It’s incredible what this bishop is alleged by the Church’s own investigators to have done (he denies it). Bransfield was for years the rector of the Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, and had a reputation — deserved or not — for homosexuality and high living. His downfall as a bishop came when younger priests in West Virginia began complaining that he was sexually harassing them....
You will not be surprised to learn that Bransfield was close to former Cardinal Ted McCarrick and his successor as cardinal archbishop of Washington, Donald Wuerl. In fact, Bishop Bransfield was head of the Papal Foundation, a private charity co-founded by McCarrick to raise money from wealthy American Catholics to send to Rome for the Pope’s charitable use. In First Things this past spring, Matthew O’Brien reported on how Cardinal Wuerl and other prelates on the foundation manipulated the lay members of the board to wangle a massive grant to Rome that may have violated US tax laws. Last fall, O’Brien reported on how McCarrick may have used the Papal Foundation as a slush fund to buy influence in Rome. It’s becoming clearer that Ted McCarrick was at the nexus of the Catholic hierarchy’s sexual and financial corruption, and abuse. It appears that lay Catholics involved with the Papal Foundation finally got tired of having their pockets picked by these episcopal sybarites to pay for their lush lives and career advancement.
Bishop Bransfield, who was one of the most important members of the Foundation’s leadership, paid for his luxurious life in one of America’s poorest states — where only four percent of the population is Catholic — by drawing on a small fortune in Texas oil money left to the diocese by an heiress. He was shameless in his spending — and the diocese’s finance board, which was supposed to be overseeing it, was “extremely passive” according to the Church’s internal investigation. West Virginia has so much poverty and suffering, but its bishop spent money that wasn’t his to ingratiate himself with high church officials, to buy jewelry, purchasing massive amounts of booze (the report alleges that he was a drunk and a pillhead), fresh flower deliveries daily, and basically carousing and hitting on priests and seminarians.
|Wuerl pushed through the $25 million gift to a sandal-ridden|
Roman hospital at the insistence of Pope Francis!
I look forward to the investigation of the Papal Foundation. My own bishop, Michael Burbidge was the secretary to the Board of Trustees when Bransfield was President and Donald Wuerl was Chairman of the Board with McCarrick as a board member (as well as a few other bishops notorious for their dissent). Recent articles about the Foundation and the scandalous $25 million gift to a dermatology hospital with a bad reputation make one wonder whether the Foundation was nothing more than a money-laundering scheme. You can read more about the Foundation in Rod Dreher's article, Sex, Money, Clerialism, and the Papal Foundation.
Please, folks, don't let the scandals shake your faith. Jesus Christ had a Judas in His ranks and he only had twelve priests. How many Judases can we expect in a Church with hundreds of thousands of bishops, priests, deacons, and consecrated religious? Jesus Christ is on the cross today just as He was 2000 years ago. Many in the crowd screaming, "Crucify Him!" are wearing roman collars. Pray for them, pray for Holy Mother Church, and don't be a deserter from the battlefield. Stay and fight with the Sacraments, the rosary and other devotions, the truth, and the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. And remember, we have an all-powerful King as our Commander-in-chief and a Queen who's a twelve star general urging on the trooops. Let's listen to her battle plan of prayer and penance and follow her field command!