Vatican Places Sanctions On Retired W. Va Bishop Following Scandal

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Vatican Places Sanctions On Retired W. Va Bishop Following Scandal
​The sanctions were ordered by Pope Francis and prohibit the Bishop from residing in his former diocese and taking part in public ministry.
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The Vatican announced sanctions against retired West Virginia Bishop Michael Bransfield Friday after investigating allegations of sexual harassment and financial misconduct.

Pope Francis ordered the sanctions, which prohibit Bransfield from residing in his former West Virginia diocese and taking part in public ministry. The sanctions did stop short of defrocking him though.

Bransfield retired in September after an aide came forward with a detailed account of alleged sexual and financial misconduct. In 2012, Bransfield and two other priests were accused of sexually abusing children or covering up that abuse back in the 1970s and 80s. He denied the allegations and called them "unbelievable and shocking."

The sanctions also obligate Bransfield to "make personal amends for some of the harm he caused," determined by the new Bishop.