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Tue Jun 11, 2019, 01:19 PM

Three priests accused of enabling W.Va. bishop's 'predatory and harassing conduct' resign

Three high-ranking priests who allegedly enabled “predatory and harassing conduct” by Bishop Michael J. Bransfield when he was leader of the Catholic Church in West Virginia have resigned from their leadership posts, church officials announced Monday.

A statement from Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore gave no reason for the resignations. But the three monsignors — Frederick Annie, Anthony Cincinnati and Kevin Quirk — are central figures in a scandal over alleged sexual and financial misconduct by Bransfield, according to a confidential report described in a Washington Post story last week.

The report by five lay Catholics was completed in February and submitted to the Vatican. Lori’s statement said Annie resigned in September, around the time the Vatican launched its investigation. Quirk and Cincinnati resigned on Monday, Lori said.

The confidential report had recommended their removal.

“By failing to take any action, the Chancery Monsignors enabled the predatory and harassing conduct of Bishop Bransfield, and allowed him to recklessly spend Diocesan funds for his own personal use,” the report states.


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