|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 abused 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. In July 2012 the Philadelphia archdiocese stated it learned of an allegation in 2007 that Bransfield fondled a high school student in the 1970s. Prosecutors did not pursue the case in 2007, but decided to reopen it in July 2012. Bransfield denied the allegations. Resigned September 13, 2018 after Pope Francis ordered an investigation into allegations that Bransfield sexually harassed adults.
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.|
|St. Stanislaus had a school with 799-718 students.|
|1973||1979||Lansdale Catholic High School||
• In July 2012 a Philadelphia archdiocesan spokesman said the archdiocese learned in 2007 that Bransfield was accused of fondling a Lansdale Catholic High student in the 1970s. The spokesman said it forwarded the information to Montgomery County prosecutors at the time. Bransfield denied the allegation.
|PA||teacher; chaplain; chairman of religion dept.; vice-principal||Lansdale Catholic High had 249-371 boys and 336-417 girls.|
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||
• 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.
|DC||assistant director 1979-1986; director 1986-1990||
|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|
Bransfield was ordained and installed as Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston Feb. 22, 2005.
|2019||Bishop of Wheeling-Charleston||Wheeling||WV||Bransfield vehemently denied the allegations made during a 2012 Philadelphia trial that he had sexually abused teenage boys. When Philadelphia prosecutors announced in July, 2012 that they were reviewing allegations that Bransfield had fondled a high school student in the 1970s, the Wheeling-Charleston diocese released a statement calling the allegations, "old news". Bransfield stated, "I have never sexually abused anyone." He resignedSeptember 13, 2018 after Pope Francis ordered an investigation into allegations that Bransfield sexually harassed adults.|
Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1972-2011)
• Witness Links West Virginia Bishop to Priest Abuse, By Tony Hanson, CBS Philly, April 18, 2012