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Opinion Bishop Bransfield’s discretionary fund shenanigans

West Virginia Bishop Michael J. Bransfield in 2015. (Scott Mccloskey/AP)

Regarding the Oct. 27 front-page article “Filings show bishop drew cash from hospital funds”:

West Virginia Bishop Michael J. Bransfield’s shenanigans in setting up the “discretionary” (read slush) Bishop’s Fund to distribute money to curry favor and influence of church hierarchy raises many questions. As far back as 2012, parishioners in his diocese had lodged complaints about his frivolous spending of church funds for renovations for his church residence, chauffeur and personal chef. They were obviously ignored. More than $350,000 was given to church officials, who never questioned the source. Some $54,000 went to a Vatican cardinal who needed an apartment makeover so that he could have a “comfortable” room to watch TV.

When Baltimore Archbishop William Lori was given the task of investigating Bishop Bransfield’s use of church funds, he filed an incomplete account, omitting money received by Archbishop Lori and other church officials.

Now about that $400,000 custom-made Italian altar purchased with money from the Bishop’s Fund that’s languishing somewhere in a storage facility. Any chance of it winding up on eBay?

Otts Laupus, Elkridge

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