Tomorrow’s edition of the Washington Post will again feature a long investigative piece on former Wheeling-Charleston bishop Michael J. Bransfield:
Warnings about West Virginia bishop went unheeded as he doled out cash gifts to Catholic leaders
The article is by Robert O'Harrow Jr. and Shawn Boburg, and it documents those warnings. (Harrow and Boburg were both part of the Post’s original investigation of Bransfield.) It begins:
Senior Catholic leaders in the United States and the Vatican began receiving warnings about West Virginia bishop Michael J. Bransfield as far back as 2012. In letters and emails, parishioners claimed that Bransfield was abusing his power and misspending church money on luxuries such as a personal chef, a chauffeur, first-class travel abroad and more than $1 million in renovations to his residence.
“I beg of you to please look into this situation,” Linda Abrahamian, a parishioner from Martinsburg, W.Va., wrote in 2013 to the pope’s ambassador to the United States.
But Bransfield’s conduct went unchecked for five more years.
Most of what follows documents efforts to get the Church to investigate as well as how the hierarchy responded. Like the Post’s previous report, it thoroughly covers its subject.