them was deemed credible by Msgr. Lynn even before Father Gana’s admission. In addition, Msgr. Lynn knew that Father Gana was still living with students at the time the abuse reports were coming in.

      Despite this overwhelming evidence that Father Gana was a dangerous sexual predator, Msgr. Lynn took no steps to have him removed from active ministry, or even to protect the students who were living with him at the time of the reports. Quite the opposite, as documented by the previous grand jury, Msgr. Lynn spent a decade improperly investigating Father Gana’s victims rather than Father Gana; misleading the priest’s treatment team so its members would not know the full extent of his criminal misconduct; and explicitly supporting Father Gana’s successful effort to remain in active ministry, where he continued to perform Mass with altar boys.

      When asked by one of the victims to explain this unconscionable breach of duty, which endangered countless minors while perpetuating Father Gana’s crime spree, Msgr. Lynn could offer only the non sequitur that the priest’s misconduct had not been limited to having sex with children and teenage minors. Father Gana had also slept with adults, abused alcohol, and stolen money from parish churches. “You see,” said Msgr. Lynn, “he’s not a pure pedophile.”

  8. Bishop Bransfield protesteth too much! His alleged conduct is probably correct, but his many fancy titles keep him from being called in. Let’s hope Blessington soon reels in all these big fish: Cullen, Cistone, Rigali, Bransfield.

  9. Got two more for you -Msgr. John J. Jagodzinski & Father Vincent Welsh

  10. Sent out to media….

    For immediate release: July 8, 2012

    Statement by: Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511, SNAPJudy@gmail.com

    We are grateful that Philly prosecutors are investigating Bransfield’s allegations of sexually abusing a child.

    In April, during sworn testimony in the Philadelphia hierarchy clergy sex abuse trial which (Msgr Lynn was found guilty of enabling and covering up sex crimes against kids) West Virginia’s Bishop Michael Bransfield was accused of sexual abuse of a child, during his priesthood in the Philly Archdiocese.

    After Bransfield’s angry letter of denial, it would be irresponsible and reckless for this testimony to be forgotten or ignored. We anticipate that Bransfield would like for these accusations to just go away, but it is well known that child predators rarely have only one victim.

    Sexual predators are often powerful and well-loved. They can also work their way up the church hierarchy ladder of authority and become bishops.

    So we urge anyone who has knowledge or may have been harmed by Bransfield to contact Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, who is investigating this case. Her contact info here (ph: 610-278-3090) http://da.montcopa.org/da/site/default.asp

    Or contact the police, whether it be in the Philly Archdiocese or the Wheeling-Charleston diocese.

    Keep in mind your silence only hurts, and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others

    Contact – David Clohessy (314-566-0790 cell, snapclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Blaine
    (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, peterisely@yahoo.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Judy Jones, 636-433-2511, SNAPJudy@gmail.com

    (SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims.
    SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20120708_Review_of_2007_allegation_a_W_Va__bishop_had_fondled_a_Montco_student.html?c=r

  11. http://www.wtov9.com/news/news/report-philadelphia-da-investigating-wva-bishop/nPpW2/

    with video.. Bransfield’s response is outrageous… he is trying to blame the media..

  12. MackerelSnapper Reply July 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    This whole thread provides the real reason why SOL reform is so important. The rcc’s structures are just not up to the task.

    Back when I was in the navy, I was told that the only thing I needed to know about selection (promotion) boards is that the people who sit on them look for people who are like themselves. Card Rigali is still on the congregation for Bishops. Chaput will look for people who are like him. Lay review boards and finance committees or OK but those folks serve at the pleasure of the bishop who appoints them.

    The rcc has no hope of being able to clean it’s own house. It’s gonna take the courts.

    • To continue your thought, Fish….these boards only get what info the hierarchy chooses to give them but they do NOT have decisionmaking power…only the hierarchy does….

      It’s essentially ridiculous….to suggest that this system is in any way, democratic…at least in trial situations, 12 jurors have to unanimously make decisions.

  13. This is actually a situation where the case WAS TURNED OVER to the Montgomery County D.A., and THEY were the ones who did nothing. I guess since he was gone from the Archdiocese Philly could do nothing about him. But I can’t believe the D.A.’s office would let it go.

    Bransfield’s reaction to it was so arrogant, and his refusal to let his aide testify shows something is up.

  14. Correspondence shared with Diocesan Spokesperson Bryan Minor on April 18, 2012:

    Mr. Minor:

    Thanks for taking my call today and discussing the issues here in Philadelphia. As I said, my advocacy in this debacle has to do with the future of our church, the faith and religion that our children and grandchildren will have, live with, grow and experience all that Our Lord has in store for their lives, both good and bad.

    By now, I know that you have realized that the Bransfield-Philadelphia connection is getting a big workout in the news media here. I see you have Peter Vaira on board, now there’s a heavy hitter, great expertise and background in these high-profile matters; more parishioners’ donations to a worthy cause — exorbitant legal fees.

    Hopefully, you guys down in WV can learn from the Philadelphia experience – what not to do when challenged to face the music. The details, evidence, etc. that is being played out, day in and day out, here cannot possibly be in the best interests of the Catholic faithful here in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia archdiocese is the poster child for the “Pyrrhic Victory” – they’ve had a slew of them over the past 6 years, but, guess what, the archdiocesan leadership, both lay and clergy, will LOSE THE WAR, if not for themselves, but certainly for all of the younger and youngest faithful here in Philadelphia.

    Whether Msgr. Quirk arrives here in Phila. is of little consequence, given the enormity of this child-abusing horror and nightmare, locally, nationally and internationally. Hey, just yesterday, Father Kelly out there in California decided to go home to Ireland right before he was scheduled to testify (a credibly accused priest).

    I really believe that if we, the US Catholic Church, is going to have any remote chance to recover, revive and become renewed from WITHIN, it will be because of young professionals, highly-regarded by the Church leadership, who really know and believe that the current course of action (and inaction) is counter-productive and futile. As a result, you will speak up and out within the inner circle and possibly there will be a single bishop or two who will listen and boldly make the changes, apologies, openness, accountability, etc. that is necessary to build the future.

    I’ve presented such a case to one or two younger professionals here in the archdiocese that are in positions of prominence and leadership within the Church and I would say are “on the cusp”. Without taking a strong stand and telling the leadership what they NEED to hear, not what they WANT to hear, you too will be co-opted by the organization and bureaucracy to believe and do what has not worked for many, many years.

    As a fellow student in the Ignatian tradition, you know that these concerns are legitimate and, believe it or not, contrary to the US Catholic leadership, there are alternative viewpoints, understandings, and perspectives to the problems and maybe they would be better served to investigate them.

    • MackerelSnapper Reply July 9, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      Mike, lots of good insights into organizational psychology in your last three paragraphs. There is way too much psychic energy going into defending the past…even by the good guys.

      Like you say, the old course of action is counter productive. Kinda like Pearl Harbor. People argue (correctly) that those events weren’t Adm Kimmel’s fault. Despite that, it was good that he was replaced. Too much of Kimmel’s energy would have gone into justifying past policies.

      I could detect this watching the last USCCB conference. One of life’s hard lessons is that trust is hard to earn and very easy to loose.

    • Outstanding!!!!

    • MS your letter to Bryan Minor was heartfelt and very very decent. It was the best ‘communication’ I have seen in the midst of the chaos of the present moment.

      My hope and, indeed prayer, is that your letter is seriously dealt with, not only in Bryan’s diocese…but throughout PA, and elsewhere.

      The whole idea of younger folks around hierarchical types really telling them what they may not want to hear, BUT DESPERATELY need to hear, is not lost on me. I also think that the laity should be honestly and without ‘spin’ heard from, as well.

      As I consider the last three months in Philly, the content and decisions of the trial…I can’t help but remember the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 30 YEARS AGO, when first dealing with the abuse issues and the fact that from 1982-1985 their own records indicate a concern for THEIR ‘civil liability’.

      Rather than ‘lawerying up’ and protecting the long lost ‘reputation’ of the Church, it is very clearly time for the Church to LISTEN to its folks, both young leadership, and more importantly the folks in the pew.

      Instead of a Pre manufactured process that tells a the laity what it should think or feel….I hope and pray that there might be a very honest and unexspugated process in PA where the laity can express their concerns, feelings, and, yes anger.

      I think the LISTENING process (without defense) should happen in every parish in every diocese in PA (and elsewhere)

      And I think the hierarchy should simply digest the data they receive from their folks, and perhaps in 6 months or longer, should come back and report the hierarchy’s learnings …as they relate to abuse issues, church and school closings et al.

      Will it happen, probably not. Should it happen, absolutely.

      • Apparently, new information has come to the attention of the Montgomery County DA relative to Bransfield…..

        PHILADELPHIA (PA)
        PhillyBurbs

        Posted on July 10, 2012

        by Margaret Gibbons

        The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office is taking a second look at information first received in 2007 concerning alleged inappropriate conduct by a priest with a student at Lansdale Catholic High School in the 1970s.

        The information alleging inappropriate contact between a student and Father Michael J. Bransfield, who is now bishop of the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese that serves all of West Virginia, had been provided to the DA’s office by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, according to Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.

        “Based on the statute of limitations and the victim’s unwillingness to talk to investigators, we did not have a sufficient basis at that time to move forward,” said Ferman. “Within the last month, new information has come forward to cause us to re-examine the older complaint. We are in the process of doing that now.”

        Ferman repeatedly declined to answer further questions on the matter.

        Bransfield, a Philadelphia native who began his pastoral service in Huntingdon Valley after he was ordained a priest in 1971, served as a teacher, chaplain, chairman of the religion department and vice principal at Lansdale Catholic High School from 1973 into 1979.

  15. Pretty Boy Bransfield and Sexselling Gana > two peas in a pod.

  16. In relation to Bransfield, a personal story. During the mid 80’s, I was assigned to Wash., DC. This was when Bransfield was placed as Director of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Because I was also a Philly native, I decided to go in person to welcome Bransfield to DC. As I approached him, he was standing by himself by one of the entrances. I made my usual cordial and welcoming speech, and when I finished he looked at me as if I was crazy! Believe me, I was not impressed.

    • Theresa, I think I know what the problem was. You failed to take the Dale Carnegie course “How to win friends and influence people.” It’s a standard training module for aspiring church leaders and those assigned as Director of the National Shrine. I begin to wonder what kind of attitude a Church leader develops when he absents himself for over 30 years from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

    • Thank you Theresa…

      I have heard via the grape vine, that Bransfield will not eat with anything other than gold plated silverware…And the Wheeling area is sooooooooooo poor… I have a real bad feeling about him..! He has treated victims with total disregard..in his diocese.

      His responses to the news are outrageous, and very telling..! If anyone has any knowledge about him, please contact the Montgomery county prosecutor.. in Philly..

      tks, Judy

  17. Assignment Record

    Bishop Michael J. Bransfield

    Summary of Case: Bransfield began his career as a priest of the Philadelphia archdiocese. He was a parish priest, then a teacher, chaplain and vice-principal of an archdiocesan high school. Bransfield left Philadelphia when appointed director of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC, becoming its rector when the National Shrine was made a basilica. In 2005 Bransfield was elevated to bishop of the Wheeling-Charleston diocese. In a 2012 trial of other Philadelphia clergy, Bransfield was accused of having sexually teen boys in the late 1970s or early 1980s. Another of the trial’s witnesses stated that when he was a minor Bransfield spoke to him in a lewd way. A prosecutor at the trial said Bransfield was accused in a separate case of fondling a student. Bransfield denied the allegations.

    Ordained: 1971

    Start Stop Parish/Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes

    1971

    Philadelphia archbishop was John Joseph Krol (1961-1988)
    1973 St. Albert the Great Huntingdon Valley PA 2/3 St. Albert’s had a school with 454-445 boys and 445-402 girls.
    1973 1979 St. Stanislaus Lansdale PA

    6/6, 5/5

    In residence.
    St. Stanislaus had a school with 799-718 students.
    1973 1979 Lansdale Catholic High School

    Lansdale

    PA teacher; chaplain; chairman of religion dept.; vice-principal Lansdale Catholic High had 249-371 boys and 336-417 girls.

    1979

    Washington DC archbishop was William Wakefield Baum (1973-1980), followed by James Aloysius Hickey (1980-2000). Hickey was succeeded by Theodore Edgar McCarrick (2000-2006).
    1990 On Duty Outside the Diocese/National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

    Washington

    • During testimony in the 2012 trial of Philadelphia’s Msgr. Lynn and Fr. Brennan, a witness stated that Bransfield had sex with teenage boys. The witness had alleged abuse for years by Bransfield’s colleague, Rev. Stanley Gana. The witness said he was at Gana’s farm in northeast Pennsylvania when a car full of teenagers that was driven by Bransfield pulled up. The witness said Gana told him they were Bransfield’s “fair-haired boys” and that Bransfield was having sex with one of them.

    • A second witness and Gana accuser said in the 2012 Philadelphia trial that once after abusing him, Gana put him on the phone with Bransfield who said, “I’m going to have Stanley put you on a train and come down and see me sometime.” Bransfield was living and working in Washington DC at the time.

    • A prosecutor in 2012 said there had been an allegation that Bransfield had fondled a student.
    DC assistant director 1979-1986; director 1986-1990

    The witness in the Philadelphia trial also stated that when he was a minor Gana sexually abused him in a New Jersey beach house owned by Bransfield.
    1990 2005 On Duty Outside the Diocese/Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Washington DC rector In 1990 Pope John Paul II declared the National Shrine a minor basilica.
    2003 2005 Catholic University of America Washington DC Board of Trustees member
    U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops Washington DC treasurer; Communications Committee member; National Collections Committee member
    Knights of Columbus member
    Knights of the Holy Sepulchre member
    Papal Foundation Bala Cynwyd PA president
    St. Charled Borromeo Seminary Philadelphia PA Board of Trustees member
    Catholic Distance University Wheeling WV Board of Trustees member
    Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Washington DC Board of Trustees member

    2005

    Bransfield was ordained and installed as Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston Feb. 22, 2005
    Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston Wheeling WV Bransfield vehemently denied the allegations made during a 2012 Philadelphia trial that he had sexually abused teenage boys.

    RETURN TO TOP

    http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/Bransfield_Michael_J.htm

    Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1972-2011)

  18. The latest……

    SNAP responds: Bransfield investigation confirmed

    Statement by: Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511, SNAPJudy@gmail.com

    The Montgomery county’s District Attorney, Risa Erman, confirms she has reopened a fondling complaint against Bishop Michael Bransfield.

    “Ferman has confirmed to The Intelligencer of Doylestown that she has reopened the 2007 fondling complaint”. “Ferman told the newspaper on July 9. “Within the last month, new information has come forward to cause us to re-examine the older complaint.”

    We urge anyone who has knowledge or may have been harmed by Bransfield to please contact District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman, who is investigating this case. Her contact info here (ph: 610-278-3090) .
    Or contact the police, whether it be in the Philly Archdiocese or the Wheeling-Charleston diocese.

    Contact – David Clohessy (314-566-0790 cell, snapclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Blaine
    (312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, peterisely@yahoo.com), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com), Judy Jones, 636-433-2511, SNAPJudy@gmail.com

    (SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims.
    SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 12,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers and increasingly, victims who were assaulted in a wide range of institutional settings like summer camps, athletic programs, Boy Scouts, etc. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

    latest news below..

    http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Montgomery-County-DA-Reopens-Bishop-Investigation-162466786.html

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/pa-prosecutor-reopens-07-fondling-complaint-against-roman-catholic-bishop-of-west-virginia/2012/07/14/gJQACx4FkW_story.html

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/07/14/authorities-reopen-2007-fondling-complaint-against-west-virginia-bishop/

    http://old.post-gazette.com/pg/12196/1246722-455-0.stm

  19. Let us stand behind DA Risa Vetri Ferman and pray that the victims from Lansdale Catholic have the courage to come forward.

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