Bishop Michael Bransfield resigns; sexual harassment investigation launched

DWC

BALTIMORE, Md. (WDTV) -- Following the resignation of Bishop Michael Bransfield from the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop William Lori Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese.

The Pope also instructed Archbishop Lori to conduct an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment of adults against Bishop Bransfield.

“My primary concern is for the care and support of the priests and people of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston at this difficult time,” Archbishop Lori said in a press release. “I further pledge to conduct a thorough investigation in search of the truth into the troubling allegations against Bishop Bransfield and to work closely with the clergy, religious and lay leaders of the diocese until the appointment of a new bishop."

Archbishop Lori will meet with clergy and lay leaders of the Diocese Thursday and Friday. He will celebrate Mass in Wheeling on Saturday at the Cathedral of St. Joseph.

A hotline has been established for those wishing to share any information related to this investigation. The hotline number is 1-833-272-4225.