Robert John Brennan © Gregory A. Shemitz (KNA)
For the crisis-stricken U.S. diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, Pope Francis has appointed Mark Edward Brennan as its new leader. Former Bishop Bransfield was previously relieved of his priestly duties.
The appointment was announced by the Vatican on Tuesday. Brennan, 72, was previously an auxiliary bishop in the Baltimore archdiocese. The former bishop of Wheeling-Charleston in the state of West Virginia, Michael Bransfield (75), was emeritus in September for reasons of age, but subsequently suspended from priestly duties.
Abuse of power as well as embezzlement of church funds
Last Friday, more sanctions against Bransfield were published. He is accused of abuse of power, sexual harassment of priests and embezzlement of church funds, among other things.
Brennan, a native of Boston, had been appointed auxiliary bishop in Baltimore by Pope Francis in late 2016. Archbishop William Lori, 68, there, was appointed by the Vatican as the so-called apostolic administrator in charge of Wheeling-Charleston on an interim basis following Bransfield's resignation.