By ALAN OLSEN
The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register
WHEELING, W.Va. — Parishioners of the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston on Saturday said they are focusing their energy on their faith and the church, not on their former leader, Michael Bransfield.
Bransfield, who served as bishop of the diocese for 13 years prior to his retirement in September, faces mounting pressure from an internal investigation accusing him of excessive spending of church funds, sexual harassment of adults within the church, and using millions of dollars of church funds for personal gifts to other church officials, for personal travel, and to renovate his church-owned residence.
At Saturday’s Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, the church’s headquarters in West Virginia, one woman, who did not wish to be identified, said that Bransfield’s position as the former bishop was irrelevant to her faith, as she answers to a higher authority.
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