A former altar server, seminarian and secretary to Bishop Michael Bransfield has filed a civil lawsuit alleging that the former bishop of Wheeling-Charleston sexually assaulted him.
The alleged assault occurred in 2014, but fearing retribution for himself, his parents and family because of "treatment and ostracism of once highly regarded church members who had dared to criticize or speak ill of the Catholic Church or Bishop Bransfield," the suit alleges, he did not report the incident at the time.
The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston is addressing a lawsuit filed by the state "with utmost seriousness," while "steadfastly affirming" the diocese's rigorous child protection standards, said the diocese's apostolic administrator, Baltimore Archbishop William Lori.
Wheeling Jesuit University announced March 27 that it will remain open under the board of trustees' existing declaration of financial exigency.
Former Wheeling-Charleston Bishop Michael Bransfield's name has been removed from the gymnasium at Central Catholic High School in Wheeling.