FILE - This Feb. 21, 2005, file photo, shows incoming bishop of the Wheeling-Charleston diocese, W.Va, Michael Bransfield in his new office, in Wheeling, W.Va. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston in West Virginia says Pope Francis has issued disciplinary action against its former bishop. The diocese posted the pope’s decision on its website, saying former bishop Michael Bransfield can’t live within the diocese, can’t participate in any public celebration of the liturgy and must make amends “for some of the harm he caused.” (AP Photo/Dale Sparks, File)

Former West Virginia bishop disciplined by pope

July 19, 2019 - 5:49 pm

WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston in West Virginia says Pope Francis has issued disciplinary action against its former bishop.

The diocese posted the pope's decision on its website, saying former bishop Michael Bransfield can't live within the diocese, can't participate in any public celebration of the liturgy and must make amends "for some of the harm he caused."

A church investigation found sexual misconduct accusations against Bransfield to be credible. It also found that Bransfield misused church funds, spending them on dining, liquor, gifts, personal travel and luxury items.

The diocese earlier announced financial reforms after Bransfield was found to have misused funds. The new policies were announced in a letter to parishioners this week from Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore.

Bransfield resigned as bishop last year.

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