W.Va. Catholics React To Bishop Abuse Allegations

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Roman Catholics in West Virginia are reacting with disbelief and shock after a witness at a clergy-abuse trial in Philadelphia testified the leader of West Virginia's Catholics committed sexual abuse.

A man testified Wednesday that a priest raped him at a home owned by Bishop Michael Bransfield and that his accused abuser told him the bishop also sexually abused a boy. The testimony came at the trial of the Rev. James Brennan.

Monsignor Edward Sadie, rector of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Charleston, says he finds the allegations against Bransfield "impossible to believe."

Margery Webb of Charleston was shocked by the news as she arrived at a Morgantown church for Mass but said she hadn't heard anything about it.

The Diocese of Wheeling-Central declined comment.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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